HISTORY OF THE MILITARY ORDER OF DEVIL DOGS
The Marine Corps League, formed in 1923 by members of what had been the Marine Corps Veterans Association, assimilated more than 40 existing marine oriented organizations that sprang up following the end of World War 1. Comprised largely of veterans of the fierce fighting between the Fifth and Sixth Marine Regiments and the Germans, these returning veterans of the Great War ("the war to end all wars") were called "Teufelhunde” by their German adversaries, literally meaning "Dogs of the Devil," or as we now know, DEVIL DOGS. Legend has it that because our Marines were so under supplied during the battle of Belleau Wood that, when they engaged the Germans in hand-to-hand combat, they fought with their teeth when all else was gone!
Following the establishment of the Marine Corps League, the leadership of the League decided that the delegates assembling in convention needed some time during their serious deliberations to "blow off steam." As a result, the Military Order of Devil Dogs was organized and created in 1939, in Boston, MA and granted a charter as a subsidiary organization of the Marine Corps League on 19 March 1940. From those early years, the Military Order of Devil Dogs (the Order) has continued to grow to the strong group it is today.
The Order is organized in nearly every state where there is a Marine Corps League presence. Celebrating its 75th year at the 2014 National Convention in Charleston WV, the Order boasts a semi-permanent headquarters in Michigan, and a full-time Kennel Dog Robber/National Executive Secretary.
The Order, the FUN and HONOR SOCIETY of the Marine Corps League, is comprised of only regular members of the League who have been recommended for membership by 2 members of the Order. Each member undergoes a series of initiations. First, as a Pup, in their Pound (the local organization, the basis of the Order); then, as a Devil Dog in their Pack (the State organization which meets during a Department Convention); and, finally, as a Pedigreed Devil Dog at the SUPREME GROWL held in conjunction with the National Convention of the League. Each degree must be held for one full year before candidacy for the next degree may be considered.
It promotes good fellowship amongst the members of the different Marine Corps League Detachments. The Order provides amusement and entertainment at all gatherings of the League, when and where advisable, preserves and strengthens the principles and ideals of the League, and maintains true allegiance to the United States of America and its Constitution and laws. It fosters and extends American institutions of freedom and defends America against all enemies whatsoever. The Order is also very active in raising funds for different charities.
In 2018 there were more than 7,000 members in the Order. It is a great honor to be accepted as a member of the Military Order of Devil Dogs.
HOW TO JOIN:
You must be a paid-up member in good standing in the Marine Corps League. The applicant must be active in his or her Detachment in the League, and must request membership in the Order. He or she must be recommended by his or her Detachment Commandant and be sponsored by two Devil Dogs or Pedigreed Devil Dogs. The applicant is then interviewed by the members of the Pound at a Pound Growl.
DEVIL DOG'S CREED
I am an American: I was born in France. I have held the title of United States Marine, and understand the commitment of holding the title, Devil Dog. It is a tradition born at Belleau Wood in the year 1918, of a Force in Readiness and the "First To Fight". As a Devil Dog, I ask no quarter and give no quarter. I will do everything in my power to uphold the objectives of the Military Order of Devil Dogs and to carry out my duties to a swift and satisfactory completion.