Marine Corps Facts

The Marine Corps was created on November 10, 1775, in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by a resolution of the Continental Congress. In 1834 the Marines became part of the Department of the Navy.

Captain Samuel Nicholas - is considered the first Marine Corps Commandant. He was the first commissioned officer of the Marine Corps.

General Archibal Henderson - The Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps - fifth Commandant and first to be a General. He served as Commandant for 38 years.

The current Marine Corps emblem (the Eagle, Globe and Anchor) was adopted in 1868 The globe and anchor signify worldwide service and sea traditions. The spread eagle represents the nation itself. The motto is clenched in the beak of the bird.

Devil Dogs - During World War I the Marines fought the Germans at Belleau Wood. The Germans thought that their position could not be taken. However, they had not planed on the fierce fighting ability of the Marines. The persistent attacks, delivered with unbelievable courage soon had the Germans calling he Marines "Teufelhunden" (Devil Dogs).

Lieutenant General Louis B. "Chesty" Puller - General Puller is the most decorated Marine in Marine Corps history. He won 52 ribbons in all, including five Navy Crosses, the second highest award a Marine can win, and a Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross is the US Army equivalent of the Navy Cross and therefore is ALSO the second highest decoration awarded by the United States.. (Background graphic is a picture of Chesty Puller)

Lt. Presley O'Bannon - Marine Lt. Presley N. O'Bannon led a force of Marines and Mercenaries across 600 miles of Libyan desert, to attack the fortress at Derne, Tripoli, while Naval forces provided bombardment. This was the first time an American flag flew over a captured fortification in the "Old World". In appreciation for O'Bannon's services, Hamet Bey (the rightful ruler of Tripoli) presented O'Bannon with his own sword, a curved blade with ivory hilt topped by a golden eagles head. The Mameluk sword. This sword served as the pattern for swords carried to this day by Marine Officers.

Scarlet Trouser Stripe (Bloodstripe) - The red stripe was first seen on Marine uniforms in 1796. It was used off and on until uniform regulations made it standard on all NCO and Officer uniforms in 1859. It is rumored that the stripe represents the blood shed by Marines at the Battle of Chapaultepec in the war with Mexico in 1846.

Quatrefoil - the quatrefoil in the cross-shaped design seen on officers barracks cover and was taken directly from Napoleon III's army.

Marine Corps Motto - "Semper Fidelis" was adopted in 1883 as the official Marine Corps Motto. It is latin for Always Faithful.

Official Marine Corps Colors - Scarlet and Gold.

Marine Corporal John Mackie - During the Civil War Corporal Mackie's acts of heroism made him the first Marine to win the Medal of Honor. Mackie was on board the Galena when a direct hit caused an explosion, Mackie rallied the survivors, carried off the dead and wounded and got three of the ship's guns back in action.

Smedely Butler - Only Marine Officer to win the Medal of Honor twice.

Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daily - Only enlisted Marine to win the Medal of Honor twice.

Major General John A. Lejeune - First Marine Officer to command an Army division in combat, as well as the 13th Commandant of the Corps.

General Roy A. Geiger - At Okinawa in 1945, after the battle death of Army Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., then Lieutenant General Roy A. Geiger succeeded to the command of the 10th United States Army consisting of the 24th Corps (4 Army divisions; 7th, 27th, 77th, 96th infantry divisions) and the 3rd Amphibious Corps (3 Marine divisions; 1st, 2nd, 6th). The first and only time that a Marine Corps officer attained such standing. Geiger was posthumously promoted to full general by the 80th Congress.


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