U.S. Marine Corps (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
The U.S. Marine Corps is an autonomous armed service commanded by a general, the commandant of the Marine Corps, who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its mission is to provide quick-response expeditionary forces for ground and air combat in company with the U.S. Navy during wartime or international disturbances short of war. It also detaches a small number of marines as security forces on Navy ships and bases and as guards at U.S. embassies. To meet these missions, in the year 2000, 174,000 men and women marines, about one in nine of whom were officers, constituted operating forces and support forces, most of them stationed at sixteen major bases in the United States and Japan. The operating (combat) forces are organized into three Marine Expeditionary Forces, each of which consists of an infantry division, an aircraft wing, and a logistics support group. Enlisted Marines train at recruit depots at Parris Island, South Carolina, or San Diego, California. Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy can choose to be commissioned as marine officers; however, most of the officer corps is trained at Officers Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia.
The Early Marine Corps
The first contingent of marines formed on November 10, 1775—the official Marine Corps’ birthday. These Continental Marines primarily served as guards on warships, although in 1776, a small battalion fought at the Battle of Princeton under General George...
(The entire section is 1016 words.)
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