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Marine Corps Reserve Birthday

The Marine Forces Reserve (also known as the United States Marine Corps Reserve or the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve) was created in 1916, in conjunction with the creation of the Navy Reserve. Since then, the evolution of this force would expand from just thirty-five to today’s roughly 40,000 Marine Corps Reservists. The Marine Corps Reserve Birthday is observed every year on the 29th of August.

Marine Corps Reserve birthday will be celebrated on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

The Mission Of The Marine Corps Reserve

The Marine Forces Reserve is tasked with the mission of augmenting and reinforcing active duty Marine forces during a war or open hostilities, national emergencies, and contingency operations. The Marine Corps Reserve also relieves active duty forces in peacetime missions and offers service to the community.

A Brief History of the Marine Corps Reserve

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson’s signature on the Naval Appropriations Act brought the concept of a Navy and Marine Corps Reserve force to life. When the United States joined World War One, the Marine Reserve forces totaled three officers and 32 enlisted Marines, but by the time the war ended that number expanded to over 6,000 total Reservists.

The Naval Reserve Act of 1925 brought change and more organization to the Marine Corps Reserve, but during a period of downsizing. By 1930 there was talk about saving money by merging the United States Marine Corps with the U.S. Army. That’s an idea that didn’t come to pass; after some public outcry by elected officials in favor of a standalone Marine Corps, the idea was abandoned.

Some ten years later, the House Naval Affairs Committee approved an increase in Drill Status Reserves to 485 officers and 6,500 enlisted Marines, plus a standby reserve of more than 2,000 officers and 1,600 enlisted.

This act seemed to solidify the future of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, and in 1938 a replacement Naval Reserve Act was passed, creating the basis for the Marine Reserve force we have today.

The Marine Corps began to expand its’ horizons during World War Two, with the creation of The Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, which was authorized by Congress in July 1942. Other branches of the military had started accepting women for service, and the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve swore in its first director, Maj. Ruth Cheney Streeter, in 1943. The first 71 female officer candidates arrived at the U.S. Midshipmen School soon after, with over 700 enlisted women entering Marine Corps boot camp.

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