Marine RECON and MARSOC patch - USMC Reconnaissance -Camp Pendleton - OEF - OIF

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Seller: tattoo_ink (6,236) 100%, Location: New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 162374551481 4-17 INFANTRY UNITED STATES MARINE RECONNAISSANCE PATCH (WAX BACKING) USMC RECON MERROWED EDGE 5 X 5 1/2" EMBROIDERED PATCH WITH WAX BACKING RECONNAISSANCE, LEATHER NECK, DEVIL DOG, MARINE The history of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) begins with the founding of the Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 to conduct ship-to-ship fighting, provide shipboard security and discipline enforcement, and assist in landing forces. Its mission evolved with changing military doctrine and foreign policy of the United States. Owing to the availability of Marine forces at sea, the United States Marine Corps has served in nearly every conflict in United States history. It attained prominence when its theories and practice of amphibious warfare proved prescient, and ultimately formed a cornerstone of the Pacific Theater of World War II. By the early 20th century, the Marine Corps would become one of the dominant theorists and practitioners of amphibious warfare. Its ability to rapidly respond on short notice to expeditionary crises has made and continues to make it an important tool for American foreign policy. The Marine Recon we know today dates back to the W.W.II. Before 1944 the MR were primarily scout/sniper units. In April 1944 a two company amphibious reconnaissance battalion were formed. They started operating with UDT (Underwater Demolition Team), to conduct beach reconnaissance and hydrographic survey. The MR along with UDT recon'd for the landings at Iwo Jima in 1945. During the war in Korea the MR and UDT did a series of raids on Korea's east coast, destroying railroad tunnels and bridges. At a time the MR operated 200 miles behind enemy lines. In 1951 the MR made the first helicopter assault in the Marine Corps history. When the marines landed in Vietnam in 1965, the MR were there to support their respective Units. In Vietnam the MR conducted deep and distant reconnaissance patrols. They mostly operated in seven-man teams performing the so called 'Stingray' operations. The last marines left Vietnam in 1971. During the 1970s and 1980s the MR went through some changes. 23-man deep reconnaissance platoons were created to compensate for the seducement of the MR after the Vietnam War. The basic Recon teams were still the four-man teams. When the hostage recovery program was started in 1976 with federal law enforcement agencies and the Army Special Forces, some of the MR units were assigned to Direct Action missions. In 1977, snipers were again a part of the marine units. In October 1983 the MR took part in the invasion of Grenada, and in 1989 they went into Panama in Operation 'Just Cause'. In 1990 MR was deployed in the Gulf. Here they scouted the front lines of the Iraqi forces. They found ways through enemy lines for the marine invasion. Prior to the ground war the MR took 238 prisoners. NOTE: The Marine Recon is not a part of SOCOM (Special Operation Command). Stationed:Active Duty:Division Recon Company-1st Marine Division Camp Pendleton California 1st Force Recon Company, 1st SRIG, Camp Pendleton, California 2nd Recon Battalion-Camp Lejuene North Carolina(2nd Force Recon Company is now part of this unit) Division Recon Company-3rd Marine Division, Camp Butler, Okinawa Japan 5th Force Recon Company, Camp Butler, Okinawa Japan Reserve:3rd Force Recon Company, Mobile Alabama 4th Force Recon Company, Reno Nevada and Oahu Hawaii 4th Reconnaissance Battalion-San Antonio Texas, Billings Montana, Albuquerque New Mexico, and Anchorage Alaska. Weapons: M16A2, M203, M249 SAW, M9 Beretta Handgun, H&K MP5, M40 sniper rifle, Barret .50 caliber Heavy sniper rifle. LINEAGEOF 3RD RECONNAISSANCE BATTALION3RD MARINE DIVISIONUNITED STATES MARINE CORPS 1942 - 1945 ACTIVATED 16 SEPTEMBER 1942 AT CAMP PENDLETON, CA , AS COMPANY E SCOUTS,3RD TANK BATTALION, AND ASSIGNED TO THE 3RD MARINE DIVISION DEPLOYED JANUARY- FEBRUARY 1943 TO AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND REDESIGNATED 20 APRIL 1943 AS 3RD SCOUT COMPANY, HEADQUARTERS BATTALION,3RD MARINE DIVISION REDESIGNATED 15 MAY 1943 AS COMPANY E (SCOUT), 3RD TANK BATTALION REDESIGNATED 1 JULY 1943 AS COMPANY D (SCOUT) 3RD TANK BATTALION REDESIGNATED 1 APRIL 1944 AS AMPHIBIOUS RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY,HEADQUARTERS BATTALION, 3RD MARINE DIVISION PARTICIPATED IN THE FOLLOWING WWII CAMPAIGNSBOUGAINVILLESOLOMON ISLANDSGUAMIWO JIMA RELOCATED DECEMBER 1945 TO CAMP PENDLETON, CA DEACTIVATED 31 DECEMBER 1945 1952 - 1964 REACTIVATED 1 MARCH 1952 AT CAMP PENDLETON, CA AS RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY,HEADQUARTERS BATTALION AND ASSIGNED TO THE 3RD MARINE DIVISIONFLEET MARINE FORCE DEPLOYED AUGUST 1953 TO CAMP GIFU, JAPAN DEPLOYED APRIL 1956 TO CAMP HAUGE, OKINAWA DEACTIVATED 14 APRIL 1958 REACTIVATED 15 APRIL 1958 AT CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, AS THE3RD RECONNAISSANCE BATTALION AND ASSIGNED TO THE3RD MARINE DIVISION, FLEET MARINE FORCE 1965 - 1992 DEPLOYED MAY 1965 TO CHU LAI, REPUBLIC OF VIET-NAM PARTICIPATED IN WAR IN VIET-NAM, MAY 1965 - NOVEMBER 1969, OPERATING FROMDA NANGHUE/PHU BAIQUANG TRI REDEPLOYED DURING DECEMBER 1969 TO CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA DEPLOYED THROUGHOUT THE WESTERN PACIFIC AREAS UNTIL IT'S STAND DOWN AND DEACTIVATION DURING 1992 United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance (Force Recon) units are special-purposes units roughly analogous to the Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, or U.S. Army Special Forces and are widely recognized as the "special forces" of the Marine Corps. Marine Force Recon personnel, or 'operators,' perform highly specialized, small scale, high-risk operations, such as: * Amphibious and deep ground surveillance.* Assist in specialized technical missions such as Weapons of mass destruction(NBC), Radio, sensors and beacons, etc.* Assist in ordnance delivery (i.e., designating targets for close air support, artillery and naval gunfire).* Conduct 'limited scale raids,' such as gas and oil platform (GOPLATS) raids and the capture of specific personnel or sensitive materials.* Hostage/Prisoner of war rescue. Unlike the other special purpose units listed above, Force Reconnaissance units are not a part of the United States Special Operations Command, although some Force Recon Marines have been assigned to a special unit, 'MCSOCOM Detachment One', in an attempt to start integration with USSOCOM). Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance was first conceived in 1954, at Marine Base Camp Pendleton, outside of San Diego, California, when an experimental recon team was formed. Three years later, that team merged with an existing amphibious reconnaissance company to form the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. The precursor of Force Recon was from World War II, the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion commanded by Captain James L. Jones. In 1958, half the Marines in 1st Force were removed from the Company and hauled over to the Eastern seaboard, forming the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. 1st Force supplemented Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPac), while 2nd, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic (FMFLant). Force Reconnaissance received their baptism by fire during the Vietnam War, arriving first in 1965 and staying for five years. Forty-four Marines of 1st Force were killed or missing in action through the course of the war. After US withdrawal from Vietnam, 1st Force and 3rd Force were both deactivated in 1974, and the existing Force Marines were rolled into the non-Force 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion in order to maintain Marine Corps deep recon capabilities. However, the roll-in was never completed to a satisfactory condition, and 1st Force Reconnaissance was reactivated as an individual unit in 1986, and was later deployed in the Gulf War. Many Force Recon Companies are in existence today, and have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Organization Force Reconnaissance Companies are deployed within a type of larger Marine Corps units called a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) or MEU(SOC). MEU(SOC)s are deployed onboard Amphibious Ready Groups, a group of United States Navy ships. This group is usually centered around an amphibious assault helicopter carrier (designations for these ships range between LHA, LPH, LHD). There may be as many as three of these groups, with their attendant MEU(SOC)s, deployed around the world at any given time. The mobility and continual rotation of these formations is integral to current Marine Corps operating procedure, which sets a stated goal of being able to field a MEU(SOC) on any shore around the world within six hours of an order being given. There are currently seven MEU(SOC)s in the Corps. In MEF I WestPac, there are three MEUs: the 11th, 13th and 15th. They responsible for the Middle-East and the Persian Gulf region. In MEF II MedFloat, there are also three MEUs: the 22nd, 24th and 26th. They focus on countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The last MEF, MEF III, has only one MEU(SOC), based in Okinawa, Japan: the 31st MEU. As of 2004, there are currently four active Marine Force Reconnaissance companies: 1st Force Reconnaissance, based at Camp Pendleton, CA; 2nd Force Reconnaissance, based at Camp Lejeune, NC; 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, based in Mobile, AL and 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, based in Honolulu, HI. 5th Force Reconnaissance was folded into non-Force 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion as Deep Reconnaissance Company, and is based with 31st MEU(SOC) at Okinawa. The structure of a Force reconnaissance Company is more similar to that of an infantry battalion than a standard company. The command element includes the Commanding Officer or CO (normally a Lieutenant Colonel), Executive Officer or XO (normally a Major), a Sergeant Major and the S1 (Administrative), S2 (Intelligence), S3 (Operations), S4 (Logistics) and S6 (Communications) officers. The bulk of the Company is divided into six platoons, under a Platoon Commander (Captain) and a Platoon NCO (Sergeant, Staff Sergeant or higher). One of the three platoons is a scout/sniper unit retained from the MEU's Battalion Landing Team. Force Recon units also include U.S. Navy Corpsmen as integrated combat medical personnel, and, like corpsmen in all Marine Corps units, these corpsmen receive the exact same training as the members of the units they support. (1) MCO 5401.5 dated 24 August 1992, USMC Force Structure Implementation Plan. This plan laid out the framework for the Corps of the future. In shrinking to 159,000 by Fiscal Year 1997, the reconnaissance battalions were the first to be eliminated. (2) In consonance with the stand down each infantry regiment was to get a reconnaissance company comprised of 5 Officers and 87 Enlisted. (3) On 25 November 1992 Charlie Company stood down. The men were transferred to Bravo and Delta Companies. (4) On 29 January 1993 Bravo Company was transferred to the Ninth Marines and Delta Company to the 4th Marines. (5) On 2 April 1993 Alpha Company was transferred to the Third Marines. (6) Headquarters and Service Company stood down and furled the Battalion Colors. 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Today On 2 June 2000 the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion was reactivated. A little history is in order to explain the deactivation which occurred in 1992. * MCO 5401.5 dated 24 August 1992, USMC Force Structure Implementation Plan. This plan laid out the framework for the Corps of the future. In shrinking to 159,000 by Fiscal Year 1997, the reconnaissance battalions were the first to be eliminated. * In consonance with the stand down each infantry regiment was to get a reconnaissance company comprised of 5 Officers and 87 Enlisted. * On 25 November 1992 Charlie Company stood down. The men were transferred to Bravo and Delta Companies. * On 29 January 1993 Bravo Company was transferred to the Ninth Marines and Delta Company to the 4th Marines. * On 2 April 1993 Alpha Company was transferred to the Third Marines. * Headquarters and Service Company stood down and furled the Battalion Colors. The Battalion was reactivated under the Command of Lt. Col. Douglas M. King at Camp Schwab. At the time of the reactivation 5th Force Company and 3rd Recon Company were combined to form the present battalion. History, Mission and Organization The United States Marine Corps is a relatively small and parochial organization. Numbering only 172,000, it is the smallest of the Nation's armed forces. It also epitomizes the warrior ethic, much to the consternation of the socialists present in our society today. The Marine Corps is, and has been throughout its existence, an expeditionary force. Consequently it is task organized to land its forward deployed units worldwide. Because we are a naval force, the primary method of force projection is amphibious, and the forcible entry option into a non-permissive environment is powerful and decisive. Within the Marine Corps exists a small group of highly trained and superbly competent Marines; those assigned to the Force Reconnaissance community. Relatively unknown outside of the Department of Defense (DOD), they neither seek nor suffer the publicity of others in this business. I'll attempt to provide a small look into the world of Force Reconnaissance. The amount of information will require three separate articles. This first installment will be a brief overview of the history and organization of Force Reconnaissance and how it fits into the Marine Corps mission. The second will be concerned with selection and training, and finally the third will cover weapons and equipment used by these silent warriors. There is a fair amount of jargon and acronyms involved, which I have hopefully softened and explained without gentrifying the story. History Currently, the only stand alone Force Reconnaissance Company in the Marine Corps is 1st Force. The 2nd Recon Bn. (East Coast) and 3rd Recon Bn. (Okinawa) have a Force capability imbedded in their respective Reconnaissance Battalions. This may change (again) in the near future, but as of this time only 1st Force is capable of independent operations. Because of the different command relations that exist, this article is concerned primarily with 1st Force. The Marine Forces Reserve have 3rd Force Recon in Mobile, AL, and 4th Force Recon in Honolulu, with a detachment in Reno, NV. It's necessary to clarify the difference between Force and Division Reconnaissance. The Reconnaissance Battalion supports the Division, and it provides tactical reconnaissance in the Distant Battle. Force Reconnaissance supports the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), a Corps equivalent, and conducts Operational Level reconnaissance in the Deep Battle. Force Reconnaissance had it genesis in Camp Pendelton in 1954 when a test unit was formed to evaluate methods of insertion for reconnaissance teams. These two platoons, (a Parachute Reconnaissance Platoon and a Pathfinder Platoon) were eventually combined with an existing Amphibious Reconnaissance Company to form 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in 1957. In 1958, one half of the Company was transferred to the east coast to form the fledgling 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. 1st Force was then a part of Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPac) and supported both the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions. 2nd Force was assigned to Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic (FMFLant), and supported the 2nd Marine Division. The early years were spent developing the doctrine and skills that bore fruit in the crucible of South East Asia.1 1st Force and 3rd Force2 went into the former Republic of Viet Nam in 1965, supporting 3rd Marine Amphibious Force in I Corps. During its five years in country, 1st Force ran over 2,200 reconnaissance patrols. Forty-four Marines and Sailors of 1st Force were killed or remain Missing in Action during that conflict. The Company was deactivated in 1974, as part of the post war draw down. The 1st Platoon was transferred to 1st Reconnaissance Bn. at that time, in order to retain a deep reconnaissance capability for 1st Marine Division. The mixing of Force with Division Recon has never been entirely satisfactory, and the Company again stood up in 1986. 1st Force operated in Southwest Asia during desert Shield/ Storm, and has since deployed to multiple hot spots including East Timor last year. Mission The Company has two Mission Profiles- Deep Reconnaissance and Direct Action. On the conventional, or "Green" side, the mission is to conduct Amphibious Reconnaissance, Deep Ground Reconnaissance, Battlespace Shaping, and surveillance to observe, identify and report enemy activity. They conduct specialized terrain reconnaissance that includes hydrography, beaches, roads, bridges, routes, urban areas, helicopter landing zones (HLZ), airborne drop zones (DZ) and aircraft forward operating sites. When task organized with other forces, equipment or personnel, they can assist in special engineer, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC), Radio, mobile or other reconnaissance operations. Additionally, they can implant or recover sensors and beacons, conduct Initial Terminal Guidance for helicopters, landing craft and parachutists. As directed, they can designate and engage selected targets with Force fires, including terminal guidance of Precision Guided Munitions (PGM). They can conduct post strike reconnaissance to determine and report damage to a specific target or area, or perform other operations as directed by higher command. An example of this type of mission is the Personal Security Detail (PSD). Members of the Company are regularly tasked with providing protection to high-ranking military or civilian members in hostile areas. Generally a very high profile detail, the Marines of Force have the proper attitude and mindset to keep themselves and a principal alive in the bad neighborhoods of the third world. On the Direct Action, or "Black" side, Force conducts Gas/ Oil Platforms (GOPLATS), Vessel /Board/Search /Seizure (VBSS), capture/ recovery of selected enemy personnel and equipment, and Tactical Recovery of Aircraft/ Personal (TRAP). Note that the Company is capable of conducting Direct Action missions inside the Deep Battle area when task organized with other elements-specifically a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) element, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, Radio or Electronic warfare specialists and such. The Company is equally capable of conducting reconnaissance or direct action missions on very short notice. One task recently removed from Force was In- Extremis Hostage Rescue. (IHR). While USSOCOM Tier 1 assets (Combat Applications Group {CAG} and DevGrp) have primary cognizance of hostage recovery, it was recognized early on that when the bad guys were executing hostages right now, a capable forward-deployed unit could be useful. Recently it was felt by some that the IHR mission requires too much training time to be proficient, and that time spent in training for DA missions would degrade the Deep Reconnaissance capability. To that end the Marine Corps no longer advertises the IHR mission. However, Maritime Interdiction Operations, GOPLAT, prisoner recovery etc. all require a high degree of proficiency in surgical shooting and CQB skills. The Marine Corps has wisely not lowered the shooting standards and while IHR may not now exist as a mission, the capability is still resident in the Company. To accomplish the mission profiles, Force utilizes special insert/ extraction techniques. These include: Motorized - Improved Fast Attack Vehicle (IFAV) Amphibious - Submarine, Surface Combatant, Sub- Surface (Closed Circuit Mk-25 Drager) or SCUBA (Open Circuit), Over the Horizon (OTH) via the CCRC (Zodiac), Soft Duck/ Hard Duck Air - Helo; fast rope, rappel, Special Patrol Insertion/ Extraction Rig (SPIE Rig); Parachute, including Low Level Static Line (LLSL), High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) up to 25,000', and High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) up to 35,000'. Organization To understand how Force Reconnaissance functions, we need to understand how it fits into current Marine Corps doctrine. The Marine Corps is broken down into three Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF), each consisting of a Marine Division, a Marine Air Wing, and a Force Service Support Group. Various non-operational units exist to support the MEF and subordinate units. As with the subordinate MEU, a single commander is responsible for ground, aviation and support elements. Forward deployed are the Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) {MEU (SOC)}. The MEU (SOC) is the smallest of the Corps Air/ Ground Task Forces, consisting of approximately 2100 Marines and sailors. The reason why it is "Special Operations Capable" and not "Special Operations" is that neither the Marine Corps nor any of its units belong to U.S. Special Operations Command. While Joint (or Purple) Operations are the rage in the halls of the Pentagon, the Marine Corps has always believed (and with great justification) that other services will deny the Marine Corps the use of its own specially trained assets during a crisis. This has occurred on several occasions during the Viet Nam War, and more recently in the Gulf Conflict. As a prime example, Marine Corps aviation exists solely to support the guys who actually do the fighting (the Grunts). Joint Air "managers" have long sought to remove these very valuable assets in order to make more "efficient" use of tactical air. The end result is that when a Marine infantryman needs that specially trained Marine pilot to deliver ordnance at danger close, he might be making toothpicks many miles away. The alternative is no air, or pilots who have not been properly trained in Close Air Support (CAS). The feeling is that if Force was assigned to USSOCOM, they might also remove the Force Reconnaissance assets from supporting a MEF or MEU. The MEU (SOC) is comprised of a Ground Combat Element (GCE), an Aviation Combat Element (ACE), a MEU Combat Service Support Group, and a Command Element (CE). The GCE is the Battalion Landing Team (BLT), an infantry battalion reinforced with artillery, Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV's), Light Armored Reconnaissance assets, Tanks, Engineers and a Division Reconnaissance platoon. The Aviation Combat Element (ACE) is a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) augmented into a composite squadron. It will usually consist of 12 CH-46's, 4 CH-53's, 3 UH-1N's, and 4 AH-1W Cobras. It may also have 6 AV-8B Harrier fixed wing aircraft attached. The ACE also has an Air Control detachment, 6 Avenger Air Defense HMMV, and a Light Air Defense (LAD) Detachment assigned. The MEU Service Support Group (MSSG) contains all of the specialists and equipment necessary to keep the GCE and the ACE functioning. This includes motor transport, mechanical, engineering, medical, dental, postal and other technical experts. The Command Element provides the Command and Control for the three components of the MEU. In addition to the MEU Commander and his staff, a Radio Recon Bn. Detachment, an Intelligence Detachment, and a Force Recon platoon are included. The MEU (SOC) is forward deployed on a three ship Amphibious Ready Group. (Usually an LHD or LHA, and an LPD and LSD). Generally speaking, and depending on sequencing, two or sometimes three MEU (SOC)'s are forward deployed around the world at any given time. The MEU (SOC) is self sustaining and capable of executing an amphibious operation at night or under adverse weather conditions, by surface (in LCAC's and AAV's) or by air (in the embarked helicopter squadron) within six hours of receiving the execute order. It can also launch amphibious raids, conduct NEO's, (Non Combat Evacuation Operation) reinforcement operations, security operations, or humanitarian operations. It can seize airfields or ports, and conduct Counter Intelligence and Signal Intelligence operations. Though 1st Force is a Company, it is administered along the lines of a battalion. There are approximately 200 Marines and Sailors in the Company. Leading the Company is the Company Headquarters consisting of the Commanding Officer (CO), a LtCol, the Executive Officer (XO), a Major, and a Sergeant Major. Supporting the operational platoons is the S1 (Administrative) Shop; the S2 (Intelligence) Section; the S3 (Operations); and the S4 (Logistics and Supply); and the S6 (Communications) Shop. Under the cognizance of the S3 is the indispensable Training Cell and the Paraloft. The S4 Shop has control of the Dive and Amphibious Lockers, the Motor Transport Section, and the Armory. The Company has medical and dive personnel assigned from the Navy. While Corpsmen have always been held in high regard by Marines (and for obvious reasons), those Corpsmen assigned to Force Recon are definitely a breed apart. These Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman go through all of the training that the Marines in Force go through, plus their own advanced Combat Trauma Training. When assigned to the platoons, they are shooters first and foremost, and indistinguishable from their green brothers. Though the Table of Organization is for six operational platoons, only five are actually funded. The Operational platoons are staffed with a platoon headquarters consisting of a Platoon Commander (usually a Captain), a platoon sergeant (usually a Staff Sergeant or Gunnery Sergeant), Platoon Radio Operator (normally a Staff Sergeant or Gunnery Sergeant), a Navy Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, and a platoon Equipment NCO (Rigger/ Armorer). There are three, six man teams in the platoon. Each Team consists of a Team Leader (SSgt), an Assistant Team Leader (SSgt/ Sgt), a Radio Operator, and three Reconnaissance Scouts. The six-man team concept reflects real world experience. The Company formerly fielded 4 man teams but there were a number of issues that impacted negatively on the Marines. Consider that they must jump, dive, or walk in with all the gear necessary to complete the mission. The new surveillance and communications gear is lighter, stronger and more efficient than what it replaces, but there is more of it. Less then six cannot carry the equipment necessary for Deep Reconnaissance missions. Equally important is what the team does with a friendly casualty. Unless a 4-man team was willing to cache all of its equipment, they would not be able to carry a casualty out. In Deep Reconnaissance, survival is based on stealth, and stealth is a by-product of alertness. A 4-man team does not have the numbers to provide an adequate rest cycle while maintaining proper security. Though a Deep Reconnaissance mission requires that the team not be compromised, the reality of life is that they may. When that happens, the rules change. Because they are in the deep battle area, they cannot count on artillery support, and CAS and the extract birds may be a long time coming. They must be able to shoot, move and communicate, but unlike a Grunt, they are operating in a friendly vacuum. The 4 man team simply does not have enough guns to work as two elements. The 6 man team also provides the numbers necessary to perform a Direct Action mission. Remember that these missions will take place in a non-permissive (or at best, a semi-permissive) environment. The smaller teams are just an invitation for failed missions and higher casualties. On the other side of the coin, increasing the team drastically increases the chance of detection. More than 6 and the patrol becomes too unwieldy for clandestine operations. 6 man teams are a compromise, and it is the best available solution. For Direct Action missions, the platoon is configured into a single unit, and task organized with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) section (drawn from the BLT Scout/ Sniper Platoon), and a Security Element (also drawn from the BLT) as well as other mission related personnel.You may note that the rank structure is significantly more senior then in conventional forces. This accurately reflects the length of time one spends in training before he can get into a platoon, and is commensurate with the maturity and responsibility of these Marines. Considering the amount of sophisticated surveillance and communication gear available to the platoon, the training required to operate and maintain it, and what it is they actually do, any issues about rank become amazingly inconsequential. The Force Reconnaissance Company is the personal eyes and ears of the MEF Commander - a three star Corps level equivalent. They provide him with real time information in the Deep Battle area not available by other means. The Marines of Force Recon do not consider thewmselves to be "elite" or "special". Their attitude is that thaey have been fortunate to be selected to a unit that provides unique challenges and opportunities, and makes full use of their talents. They are tough, rugged men, whose job is to support the guy who does the real fighting - the Marine Infantryman. Training SELECTION Admission into Force is by means of a lengthy and demanding selection process. Any Marine, regardless of Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) may apply. The applicant, regardless of rank, needs first and foremost to be a proven performer (generally for 3-5 years). The Company is looking for first class people--those who perform well in the Physical Fitness Test, who are strong swimmers and good shooters. He needs to have a GT score of 105. Ideally he will be from an infantry battalion, but there are several Warehouseman and Motor Transport Marines in the operational platoons. (One major plus in the selection process is that all Marines have attended Boot Camp and the School of Infantry. No matter what their MOS, they have shouldered a rifle, read a map, and patrolled day and night). On the last Thursday of every month, applicants are invited to attend the indoctrination test. Previously a less formal affair, it has been standardized and is administered without harassment. There is nothing demeaning about the indoc. The standard is set, and is not subject to change. The platoon administering the test accompanies the applicants throughout the day--physical fitness is a never-ending thing here. It begins with the standard Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Enlisted men must score 275 (out of 300), and officers 285. It is followed by a timed obstacle course and calisthenics exercise. Because Force Reconnaissance Marines are amphibious by nature, the pool is next. A series of swim exercises follows. And if he is still hanging in, he is ready for a 10 mile "boots and utes" hump--over the hills of Las Flores and down along the beach, with a 50lb. pack and a rubber rifle. If he successfully completes this physical test, he is afforded a psychological screening and then an interview. For Officers, it is with the Company Commander. For enlisted Marines, it is with the Company Sergeant Major and several of the senior enlisted operators. They are looking for that special fire, a mean gene inside of the Marine to ensure he will hang tough under the most difficult of circumstances. The candidate may be dropped for any reason during this process, though he can retake the indoctrination at a future date. (Many do. It is not unusual for a Marine to make it after three or four attempts). The percentage of those passing the indoc fluctuates, but it is always closer to zero than 50%. What has been noted is that an individual who passes the indoc will usually complete 100% of the schools and successfully be integrated into a platoon. It shows that the Marine has properly prepared himself mentally and physically, and has made a commitment to succeed. There is no automatic acceptance into the Company. A Marine reporting in from any other Reconnaissance unit must still take the indoc. Before he can join the Company, his Commanding Officer must agree to release him--and this is not always easy. There has always been an institutional dislike of Force by the rest of the Marine Corps. Many believe that Force sucks up the absolute best men and an unbelievable amount of money to perform their missions. That is absolutely true. But the tour for enlisted men is five years, with a possible two-year extension, and eventually these Marines go back to other units. When they do they bring with them a tremendous amount of expertise and confidence. (This is unlike the special forces of the sister services, where they have a career field. They may stay forever if they choose, and the inability to remain in Force Recon is something that irks many in the Company). In spite of not having a career path, the re-enlistment rate in 1st Force, not only among operators but also support personnel has been near 100%. The Marines want to stay in the Company, and for many reasons. There is a sense of mission and purpose here that does not exist in most of the DOD establishment. The work is hard, but they are hard men and accept the challenge. Training within the Company is outlined by the Mission Training Plan (MTP). It follows a systems approach to training, and the emphasis is to train as they expect to fight. While this is often paid lip service to in other units, it is the gospel here. A quote from the MTP says it all. "The best form of WELFARE for our Marines and sailors is first class training; this saves unnecessary casualties". The Mission Training Plan has five phases, and is based on a two-year platoon cycle. Training is ongoing and continuous, and functions as if it were a loop. Phase 1 Individual Training Phase Phase 2 Unit Training Phase Phase 3 MEU (SOC) Training Phase Phase 4 MEU (SOC) Deployment Phase 5 Post Deployment Phase 1 will last approximately six months, and begins when a deployed platoon is returned to the Company. The primary focus of effort here is the development of those basic skills necessary to create an MOS qualified Marine (8654) new to the Company. For those already qualified, it is the time to develop advanced reconnaissance skills. Additionally, Professional Military Education (PME) requirements (NCO Course etc.) must be met. At the end of Phase 1, the platoon is fully formed and ready to begin unit training. Listed below are the minimum skills resident in each platoon at that time. Basic Reconnaissance Course - All members Basic Airborne School - All members USMC Combatant Dive School - All members SERE School - All members Military Free Fall School - All members Ranger School - All team leaders and above Static Line Jumpmaster Course - 2 per platoon Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Course - 2 per platoon HRST Master Course - 2 per platoon Dive Supervisor Course - 2 per platoon LAR V Technician Course - 2 per platoon Ammunition Drivers Course - 2 per platoon USMC Scout/ Sniper Course - 1 per team Mountain Leaders Course (Summer) - 1 per team Mountain Leaders Course (Winter) - 1 per team Laser Operators Course - 1 per team Once accepted into the Company, the Marine attends the Phase 1 Basic Qualifications. These qualification courses are the eight week long Basic Reconnaissance Course at Little Creek VA. or Coronado, CA. While all Marines have received basic scouting and patrolling at the School of Infantry, it is here that the Marine learns the skills necessary to operate in the reconnaissance environment. Next is the Combatant Dive Course at Panama City, FL. During this eight-week course, the Marine is introduced to closed and open circuit diving, dive physics and laws, dive medicine, underwater searches, and other related subjects. He then attends Basic Airborne Course at Ft. Benning, GA. During this three-week school, he will make his five qualifying parachute jumps. At some point he will attend Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) school at North Island, or SERE Instructors School at Ft. Bragg. Advanced schools include Ranger School at Ft. Benning, GA; Military Free Fall (MFF) School at Yuma, AZ.; Static Line/ MFF Jumpmaster School and Pathfinder School at Ft. Benning, GA; Summer and Winter Mountain Leadership Course in Pickle Meadows, CA; Applied Explosives Course, at SOTG or Quantico; Dive Supervisors Course at Panama City, FL and the Helicopter Rope Suspension Training (HRST) Course in Camp Pendelton CA or Camp Lejeune, NC. For the Sailors, the schooling is similar--with some notable differences. The Navy Corpsman assigned to the Company are a special breed. While one would normally think of medical personnel being non-combatants, working in a reasonably secure environment, that is absolutely not the case of the Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman. When assigned to a platoon, they are shooters first, and caregivers second. As Senior Chief Robert Fitzgerald states, "Fire superiority is the best type of combat medicine". (Senior Chief is the senior SARC in the Navy, and another genuine hard guy in the midst of a bunch of other very hard guys). In a platoon, the Corpsman is assigned to the headquarters team. He will usually carry that teams M249 SAW. The pipeline for the Corpsman runs for approximately 72 weeks of schooling, exclusive of travel and administrative time (awaiting school quotas etc.) It starts with the 7-week Field Medical Service School at Camp Pendelton or Camp Lejeune, where he learns basic medical skills and how he will function in a Marine Corps unit. Next are the 12 week Basic Reconnaissance Course, the 3 week Basic Airborne Course and the 8 week Combatant Diver Course. The Corpsman breaks from his Marine brothers, and attends the 8427 specific schools. The first is the Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman Diving Medicine Course at Panama City, FL. From there he moves to the 24 week Special Operations Combat Medics Course at Ft. Bragg. And finally, the 22-week long Special Operations Medical Sergeant Course also at Ft. Bragg. The famous 18-D course is extremely demanding, and trains the Corpsman to independently assess and provide minor and acute long-term medical care for a variety of medical conditions, including minor surgery. Once the Corpsman joins a platoon during the Phase 2 iteration, he attends all of the platoons training. In the field he is indistinguishable from the Marines he serves with. He is a member of a team, and functions exactly as every other member of a Force Reconnaissance Platoon. (There have been Corpsman designated as Team Leaders). Prior to 1998, the operational platoons were responsible for the conduct of their own training. This was identified as being deficient. While there is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the conduct of training, there was no consistency in how the training was applied. Additionally, the platoon headquarters was tasked with supervising the training, and therefore not able to be trained--an obvious and glaring deficiency. The Commanding Officer instituted a Training Cell from Company assets comprised of experienced Staff Non-Commissioned Officers and operating from the S-3 shop. The T-Cell has the mission of organizing and conducting Phase 2 Training. This removes the responsibility of coordinating training from the platoon headquarters, and permits them to trainwith their men (rather then to just oversee the training). As the platoon headquarters may act as a 4th Team under certain conditions, this training is necessary). An additional and no less important advantage to the T-Cell is that it acts as a training ground for future platoon sergeants. Those assigned to the T- Cell are all highly trained and experienced operators. Some have deployed as platoon sergeants, and some have not. Those that have not will gain vital experience not available elsewhere for the very tough and very rewarding job of Platoon Sergeant. The T- Cell has been extremely effective in all aspects, and its addition to the Company has paid off in spades. Phase 2 is the Unit Training Phase, and is six months in duration. The platoon is formed, and all new members have completed, at the minimum, all of the basic qualification courses. The main purpose of this phase is to allow the platoon to train in the collective team and platoon skills required to execute amphibious and deep reconnaissance missions. Additionally, the Company staff receives training in reconnaissance mission planning and related procedures. The following is a list of courses completed during Phase 2. The Advanced Long Range Comm package is three weeks long and is conducted by the Company Communications Section. As the term Deep Reconnaissance indicates, the platoon will operate well forward of other forces. In order to report observations, call for fires or extract, all members need to have a complete and thorough knowledge of the sophisticated comm equipment carried. It includes manual Morse Code, and long-range High Frequency (HF), satellite, multi- band, and digital communications. The Weapons and Tactics Package is three weeks long and is conducted aboard Camp Pendelton, CA. It covers the MEU (SOC) .45 caliber pistol and the M4A1 Carbine with the SOPMOD kit. Week 1 and 2 occur on the Special Operations Training Group facility at Range 130 (however, the training is conducted by the T-Cell). Each Marine will fire 5000- 8000 rounds during these two weeks, becoming intimately familiar with both weapons. The third week is spent on the Live Fire/ Maneuver Ranges (LFAM) conducting immediate action (IA) drills according to the Patrol SOP. Rotary wing support (utilizing AH-1J Cobras for Close Air Support, CH-46D Marine Corps transports, Army National Guard UH-60's, and Navy Seahawks from HSC-5). The platoon also receives force on force training, utilizing the Special Effects Small Arms Marking Systems (SESAMS) for the CQBW and MEU (SOC) pistol. The SESAMS is a militarized Simunitions ™ kit. Sims adds a whole new dimension to training. The Threat Weapons Familiarization package (one week) is conducted by U.S. Army personnel at the National Training Center (NTC). The ability to utilize your opponent's weapons may mean the difference between surviving and dying. All current threat small arms are covered in this package. (Interestingly, the Marine Corps formerly had resident subject matter experts in this area. The Foreign Material Acquisition and Exploitation Unit (FMAEU) had as a secondary mission the training of Marine Corps units in the identification and use of Soviet and Non- Soviet Warsaw Pact (NSWP) equipment. In a fit of negative brilliance, it was stood down on 01Aug90--one day prior to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.) The Force Fires Package takes place at Nellis AFB, San Clemente Island or 29 Palms in CA, or in Yuma, AZ. During this 2-week package, the Marines refresh their basic knowledge of calls for fire, with special attention to fixed and rotary wing CAS (Close Air Support) and NGSF (Naval Gun Surface Fire). Laser designating equipment is taught and utilized to control CAS. The 3 week Advanced Airborne Package is to transition the platoon from Low Level Static Line parachute techniques to High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) using the MC-5 Ram Air Parachute, culminating with night combat equipment jumps into unmarked Drop Zones from 24,999 feet. This package is successful for many reasons. One is the quality of the instructors. GySgt. Dennis Walsh, GySgt. Monte Genegaubus and their assistants provide absolutely top-notch instruction. There are few in the DOD establishment who can match their expertise. Another reason is the quality of the equipment. One interesting and useful piece of gear is the virtual reality trainer. Set up in the Paraloft, jumpers are put through a series of exercises including malfunctions, variable wind conditions and so forth. When he finally gets to tail gate a C-130 at 10,000' he has been through the simulations a number of times and the procedures are familiar to him. The Amphibious Training package (2 weeks) refreshes long-range nautical navigation, and refines the platoon SOP for conducting hydrographic surveys. Launch and recovery is from a variety of naval vessels, including surface combatants and submarines. This training takes place at Seal Beach and San Diego, CA. The Combatant Dive Package (2 weeks) focuses on utilization of the LAR-V (MK-25 MOD2) closed circuit breathing apparatus in team infiltrations. Mobile Reconnaissance package is to develop basic driver and mechanic skills in order to employ the platoon HMMWV's and IFAV's (Improved Fast Assault Vehicle) in a desert environment where mobility is essential in the intelligence collection effort. Location varies, but usually at Yuma or 29 Palms. The final course is the Combat Trauma Package. This extremely intense and realistic course enables the individual Marine to identify injuries and render appropriate emergency care to battle casualties under fire, and for secondary care on evacuation platforms. Several full mission profile exercises are conducted, including Mountain/Temperate Environment Patrols at Ft. Lewis, WA and Ft. Polk, LA; Desert Environment (the Kuwaiti Scenario) at Ft. Irwin CA., or Yuma, AZ. These are complete packages. The Company Headquarters also deploys to set up a Reconnaissance Operations Center (ROC) and support the platoon. At the end of Phase 2 Training, the platoon is completely stood up in all aspects of the Deep Reconnaissance mission. More importantly, they have spent 6 months of intensive platoon oriented training together. They have been operating as a going concern, a full year prior to deployment. Phase 3 Training is the MEU (SOC) training. The platoon prepares for MSPF Direct Action missions under the cognizance of the Special Operations Training Group (SOTG). The Maritime Special Purpose Force (MSPF) is a Task Organized form of the Marine Air Ground Task Force for the purpose of executing a special operation. With elements of the MEU (specifically the Command Element) and using assets from the BLT, it will have the Force Plt. as the strike element. If required, aviation support from the ACE is included. The embarked SEAL Plt. may also be attached if required. This 6 month phase covers the CQB Course, Explosive Breacher Course, Applied Explosives Course, Urban Sniper Course, Inter-Operability training with the MSPF, Training in Urban Environment (TRUE), Urban Reconnaissance & Surveillance, Fleet Exercise, Joint Task Force Exercise (if an aircraft carrier is present), or a SOCEX- (Special Operations Certification Exercise). Phase 4 is the Deployment phase, 6 months long, in the Persian Gulf or Western Pacific for west coast Marines, or in the Mediterranean Sea for East Coast Marines. Sustainment training occurs on a daily basis under the cognizance of the MEU staff. Phase 5 is the Post Deployment phase. After 18 months of training and deployment, the platoon is granted 30 days leave. Approximately 50% of the platoon will leave, their time in Force having expired. Getting qualified applicants to take the indoc has always been difficult. Having people pass the indoc is more difficult still. Several steps have been taken to expose more people to the system without diluting quality. One thing looked at is to start a recon pipeline from the Recruit Training Depots. The plan was to feed qualified Marines into the Reconnaissance Bn. and perhaps eventually into Force. While this is still in its infancy, the Company prefers that those wanting to be in Force Recon be infantry Corporals or Sergeants with a proven background as a top performer. Because the pipeline is long, the Company has an in house Combat Replacement Training Program, utilizing support personnel assigned to the Company. All Marines receive basic infantry training at the School of Infantry. They all know how to shoot, move and communicate, at least at the infantry squad level. At the Company they learn to add "think" to that equation, and are trained with, or parallel to the platoons during portions of the Phase 2 cycle. Regardless of MOS or rank (the CO, XO, S1, 2,3,4,6, SuppO, CommO, SgtMaj, ammo drivers, admin clerks, mechanics and drivers), all are out there during the Weapons and Tactics package as slots permit. They receive patrolling, comm, and combat trauma training. Most attend at least airborne school, and others as the quotas permit. The theory is that during sustained operations, qualified 8654's will be difficult to come by. The in house replacements may not be fully up to speed, but they will have a working knowledge of what reconnaissance is and how to accomplish it. A deeper and more underlying reason is that the commanders' intent is for every member of the Company to be a gunfighter. He wants them to understand that if the Supply Officer goes into a meeting, he is not there as only the SuppO. He is there as a gunfighter representing other gunfighters, and that he had better be successful in his mission. No Marine joins to be anything less than that. The reality is that there are a great number of support billets that must be filled so that some may have the honor of doing the fighting. The Combat Replacement Training fills the need for Marines to fill the gap when required, and the additional training gives each Marine a better sense of mission. Certain of the sister services have been infused with "Consideration of Others" (COO) training, and a general feminization of assets--particularly their combat assets. The current political administration, in their dislike of those possessing the warrior spirit, have attempted to initiate certain social programs into the armed forces, in order to provide the disenfranchised with a platform and dilute the power of the warrior. Fortunately this perverse attitude has no place in Force Reconnaissance. The history of Recon Marines begins in World War II, when two units were formed: the Raider Battalion, which was created in January 1942 with the intention of providing the Marines a light-force raid unit much like the British Royal Marine Commandos, and the "Observation Group" of the 1st Marine Division, comprised of two officers and twenty enlisted men. The latter was expanded to 98 Marines in 1943, renamed the Amphibious Recon Company and served at the island of Apamama in the Pacific, where their success in aiding the invastion led to another expansion to 20 officers, 270 enlisted, and 13 Navy doctors. The Observation Group participated in landings for the rest of the war, including Tinian Island, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The need for recon became prominent once again in the Korean War, where the Amphibious Recon Company was called upon to make landings in Northern Korea and report back their findings, and carry out raids against tunnels and rail lines, with some of these missions taking place as much as 40 miles inside enemy territory. Recon members also operated closely with US Navy Underwater Demolition Teams during some of their missions. In March of 1951 the force was expanded and named the 1st Amphibious Recon Platoon, and would continue to serve after the end of the war. In 1957 the 1st Company of "Force" Recon Marines was formed, and 2nd Company Force Recon was formed in June 1958. In 2006, as part of reorganization under MARSOC, both companies were deactivated, and force reconnaissance is currently carried out by the 1st and 2nd Reconnaissance Battalions, under the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions, respectively. The 1st Reconnaissance Battalion was reactivated in June 2000 but the battalion was originally activated in March 1937, and was primarily a scout/sniper unit. In April 1944 a two-company amphibious reconnaissance battalion was formed with the mission of conducting beach reconnaissance and hydrographic survey. Today the Battalion performs a wide variety of tactical and special operations in support of the Division. AWARDED RECON MARINES IN HISTORYMedal of Honor recipients SSgt Jimmie E. Howard, Vietnam War, 16 June 1966PFC Ralph H. Johnson, Vietnam War, 5 March 1968 (posthumously)Navy Cross recipientsCpl Ricardo C. Binns,Vietnam War, 16 June 1966Capt Brent Morel, Global War on Terror, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 7 April 2004 (posthumously)Sgt Willie Copeland, Global War on Terror, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 7 April 2004GySgt Brian Blonder, Global War on Terror, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, 8 August 2008 ABOUT RECONThe United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions (or commonly called Marine Division Recon) are the reconnaissance assets of Marine Air-Ground Task Force that provide division-level ground and amphibious reconnaissance to the Ground Combat Element within the United States Marine Corps. Division reconnaissance teams are employed to observe and report on enemy activity and other information of military significance in close operations. Their capabilities are similar to those of Force Recon, but do not normally insert by parachute, and provide limited direct action. The division also has other substantial organic reconnaissance assets. The Scout Sniper Platoons may be attached to regimental reconnaissance battalions to provide long-range precision fire superiority. These sniper Marines function as recon assets as well to provide surveillance and target acquisition to the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), known as STA snipers. RECON CREED Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me. Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics -- The title of Recon Marine is my honor. Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission. On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate. Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart. A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine In February 1776, the Continental Marines embarked on their maiden expedition. The Continental Marines were disbanded at the end of the war, along with the Continental Navy. In preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Navy and the Marine Corps. The Marines' most famous action of this period occurred in the First Barbary War (1801–1805) against the Barbary pirates. In the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), the Marines made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace, which overlooked Mexico City, their first major expeditionary venture. In the 1850s, the Marines would see service in Panama, and in Asia. The Marine Corps played only a minor role during the Civil War (1861–1865); their most important task was blockade duty and other ship-board battles, but were mobilized for a handful of operations as the war progressed. The remainder of the 19th century would be a period of declining strength and introspection about the mission of the Marine Corps. Under Commandant Jacob Zeilin's term (1864–1876), many Marine customs and traditions took shape. During the Spanish–American War (1898), Marines would lead American forces ashore in the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, demonstrating their readiness for deployment. Between 1900 and 1916, the Marine Corps continued its record of participation in foreign expeditions, especially in the Caribbean and Central and South America, which included Panama, Cuba, Veracruz, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Nicaragua. In World War I, battle-tested, veteran Marines served a central role in the United States' entry into the conflict. Between the world wars, the Marine Corps was headed by Major General John A. Lejeune, another popular commandant. In World War II, the Marines played a central role in the Pacific War, participating in nearly every significant battle. The Corps also saw its peak growth as it expanded from two brigades to two corps with six divisions, and five air wings with 132 squadrons. During the battle for Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photo Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi. The Korean War (1950–1953) saw the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade holding the line at the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, where Marine helicopters (VMO-6 flying the HO3S1 helicopter) made their combat debut. The Marines also played an important role in the Vietnam War at battles such as Da Nang, Huế, and Khe Sanh. The Marines operated in the northern I Corps regions of South Vietnam and fought both a constant guerilla war against the Viet Cong and an off and on conventional war against North Vietnamese Army regulars. Marines went to Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon War on 24 August. On 23 October 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed, causing the highest peacetime losses to the Corps in its history. Marines were also responsible for liberating Kuwait during the Gulf War (1990–1991), as the Army made an attack to the west directly into Iraq. The I Marine Expeditionary Force had a strength of 92,990 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history. Perhaps the earliest lineal predecessor of the modern Marine Corps was the creation and evolution of marines dating back to the European naval wars, during the Second Hundred Years' War (1689–1815) of the 17th and 18th century, particularly the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–67). The monarchies of Netherlands, France, Spain, and England all contended with each other in control over territorial water, which would increase naval organization and stability. James II of England, the brother of King Charles II, was confirmed as Lord High Admiral, an office that had authoritative command over the English Royal Navy. The position at this time was exercised by a single person, usually an Admiral to oversee the structure and institution of naval affairs. As France and the Netherlands were opting to train seamen for infantry combat, England instead in 1664 formed a special regiment, the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot, also known as the "Lord High Admiral's Regiment", the progenitors of the modern Royal Marines. This maritime infantry regiment was directed to be under the complete control of the Admiralty. The Lord High Admiral's Regiment saw action in the Franco-Dutch War (1672–1678), and the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–74). However, due to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, King James II was overthrown by British Parliament, leading to the disbandment of the regiment. Two years later, two new regiments were formed, the 1st and 2nd Regiment of [Royal] Marines, their functions assumed the same roles as the subsequent marine regiments in the past; however the ensuing wars of the Second Hundred Years' War, like the Royal Navy, the marine regiment would quickly dissolve only to be reassembled during the events of war. The general military service type of "marines" first appeared throughout the Dutch and French wars, but the majority of the marine infantry regiments were perpetually drawn from the British Army; all the regiments had little permanence. By 1702, the British government assembled six maritime regiments of foot for combative naval service with the fleet against Spain, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1714). But unlike the earlier campaigns from previous regiments of the past, in which the earlier British marines had fought as detachments aboard ships; in 1704, these marines found themselves fighting ashore the beaches of Gibraltar and Spain as part of an amphibious assault landing force, with the help of Dutch forces under the command of Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt. By the time the war ended, once again the marine regiments were disbanded, or returned to fill the ranks of the British Army. 25 years later in 1731, an incident involving master mariner Robert Jenkins, an English captain of a British merchant ship who allegedly had his ear severed by Spanish coast guardsmen off the coast of New Granada (modern countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama), initiating the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739–1742). This affair and a number of similar incidents sparked a war against the Spanish Empire. Meanwhile, two companies of Marine Boatmen drawn from the Georgia Militia, commanded by Captains Mark Carr and Noble Jones under General James Oglethorpe, helped in defeating an amphibious landing attempted by the Spanish on St. Simons Island in the Battle of Gully Hole Creek and the Battle of Bloody Marsh. The British government formed ten regiments of marines for a naval campaign against the Spanish colonies in the West Indies and north coast of South America. Admiral Edward Vernon, a British naval officer, was given command of a squadron of five vessels. And again, most of the marines were drafted from the British Army. The British Admiralty requested that its American colonies form a regiment of three thousand men for naval service aboard Admiral Edward Vernon's fleet. Edward Vernon can be considered by many military history enthusiasts the first naval fleet commander over American marines. The American colonial marines were raised in the colony of Virginia and from other Middle Colonies, under the command of Governor William Gooch. Although it may have been composed of men from surrounding colonies intent for a Crown commission, it was also used as a dumping ground for its debtors, criminals, scoundrels, and vagrants. This "four-battalion" regiment, the 43rd Regiment of Foot, better known as "Gooch's Marines", has a lineage that can be traced to the origin of the United States Marine Corps. On 21 November 1739, Admiral Vernon, along with Sir Gooch and his marines, headed toward the West Indies and successfully captured the Spanish colonial possession of Portobelo (present-day) Panama. However, because of the conditions of its service—thinned by diseases, bad weather, and a near-mutinous crew— the regiment had only three hundred of its most trustworthy men serve ashore in Vernon's unsuccessful deadly amphibious assault against the strategic defenses on the colonial seaport of Cartagena, forcing a retreat to Jamaica. As a successful method in social purification, the only remaining 10-percent survived the disastrous Cartegena expedition. Thereafter, Vernon's fleet returned to the United Kingdom of Great Britain toward the end of 1742. Like their British components, the colonial marines disbanded as a regiment. One of the regiment's surviving officers, marine captain Lawrence Washington, a half-brother of George Washington, served aboard Admiral Vernon's flagship HMS Princess Caroline. The future patriot General George Washington later named his estate Mount Vernon in honor of his half-brother's commander. Time again, the recall of reforming maritime regiments was in need when the War of Jenkins' Ear had escalated into the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748), which brought another set of ten British marine regiments into naval service. The remaining independent companies within the British marine regiments merged with another regiment in 1746; by the end of the war it too was dissolved, their officers placed on half pay. In 1755, British Parliament allowed the marines to be institutionalized on some grounds of permanence as they were insistent in building their own military force, particularly its naval fleet under the Admiralty. Thus, the Corps of Royal Marines was born; over five thousand marines were recruited and were assembled into fifty independent companies, assigned as "divisions" to three large English naval bases. During the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), also known as the French and Indian War in the colonies, the marines were then appropriately dispersed amongst the Royal navy warships, the Royal Marines played an integral part in successful naval expeditions. These ship detachments soon formed expeditionary battalions that fought ashore Canada, Cuba, and the Philippines. Now being strictly under the control of the Admiralty, the marines were used exclusively for expeditions and raids, becoming so essential to the maritime strategy of Prime Minister William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. Their primary mission in ship-to-ship combat and ship seizures were to pick off officers with expert musketry, to repel boarders with skilled bayonetry, and to augment as gun crew members when necessary. Also, they played a major part of a ships landing party for operations ashore, raiding naval bases, stores, etc, etc. But during cruising conditions, the marines policed and enforced ship regulations about fires, thievery, and unlawful conduct by sailors, to include prevention and deterrence against a mutinous crew. By the end of the war, the Corps of Royal Marines remained an important force within the Royal Navy. On the eve of the American War of Independence, roughly 4,500 marine officers and enlistees were still in existence. It was the same quantum of traditions by the British marines that influenced the likelihood from the rebelled American colonies in establishing its own legion of [Continental] marines, adopting the same ethics and traditions alike. COLONIAL ERAWhen the battles of Lexington and Concord sparked the beginning of the American Revolutionary War on 19 April 1775, the leaders of the American rebellion soon recognized that in order to prevent the British army from restoring Crown rule and further occupation into the colonies of New England, they would have to resort to a naval war. Although this realization had consumed the Second Continental Congress (by then convened in Philadelphia), its members remained reluctant to support a naval campaign against the world's strongest fleet. Thus, the Royal Navy had the ability to reinforce and supply the British garrisons in the town of Boston, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. On 19 April, the initial siege of Boston (1775–1776) by the Minutemen militia impeded the flow of reinforcements and supplies to the British army. By 14 June, the Second Continental Congress chose to adopt the militia and formed it into the new Continental Army, and unanimously elected George Washington the next day as its Commander-in-Chief. A set of naval constraints were established due to the successful siege complemented by the supporting capabilities that the British were giving their garrisons. Even though there still wasn't a formidable Continental navy yet, the individual colonies each had navies and marines of their own. Units of the Continental Army and groups of militia were sometimes pressed to serve as sailors and naval infantry on ships, purposely serving as marines. These American colonial marines have no lineage traceable to the Continental Marines, nor the modern United States Marine Corps; nonetheless, they fought the British as American marines as early as May. As the newly appointed commander of the Continental Army, George Washington was desperate for firearms, powder, and provisions; he opted to supply his own force from matériel from captured British military transports. To further expand his fleet, he also resorted to the maritime regiment of the Massachusetts militia, the 14th Continental Regiment (also known as the "Marblehead Regiment") to help muster in ranks. This unique regiment subsequently folded into Washington's army in January 1776. The Marblehead Regiment was entirely composed of New England mariners, providing little difficulty in administering crews for Washington's navy. His decision to create his fleet came without difficulties in recruiting new rebel naval forces either, for the siege of Boston stirred the war along the entire coast of New England and into the strategic Lake Champlain area on the New York border. The Royal Navy concentrated its vessels in the New England open waters, while its smaller warships raided the coastal towns and destroyed rebel military stores for supplies and provisions; and to punish the colonials for their rebellion—in accordance to the Proclamation of Rebellion that was chartered by King George. In response, several small vessels were commissioned by the governments of Massachusetts and Connecticut by the summer of 1775, authorizing the privateering against British government ships. In August 1775, Washington's makeshift naval fleet continued the interdiction of Massachusetts Bay; being a huge success, by the end of the year he was in command of four warships: the USS Franklin, USS Hancock, USS Lee, and USS Warren. Meanwhile, the New England militia forces of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont (the Green Mountain Boys), under the command of Benedict Arnold, seized the strategic post of Fort Ticonderoga and temporarily eliminated British control of Lake Champlain–using a small flotilla of shallow-draft vessels armed with light artillery. Early as May 1775, the sloop Interprise ushered eighteen men, presumably the Massachusetts militiamen, as marines on the payroll. Later in May, the Connecticut Committee of Public Safety consigned ₤500 to Arnold, the shipment of payment was "escorted with Eight marines..well spirited and equipped," although they were actually seamen. They are often referred to as the "Original Eight". General George Washington decided to attempt an invasion of Canada on 27 June 1775, by the American Continental Army to wrest Quebec and the St. Lawrence River from the British. A force led by Brigadier General Richard Montgomery headed north from Fort Ticonderoga along Lake Champlain and up the St. Lawrence River valley. Meanwhile, Colonel Benedict Arnold persuaded Washington to have him lead his own separate expedition through the Maine wilderness. By August 1775, the Rhode Island Assembly, along with other colonial committees of safety, requested Second Continental Congress for naval assistance from Royal Navy raiders but it was appealed. Although Congress was aware of Britain's naval strength and its own financial limitations, it addressed itself reluctantly to the problem of creating a formidable continental navy. They were hesitant to the requests, only positing that they were only able to form a naval force from Washington's and Arnold's fleets; the colonies were left to fend for themselves. As a result, Rhode Island established their own state navy. The colonial marines of Washington's naval fleet, Benedict Arnold's Lake Champlain flotilla, and privateers, made no distinction of their duties as their activities were no different from English customs: marines were basically soldiers detailed for naval service whose primary duties were to fight aboard but not sail their ships. Washington's navy expeditions throughout the remaining months of 1775 suggested that his ship crews of mariner-militiamen were not divided distinctly between sailors and marines; the Marblehead Regiment performed a plethora of duties aboard the warships. However, the Pennsylvania Committee of Public Safety made a dividing line between the sailors and marines when it decided to form a state navy to protect the Delaware River and its littoral areas. Early October, Congress members, such as John Adams, and colonial governments pushed Congress in creating a navy, however small. To examine the possible establishment of a national navy, the Naval Committee was appointed on 5 October (predecessor to the House and Senate Committees on Naval Affairs). On 13 October 1775, Congress authorized its Naval Committee to form a squadron of four converted Philadelphia merchantmen, with the addition of two smaller vessels. Despite a shortage in funding, the Continental Navy was formed. In 1775, the Royal Navy numbered 268 warships, and by the end of the year it grew to a fleet force of 468 ships; its naval personnel increased during the war from 10,000 to 18,000. By contrast, the Continental Navy—including the state navies—had managed to maintain over 50 commissioned warships by winter of 1776–1777, which fell in numbers thereafter; its manpower most likely numbered no more than a total of 30,000 sailors and marines. To the hundreds of small privateers that sailed the North Atlantic, the American naval forces found it increasingly difficult to take prizes, let alone influence the outcome of the war. Continental eraThe Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on 9 November 1775, consulting the Naval Committee to send an amphibious expedition to Halifax in Nova Scotia. Having launched two land expeditions toward the St. Lawrence River months earlier, (as Richard Montgomery's and Benedict Arnold's forces were each making their way toward Quebec City to join forces [later leading to the Battle of Quebec]), Congress was convinced that sending marines to fight at sea and engage military operations ashore were paramount in destroying an important British naval base in Halifax, and to procure enemy provisions and supplies, if possible. On 10 November 1775, the Naval Committee was directed by Congress to raise two marine battalions at the Continental expense. Also, Congress decided the marines would not only be used for the Nova Scotia expedition but for subsequent service thereafter. Henceforth, the Naval Committee established a network of appointments for offices; paymaster, commissions, procurements, equipment, etc., for establishing a future national corps of marines. The United States Marine Corps still celebrates 10 November, as its official birthday Borrowing from the Royal Navy, the practices and printed instructions were outlined in the "Rules for the Regulations of the Navy of the United Colonies." It was intended that the American marines would provide the same services as British marines. The two battalions of Continental Marines officially became "resolved" when Congress issued the first commission to Captain Samuel Nicholas on 28 November 1775. Nicholas' family were tavernkeepers, his prominence came not from his work but from his leadership in two local clubs for fox-hunters and sport fishermen. Historian Edwin Simmons surmises that it is most likely Nicholas was using his family tavern, the "Conestoga Waggon", as a recruiting post; although the standing legend in the United States Marine Corps today places its first recruiting post at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. In December 1775, to aid in drafting plans in expanding the Continental Navy and to supervise the construction of vessels and procurement of naval equipment, the Continental Congress established a permanent committee for the Marine Corps, the Marine Committee (the forerunner of the United States Department of the Navy). It would supersede the duties of the naval affairs committee; which the majority of the personnel were also appointed in the same office of the Naval Committee. The Marine Committee contained thirteen members, one for each colony, included important figures, such as Robert Morris, John Hancock, and Samuel Chase. The Naval Committee would oversee the Marine Committee on matters concerning naval expeditions and projections. It exercised legislative, judicial, and executive powers. However, the lack of an administrative head and of actual authority over the states, impeded the Marine Committee as they did Congress. Since the Marine Committee was responsible in drafting plans for the expansion of the Continental Navy, three days later after its establishment it recommended to Congress to build a force of thirteen frigates, outfitted with 24–36 guns. Congress accepted the program as it would protect colonial merchant trade from the British blockaders; on the recommendation that the construction of warships will be decentralized. Congress was greatly depending on Washington's cooperation for the Nova Scotia expedition and were planning to draw them from Washington's army, but Washington was unenthusiastic about the plan and suggested instead to Congress to recruit unemployed seamen for the proposed marine battalions in New York and Philadelphia (which at the time was the Nation's first capital city [before moving to the District of Columbia]). Congress agreed on the decision. Ten additional Marine officers were appointed by Captain Nicholas, the majority of officers and enlistees were Philadelphian small merchants and businessmen, skilled tradesmen and workers, and unskilled laborers. Even there were some that were acquainted to those in Congress or in the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety. The primary duties of the officers were recruiting and persuading men to enlist, most officers were commissioned because their most important qualification was knowledge of working the local taverns and other hot-spots of the working class. The officers would sweep through the city for potential recruits, accompanied by drummers borrowed from the Philadelphia Associators, a city militia. Nicholas and his officers might have had some maritime experience, but it is unlikely that they were skilled mariners. Five companies of about 300 Marines were raised. While armed, they were not equipped with standardized uniforms. Continental Congress appointed Rhode Island Navy Commodore Esek Hopkins as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy on 22 December 1775.; in Philadelphia, the Marine Committee outfitted a flotilla of five ships, the first squadron in the Continental fleet. His brother, Stephen Hopkins, served in the Continental Congress and was co-chairman of Naval Affairs and the Marine Committee. Formally commissioned as captains by Congress include: Esek's son, John Burroughs Hopkins, who commandeered the brigantine USS Cabot. USS Alfred was placed in commission on 3 December 1775, with Capt. Dudley Saltonstall in command, as to serve as Hopkins' flagship, becoming the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes) hoisted by Lieutenant John Paul Jones in February 1776; and the brigantine USS Andrew Doria, commandeered by Nicholas Biddle. A prominent naval commander in the Rhode Island Navy, Commodore Abraham Whipple, decided to transfer his commission to the Continental Navy and was commissioned a Captain on 22 December 1775. He was given command of a frigate USS Columbus; armed with twenty-four guns and a serving crew of sailors and company of Nicholas's Continental Marines aboard its quarters. By 17 February, the Continental Marines embarked onto Hopkin's six vessels for their maiden expedition. It was the first amphibious/expedition for the Continental Navy-Marine Corps. Hopkins was given the task to patrol the southern American coastline to intercept and clear any presence of British troops, then return north to New England and perform similar services. He was instructed to attack the British fleet under John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, in Chesapeake Bay, Hopkins considered his orders discretionary and the enemy too strong. He was ordered to clear the American coast of British warships, then return north to perform similar services. Since rebel warships were already active off the New England coast, and the Middle Colonies were forming their own coastal defense navies; Hopkins's orders made strategic sense. However, for reasons that remain obscure, he disobeyed his ambitious orders to sweep the southern seas of British ships, and to safeguard the southern American coastline. Instead without proper authority he directed his squadron to head south en route to the Bahama Islands. As he reach the Bahamas on 1 March 1776, his squadron began harassing small British forces guarding the small islands around New Providence Island, and raiding for gunpowder for Washington's army. While Hopkins and Nicholas were sailing the Atlantic and Caribbean, Congress authorized the Marine Committee to purchase two more brigantines for the Continental Navy. The Marine Committee purchased brigantine Wild Duck, from the Maryland Committee of Safety and renamed her USS Lexington, commemorating the battle in Lexington of Middlesex County. Lexington then was turned over to "Wharton and Humphrey's Shipyard" in Philadelphia for fitting for Continental service. John Barry was commissioned as a Captain in the Continental Navy, dated 14 March 1776; along with this commission went command of the brig Lexington, his first warship. The Marine Committee of the Continental Congress purchased merchantman Molly on 28 March 1776; renamed her USS Reprisal and placed under the command of Captain Lambert Wickes. These two vessels were to be used to supplement the efforts of the Pennsylvania Navy in clearing the lower approaches of the Delaware River. They also appointed a ship captain and four new additional Marine officers for each vessel, all of whom by March 1776 were recruiting enlistees. On 3 March 1776, the Continental Marines made their first epitomized amphibious landing in American history when they attempted an amphibious assault during the Battle of Nassau. However, they failed to achieve a surprise attack as Hopkins directed his captains to make an opposed landing of all his 234 of Marines, and some fifty seamen on the island of New Providence, to assault the British Fort Montagu hoping to seize supplies and provisions. The next day, they then marched to Fort Nassau to seize more shots, shells, and cannons. However, the failure of surprise the day before had warned the defenders and allowed the British governor to send off their stock of gunpowder in the night. One British merchantman ship escaped, leaving all but 24 barrels of gunpowder. The Continental Marines and sailors stripped the garrisons of cannon and ordnance supply before departing. The acquired matériel were essential to the supply armament of the Continental Army. On 16 March, Commodore Hopkins withdrew from New Providence. Sailing back to Rhode Island on the 16th, the squadron captured four small prize ships. The squadron finally returned on 8 April 1776, with 7 dead Marines and four wounded. While returning from the Bahamas, Hopkin's squadron encountered a British ship off the coast of New York City on 5 April. Here, Nicholas's Marines participated in the capture of HMS Bolton. The next day [6 April], the Marines and sailors engaged in a naval battle between Hopkin's Cabot and Alfred and the British frigate HMS Glasgow off the coast of Long Island, New York. Four Marines wounded and seven killed; Lieutenant John Fitzpatrick was the first Continental Marine killed in combat. Sailing back toward Rhode Island, the squadron captured four small prize ships. The Hopkin's squadron reached New London on 8 April 1776. John Martin's enlistment gave him the role as the first black American Marine. In Philadelphia in April 1776, he signed to service aboard the Continental brig Reprisal docked along with Lexington in Philadelphia. While patrolling off the Virginia Capes, Lexington encountered HMS Edward and the sailors and Marines boarded the British brigantine-sloop and captured it on 7 April 1776. Meanwhile, Hopkins fleet again set out at sea in the Atlantic, on 29 May 1776, the Continental sailors and Marines aboard brigantine Andrea Doria captured two British transports, with each bearing an infantry company. Hereafter, Hopkin's squadron patrolled the coast of New England as far north to Nova Scotia for the rest of the spring of 1776. Alfred (under command by John Paul Jones) continued to raid British commerce while the rest of the squadron awaited repairs or more crewmen. Most of the sailors and Marines were riddled by diseases, desertion, and resignation of officers. The Continental Congress struggled to find more crews to man the Navy's ships; the Marine detachments were moved from vessel to vessel and were temporarily reinforced by the Continental Army and militia. In the summer of 1776, Hopkins's squadron returned to Philadelphia. Also, Congress approved the Marine Committee's request for new officers; fourteen new officer were commissioned in the Continental Marine Corps. Samuel Nicholas was promoted to Major on 25 June due to his service in the New Providence expedition. Congress however, was utterly disappointed in Commodore Esek Hopkins's disobeying of orders. Dissatisfaction with the achievements of the fleet, and its subsequent inactivity in Rhode Island, led to an investigation by Congress. Censured for disobedience of orders, Hopkins returned to the fleet. Also on the same day [25 June], Robert Mullan (whose mother was the proprietor of Tun Tavern and most likely used it as his recruiting rendezvous) received his commission as Captain. Capt. Mullan played an important aid in recruitment of enlistees for Marines aboard the Continental navy fleets, he became by legend, the first 'Marine Recruiter'. Captain Mullan's roster lists two black men, Issac and Orange, another historical recording of one of the first black American Marines. On 28 June Pennsylvania's brig Nancy arrived in Cape May with 386 barrels of powder in her hold and ran aground while under fire while attempting to elude British blockaders HMS Kingfisher and HMS Orpheus. The next evening, the Continental Marines aboard Lexington, along with four American warships to assist the wreck Nancy. By dawn, the crew in small boats unloaded weaponry and precious gunpowder, leaving only 100 barrels of powder behind. Barry devised a delayed action fuse just as a boatload of British seamen boarded Nancy, exploding the powder. This engagement became known as the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet. On 4 July 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Continental sailors and Marines aboard Reprisal and then headed south to the Caribbean Islands on 27 July. Their assignment was to bring William Bingham, who had been appointed agent from the American colonies to Martinique, in acquiring intelligence, and additional arms and supplies for George Washington's armies. While en route, they encountered the British sloop-of-war HMS Shark off the coast of Martinique and forced her out of the area. Reprisal and her accompanying Marines returned to Philadelphia from the West Indies on 13 September. By autumn of 1776, Major Nicholas raised four new companies of Marines for four of the new frigates that were to be completed and commissioned in Philadelphia. Armed with marines by the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, the detachments guarded both the Continental and state vessels and store while waiting for their frigates to sail. On 5 September 1776, the Marine Committee apportioned a uniform for the Continental Marines. The uniform regulations specified that standard uniform was a short green coat with white trim facings (lapels, cuffs, and coat lining), and a high leather collar to protect against cutlass slashes and to keep a man's head erect, leading to the nickname "leatherneck"; complemented by a white waistcoat, white or buff short breeches, woolen stockings, and a short black gaiter. Marine officers wore small cocked hats, and a single epaulette; and the enlisted men sported round black hats with the brim pinned on one side. The adoption of green coats and round hats probably reflects the constraints of availability, for both of the uniform attire were used by the Philadelphia Associators. It wasn't until the year 1777 that the Marines entirely appeared in uniform in numbers. Though legend attributes the green color to the traditional color of riflemen, Continental Marines mostly carried muskets. More likely, green cloth was simply plentiful in Philadelphia, and it served to distinguish Marines from the blue of the Army and Navy or the red of the British. Also, Sam Nicholas's hunting club wore green uniforms, hence his recommendation was for green. Notably, Marines aboard USS Bonhomme Richard wore red, though they were mostly Irish soldiers of the French Army. The Continental sailors and Marines aboard Providence sails north to Canada toward Nova Scotia. By 22 September, the sailors and Marines reached Canso Harbor and recaptured the small port. The following next day, they struck Isle Madame destroying fishing boats. On 27 September while fishing, Providence, became under surprise attack from the British frigate HMS Milford. Although surprised, the smaller American ship managed to escape in a day of expert sailing. Sometime in October, Sergeants William Hamilton and Alexander Neilson are promoted to Lieutenant, being the first recorded "mustangs" (enlistees who received field commission) in the Marine Corps. On 24 October 1776, Benjamin Franklin was dispatched to France as appointed 'Commissioner to France' for Congress. Captain Lambert Wickes was ordered by the Continental Congress to proceed to Nantes, France, aboard Reprisal. En route to France, the sailors and Marines captured two brigantines. Reprisal reaches Nantes, France on 29 November, becoming the first vessel of the Continental Navy to arrive in European waters. In late November 1776, General Washington's Continental Army positions along the Hudson River collapsed from the concurring assaults of British forces. In emergency response Washington requested assistance of a brigade of Philadelphia militia, a company of local seamen, and Major Nicholas's four companies of Continental Marines. George Washington wrote a staunchly letter to John Cadwalader, a brigadier general of the Pennsylvania Associators: "...if they came out resolved to act upon Land...instead their Services to the Water only." — George Washington to John Cadwalader, 7 December 1776 On 2 December 1776, Major Samuel Nicholas and his three companies of Marines, garrisoned at the Marine barracks in Philadelphia, were tasked to reinforce Washington's retreating army from New York through Trenton to slow the progress of British troops southward through New Jersey. The Major Nicholas and the American marines marched off to aid in support an American army for the first time in history; he led a battalion of 130 officers and enlisted men from Philadelphia, leaving behind one company to man the Continental vessels. Unsure what to do with the Marines, Washington requested that the Marines be attached to a brigade militiamen from the Philadelphia Associators, in which were also dressed in green uniforms alike of the Continental Marines. Thus, Nicholas and his Marines joined Cadwalader's brigade of Pennsylvania Associators, a force of 1,200 men. The Marines lived side-by-side with the militia brigade in Bristol, Pennsylvania for two weeks waiting for an attack from the British. However, the British army instead went into winter quarters along the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River. Meanwhile at sea, Lexington becomes captured by the British frigate HMS Pearl. Momentarily, Marine Captain Abraham Boyce leads his men and Lexington's sailors in overtaking the small British prize crew. Alfred also engaged combat with HMS Milford on 9 December. Although the British frigate was better-armed, the American ship was able to out-sail their opponent and escape unharmed. The Continental Marines and sailors were able to escape to the harbor at Baltimore, Maryland. General Washington attacked the German garrison at Trenton on 26 December, though Cadwalader's brigade were unable to arrive in time to affect the battle for Trenton, due to problems crossing the ice-choked Delaware River. Cadwalader finally crossed the river on 27 December on his own initiative, reaching Trenton by 2 January as Washington concentrated his army. As Cadwalader and his brigade managed to reach Trenton on 2 January from across the Delaware River, the Continental Marines watched the cannonade between the Continental Army and Lord Cornwallis' British Army at Assunpink Creek. The Marines helped defend a crucial bridge against a Hessian attack. On the night of 3 January, Cadwalader's brigade (including Major Nicholas's battalion of Continental Marines) and General Washington's Army silently departs the battlefield and marches toward Princeton. By daybreak, they launched a two-pronged attack. The first prong of attack, led by Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, a close friend of George Washington, attacked a British stronghold. Mercer's brigade ran into heavy, well-disciplined musketry of two British regiments that were emplaced in front of Princeton, Mercer's brigade position soon collapsed. Cadwalader's brigade (along with the Marines) came to the assistance, but too stumbled into the British infantry forcing them to fall back. The second prong of attack caught the British in open flank, scattering three British regiments. It gave Washington's forces the advantage to take Princeton. The battle for Princeton was the first engagement that the Continental Marines fought and died in battle. After the Trenton–Princeton campaign, Nicholas's four-company battalion discontinued service; reduced by transfers, desertion, and disease of eighty Marines. On 4 January, the remaining three companies encamped at its winter quartering at Sweets Town, not far from Washington's bivouac at Jockey Hollow, Morristown. From 1 February 1777 and throughout the winter, the two companies of Marines either transferred to Morristown to assume the roles in the Continental artillery batteries, or left the service altogether. Captain Robert Mullan's company returned to Philadelphia as prisoner guards after they found that there was no ship to man. Captain Robert Mullans' company of Continental Marines disbanded in April 1777. Many would also return to Philadelphia in the spring to become part of the detachments of the new Continental galley Washington [the third ship to be named as such] and the frigate Delaware. In the Bay of Biscay off France, on 5 February, the Continental Marines aboard Reprisal led a boarding party that seized and sank HMS Swallow. The 32-gun frigate Randolph was put to sea in early February 1777, joining the smaller Continental vessels from Hopkins's squadron. Constantly, the Continental Navy attempted to breach the cordon of British vessels awaiting their departure; tasks in reaching the open seas came with such burden that Congress and the state assemblies attempted to mount a serious naval campaign in an effort to drive away the British warships that were blockading the American harbors. One achievement was that they warranted in shifting some of its cruises to European waters, using the ports of their ally, France, as a base of operation. Although it did not totally hinder nor prevent the Royal Navy from going anywhere in American waters. But the naval campaigns did made it costly for Great Britain to maintain its army in American. Marines made another overseas strike, raiding the coast of Britain (notably at Whitehaven) with John Paul Jones on the USS Ranger in April 1777. Alfred; and Raleigh under command of Capt. Thomas Thompson; and their accompanying Continental Marines, departed for France on 22 August 1777. On 4 September, the Continental Marines aboard the frigate Raleigh participated in the bold attack on the British sloop HMS Druid. The approach of the remaining British escorts forced them to break off, unabling them to sink or capture any British prizes. On 14 September 1777, Reprisal left France, for New England. On 19 September, Lexington and her Marine detachments are defeated by the British cutter HMS Alert, near France. The Continental frigate Delaware and her Marines were forced onto a shoal in the Delaware River as they fought with British batteries guarding the approaches to Philadelphia occupied by the British. Although Delaware was captured, many of the sailors and Marines managed to escape. On 1 October 1777, caught in an Atlantic storm, Reprisal foundered off the banks of Newfoundland and all 129 on board (sailors and Marines), except the cook, went down with her. Continental naval officer in command of sloop-of-war Ranger, Captain John Paul Jones, sailed for Nantes, France, on 1 November 1777, to dispatch news to Commissioner Benjamin Franklin about the American victory of Saratoga and the surrender of British General John Burgoyne. On the voyage over, two British prizes were captured. Ranger arrived at Nantes on 2 December. Captain Jones sold the prizes and delivered the news of the victory at Saratoga to Dr. Ben Franklin. On 2 January 1778, the Marine Committee came to the conclusion that Esek Hopkins be relieved of command. Thereafter as such, the Continental Congress implemented a few plans for squadron operations. On 10 January, a company of Marines under Navy Captain James Willing depart Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania for an expedition, in the armed boat Rattletrap. They sail into the Ohio River en route to New Orleans. Marines from the frigate Randolph help extinguish a huge blaze on 15 January in Charleston, South Carolina, that destroyed hundred of buildings. They seized the forts, and captured five ships in the harbor. During a surprise attack on the night of 28 January 1778, Marines repeated the raid on smaller scale once again at New Providence Island, on Nassau in the Bahamas, under Captains John Trevett and John Rathbun. The 'Stars and Stripes' was hoisted over a foreign shore for the first time. It was repeated again for the third time, in May 1782, with Bernardo de Gálvez to secure the island for the Spanish. Meanwhile, Captain Willing and the Marines from Rattletrap captured the British sloop HMS Rebecca while sailing down the Mississippi River. They were able to temporarily weaken the British hold on the waterway from occupation. They raided British Loyalist plantations along on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain. The ill-fated day of 7 March, the frigate Randolph, commanded by Nicholas Biddle, explodes while commencing in a firefight with HMS Yarmouth, a British 64-gun ship-of-the-line. During battle, the powder magazines onboard combusted, exploding the entire hull. Randolph sank taking a loss of 301 sailors, soldiers, and Marines. On 9 March 1778, near Barbados in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, Alfred and Raleigh encountered British warships HMS Ariadne and HMS Ceres. When the American ships attempted to flee, Alfred fell behind her faster consort Raleigh, which escaped. Towards afternoon the British men-of-war caught up with Alfred and forced her to surrender after a half-an-hour's battle. The Marine detachment, along with the Continental sailors, were taken prisoner. Raleigh continued north to New England. On 27 March, a British squadron chased Raleigh ashore on Point Judith, near Newport, Rhode Island. The Continental Marines held off an attack by Royal Marines while the crewmen unloaded valuable stores from the grounded ship. The Continental Navy ship Raleigh returned to New England early in April 1778. On 23 April 1778, John Paul Jones and sailors and Marines aboard USS Ranger make a raid on the British port of Whitehaven, Great Britain. The crew of Ranger set fire to ships and spiked the cannon of the fort. Later that same day, they land on St. Mary Isle to capture a British earl, but find him away from home, and instead they take the family silver. The next day [24 April], Ranger and her Marines defeat the British sloop HMS Drake in the Irish Sea. On 1 May 1778, the Marines assist in a night battle with the British frigate HMS Lark in Narragansett Bay as Providence escapes the blockade and makes it to the open sea. Accused of cowardice and dereliction of duty for not aiding Alfred, Captain Thomas Thompson was suspended soon after reaching port. On 30 May 1778 the Marine Committee appointed John Barry to replace him as captain. On 3 August 1778, the sailors and Marines aboard the Continental Navy ship General Gates and intercepted, then defeated, the British letter-of-marque brigantine HMS Montague, whose under command of Captain Horatio Nelson. The Marines aboard Providence attack a 30-ship convoy on 7 August, off the coast of Nova Scotia. They inflict damage on an armed transport carrying Highland troops. On 27 September, the British ships HMS Experiment and HMS Unicorn engage Continental ship Raleigh off the Penobscot River, Maine, and force her aground. Some of the Marines and sailors escape to shore, but more are captured. Marines would mainly participate in the naval battles of the war, fighting ship-to-ship, such as the Battle of Valcour Island and famed Battle of Flamborough Head. Marksmen would perch in the upper riggings and masts of the ship to fire on enemy sailors from above. However, unlike British Marines, the Continental Marines would take the then-unorthodox missions of landing parties and other services ashore. For example, Marines would support batteries ashore at the Siege of Charleston in the spring of 1780. Continental Marines landed and briefly captured Nautilus Island and the Majabagaduce peninsula in the Penobscot Expedition in 1779, but withdrew with heavy losses when Commodore Dudley Saltonstall's force failed to capture the nearby fort. A group under Navy Captain James Willing left Pittsburgh, traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, captured a ship later known as USS Morris, and in conjunction with other Continental Marines, brought by ship from the Gulf of Mexico, raided British Loyalists on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain on 10 September 1779. The last official act of the Continental Marines was to escort a stash of silver, on loan from Louis XVI of France, from Boston to Philadelphia to enable the opening of the Bank of North America. However, Marines did fight on the duel between USS Alliance and HMS Sibyl on 10 March 1783, the last recorded shots of the war, and Pvt Robert Stout of that ship would be the last recorded mention of a Continental Marine one year later. Major Nicholas would die from yellow fever on 27 August 1790. In all, the Continental Marines suffered 49 dead and 70 wounded. At the end of the Revolution in 1783, both the Continental Navy and Marines were disbanded in April. Although individual Marines stayed on for the few American naval vessels left, the last Continental Marine was discharged in September. In all, there were 131 Colonial Marine officers and probably no more than 2,000 enlisted Colonial Marines. Though individual Marines were enlisted for the few American naval vessels, the organization would not be re-created until 1798. Despite the gap between the disbanding of the Continental Marines and the establishment of the United States Marine Corps, Marines worldwide celebrate 10 November 1775 as the official birthday. This is traditional in Marine units and is similar to the practice of the British and Netherlands Royal Marines. Despite the Continental Navy being older in establishment (13 October vs. 10 November 1775) and reestablishment (27 March 1794 vs. 11 July 1798), Marines have taken the position of precedence, awarded due to seniority of age, because they historically and consistently maintained their birth as 10 November, while the Navy had no official recognition of 13 October as their birthday until 1972. Establishment of the modern Marine CorpsDue to predations by the Barbary pirates from Algiers on US shipping, Congress created the United States Navy and the Marine Corps. The Act to provide a Naval Armament of 27 March 1794 authorizing new build frigates for the war had specified the numbers of Marines to be recruited for each frigate. Marines were enlisted by the War Department as early as August 1797 for service in these frigates. Daniel Carmick and Lemuel Clerk were commissioned as Lieutenants of Marines on 5 May 1798. Under the "Act for establishing and organizing a Marine Corps", signed on 11 July 1798 by President John Adams, the Marine Corps was to consist of a battalion of 500 privates, led by a major and a complement of officers and NCO's. The next day, William Ward Burrows I was appointed a major. In the Quasi-War, Marines aboard the USS Constitution and other ships conducted raids in the waters off Hispaniola against the French and Spanish, making the first of many landings in Haiti and participating in the Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor. Among the equipment Burrows inherited was a stock of leftover blue uniforms with red trim, the basis for the modern Blue Dress uniform. When the capital moved to Washington, D.C. in June 1800, Burrows was appointed Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of the Marine Corps; the first de jure Commandant, though Samuel Nicholas is traditionally accorded as the first de facto Commandant for his role as the most senior officer of the Continental Marines. In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson and Burrows rode horses about the new capital to find a place suitable for a Marine barracks near the Washington Navy Yard. They chose the land between 8th and 9th, and G and I streets and hired architect George Hadfield to design the barracks and the Commandant’s House, in use today as Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.. Burrows also founded the United States Marine Band from an act of Congress passed on 11 July 1798, which debuted at the President's House on 1 January 1801 and has played for every presidential inauguration since. The Marines' most famous action of this period occurred in the First Barbary War (1801–1805) against the Barbary pirates, when General William Eaton, the Naval Special Agent and appointed commander-in-chief of the multi-national expedition, and First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon led a group of eight Marines and 300 Arab and European mercenaries in an attempt to capture Tripoli and free the crew of the captured USS Philadelphia. Though they only made it as far as Derne, Tripoli has been immortalized in the Marines' Hymn. The deposed Pasha, Prince Hamet Karamanli was so impressed with the Marines that he presented a Mameluke sword to O'Bannon inscribed in memory of the Battle of Derne, a tradition continued today by the swords worn by Marine officers. In May 1811, 2 officers and 47 Marines established an advanced base on Cumberland Island, Georgia to be used for actions against pirates in Spanish Florida, and captured Fernandina on 18 March 1812 for occupation until May 1813. This was the first peacetime overseas base of the United States. The Marine Corps' first land action of the War of 1812 was the establishment of an advanced base at Sackets Harbor, New York by 63 Marines. This gave the Navy a base on the shores of Lake Ontario, and later, headquartered their operations in the Great Lakes; Marines helped to repel two British attacks (the First and Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor). The Marines also established another base at Erie, Pennsylvania. Marine ship detachments took part in the great frigate duels of the war, the first American victories of the war. By the end of the war Marines acquired a reputation as marksmen, especially in ship-to-ship actions. On 27 April 1813, Marines participated in United States Army Colonel Winfield Scott's landing at York (now Toronto). Under Commodore Joshua Barney and Captain Samuel Miller, they acted to delay the British forces marching toward Washington at the Battle of Bladensburg. During the battle, they held the line after the Army and militia retreated, though were eventually overrun. Tradition holds that the British respected their fighting enough to spare the Marine Barracks and Commandant's house when they burned Washington, though they may have intended to use it as a headquarters; a related legend cites that two NCOs buried treasure at the site (to prevent its capture) that is yet unfound. At the Battle of New Orleans, the Marines held the center of Gen Andrew Jackson's defensive line. A total of 46 Marines would die and 66 were wounded in the war. Together with sailors and Army troops, they again captured Amelia Island and Fernandina in Spanish Florida on 23 December 1817. Fernandina was occupied until Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821. In 1823, Marines also established an advanced base on Thompson's Island, now called Key West, for Commodore David Porter to use against pirates around the island of Cuba. They garrisoned Pensacola, Florida in 1825 to use it as a base against pirates in the West Indies. Henderson's eraAfter the war, the Marine Corps fell into a depressed state. The third Commandant, Franklin Wharton, died while in office on 1 September 1818, causing a battle for succession between Majors Anthony Gale, Samuel Miller, and Archibald Henderson (then acting Commandant). The latter two were unable to successfully impeach Gale, who assumed the role on 3 March 1819, ending a six-month vacancy. After a falling-out with Secretary Smith Thompson, Gale was court-martialed for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, convicted, and fired on 18 October 1820. Henderson secured a confirmed appointment as the fifth Commandant in 1820 and breathed new life into the Corps. He would go on to be the longest-serving commandant, commonly referred to as the "Grand old man of the Marine Corps". Under his tenure, the Marine Corps took on a new role as an expeditionary force-in-readiness with a number of expeditionary duties in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Key West, West Africa, the Falkland Islands, China, Fiji, Peru, Buenos Aires, Nicaragua, and Sumatra, in addition to many of the Indian Wars. Previously having rarely done anything but guard ships and naval depots, Henderson seized every opportunity to deploy his Marines in "landing party operations" and other expeditions. One example of this was the acquisition artillery pieces and training for use with landing parties, which would bear fruit at the Battle of the Pearl River Forts. Henderson is also credited with thwarting attempts by President Andrew Jackson to combine the Marine Corps with the Army. Instead, Congress passed the Act for the Better Organization of the United States Marine Corps in 1834, stipulating that the Corps was part of the Department of the Navy, as a sister service to the United States Navy. This would be the first of many times that Congress came to the aid of the Marines. When the Seminole Wars (1835–1842) broke out, Commandant Henderson volunteered the Marines for service, leading 2 battalions to war, which accounted for about half the strength of the Marine Corps. They garrisoned Fort Brooke in Tampa and held off an Indian attack on 22 January 1836. Henderson commanded the mixed Marine/Army Second Brigade at the Battle of Hatchee-Lustee on 27 January 1837, for which he was appointed a brevet brigadier general. Marines also fought at the Battle of Wahoo Swamp that November. A decade later, in the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), the Marines made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace, which overlooked Mexico City, their first major expeditionary venture. Since marching to Mexico City would be a long and perhaps impossible venture, a combined force (containing some 200 Marines) under Major General Winfield Scott made an landing south of Veracruz on 9 March 1847 and captured the city on 29 March. From there, they fought their way to Mexico City and commenced their assault on 13 September. The Marines were given the task of clearing the Chapultepec Castle, the "Halls of Montezuma", where they cut down the Mexican colors and ran up the Flag of the United States. The high mortality rate amongst officers and non-commissioned officers is memorialized in the dress uniform's "blood stripes", as well as the line "From the Halls of Montezuma" in the Marines' Hymn. Marines were later placed on guard duty at the palace and Captain Jacob Zeilin, a future Commandant, was made military governor. Marines also served as part of the Navy's blockade of Mexico that successfully prevented overseas arms and munitions from reaching the Mexican forces, and as part of the California Battalion under Major Archibald H. Gillespie; engagements included the battles of Monterey, Los Angeles, Dominguez Rancho, San Pasqual, Rio San Gabriel, La Mesa, and 2nd Tabasco. Other battles included the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Tuxpan, capturing La Paz, defending La Paz, Mulege, and capturing and defending San José del Cabo. In the 1850s, the Marines would further see service in Panama, and in Asia, escorting Matthew Perry's fleet on its historic trip to the East. Two hundred Marines under Zeilin were among the Americans who first stepped foot on Japan; they can be seen in contemporary woodprints in their blue jackets, white trousers, and black shakos. Marines were also performed landing demonstrations while the expedition visited the Ryukyu and Bonin Islands. Upon Henderson's death in 1859, legend cites that he willed the Commandant's House, his home of 38 years, to his heirs, forgetting that it was government property; however, this has proven false. Civil WarDespite their stellar service in foreign engagements, the Marine Corps played only a minor role during the Civil War (1861–1865); their most important task was blockade duty and other ship-board battles, but were mobilized for a handful of operations as the war progressed. During the prelude to war, a hastily-created 86-man Marine detachment under Lieutenant Israel Greene was detached to arrest John Brown at Harper's Ferry in 1859, after the abolitionist raided the armory there. Command of the mission was given to then-Colonel Robert E. Lee and his aide, Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, both having been on leave in Washington when President James Buchanan ordered Brown arrested. The ninety Marines arrived to the town on 17 October via train, and quickly surrounded John Brown's Fort. Upon his refusal to surrender, the Marines stormed the building with bayonets, battering down the door with hammers and a ladder used as a battering ram. Greene slashed Brown twice and would have killed him had his sword not bent on his last thrust; in his haste he had carried his light dress sword instead of his regulation sword. At the opening of the war, the Marine Corps had 1892 officers and men, but two majors, half the captains, and two-thirds of the lieutenants resigned to join the Confederacy, as did many prominent Army officers. Though the retention of enlisted men was better, the Confederate States Marine Corps formed its nucleus with some of the best Marines the Corps had. Following the wave of defections, thirteen officers and 336 Marines, mostly recruits, were hastily formed into a battalion and sent to Manassas. At the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas), they performed poorly, running away like the rest of the Union forces. Commandant John Harris reported sadly that this was "the first instance in Marine history where any portion of its members turned their backs to the enemy." Congress only slightly enlarged the Marines due to the priority of the Army; and after filling detachments for the ships of the Navy (which had more than doubled in size by 1862), the Marine Corps was only able to field about one battalion at any given time as a larger force for service ashore. Marines from ship's detachments as well as ad-hoc battalions took part in the landing operations necessary to capture bases for blockade duty. These were mostly successful, but on 8 September 1863, the Marines tried an amphibious landing to capture Fort Sumter in Charlestown harbor and failed, one of the few failed landings of the Marine Corps. Due to a shortage of officers, the Marines of Commander George Preble's naval brigade that fought at the Battle of Honey Hill in 1864 started the battle with First Lieutenant G.G. Stoddard as the battalion commander (normally accorded a lieutenant colonel), the only officer in the battalion (the company commanders and other staff being sergeants). On 15 May 1862, the Battle of Drewry's Bluff began as a detachment of ships under Commander John Rodgers (including the USS Monitor and USS Galena) steamed up the James River to test the defenses of Richmond as part of the Peninsula Campaign. As the Galena took heavy losses, the unwavering musket and cannon fire of Corporal John F. Mackie would earn him the Medal of Honor on 10 July 1863, the first Marine to be so awarded. In January 1865, the Marines took part in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, tasked with acting as marksmen on the flank of the attack to shoot any Confederate troops that appeared on the ramparts of the fort. Even though they were ordered from their firing positions by Admiral Porter's second in command, Porter blamed the Marines for the failure of the naval landing force to take the fort. Despite this, the fort was successfully captured; five Marines earned the Medal of Honor during the battle. In all, Marines received 17 of the 1522 awards during the Civil War. A total of 148 Marines would die in the war, the most casualties up to that point. Confederate MarinesOn the opposite side of the lines, the Congress of the Confederate States authorized the creation of the Confederate States Marine Corps on 16 March 1861. Initially authorized at 45 officers and 944 enlisted men, the CSMC was increased to 1,026 enlisted men on 24 September 1862, but actual manpower never approached that number, maxing below 550 total. Its first and only Commandant, Colonel Lloyd J. Beall, stood the corps up in Richmond, and headquartered it at Fort Darling. The Confederate Marines, much like its progenitor, played small roles through the Civil War. Much of its service in the war was shipbound, such as the CSS Virginia's famous duel with the USS Monitor at Battle of Hampton Roads. Detachments on land guarded several naval bases, including the defense of the CSMC's headquarters at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff. One of the few notable operations included an assault on a Union prisoner of war camp at Point Lookout. Toward the end of the war, Marines were pressed for the defense of Richmond, such as the Battle of Sayler's Creek. Latter 19th CenturyThe remainder of the 19th century would be a period of declining strength and introspection about the mission of the Marine Corps. The Navy's transition from sail to steam put into question the need for Marines on naval ships; indeed, the replacement of masts and rigging with smokestacks literally left Marine marksmen without a place. However, the Marines would serve as a convenient resource for interventions and landings to protect American lives and property in foreign countries, such as action in Formosa in 1867. In June 1871, 651 Marine deployed for the expedition to Korea and made a landing at Ganghwa Island in which six Marines earned the Medal of Honor and one was killed (an landing also taken by the French in 1866 and Japanese in 1875), 79 years before the famed landing at nearby Inchon. After the Virginius Affair caused a war scare with Spain, Marines took part in naval brigade landing exercises in Key West in 1874, Gardiners Island in August 1884, and Newport, Rhode Island in November 1887. Three Marines earned Medals of Honor in the Samoan Civil War. Altogether, the Marines were involved in over 28 separate interventions in the 35 years from the end of the Civil War to the end of the 19th century, including China, Formosa, Japan, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Mexico, Korea, Panama, Egypt, Haiti, Samoa, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia, including the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which would be annexed five years later. They would also be called upon to stem political and labor unrest within the United States, such as guarding mail. In 1885, war correspondent Richard Harding Davis popularized the phrase "The Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand" when describing Americans intervention in a Panamanian revolt. Under Commandant Jacob Zeilin's term (1864–1876), many Marine customs and traditions took shape. The Corps adopted the Marine Corps emblem in essentially its modern form on 19 November 1868, borrowing the globe from the Royal Marines, but introducing the fouled anchor and an American bald eagle. In 1869, the Corps adopted a blue-black evening jacket and trousers encrusted with gold braid, that survives today as officer's mess dress. It was also during this time that the "Marines' Hymn" was first heard. Around 1883, the Marines adopted their current motto "Semper Fidelis", Latin for "Always Faithful" and often shortened by Marines to "Semper Fi". In 1885 1st Lt. H.K. Gilman wrote the first manual for enlisted Marines, Marines' Manual: Prepared for the Use of the Enlisted Men of the U.S. Marine Corps and in 1886 the first landing manual The Naval Brigade and Operations Ashore. Previous to this, the only landing instructions available were those in the Ordnance Instructions for the United States Navy. John Philip Sousa, previously an apprentice in the Marine Band as a child, returned to lead the band in 1880 at the age of 25, making a name for himself and the Band with his composed marches. Spanish– & Philippine–American WarsDuring the Spanish–American War (1898), Marines would lead American forces ashore in the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, demonstrating their readiness for deployment. At the Battle of Cienfuegos, Marines from the USS Marblehead and USS Nashville cut undersea telegraph cables under heavy Spanish fire to support the blockade of Cuba, 12 of them earning the Medal of Honor for their actions. The 1st Battalion, under LtCol Robert W. Huntington, invaded and captured Guantánamo Bay in order to set up an advanced base and refueling station for the fleet. In the seizure of Cuzco Well, a Spanish counterattack was aided by friendly fire from the USS Dolphin, and Sergeant John H. Quick would later receive the Medal of Honor for braving both Spanish rifle fire and naval gunfire to signal the Dolphin and shift fire. At the outbreak of war, owing to a shortage of khaki cloth, Marine forces wore their standard blue wool uniforms. Later, a brown linen "campaign suit" was adopted, to be worn in conjunction with the felt campaign hat. Equipment consisted of a wide belt with attached x-suspenders and ammunition pouches, all made of black leather; a canteen, haversack, plus bayonet scabbard. In the Puerto Rican Campaign, Marine detachments under Lieutenant John A. Lejeune landed in Fajardo in order to seize boats for a subsequent landing by Army forces. While they were waiting for the Army, they were attacked by strong Spanish forces in a night attack. Upon a prearranged signal, the Marines and sailors occupying the Cape San Juan Lighthouse took cover while the American ships bombarded the area. They left the next day when they found out that the Army commander had changed his mind and landed on the other end of the island at Guánica, securing the beach for the Army. In the Philippines, Marines landed at Cavite following the Battle of Manila Bay under Commodore George Dewey, and saw action at the Capture of Guam and Siege of Baler. In the subsequent Philippine–American War, Marines played little role in fighting but did serve as occupiers and peacekeepers. In all, fifteen Marines would earn the Medal of Honor, most of them at Cienfuegos; and additional six in the Philippines. Early 1900sThe successful landing at Guantanamo and the readiness of the Marines for the Spanish-American War were in contrast to the slow mobilization of the United States Army in the war. In 1900, the General Board of the United States Navy decided to give the Marine Corps primary responsibility for the seizure and defense of advanced naval bases. The Marine Corps formed an expeditionary battalion to be permanently based in the Caribbean, which subsequently practiced landings in 1902 in preparation for a war with Germany over their siege in Venezuela. Under Major Lejeune, in early 1903, it also undertook landing exercises with the Army in Maine, and in November, blocked Colombian Army forces sent to quash a Panamanian rebellion, an action which led to the independence of Panama. Marines stayed in Panama, with brief intermissions as they were deployed for other actions, until 1914. From 1903 to 1904, 25 Marines protected American diplomats in Abyssinia, modern day Ethiopia. A small group of Marines made a show of force in Tangier to resolve the kidnapping of Ion Perdicaris in the summer of 1904. The Marine Corps Advanced Base School was founded as was the Advanced Base Force, the prototype of the Fleet Marine Force. Marine aviation began on 22 May 1912, when Lieutenant Alfred Austell Cunningham reported to the Naval Aviation Camp in Annapolis, Maryland, "for duty in connection with aviation." As the number of Marine Aviators grew over the next few years, so did the desire to separate from Naval Aviation, realized on 6 January 1914, when Lt Bernard L. Smith was directed to Culebra, Puerto Rico, to establish the Marine Section of the Navy Flying School. In 1915, the Commandant George Barnett authorized the creation of an aviation company consisting of 10 officers and 40 enlisted men. The first official Marine flying unit arrived with the 17 February 1917, commissioning of the Marine Aviation Company for duty with the Advanced Base Force at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Marines played a role in China, which would continue on through to the 1950s. Originally dispatched in 1894 to protect Americans during the First Sino-Japanese War, Marines defended western legations in the Battles of Tientsin and Peking during the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901) and China Relief Expedition. The Boxers, seeking to drive all foreigners from China and eradicate foreign influences, became violent and began murdering westerners. The remaining foreigners banded together in the Beijing Legation Quarter and were protected by a small military force, which included 56 Marines, until reinforcements from the Eight-Nation Alliance, including the Army's 9th Infantry Regiment and a battalion of Marines stationed in the Philippines, arrived on 14 August 1900 to end the rebellion. Private Daniel Daly would earn his first Medal of Honor here, as well as 32 other Marines. Marines would redeploy from April 1922 to November 1923, and again in 1924, to protect Americans during the First and Second Zhili–Fengtian Wars. The 4th Marine Regiment would arrive in 1927, to defend the Shanghai International Settlement during the Northern Expedition and Second Sino-Japanese War, later being called China Marines. The regiment would leave in 1941 for Cavite to fight in World War II. WWIIn World War I, battle-tested, veteran Marines served a central role in the United States' entry into the conflict. Unlike the majority of Allied armies, the Marine Corps had a deep pool of officers and non-commissioned officers with battle experience, and experienced a smaller growth. They participated in small ways throughout 1918 (such as Château-Thierry, Soissons, and Saint-Mihiel), but its most famous action of the war would come that summer as the Spring Offensive neared its end. From 1 to 26 June, Marines fought their celebrated Battle of Belleau Wood, then the largest in the history of the Corps, creating their reputation in modern history. Rallying under the battle cries of "Retreat? Hell, we just got here!" (Capt Lloyd Williams) and "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" (GySgt Dan Daly), the Marines drove German forces from the area. While its previous expeditionary experience had not earned it much acclaim in the Western world, the Marines' fierceness and toughness earned them the respect of the Germans, who rated them of storm-trooper quality. Though Marines and American media reported that Germans had nicknamed them "Teufelhunden" or "Devil Dogs", there is no evidence of this in German records. Nevertheless, the name stuck, such as a famous recruiting poster. The French government renamed the forest to "Bois de la Brigade de Marine" ("Wood of the Marine Brigade"), and decorated both the 5th and 6th Regiments with the Croix de Guerre three times each. This earned them the privilege to wear the fourragère, which Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Secretary of the Navy, authorized them to henceforth wear on the left shoulder of their dress and service uniforms. Marine aviation also saw exponential growth, as the First Aeronautic Company which deployed to the Azores to hunt U-boats in January 1918 and the First Marine Air Squadron which deployed to France as the newly renamed 1st Marine Aviation Force in July 1918 and provided bomber and fighter support to the Navy's Day Wing, Northern Bombing Group. By the end of the war, several Marine aviators had recorded air-to-air kills, and collectively dropped over 14 short tons (13,000 kg) of bombs. and their number totals included 282 officers and 2,180 enlisted men operating from 8 squadrons. In 1919 the 1st Division/Squadron 1 was formed from these units, and exists as VMA-231. Near the end of the war in June 1918, Marines were landed at Vladivostok in Russia to protect American citizens at the consulate and other places from the fighting of the Russian Civil War. That August, the Allies would intervene on the side of the White Russians against the Bolsheviks to protect the Czechoslovak Legions and Allied materiel from capture. Marines would return on 16 February 1920, this time to Russky Island to protect communications infrastructure, until 19 November 1922. Opha May Johnson was the first woman to enlist in the Marines; she joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1918 during World War I, officially becoming the first female Marine. From then until the end of World War I, 305 women enlisted in the Corps. The Marine Corps had entered the war with 511 officers and 13,214 enlisted personnel and, by 11 November 1918, had reached a strength of 2,400 officers and 70,000 enlisted. The war cost 2,461 dead and 9,520 wounded Marines, while eight would earn the Medal of Honor. A new amphibious missionBetween the world wars, the Marine Corps was headed by Major General John A. Lejeune, another popular commandant. The Marine Corps was searching for an expanded mission after World War I. It was used in France as a junior version of the Army infantry, and Marines realized that was a dead end. In the early 20th century they had acquired the new mission of police control of Central American countries partly occupied by the US. That mission became another dead end when the nation adopted a "Good Neighbor Policy" toward Latin America, and renounced further invasions. The Corps needed a new mission, one distinct from the Army. It found one: it would be a fast-reacting, light infantry fighting force carried rapidly to far off locations by the Navy. Its special role was amphibious landings on enemy-held islands, but it took years to figure out how to do that. The Mahanian notion of a decisive fleet battle required forward bases for the Navy close to the enemy. After the Spanish-American War the Marines gained the mission of occupying and defending those forward bases, and they began a training program on Culebro Island, Puerto Rico. The emphasis at first was on defending the forward base against enemy attack; they would be like the Turks who in 1915 inflicted 250,000 casualties on the British, Australian and New Zealand invaders of Gallipoli, forcing their withdrawal. As early as 1900 the Navy’s General Board considered building advance bases for naval operations in the Pacific and the Caribbean. The Marine Corps was given this mission in 1920, but the challenge was to avoid another disaster like Gallipoli. The conceptual breakthrough came in 1921 when Major "Pete" Ellis wrote “Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia” a secret 30,000-word manifesto that proved inspirational to Marine strategists and highly prophetic. To win a war in the Pacific, the Navy would have to fight its way through thousands of miles of ocean controlled by the Japanese—including the Marshall, Caroline, Marianas and Ryukus island groups. If the Navy could land Marines to seize selected islands, they could become forward bases. Ellis argued that with an enemy prepared to defend the beaches, success depended on high-speed movement of waves of assault craft, covered by heavy naval gunfire and attack from the air. He predicted the decision would take place on the beach itself, so the assault teams would need not just infantry but also machine gun units, light artillery, light tanks, and combat engineers to defeat beach obstacles and defenses. Assuming the enemy had its own artillery, the landing craft would have to be specially built to protect the landing force. The failure at Gallipoli came because the Turks could easily reinforce the specific landing sites. The Japanese would be unable to land new forces on the islands under attack. Not knowing which of the many islands would be the American target, the Japanese would have to disperse their strength by garrisoning many islands that would never be attacked. An island like Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, would, Ellis estimated, require two regiments, or 4,000 Marines. (Indeed, in February 1944 the Marines seized Eniwetok with 4,000 men in three battalions.) Guided by Marine observer airplanes, and supplemented by Marine light bombers, warships would provide sea-going artillery firepower so that Marines would not need any heavy artillery (in contrast to the Army, which relied heavily on its artillery.) Shelling defended islands was a new mission for warships. The Ellis model was officially endorsed in 1927 by the Joint Board of the Army and Navy (a forerunner of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). Actual implementation of the new mission took another decade because the Corps was preoccupied in Central America, the Navy was slow to start training in how to support the landings, and a new kind of ship had to be invented to hit the beaches without massive casualties. In 1941 British and American ship architects invented a new class of "landing ship" to solve the problem. In World War II, the Navy built 1,150 LSTs. They were large (2400 tons) and slow (10 knots); officially known as "Landing Ship Tank," the passengers called them "Large Stationary Targets." Lightly armored, they could steam cross the ocean with a full load on their own power, carrying infantry, tanks and supplies directly onto the beaches. Together with 2,000 other landing craft, the LSTs gave the Marines (and Army soldiers) a protected, quick way to make combat landings, beginning in summer 1943. In 1933, a "Fleet Marine Force" was established with the primary mission of amphibious landings. The Force was a brigade with attached Marine aviation units that were trained in observation and ground support. By paying special attention to communications between ground and air, and between shore and sea, they developed an integrated three-dimensional assault force. By 1940, having adding enough men, the appropriate equipment, and a rigorous training program, the Marine Corps had worked out, in theory, its doctrine of amphibious assaults. Under the combat leadership of Holland "Howlin Mad" Smith, the general most responsible for training, the Marines were ready to hit the beaches. The Corps acquired amphibious equipment such as the Higgins boat which would prove of great use in the upcoming conflict. The various Fleet Landing Exercises were a test and demonstration of the Corps' growing amphibious capabilities. Marine aviation also saw significant growth in assets; on 7 December 1941, Marine aviation consisted of 13 flying squadrons and 230 aircraft. The oldest squadron in the Corps, known today as VMFA-232, was commissioned on 1 September 1925, as VF-3M. WWIIIn World War II, the Marines played a central role in the Pacific War, participating in nearly every significant battle. The Corps also saw its peak growth as it expanded from two brigades to two corps with six divisions, and five air wings with 132 squadrons. In addition, 20 Defense Battalions were also set up, as well as a Parachute Battalion. In all, the Corps totaled at a maximum end strength of over 475,000 Marines, the highest in its history. The battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Guam, and Okinawa saw fierce fighting between U.S. Marines and the Imperial Japanese Army. The secrecy afforded their communications by the now-famous Navajo code talker program is widely seen as having contributed significantly to their success. The first African American recruits were accepted in 1942 to begin the desegregation of the Corps. During the battle for Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photo Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who had come ashore earlier that day to observe the progress of the troops, said of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, "...the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years." The acts of the Marines during the war added to their already significant popular reputation, and the Marine Corps War Memorial adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated in 1954. As the Marine Corps grew to its maximum size, Marine aviation also peaked at 5 air wings, 31 aircraft groups and 145 flying squadrons. The Battle of Guadalcanal would teach several lessons, such as the debilitating effects of not having air superiority, the vulnerability of unescorted targets (such as transport shipping), and the vital importance of quickly acquiring expeditionary airfields during amphibious operations. After being dissatisfied with Navy air support at the Battle of Tarawa, General Holland Smith recommended that Marines should do the job, put into effect at New Georgia. The Bougainville and 2nd Philippines campaigns saw the establishment of air liaison parties to coordinate air support with the Marines fighting on the ground, and the Battle of Okinawa brought most of it together with the establishment of aviation command and control in the form of Landing Force Air Support Control Units Though the vast majority of Marines served in the Pacific Theater, a number of Marines did play a role in the European Theater, North Africa, and Middle East. Mostly serving aboard warships and as guards for naval bases, especially in the British Isles; though some volunteered for duty with the Office of Strategic Services. Numerous observers were dispatched to learn tactics from allied nations, such as Roy Geiger aboard HMS Formidable. Interservice rivalry may have played a role in this; for example, when briefed of a plan for Project Danny, Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall stood and walked out, stating "That's the end of this briefing. As long as I'm in charge, there'll never be a Marine in Europe." By the war’s end, the Corps had grown to include six divisions, five air wings and supporting troops totaling about 485,000 Marines. 19,733 Marines were killed and 68,207 wounded during WWII and 82 received the Medal of Honor. Marine Aviators were credited with shooting down 2,355 Japanese aircraft while losing 573 of their own in combat, as well as 120 earning ace. POST WARDespite Secretary Forrestal's prediction, the Corps faced an immediate institutional crisis following the war. Army brass pushing for a strengthened and reorganized defense establishment also attempted to fold the Marine mission and assets into the Navy and Army. Drawing on hastily assembled Congressional support, the Marine Corps rebuffed such efforts to legislatively dismantle the Corps, resulting in statutory protection of the Marine Corps in the National Security Act of 1947. Despite the introspective crisis, Marines also suffered from major post-war cutbacks and drawdowns in size. For example, aviation fell from 116,628 personnel and 103 squadrons on 31 August 1945 to 14,163 personnel and 21 squadrons on 30 June 1948, with another 30 squadrons in the reserves. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson in particular singled the Navy and Marine Corps out for budget cuts. A strong believer in unification and the idea that the United States' monopoly on the atomic bomb was adequate protection against any and all external threats, he began a campaign to strip away much of America's military power, especially naval and amphibious. Shortly after his appointment, Johnson had a conversation with Admiral Richard L. Connally, giving a revealing look at his attitudes towards the Navy and Marine Corps and any need for non-nuclear forces: “Admiral, the Navy is on its way out. There’s no reason for having a Navy and a Marine Corps. General Bradley tells me amphibious operations are a thing of the past. We’ll never have any more amphibious operations. That does away with the Marine Corps. And the Air Force can do anything the Navy can do, so that does away with the Navy.”However, the Marines were included in the Women's Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, which gave women permanent status in the Regular and Reserve forces of the Marines. President Harry S. Truman had a well-known dislike of the Marines dating back to his service in World War I, and would say in anger in August 1950, "The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President, that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." Johnson exploited this to reduce or eliminate many Marine Corps' budget requests. Johnson attempted to eliminate Marine Corps aviation entirely by transferring its air assets to the Navy and Air Force, and again proposed to progressively eliminate the Marine Corps altogether in a series of budget cutbacks and decommissioning of forces. Johnson ordered that the Commandant be barred from attending Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings in his role of chief of service (including meetings involving Marine readiness or deployments), deleted him from the official roll of chiefs of service branches authorized a driver and limousine, and for whom a special gun salute was prescribed on ceremonial occasions. He further specified that there would be no future official recognition or celebration of the Marine Corps birthday. The Navy's surface fleet and amphibious ships were drastically reduced, and most landing craft were reserved for Army use. After Johnson announced the cancellation of the 65,000-ton USS United States, under construction and the Navy's hope to participate in strategic nuclear air operations, without consulting the Department of the Navy nor Congress, Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan abruptly resigned, beginning the Revolt of the Admirals. In June 1949, the House Committee on Armed Services launched an investigation into charges of malfeasance in office against Secretary Johnson. While ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, the congressional rebuke weakened Johnson's power with the military and President Truman, and few subsequent cuts were made. After his severe cutbacks resulted in a military too weak to perform effectively in the initial days of the Korean War, Johnson resigned on 19 September 1950, replaced with George Marshall. Ironically, the Marines, as part of an amphibious corps with the US Army 7th divison who deployed, and made an amphibious operation at Inchon at the opening of the war. Shortly after, in 1952, the Douglas-Manfield Bill afforded the Commandant an equal voice with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters relating to the Marines, and established the structure of three divisions and air wings that remains today. This allowed the Corps to permanently maintain a division and air wing in the Far East and participate in various small wars in Southeast Asia – in Tachen, Taiwan, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. A small guard force was sent to Jerusalem to protect the United States Consul General in 1948 Marines would take a large role in the initial days Occupation of Japan, beginning with the 4th Marine Division landing at Kanagawa on 28 August 1945, just 13 days after Emperor Hirohito announced surrender. It was soon replaced by the Eighth United States Army in 1946. About 50,000 Marines would take part in the post-war occupation of North China from 1945 until 1947, and would reappear in 1948 and 1949. III Amphibious Corps would control major infrastructure points and repatriate Japanese and Soviet troops, as well as evacuate Americans when the Communist Party of China began to win the Chinese Civil War. Despite cuts in number, Marine aviation did progress in technology: propeller aircraft were gradually phased out as jet aircraft improved and helicopters were developed for use in amphibious operations. The first Marine jet squadron came in November 1947 when VMF-122 fielded the FH Phantom, while HMX-1, the first Marine helicopter squadron, stood up in November 1947. General Geiger had observed the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll the year earlier and instantly recognized that atomic bombs could render amphibious landings difficult because of the dense concentrations of troops, ships, and materiel at the beachhead. The Hogaboom Board recommended that the Marine Corps develop transport helicopters in order to allow a more diffuse attack on enemy shores, resulting in HMX-1 and the acquisition of Sikorsky HO3S-1 and the Piasecki HRP-1 helicopters. Refining the concept for several years, Marines would use the term "vertical envelopment" instead of "air mobility" or "air assault". KOREAN WARThe Korean War (1950–1953) saw the hastily formed 1st Provisional Marine Brigade holding the line at the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, where Marine helicopters (VMO-6 flying the HO3S1 helicopter) made their combat debut. To execute a flanking maneuver, General Douglas MacArthur called on Marine air and ground forces to make an amphibious landing at the Battle of Inchon. The successful landing resulted in the collapse of North Korean lines and the pursuit of North Korean forces north near the Yalu River until the entrance of the People's Republic of China into the war. Chinese troops surrounded, surprised and overwhelmed the overextended and outnumbered American forces. However, unlike the Eighth Army, which retreated in disarray, the 1st Marine Division, while attached to the Army's X Corps regrouped and inflicted heavy casualties during their fighting withdrawal to the coast. Now known as the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, it entered Marine lore as an example of the toughness and resolve of the Marine. Marines would continue a battle of attrition around the 38th Parallel until the 1953 armistice. The Korean War saw the Marine Corps rebound from its drastic cuts of about 75,000 at the start to a force, by the end of the conflict in 1953, of 261,000 Marines, most of whom were reservists. Aviation grew to four air wings, 20 aircraft groups and 78 flying squadrons, a level that has remained more or less consistent to this day. 4,267 Marines were killed and 23,744 wounded during the war, while 42 were awarded the Medal of Honor. Interim: Korea-VietnamIn the intervening years, Marines would continue to be dispatched to regional crises. During the Suez Crisis in the fall of 1956, Marines from 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines evacuated Americans from Alexandria. In 1958, Marines were dispatched to Lebanon as part of Operation Blue Bat in response to the crisis there. Marines returned to Cuba from 1959 to 1960 to protect Americans during the Cuban Revolution. 5,000 Marines were sent to Thailand on 17 May 1962 to support the government's struggles against Communists until withdrawn on 30 July. Marines also returned to Haiti for Operation Power Pack on 28 April 1965. Originally sent to evacuate Americans in the midst of fighting between forces loyal to assassinated dictator Rafael Trujillo and the Dominican Revolutionary Party supporting Juan Bosch, President Lyndon B. Johnson expanded the intervention to prevent a second Communist nation on America's doorstep. Joined by the 82nd Airborne Division and the Organization of American States, Marines quickly forced a cease-fire, but would continue to be harassed by small-scale combat and sniper fire until their withdrawal on 31 August. Remaining peacekeepers enforced a truce, and Bosch would never regain power. VIETNAMThe Marines also played an important role in the Vietnam War at battles such as Da Nang, Huế, and Khe Sanh. The Marines operated in the northern I Corps regions of South Vietnam and fought both a constant guerilla war against the Viet Cong and an off and on conventional war against North Vietnamese Army regulars. Marines also conducted the less well-known Combined Action Program that implemented unconventional techniques for counterinsurgency warfare. The Marine presence was withdrawn in 1971, but returned briefly in 1975 to evacuate Saigon and attempt to rescue the crew of the Mayagüez. 13,091 Marines were killed and 88,594 wounded during the war. As a footnote the Marines in Vietnam suffered more casualties than both WWI and WWII combined. Fifty-seven were awarded the Medal of Honor. Interim: post-VietnamReturning from Vietnam, the Marine Corps hit one of the lowest points in its history with high rates of courts-martial, non-judicial punishments, unauthorized absences, and outright desertions. The re-making of the Marine Corps began in the late 1970s when policies for discharging inadequate Marines were relaxed leading to the removal of the worst performing ones. Once the quality of new recruits started to improve, the Marines began reforming their NCO corps, an absolutely vital element in the functioning of the Marine Corps. After Vietnam, the Marine Corps resumed its expeditionary role. On 4 November 1979, Islamist students supporting the Iranian Revolution stormed the Embassy of the United States in Tehran and took 53 hostages, including the Marine Security Guards. Marine helicopter pilots took part in Operation Eagle Claw, the disastrous rescue attempt on 24 April 1980. An unexpected sandstorm grounded several RH-53 helicopters, as well as scattering the rest, and ultimately killing several when one struck an EC-130 Hercules staged to refuel them. The mission was aborted, and the Algiers Accords negotiated the release of the hostages on 20 January 1981. The mission demonstrated the need for an aircraft that could take off and land vertically, but had greater speed than a helicopter, realized decades later in the V-22 Osprey. Marines returned to Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon War on 24 August with the arrival of the 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit (later redisignated as 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit) and the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF). As part of a peace treaty, the Palestine Liberation Organization was withdrawn to Tunisia, and the Marines returned to their ships. Due to increased violence from the still-ongoing Lebanese Civil War, President Ronald Reagan ordered the Marines to return on 29 September in the form of 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. Relieved by 3rd Battalion 8th Marines in October, the MNF increasingly drew fire from different factions. The United States embassy was bombed on 18 April 1983 in opposition to the MNF's presence; 1st Battalion 8th Marines was rotated in under the command of the 24th MAU. On 23 October 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed, causing the highest peacetime losses to the Corps in its history: 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers, as well as 55 French Paratroopers of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment and 3 French Paratroopers of the 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment in a near-simultaneous bombing 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away. As violence increased, public pressure mounted to withdraw forces from Lebanon. After an additional 24 American deaths, the Marines were ordered to leave and began on 7 February 1984, and finished on the 26th. Marines recovered from this low point and began a series of successes. The Invasion of Grenada, known as "Operation Urgent Fury", began on 25 October 1983 in response to a coup by Bernard Coard and possible "Soviet-Cuban militarization" on the island. The 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit quickly took the northern sectors, and were withdrawn by 15 December. Interservice rivalry and cooperation issues shown during the invasion resulted in the Goldwater–Nichols Act of 1986 altering the chain of command in the United States military. When Operation Classic Resolve began on 2 December 1989 in the Philippines (in retaliation for the coup attempt), a company of Marines was dispatched from Naval Base Subic Bay to protect the Embassy of the United States in Manila. The Invasion of Panama, known as "Operation Just Cause" began on 20 December of the same year, and deposed the military dictator Manuel Noriega. The 1990sGulf WarMarines were also responsible for liberating Kuwait during the Gulf War (1990–1991), as the Army III, VII and XVIII corps made an attack to the west and north directly into Iraq to kill the Iraqi army and cut off forces in Kueait. The I Marine Expeditionary Force had a strength of 92,990 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history. A total of 24 Marines were killed in action or later died of wounds, while 92 were wounded. Bosnian WarMarines played a modest role in the Bosnian War and NATO intervention. Operation Deny Flight began on 12 April 1993, to enforce the United Nations no-fly zone in Bosnia and Herzegovina and provide air support to the United Nations Protection Force. The F/A-18D Hornet was proven to be a "highly resourceful multirole platform", in addition to showcasing the importance of precision-guided munitions. In 1995, the mission was expanded to include a bombing campaign called "Operation Deliberate Force". On 2 June 1995, Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady's F-16 was shot down by a Bosnian Serb Army surface-to-air missile in the Mrkonjić Grad incident. Marines from the 24th MEU, based on the USS Kearsarge, rescued him from western Bosnia on 8 June. Marines would support the IFOR, SFOR, and KFOR until 1999. On 3 February 1998, an EA-6B Prowler from VMAQ-2, deployed to Aviano Air Base to support the peacekeeping effort, hit an aerial tram cable and killed 20 European passengers. OtherIn the summer of 1990, the 22nd and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units conducted Operation Sharp Edge, a noncombatant evacuation in the west Liberian city of Monrovia. Liberia suffered from civil war at the time, and citizens of the United States and other countries could not leave via conventional means. With only one reconnaissance team having come under fire with no casualties incurred on either side, the Marines evacuated several hundred civilians within hours to Navy vessels waiting offshore. On 8 April 1996, Marines returned for Operation Assured Response, helping in the evacuation of 2,444 foreign and United States citizens from Liberia. On 23 May 1996, President Bill Clinton diverted Marines from Joint Task Force Assured Response to Bangui, Central African Republic until 22 June, where they provided security to the American Embassy and evacuated 448 people. Due to increased threats against Americans as part of the fallout from the Lottery Uprising in Albania, 200 Marines and 10 Navy SEALs were deployed on 16 August 1998 to the American embassy there. As Indonesian occupation of East Timor ended in the fall of 1999, President Clinton authorized the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, based on the USS Belleau Wood, to deploy there until the International Force for East Timor could arrive in October. Marines participated in combat operations in Somalia (1992–1995) during Operations Restore Hope, Restore Hope II, and United Shield. While Operation Restore Hope was designated as a humanitarian relief effort, Marine ground forces frequently engaged Somali militiamen in combat. Elements of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion 9th Marines with 15th MEU were among the first troops of the United Nations effort to land in Somalia in December 1992, while Marines of Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion 1st Marines participated in the final withdrawal of United Nations troops from Somalia in 1995. 21st CenturyFollowing the September 11 attacks in 2001, President George W. Bush announced the War on Terrorism. The stated objective of the Global War on Terror is "the defeat of Al-Qaeda, other terrorist groups and any nation that supports or harbors terrorists". Since then, the Marine Corps, alongside other military and federal agencies, has engaged in global operations around the world in support of that mission. These operations have worn out their equipment and reduced their readiness because equipment is not available for training. In 2002, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa was stood up at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti to provide regional security. Despite transferring overall command to the Navy in 2006, the Marines continued to operate in the Horn of Africa into 2010. In the summer of 2006, Marines from the 24th MEU evacuated Americans from Lebanon and Israel in light of the fighting of the 2006 Lebanon War. The 22nd and 24th MEUs returned to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake in January as part of Operation Unified Response. AfghanistanMarines and other American forces began staging in Pakistan and Uzbekistan on the border of Afghanistan as early as October 2001 in preparation for Operation Enduring Freedom. The 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units were the first conventional forces into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2001, and in December, the Marines seized Kandahar International Airport. Since then, Marine battalions and squadrons have been rotating through, engaging Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit flooded into the Taliban-held town of Garmsir on 29 April 2008, in Helmand Province, in the first major American operation in the region in years. In June 2009, 7,000 Marines with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in an effort to improve security, and began Operation Strike of the Sword the next month. Thus far, 109 Marines have been reported killed. IraqMost recently, the Marines have served prominently in the Iraq War as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The I Marine Expeditionary Force, along with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq and received the Presidential Unit Citation, the first time a Marine unit has received that award since 1968. The Marines left Iraq in the fall of 2003, but returned for occupation duty in the beginning of 2004. They were given responsibility for the Al Anbar Province, the large desert region to the west of Baghdad. During this occupation, the Marines spearheaded both assaults on the city of Fallujah in April (Operation Vigilant Resolve) and November 2004 (Operation Phantom Fury) and also saw intense fighting in such places as Ramadi, Al-Qa'im and Hīt. Their time in Iraq has also courted controversy with the Haditha killings and the Hamdania incident. The Anbar Awakening and 2007 surge reduced levels of violence. On 1 March 2009, President Barack Obama announced an accelerated withdrawal during a speech at Camp Lejeune, promising all combat troops out by August 2010. The Marine Corps officially ended its role in Iraq on 23 January 2010 when they handed over responsibility for Al Anbar Province to the United States Army. 1,022 Marines were killed in the war with an additional 8,623 wounded, while only Cpl Jason Dunham received the Medal of Honor. Condition: New

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