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Alpha 101: U.S. Marines
By AlphaNews
5/14/2015 8:19:00 AM

US Marines
The fourth branch being featured in our Armed Forces Week series is the U.S. Marine Corps. The United States Marine Corps serves as the nation’s rapid response force. They are responsible for providing power from the sea leveraging other branches such as the U.S. Navy to quickly create combined-arms taks forces. Their roots can be traced back to the first Continental Marines that were established on November 10, 1775, during the American Revolution to provide forces to naval ships and shore operations. Today, all Marines are trained as riflemen, and integrate combat arms, logistics and aviation assets in battle. 

US Marines MARPAT CamoThe Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform can be worn for work in the field or during regular duty. In 2002, the Marine Corps developed a new pixelated camouflage pattern for the uniform. The Marine Pattern (MARPAT) is made of a computer-generated pattern of overlapping squares. The green and brown woodland pattern provides the best concealment for forest areas; the khaki desert pattern works best in urban or sandy environments. Both feature the eagle, globe and anchor insignia embedded within the pattern. This patented innovation represents the most significant change to the Marine Corps uniform in more than 30 years. It is the first military camouflage designed to avoid detection by both human eye and digital lens, and has become the standard for all Marine Combat Utility uniforms and gear.

Here are some interesting facts about the U.S. Marine Corps:

  • In 1775 Samuel Nicholas became the first captain and commanding officer of the newly formed Marines and visited numerous public inns and taverns throughout the city of Philadelphia to begin recruiting. One of his first recruits was popular patriot and tavern owner Robert Mullan. Capt Mullan owned Tun Tavern, which subsequently became part of military lore as the birthplace of the Marine Corps.
  • With only two hours and 40 minutes of training, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham courageously embarked on the Marine Corps' first solo training flight. Cunningham reported to the nation's first aviation camp in Annapolis, MD, on May 22, 1912, but was immediately ordered away on military duty. After a three-month delay, Cunningham received instruction on August 20 and began the rich legacy of Marine Corps aviation. Cunningham's flight was the seed for future successful Marine Corps aviationoperations, leading up to World War I and beyond.
  • Ray Mabus, the United States Secretary of the Navy, also leads the Marine Corps. He is responsible for an annual budget in excess of $170 billion and leadership of almost 900,000 people.
  • The Marine motto is "Semper Fidelis" which means 'always faithful' in Latin and often appears as Semper Fi. Ooh Rah is common among Marines, being similar in function and purpose to the Army's hooah and the Navy's hooyah cries.
  • The Marine Band, dubbed the "President's Own" by Thomas Jefferson, provides music for state functions at the White House.
  • Vietnam was the longest war for Marines; by its end, 13,091 had been killed in action, 51,392 had been wounded, and 57 Medals of Honor had been awarded.
  • The Marine Corps is organized into four principal subdivisions: the Headquarters (HQMC), the Operating Forces, the Supporting Establishment, and the Reserve (MARFORRES or USMCR).
  • The dress blue uniform worn by noncommissioned officers, staff noncommissioned officers and officers feature the scarlet "blood stripe" down each trouser leg. Originally it honored those Marines who died in the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican War in 1847. Today, the blood stripe honors the memory of all fallen comrades.
  • Sarah Deal Burrow graduated from Kent State University with a pilot's license and a degree in aerospace flight technology. After Officer Candidates School, Burrow wanted to fly. With no female pilot roles at the time, however, she specialized in Air Traffic Control instead. Burrow's desire to fly was fulfilled when women were permitted to fly combat aircraft in 1993. She trained at Naval Air Station Pensacola and earned her wings on April 21, 1995. Lieutenant Colonel Burrow piloted a CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopter that same year. 
  • At the start of 2010, Marines lead Operation Moshtarak, the largest military operation since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan and reclaimed cities across southern Afghanistan, including the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. The War in Afghanistan officially became the longest war in U.S. history in June of 2010. Marines continue to fight the Taliban and train Afghan soldiers to eventually shoulder the burden of Afghanistan's national security.
  • Currently the Marine Corps has 182,945 enlisted soldiers and 21,208 officers.

Tags: US Marines, Military Appreciation Month, Armed Forces Week
Categories: Military History
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