The History and Roles of the US Marine Corps

Marines compete in Combat Fitness Test
Paratroopers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, along with airmen of the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron assigned to the Spartan Brigade, participate alongside Marines during the Marine Corps’ Combat Fitness Test at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 22, 2014. (Sgt. Eric-James Estrada/U.S. Army)

The Marine Corps was founded on Nov. 10, 1775, when the Continental Congress ordered two battalions of Marines be created to serve during the Revolutionary War. They further resolved that this force be acquainted with maritime operations in order to serve aboard naval vessels. Thus, the United States Marine Corps always has been an expeditionary naval force ready to defend the nation's interests overseas.

Official Marine statements include:

"We are warriors, one and all. Born to defend, built to conquer. The steel we wear is the steel within ourselves, forged by the hot fires of discipline and training. We are fierce in a way no others can be. We are Marines."

And from

"In the Marines, everyone -- sergeant, mechanic, cannoneer, supply man, clerk, aviator, cook -- is a rifleman first. All speak the language of the rifle and bayonet, of muddy boots and long, hot marches. It's never us and them, only us. That is the secret of the Corps." -- Col. Daniel F. Bolger, U.S. Army, "Death Ground: Today's American Infantry in Battle''

The saying goes, "Every Marine a rifleman first." This quickly demonstrates the Marines' intense focus on warfare. Their well-known slogan, "The Few, The Proud, The Marines," expresses the Marine Corps' intense focus on values. Warriors with values -- this defines the Marine Corps.

The Verdict: Of all the branches, none is as proud as the Marines. Most who become Marines do so because it's their calling, not because of benefits or other reasons. If you don't like the idea of running and shooting a gun, do not join the Marines! On the other hand, if you like missions on land and sea (and even in the air), if you place values and honor above yourself, accept large mental and physical challenges constantly and would be excited to be among the first "on the scene," you may be Marine material.

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