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The Marine Corps and Why It’s Vital to Know Military History

The Marine Corps involves highly trained professionals who serve on the front lines of conflicts and keep the United States safe from foreign and domestic enemies. Since its inception in 1775, the Marine Corps has participated in every war involving the United States and has been responsible for more than 300 landings on foreign shores, according to Britannica.  

Britannica also notes that the Marine Corps is within the Department of the Navy. It specializes in amphibious landings, conducts land and air operations, and provides detachments for service onboard Naval vessels.  

The Marines are also involved in the maintenance of physical security for embassies and consulates. According to the U.S. Department of State, Marine Corps security guards have provided protection for staff, property, and sensitive information at embassies and consulates around the globe for the past six decades.  

In addition, the Marines participate in humanitarian and reconnaissance operations. For example, in December 2022, Marines from Camp Lejeune in the 2nd Marine Division engaged in “Continuing Promise 2022,” according to the Marine Corps website. They provided humanitarian support in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. 

[Related Article: In Reshaping the Force, Marines Let Officers Skip Promotion Boards]

History of the Marine Corps 

According to, the Marine Corps was initially established in 1775 to support naval forces in the Revolutionary War. Its headquarters was in Philadelphia, now considered the birthplace of the Marine Corps.  

Marine Corp
Cape Coral, Florida, USA – February 2, 2014: Iraq War Monument Memorial Plaque of the United States Marine Corps at the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve in Cape Coral.

However, the Marine Corps was abolished at the end of the Revolutionary War for economic reasons. also notes Congress recreated the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, under the Secretary of the Navy, which is where it is located today.  

The Marines have always played an essential role in defending our nation. Marine Corps University states that Marines were part of the naval operations in the War of 1812. Their work included defending George Washington at Bladensburg, Maryland, and fighting alongside Andrew Jackson to defeat the British in New Orleans.  

In the Mexican War of 1846-1848, Marines seized enemy seaports along the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific coasts, according to Marine Corps University. To this day, the Marines play an active role in global conflicts. 

Today’s Marines

Currently, there are around 177,000 actively serving Marines, according to ABC7. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Marine Corps meets the complexity of the modern-day battlefields by being a highly trained force. Over time, the Marine Corps has changed from an industrial-age model to an information-age model that focuses on: 

  1. Creating training that involves critical thinking and decision-making
  2. Strengthening practical judgement under pressure
  3. Expanding of the use of wargaming and force-on-force training
  4. Using live-virtual constructive training
  5. Incorporating the use of more naval training and education

Knowing Military History Is Essential to Understanding the Nature of War  

The Marine Corps is an important part of our nation’s armed forces, so it is essential to know its history and the history of other service branches. For students who are interested in military history, military theory and concepts, military trends, and other related topics, the University offers an online master’s degree in military studies.  

Jarrod Sadulski

Dr. Sadulski is an Associate Professor within our School of Security and Global Studies. He has over two decades in the field of criminal justice. His expertise includes training on countering human trafficking, maritime security, effective stress management in policing and narcotics trafficking trends in Latin America. Jarrod frequently conducts in-country research and consultant work in Central and South America on human trafficking and current trends in narcotics trafficking. He also has a background in business development. Jarrod can be reached through his website at for more information.

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