The United States Marine Corps Portal
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Marine Corps is a component of the United States Department of the Navy, often working closely with U.S. naval forces for training, transportation, and logistic purposes; however, in the military leadership structure the Marine Corps is a separate branch.
Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of the Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare. Its ability to rapidly respond on short notice to expeditionary crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.
The United States Marine Corps includes just over 203,000 active duty Marines (as of October 2009) and just under 40,000 reserve Marines. It is the smallest of the United States' armed forces in the Department of Defense (the United States Coast Guard is smaller, about one-fifth the size of the Marine Corps, but is normally under the Department of Homeland Security). The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces, or the entire British Army.
This month in USMC history
- On 15 February 1898, 28 Marines and 246 sailors were killed when the USS Maine exploded and sunk in Havana, precipitating the Spanish–American War.
- On 11 February 1922, future Commandant BGen John H. Russell is appointed U.S. High Commissioner of Haiti. He served in that capacity until 16 November 1930.
- On 3 February 1944, Marines declare victory after the Battle of Kwajalein, marking the first time the Americans had penetrated the "outer ring" of the Japanese Pacific sphere.
- On 23 February 1945, Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, Rene Gagnon, Harold Schultz, and Harlon Block were photographed raising a flag over Iwo Jima.
- On 16 February 1953, Captain Ted Williams crash-landed his F9F Panther after a bombing raid on North Korea.
- On 20 February 1962, LtCol John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission.
- On February 17, 1988, LtCol William R. Higgins was kidnapped, tortured, and killed by Hezbollah while serving on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
- On 24 February 1991, the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions, and the 1st Light Armored Infantry Battalion cross into Kuwait and head toward Kuwait City, initiating the ground assault in the final chapter of Gulf War.
- ... Marines in uniform are not authorized to put their hands in their pockets.
- ... the rank of Marine “gunner” is the only Marine Corps rank that requires different insignia on the left and right uniform collars
- ... even though the Corps is an amphibious force, swim qualification is one of the few annual qualifications that doesn’t count toward a Marine’s promotion to the next rank.
- ... that John A. Lejeune was the first Marine officer to hold an Army divisional command. On 28 July 1918, Brigadier General Lejeune assumed command of the 2d Division, U.S. Army in France, and remained in that capacity until August 1919 when the unit was demobilized.
James Norman "Jim" Mattis (born September 8, 1950), a retired United States Marine Corps general, is the 26th and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the Trump administration. As Mattis retired from the military in 2013, his nomination required a waiver of the National Security Act of 1947, which requires a seven-year waiting period before retired military personnel can assume the role of Secretary of Defense. He was confirmed 98–1 by the United States Senate on January 20, 2017, the first member of Trump's cabinet to be confirmed.
General Mattis' last post before retiring from the Marine Corps was serving as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command (2010-2013), with responsibility for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Central Asia.
"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess." Gen. James L. Jones, USMC ( CMC); 10 November 2000
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