"Iron Mike" Monument to U.S. Marines
“Iron Mike” stands still as one of the symbols for United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot, where the journey from civilian to United States Marine is initiated.
Dedication of the statue, 1924. The statue was moved from this former drill field and now stands in front of the headquarters building.
Backstory and Context
The monument honors Marines who served in World War I and was inspired by the actions of Marines who were among the first Americans to engage the enemy during the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood. This campaign and the resilience of the Marines led to German soldiers giving the American Marines the nickname “Teufel Hunden,” or devil dogs. The nickname became embraced by members of the Marine Corps and soon became a title of honor. For members of the Marines, this statue is an important piece of history. The iconic "Iron Mike" in this statue serves as an inspirational image and source of self-identity, while the title "Devil Dog" is used among fellow Marines as a term of endearment.
In 1941, this monument was moved to the corner of Blvd de France and Santo Domingo so that recruits and visitors could more easily visit the statue. The statue was re-bronzed in 2009.