The U.S. Marines: A Branch Like No Other

The United States Marine Corps is more than two centuries old. Founded officially in 1775, They even predate the Declaration of Independence. But over the years, the Marines have become one of the most storied branches of the U.S. Military. Here are just a few of the elements that make the Marines a branch like no other:

Fighting Pirates on Foreign Soil
Due to a lack of need, the Marine Corps briefly disbanded after the American Revolution and then revived in 1798. One of their first assignments was to combat Barbary pirates. The North African corsairs raided and extorted American merchants for years. The 1805 combat took place on what is now Libya and marked the first battle that the United States fought on foreign soil. 

Bar Recruitment
Though the Marine Corps was officially founded by Congress, the unofficial roots actually began in a tavern. As the story goes, Captains Samuel Nicholas and Robert Mullan made the first recruiting measures at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Hard evidence doesn’t exactly support the story, and it’s been said that the location was more likely a pub known as the Conestoga Wagon. One thing is for sure: a few men walked into a bar and walked out Marines. 

Honorary Marines
The title of “honorary Marine” is a rarely bestowed one. Less than 100 have received the title, but the list includes some heavy hitters such as Chuck Norris, Bob Hope, Gary Sinise, and, perhaps most notably, Bugs Bunny. 

A Navy Subsidiary
Yes, the Marine Corps is its own branch of the United States Armed Forces. Yes, the Marine Corps is part of the U.S. Navy. Confused? That’s understandable. The Marines fall under the administration of the Department of the Navy, and Marines often train with and serve alongside Navy sailors. And this isn’t the only branch the Marines have operated under. During World War I, the Marines were under the authority of the U.S. Army.

A Long Fall
While Marines may not always land on their feet, they can endure a fall. Even if the fall is from 47,000 feet. In 1959, Marine Lt. Col. William Henry Rankin was flying over a rather intense storm off the Carolina Coast when his engine gave out. He was just 9 minutes away from the air station. After over 100 missions during World War II and the Korean War, Rankin’s instinct took over and he ejected from his tumbling aircraft. His parachute was set to open at 10,000 feet and he knew opening it prematurely would be deadly, considering the rain, wind, lighting, and hail engulfing him. The parachute opened prematurely and allowed the storm to flip, toss, and turn Rankin for 40 minutes, when he slammed head first into a tree trunk. Miraculously, he found his footing, flagged down a passing car, and was soon treated for his amazingly minor injuries. 


Posted on November 9 2020 in Blog

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