A Brief History of the Marines

The Marine Corps is one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. They take on some of the toughest missions by conducting offensive and defensive combat and by fighting our country's battles In the air, on land, and sea.

Founded in November 10, 1775, The Marine Corps has been a component of the U.S. Department of the Navy since June 30, 1834, and works closely with the naval forces.

The United States Marine Corps traces its roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by Captain Samuel Nicholas by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775, to raise two battalions of Marines. That date is regarded and celebrated as the date of the Marine Corps' birthday. At the end of the American Revolution in April 1783, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 11 July 1798 when Congress created the United States Marine Corps.

In the mid 1800's,  the "Marines' Hymn" was put into writing.   Known as the oldest official song in the United States Armed Forces, it is typically sung at the position of attention as a gesture of respect.

The Marines first engagement battle was in 1776 during the Revolutionary war in Fort Nassau. The British had been storing large supplies of gunpowder there to use in battle against the thirteen colonies.

In 1805, the Marines fought in the Battle of Derna, the first battle on foreign soil for the US Marine Corps.  This battle is recalled in the Marines Hymm.

From 1914 to 1918 during WW1, the Marines fought many battles, including the Battle of Belleauwood. During this battle, the Marines earned the nickname of Devil Dogs due to the way they shredded through the German line using superior marksmanship, tactility and relentless fighting.

In 1943, the first woman was enlisted in the US Marine Corps. By the time the Vietnam War began in the 1960s, 2,700 female Marines were on active duty stateside and overseas. During this time, the Corps opened formal career training programs for officers and technical training for enlisted women. From 1975 onward, women could be assigned to all fields except infantry, artillery, armor, pilots, and air crews. In Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-1991, approximately 1,000 women Marines served overseas. Today Women constitute 7.11 percent of the Corps end strength and are an integral part of the Marine Corps.

During WW2 in 1945, the Marines fought the Battle of Iwo Jima which captured Japanese airfields.  The photo of a Marine raising the American Flag was taken during this battle.  Today, that photo is an iconic symbol, and inspires generations of Marines to strive for greatness.

From 1991 in Desert Storm to 2001 in Afghanistan and beyond, the Marines have used logic and strength to succeed.  Throughout the years, technology has helped fighting and improve the chances of victory, but the bravery and strength, honor and unwavering determination of this force remains the same since 1775.

Some things remain the same. Marines continue to attack challenges with the same courage, commitment, loyalty, self-sacrifice and adaptability as their predecessors.

Thank a Marine today for their Service.

Semper Fidelis.