An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
..in 1775, a group of men came together to form one of the greatest fighting force ever known.
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passes a resolution stating that “two Battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces for the recently formed Continental Navy. The resolution, drafted by future U.S. president John Adams and adopted in Philadelphia, created the Continental Marines and is now observed as the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.
Serving on land and at sea, the original U.S. Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations during the Revolutionary War. The first Marine landing on a hostile shore occurred when a force of Marines under Captain Samuel Nicholas captured New Province Island in the Bahamas from the British in March 1776. Nicholas was the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines and is celebrated as the first Marine commandant. After American independence was achieved in 1783, the Continental Navy was demobilized and its Marines disbanded.
In the next decade, however, increasing conflict at sea with Revolutionary France led the U.S. Congress to establish formally the U.S. Navy in May 1798. Two months later, on July 11, President John Adams signed the bill establishing the U.S. Marine Corps as a permanent military force under the jurisdiction of the Department of Navy. U.S. Marines saw action in the so-called Quasi-War with France and then fought against the Barbary pirates of North Africa during the first years of the 19th century. Since then, Marines have participated in all the wars of the United States and in most cases were the first soldiers to fight. In all, Marines have executed more than 300 landings on foreign shores.
I have an extreme fondness for Marines. Not just because my first REAL kiss was with a Marine (WHOA!), but because they are always ready to defend, not only our freedom, but the innocent around the world.
At the beginning of the 1800s, there were 368 Marines (343 Enlisted; 25 Officers). When the first decade of 1800s ended, there were 523 Marines (513 Enlisted; 10 Officers). (source) Today, there are over 200,000!
Growing up in a military area, the one branch we didn’t have withing a few minutes driving distance, was a Marine base, but that didn’t mean there weren’t any Marines around! There surely were! :D And from a female teenager’s perspective, the best hineys were the Marines, and second was Army. Hey….I was allowed to look!
The Marines I have known personally throughout my lifetime have all been honorable men. The saying that ‘once a Marine, always a Marine” is quite true! My favorite Marine is someone I’ve known since elementary school. A fine man, with definite quirks. LOL He achieved head honcho in Chief Warrant Officer, ‘retired’ after 20 years, and became a police officer. He’s retiring in a few weeks after 20 years as a lieutenant. A very fine man indeed, and a dear friend.
To all the Marines, past, present, and future…..