|Tun Tavern, where the Marines were created|
However, with the burgeoning conflict with Revolutionary France in 1798, The U.S. Congress reestablished the Navy and two months later, President John Adams signed the bill naming the U.S. Marine Corps as a permanent military force, under the jurisdiction of the navy - something that rankles the Marines to this day!
This premier fighting force saw action in the Barbary Wars and every one since. In fact, the official sword carried by Marine Officers is the Mameluke sword fashioned after the North African sword presented to Lt. Presley O'Banion who trekked across miles of desert to help liberate Tripoli with a ragtag hoard of North African fighters. The Marine Corps Hymn celebrates "...the shores of Tripoli" along with the "Halls of Montezuma," a reference to the Mexican War where the Marines
distinguished themselves yet again.
The Marines are generally the first ashore in a hostile country and have executed over 300 contested landings. The WWII Pacific theater was almost entirely dominated the Corps - the names of their conquests legendary: Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Okinawa to name only a few. Their presence in Viet Nam was keenly felt by all and of course, the Marines have seen countless months of combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are currently over 200,000 active duty and reserve Marines - truly a "few good men (and women)" stationed all over the world. Bases exist at Camp LeJeune, NC, Camp Pendleton, CA, and Okinawa. Each can launch an expeditionary unit anywhere in the world on two weeks notice. These units are self-sufficient with tanks, aircraft, and artillery.
Happy birthday, Marines!
"Semper Fidelis!" Motto of the U.S. Marine Corps