Being a Marine is the most challenging and rewarding responsibility a person could face. It is a known fact that the Marines have the toughest and most difficulty training course in the world. Men and women from all over the world try their abilities of strength and courage to see what life can throw at them, and what it is to be a true Marine(Conner). The United States Marine mental and moral qualities have been tested throughout history. Through the long history of the Marine Corps there are examples, both in war and in peace, of such qualities as versatility, trustworthiness, singleness and tenacity of purpose, courage, faithfulness, and self-sacrifice (Marines Welcome).
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that “two Battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution, established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid into the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of Captain (later Major) Samuel Nicholas. Nicholas, the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines, remained the senior Marine officer throughout the American Revolution and is considered to be the first Marine Commandant. The Treaty of Paris in April 1783 brought an end to the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines went out of existence.
Following the Revolutionary War and the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on 11 July 1798, Marines saw action in the quasi-war with France, landed in Santo Domingo, and took part in many operations against the Barbary pirates along the “Shores of Tripoli”. Marines participated in numerous naval operations during the War of 1812, as well as participating in the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Maryland, and fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans. The decades following the War of 1812 saw the Marines protecting American interests around the world, in the Caribbean, at the Falkland Islands, Sumatra and off the coast of West Africa, and also close to home in the operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida.
During the Mexican War (1846-1848), Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. A battalion of Marines joined General Scott’s army at Pueblo and fought all the way to the “Halls of Montezuma,” Mexico City. Marines also served ashore and afloat in the Civil War (1861-1865). Although most service was with the Navy, a battalion fought at Bull Run and other units saw action with the blockading squadrons and at Cape Hatteras, New Orleans, Charleston, and Fort Fisher. The last third of the 19th century saw Marines making numerous landings throughout the world, especially in the Orient and in the Caribbean area (History and Museums ).
The Marines continue to serve the nation from all parts of the globe. In tradition, the world famed the Marine Corps has the important role of being the ” force in readiness” to help keep the peace throughout the world (Marine Corps 44) The Marine Corps Recruit Depot is at Parris Island, South Carolina where it all began. It was organized by Brigadier General Wallace M. Greene Jr. The Recruit Training Regiment was organized to control all activities dealing with training the male recruits. Parris Island was not only for the male recruits, but women Marines had a big part on the island also. It became the permanent basic training site for all women marines. (Continental 23) The Regiment consists of the first, Second, Third, and Forth (Women?s) Battalions and weapons battalion. In addition to training the recruits, it has a Drill Instructors School and NCO School. Command of the Head quarters and Service Battalion has all the support units and schools to train. Parris Island not only has the regiments to command, but it has been known for the progress mainly along the military lines. It keeps its pace with advances in the art of training recruits, making one of the most efficient and picturesque military reservations in the world. Parris Island stands proud of its heritage, satisfied with the accomplishments and is ready to face future challenges. (Marine Corps 29)
Now that we know the history of how the Marines began, we can start on the training course part. As soon as the Recruits arrive at Parris Island, The military starts processing each person. Shortly after that the Sergeants go through different issues with the men and women, such as, the clothing issue, rifle issue, the exchange issue, and the initial issue. Each issue plays a very important role in each of the recruits lives. No matter how many exams, obstacle courses, physical training, self endurance and circuit courses each recruit has to lean that pain is weakness leaving the body. It not only teaches each recruit that pain is weakness, but also that values of honor, courage and commitment (Marine Corps 33). The last test of the Marines is known as the ?crucible”. The “crucible” is something that purifies a substance. This test is to see how badly you want to be a marine. It weeds out the weak, the selfish and the self-seeking, lazy, faint of heart, weak in spirit, and those who give up easily. Its those who have the courage to endure hunger, pain, cold, fatigue, and blisters to wear with Honor, the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. These recruits had the commitment to help their comrades finish the crucible. Pride, endurance, and loyalty for comrades is what a Marine is all about (Marine Corps 89). No matter how hard the Marines push a person it takes a strength of character to see what a person can handle in life. Marines may be known for being hard and tough on the recruits, but they also have hearts when disasters strike. For example, when, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods hit the Marines are always there to help rebuild the victims? lives again. They are known to work their hearts? out to ensure the mission is accomplished. The Marines, the nation?s All Force, are being charged with being the most ready when the nation is least ready. This means deploying to the four corners of the globe the preserve the freedom Americans enjoy.
What is it about Marines that make us stop and stare at them? Is it their strength of courage or their great endurance to over come fears? Maybe it could be respect for human life. What ever it is it has a great sense of power over a person (Continental 20). Everyday Marines make decisions, through these decisions they show the quality of their character, to everyone around them. The true test of character comes when the stakes are high, and he chips are down. When your stomach starts to turn, and sweat forms on your brow. That?s when you know your true character as a Marine is exposed. As a marine you will judged as an individual not as a group. It will demand a depth of character and strength to see what kind of values a person has (Williams ). The real test of time is to see those who have the courage to face up to challenges in their lives. In times of great stress and controversy, there is a never ending battle between good and evil. In our society today we see alcohol and drug abuse, lack of human dignity and respect for the law. In many cases young teenager lose sight of there goals and that is why the United States Marine Corps is there to mold and shape then into outstanding man and women in our society. That?s why the Marines teach such values as respect, honor and trust. The question is do recruits have the courage to face up to their fears? Fears our often difficult obstacles to over come. The United States Marine Corps will help recruits over come their fears in any situation. Can The recruits handle the hunger, pain, and suffering for their comrades? How far can the recruits push their minds and bodies just to see what kind of inner and outer strength they posses.
As we approach the millennium, the Marine Corps has continued its tradition of innovation to meet the challenges of a new century. The Marine Corps War fighting Laboratory was created in 1995 to evaluate change, assess the impact of new technologies on war fighting, and expedite the introduction of new capabilities into the operating forces of the Marine Corps. Exercises such as “Hunter Warrior,” and “Urban Warrior” were designed to explore future tactical concepts, and to examine facets of military operations in urban environments (Garry 15).
Today’s Marine Corps stands ready to continue in the proud tradition of those who so valiantly fought and died. Combining a long and proud heritage of faithful service to the nation, with the resolve to face tomorrow’s challenges will continue to keep the Marine Corps the “best of the best.”
Continental Marine Fall 1998 5-23.
Garry, William C, Fortitudine. Dec., 1999:14-16
History and Museums Divison, August 1999.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina Year Book 23 Aug. 1991, through 7 Nov. 1991.
Marines Welcome Aboard Movie, Producer, USMC.
Williams, William J. MSS Personal Interview. 28 Sept. 1999.
Life In the marine Corps