Marine Corps

Marine Corps

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The following was a submitted report for a U.S. History research paper assignment We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea. First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine. Our flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun. We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun. In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes, You will find us always on the job, The United States Marines. Here's health to you and to our Corps which we are proud to serve. In many a strife we've fought for life and never lost our nerve. If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines." The Marine hymn is eternally etched in the mind's and soul of every recruit and officer who have served in the United States Marine Corps. Every Marine has gone through boot camp, each sacrificing blood, sweat, and tears. One thing that has never deteriorated in their years of existence is the fact that they have yet to lose a war they have put effort in. Is this exceptional record due to their extensive training? Is it because of their aggressive nature and mindset? What is to follow may shed some light on these questions and perhaps give some type of insight on how the Marine Corps was so prevailing and what conflicts had they had conquered. 1775, November 10th. This date is memorized and celebrated by every United States Marine as something of excellence, a date of honor. This date is non other than the "birthdate" of the Marine Corps. It was on this date that the Continental Congress passed a resolution to create two operational battalions of American Marines. These men would ultimately be headed by Captain Samuel Nicholas, of the United States Naval department. It was in Philadelphia that the first Marines were grouped and trained for their inaugural mission. The three hundred Marines that had been recruited, were placed aboard eight transport ships, all destined for the beaches of New Providence (the Bahamas). Upon their landing on March 3rd, 1776, they fought up the beach, sweeping through a barrage of bullets, and took command of two small stone forts and a number of military storage complexes.

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This was marked as the first mission of the Marines, as well as their first success over seas. In December, now under command of Major Samuel Nicholas, the Marines of now three companies, made their way towards Trenton in hopes of joining Washington in his fight at the Battle of Princeton. In the months to come, the Marines would assist the "American" forces against the English, and finally, gaining the Independence for America on July 4th, 1776. It was on July 11, 1798 that President John Adams signed a bill, which would allow the United States Marine Corps to officialize and gain a total of five hundred privates, as well as necessary officers and non-commissioned officers. It would be the next decade that the Marines would be victorious in the "Quasi-War" with France (1798-1801), the "Barbary Wars" (1801-1815) as well as the "Second War of Independence" (1812-1815). Training for these young men was crude. The Marines had little resources and even less area to train within. It would be, for most of the remaining 1800s, that the Marines be used to conquer additional land in areas such as China, Formosa, Japan, Korea, Samoa, Hawaii, Panama, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, and Egypt. These Marines would be sent in, followed by the "Bluejackets", to claim land and objectives (property) for the United States for the purpose of "protecting American lives and property". After the United States declared war against Germany on April 6th, 1917, three oversized battalions of Marines set sail to France where they would find duties on ports as guards and Military Policemen. It was the second regiment, the 6th, that would join the trenches at Verdun, France. What would end up a coincidence, or not, the German offensive forces ended their campaign with an armistice only a day after the Marine Corps birthday... November 11th. Throughout this time, the Marines had established numerous bases in which to train (within the United States) and equip their soldiers. One of the more famous of these bases would be the training camp in Quantico, Virginia. The latest equipment would be delivered here, and the newest training techniques implemented. It was from these camps that troops would depart to new conflicts, including World War II in Africa, and both Eastern (France) and Western Europe (Germany). These forces would also depart to the Pacific War. These two wars would be won in time and as before, the country would fall silent to peace. That is, after the Cold "War" (conflict). During these periods (of peace), the United States government would have the needed time to research additional tactics for their troops, newer reliable weapons, and safer equipment and transports. What the people had not hoped for, nor counted on, would be the intervention in the Viet Nam Conflict ("War"). Many might refer to this is a War, however an official Declaration was never signed. This conflict was the only "major campaign" in which the United States had not won. The Marine Corps had suffered over 13,067 deaths in the conflict, which would put one in every four name on the Viet Nam memorial, a name that of a Marine. From June 25th 1971 to August 25th 1990, the United States Marine Corps had been involved in numerous "minor operations" yet on the 25th of August (1990), the Marines began massing forces in the Persian Gulf, in which would be titled "Operation Desert Shield". It was on January 16th, 1991, "Operation Desert Storm" began, in which Marine battalions were flown into the "conflict area" in allied transports. It was then in 1993 all but two expeditionary units, of the Marine Corps, withdrew from the Middle East and returned home with yet another victory. From Operation Desert Storm to present day, much of the Marines activities have involved security in Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia (among other small conflicting countries) as well as training and guard in the United States and much of Europe. Every recruit who joins the Marine Corps is given a term of basic training, or "boot camp". The length of this training may ultimately end up to the individual, as their performance can result in an extended stay at one of the two (major) recruiting depots... the depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, and the depot at San Diego, California. It is during this training that the recruits learn that they are now a whole. There is no "I" or "me"... but "us". Throughout their days, they refer to themselves as "This recruit" and are never right against the orders and actions of their D.I. or "Drill Instructor". When confronted with a fault by their superiors they must state that there is "no reason" for the failure or will receive additional consequences. Each recruit must realize that there are no "shortcuts" through life, no blame is ever given to someone else. These men/women learn the highest standards in morals, as well as mental and physical appearances. Near the completion of their stay, they find themselves standing at the door which leads to their most feared and extremely difficult objective... "The Crucible". The Crucible is a series of day-night missions, where only a given two or three hours of sleep can be attained. They attempt to conquer a system of obstacles with numerous objectives, only calling upon their training and class instruction to complete. If successful, the recruits begin their hike back to the main complex (roughly 5 hours) when upon they receive their Eagle-Globe-Anchor emblem... in which now, they can call themselves a Marine. A Marine is not something anyone can become. Only a select few even have the chance to contract at MEPS (Military Enlistment Processing Station). When contracted, a DEP (Delayed Entry Program) recruit he/she becomes. When they ship out, all civilian life is left behind. They return a Marine (if successful), and will forever bear the title. Perhaps claiming the title is a strong enough gesture that invokes the power of victory in every Marine. Perhaps the training and Crucible, amount to enough that push each man/woman into winning battle after battle for their country. Perhaps the brotherhood every Marine establishes among their peers is enough to create a type of living, working, and victorious bond between them, giving them the needed boost to accomplish any given task. The question of why they are so successful may not have a single answer, or yet one at all. However, we do know that in history, the Marines are the Elite force time after time. "The man who will go where his colors go, without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in jungle and mountain range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legions are made... he has been called United States Marine."
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