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 approximately 182,000 active duty Marines (as of 2016) and 38,500 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
- Each year, on 10 November, the United States Marine Corps birthday ball is celebrated to commemorate the day in 1775 when the Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of the Continental Marines.
- On November 17, 1915, Smedley Butler led a group of Marines in a successful assault on Fort Riviere in Haiti.
- In November 1943, Marines began the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, which included the Battle of Tarawa (November 20-23)
- On November 4, 1976, the first Marine Corps Marathon was held in Washington, D.C. and Arlington County, Virginia.
- On November 25, 2001, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit captured Camp Rhino, the first American base in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
- On November 13, 1950 The Battle of Chosin Reservoir also known as the Chosin Reservoir Campaign or the Frozen Choisin was a decisive battle in the Korean War. 1st Marine Division27 (November – 13 December 1950)
Did you know...?
- ... MajGen William H. Rupertus, author of the Rifleman's Creed, was rejected from the predecessor of U.S. Coast Guard because he failed his physical exam?
- ... before "Semper Fidelis" became the Marine Corps official motto in 1883, there were three unofficial mottos: "By Sea and by Land," "Fortitudine," and "To the shores of Tripoli."
- ... 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 the U.S. Marine Corps was formed before the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress approved the establishment of two battalions of Marines to fight for independence.
"All who have earned the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor have contributed to our reputation as the world’s most formidable, feared, and respected military organization. This is our sacred heritage. Every Marine must protect it and own a piece of our success. Never forget that we exist to defeat our Nation’s enemies. The American people expect their Marines to fight our Country’s battles and win—always. Victory is our legacy—in the past, now, and in the future." — General Robert B. Neller, 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, "Seize the Initiative", 7 February 2017 
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