The History Division was formed on 8 September 1919, by Order Number 53 of Commandant of the Marine CorpsGeorge Barnett as the Historical Section of the Department of the Adjutant and Inspector. After World War II, the organization was known as "Marine Corps History and Museums Division" until the current name was instituted in the early 2000s.
The United States Marine Corps History Division is a staff organization with the primary task of researching and writing the Marine Corps’ official history. The unit is not a division-sizedmilitary formation. It is organized into four branches:
The Historical Branch prepares a wide variety of official publications that tell the Marine Corps story as accurately and comprehensively as possible. Publications include: articles, monographs, occasional papers, and definitive histories. The Branch also includes the Oral History Program, which obtains, catalogs, transcribes, and preserves personal narrative, experiences and observations of historic value from active duty and retired Marines for use as reference source material.
The Historical Reference Branch provides historical research and reference services and historical analysis. In addition, the Branch supports specific programs: Unit Lineage and Honors, Commemorative Naming, Marine Corps Flag Manual, and Marine Corps Chronology.
The Field History Branch deploys Individual Mobilization Augmentee detachment historians to collect historically relevant material (oral history, written/electronic plans, operation orders, maps, overlays and artifacts) for use as reference material. The Branch also consists of a Mobilization Training Unit whose members support the History Division with specific projects.
The Editing and Design branch designs and lays out manuscripts, maps and other graphic materials to support the History Division’s publications.
The History Division maintains several publications, including the quarterly newsletter Fortitudine (ISBN 0-16-010404-1), which was a traditional motto of the Corps before semper fidelis was adapted in 1883. They also maintain an archive of all historical publications published since its founding.