By KELSEY DRISCOLL
On November 10, 1775, Philadelphia native Captain Samuel Nicholas formed the first two battalions of the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War after realizing the need for a group able to battle both on water and on land. That institution has transformed and evolved into the few, the proud: the modern day United States Marine Corps.
Monday marked 239 years since the creation of the Marine Corps, and it has grown from Captain Nicholas' initial two battalions to roughly 194,000 active members and 40,000 reserve Marines, though it remains the smallest branch of the United States Armed Forces within the Department of Defense.
The official title of United States Marine Corps was incorporated in 1798. The Continental Marines, as well as the Continental Navy, were temporarily disbanded at the completion of the American Revolution. The Marines in particular were reinstated in preparation for the Quasi-War, which was fought against Spain and the French Republic, and mostly at sea.
Since its creation, the Marine Corps has earned recognition by serving in the majority of American wars. Their well-known motto, "Semper Fidelis," often shortened to "Semper Fi," appropriately translates to "Always Faithful." Marines are capable of fighting via land, air and sea, and every member of the Marines receives additional training as a rifleman. The Marine Corps works closely with the United States Navy, as these two services make up the United States Department of the Navy.
Click through the slideshow above to see a brief history of the Marine Corps in photos, and as we commemorate this anniversary as well as Veterans Day, make sure to thank an active soldier or veteran in your life.
Editor's Note: The translation of "Semper Fidelis" has been corrected from "Always Loyal" to "Always Faithful."
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