U S Marine Corps History Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Marine Corps and its development over time.

The Marine Corps were formed as a compliment to the naval forces. While the navies fought at sea they still required some link to the land, which became essential for the naval operation success. It was in 1775 that the Continental Congress of the U.S. gave rise to two battalions of marines who served for the naval infantry and it was in 1798 that the U.S. Marine Corp was officially launched. [1]

In the past the focus of the military campaigns rested mainly on the basis of the naval strength. Land forces came as reinforcement. After the establishment of the Continental Marines the concept of having an elite force that acted completely separately but for the Naval forces arose and this gave birth to the United States Marine Corps. Amphibious in nature the Corp. distinguished itself through many operations and made its necessity felt by the nations. The first raid conducted by the Marine Corps outside its own nations was in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps' first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. [2]

Throughout the century the Marine Corps participated in different operations and created a force that was to be feared. The very nature and conception of the Corp. made its importance valid as it was the first group of soldiers that were capable of fighting on land and on the sea.


What was the need for a force that was amphibious in nature? Consider the fact that the wars of the time in which the force was created were mainly manual. They were fought either on foot or through the ships. There were guns and other ammunitions but the fighting took place face-to-face. There were no radars or other such technological devices that would allow the nations at war to keep track of intruders within their lands. The monitoring had to be done by men and the intrusion had to be kept at bay by men. Thus, if the navy fought at sea it needed a force that allowed all the area to be covered so as to keep hostilities away from the mainland. This force came to be the Marine Corps.

When the first group of Marines was created the organizational aspect was lacking. They worked on a ship to ship basis and the actual coordination lacked effectiveness. As the American nation, which had recently got freedom from the British Colonials, fought to remain independent, it realized that the Marine Corps had to be effectively organized at a national level. Piracy was creating a setback to an already weak economy and if no steps were taken there would be fatal consequences. The administrators realized that central command structure had to be built. Congress thus acted immediately and passed "An Act for Establishing a Marine Corps" on July 11, 1798. This marked the first official Marine Corp. And it was seen to be organized into a group of men so that they could fill thirty-two ship's guards. Militarily the hierarchy was based on one major-commandant, thirty-two captains and lieutenants, forty-eight sergeants and corporals, 720 privates, thirty-two fifers, and thirty-two drummers. The Commandant's staff consisted of an adjutant, a paymaster, a quartermaster, a sergeant major, and a drum -- and fife major. [3]

That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors and officers as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no person be appointed to office or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea." (Resolution of the Continental Congress, 10 November 1775.)[4]

When the naval forces are conducting an operation the marine soldiers operate with the navy on sea and with the land army. They were efficient in their military style and allowed the navy to concentrate on its own tactics while they, the Marines maintained the discipline on board and helped aid the naval land operations. They are considered a separate unit maintained under the Department of the Navy.

The need for a Marine Corp. was simple. The progress seen in military warfare made the society realize that no longer were the territorial waters the main area of war strategies. The campaigns were being progressively conducted within the lands and on the seas. Protecting one area while ignoring the other could cause disaster for the nation and become detrimental in the success of the strategy. It was during the World War II operations that the importance of the Marine Corps became integral and they gained international fame. Responding to the threat from the European and Pacific areas they conducted Dieppe Raid in 1942 and assumed a commando role, which helped the U.S. succeed essentially through the fighting on Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and the other islands. Marine forces today are considered the creme le de creme of the forces and pride themselves on being the toughest of the tough. [5]

In hindsight the efficiency of the Marine Corps and their importance was obvious. They were initially not seen as an integral part of the operation but with time a need for their presence was seen and gauged through the campaigns they conducted successfully.

It would seem, particularly with benefit of today's hindsight, that the Marine Corps would be the logical choice for the development of this mission. However, this was not so apparent at the time. 'One school of thought contended that the advanced base function should be performed entirely by Navy personnel under command of naval officers, in the interests of unity and other considerations.'[6] The suggested conflict was based on its theoretical envisage and that is why the Corps was in its inception seen and treated with disdain.

The awareness of Navy's commitments and responsibilities brought about the evolutionary developments which culminated in the early 1940's in the amphibious assault doctrines and techniques "which finally made possible what Major General J.F.C. Fuller has called 'the most far-reaching tactical innovation of [World War II].'"[7]


Through an analysis of the historical military operations and the strategy employed through the focus on sea warfare there was an obvious centralization of control. The military operations were conducted either in the seas or on land. There was remote chance of the two coordinating in their maneuvers. With time this changed and the mission became more critical. The philosophy of war changed, as did its implementation. The heart of the naval capabilities in the operating environment saw a difficulty that could only be solved through innovation. The Marines were that very innovation arising through the ideology of being able to precisely engage the enemy. Land attack encompasses a variety of tasks from long-range precision strikes, to providing precision naval surface fires. The Marines did this. Navy investment in a robust land attack capability from the surface perspective has grown and the precise firepower is exactly what is called for by the Marine Corp.'s operational maneuver from the sea concept. The goal of the Marines is to improve the commander's war fighting capabilities relying first and foremost on the manpower.

As time passed the Marine Corp remained dynamic as it was understood that each new opportunity demanded new thinking and evolving capabilities. Together they it required continued careful planning to balance a whole series of competing priorities: current operating costs vs. long-term investment, for structure vs. combat capabilities, multi-mission vs. core mission capabilities, for structure vs. new technology - these challenges had to be faced. Identifying which capabilities are most critical and balancing that requirement in the near-term vs. those of the long-term is a challenge that the Marines are always ready to face.


Cite This Term Paper:

"U S Marine Corps History" (2002, April 06) Retrieved December 7, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/us-marine-corps-history-129293

"U S Marine Corps History" 06 April 2002. Web.7 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/us-marine-corps-history-129293>

"U S Marine Corps History", 06 April 2002, Accessed.7 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/us-marine-corps-history-129293

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • U S Participation in a Multi National

    " (Miles, 2006) According to Norway's Department of Defense document entitled: "International Military Operations, Crisis Management - Multinational Operations" when a country is a participant in an "multinational crisis management" initiative entailed is "the ability, at short notice and in concert with allies and others, to contribute a military capability in some form for the purpose of bringing under control a given situation in which poses a threat either to international

  • Terrorist Attack on the U S

    The House rejected an effort to require the withdrawal of the Marines by early 1984, on November 2nd, 1983. And, Senate "Democrats were unable to force a vote on a proposal, introduced on Oct. 26 as SRes253, to replace the Marines with a United Nations, or some other "neutral," force." The primary short-term threat was that Marines had become targets in Lebanon. They were no longer the neutral forces that had

  • U S Reliance of the National Guard During WWII

    U.S. Reliance of the National Guard The National Guard is a private army (militia) of the United States of America. The United States' Constitution has authorized this militia and has also specified the different functions and roles of the National Guard in the federal and state governments. According to the Article 1 of the Section 8 in the United States' Constitution, the Congress has been granted the authority "to call forth

  • U S Intelligence by Seeking an

    In 1953, Congress amended the National Security Act to provide for the appointment of a Deputy Director of the CIA by the President with Senate's advice and consent. Commissioned officers of the armed forces, active or retired, could not occupy the top two positions at the same time (CIA). Intelligence Reform Needed Countless reorganizations of the intelligence community since the end of the Cold War have not produced satisfactory results (Harris

  • U S Government the United States

    This as an important moment in the history of the Cold War because it marked the start of a new series of talks between the Palestinians and the Israeli side. This moment also proved the importance of the State Secretary in relation to the issues of foreign policy and the international community. At this moment, some of the most important cabinets in the executive concern issues such as internal affairs

  • Evolution of the U S Army

    S. Congress and president over the past 50 years to justify inordinately high levels of funding for projects that were not needed or where the money would have been better spent, particularly in terms of flood control along the Mississippi River and in the state of Louisiana where the impact of Hurricane Katrina highlighted their misguided efforts in recent years. Conclusion The research showed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has

  • U S in the Interwar Years A Nation

    U.S. In the Interwar Years: A Nation to Blame The historical issue this paper will address is the role of the United States in the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s. Some claim that the U.S. attempted to exert a positive influence on global affairs during this period, pointing out that Wilson's rhetoric included talk of disarmament and free trade, and that Roosevelt issued similar terms on the world

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved