'Soul of the Forward & Faithful'
WWII U.S. Marine Raider Memorial
"For the Soul of the elite force unit is its men. And if there is one thing the Raiders didn't lack, it was soul." -- Robert A. Buerlein
It took over a year's work to commemorate our fathers and grandfathers who bravely fought in WWII to bring peace and freedom back to the Pacific. Although exciting and fulfilling to work on, this project brought about both challenges and growth. I immersed myself in the Raiders' heroic stories and the details of their specialized equipment. I wished to sculpt the Raiders in their truest form, and the result is a work that honors those great Americans who combined their skills to “work together in harmony” with conviction and soul. -- Mardie Rees
The U.S. Marine Raiders, America's first elite force (Feb.1942), were created to serve in the Pacific theater of WWII and strike back at the Empire of Japan. They are the grandfathers of today's Reconnaissance Marines, MarDet 1 Program, and the Critical Skill Operators of MARSOC. Equipped with greater firepower then a typical rifle/infantry unit, they were responsible for raiding enemy positions and many other types of unconventional missions. They were constantly deployed considerably "forward" of the main body of Marines in combat. To reach their remote objectives, Raiders pioneered insertion and extraction methods that are still used by special operation units today.
The sculpture presents a Marine Raider holding a Browning Automatic Rifle, a War Dog Handler with his German Shepherd and a Navajo Code Talker. In the background, four additional Raiders on patrol creep through the dense jungle, armed with a breadth of weaponry and gear. The spirit of "Gung-ho," of working in harmony, informs their movements and mutual support. It was with steadfast dedication to their specific roles and fellow Marines that Raiders helped the United States to once more protect and preserve the freedom we cherish.
A catalog of images of Soul of the Forward & Faithful is available as an autographed collector's item. Request your FREE copy here.
Would you like to see 'Soul of the Forward and Faithful' in person?
The sculpture is now permanently displayed in the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va. Admission is free.