Marine One

Memorable Moments In U.S. Marine History

November 10 marked the 240th birthday of the U.S. Marines. To pay tribute to this milestone, we’ve highlighted some of the Marines’ finest achievements.

First Amphibious Landing

The Continental Marines achieved their first amphibious landing at the Battle of Nassau in 1776. The Revolutionary War was in full swing, and the American forces had received intelligence suggesting that British forces had stockpiled gunpowder in the Bahamian city of Nassau. The Marines successfully raided the city, recovering 38 casks of gunpowder in the process.

Shores Of Tripoli

As the Marines’ first battle abroad, the Battle of Derna holds a special place in their illustrious history. The conflict started in 1805 after the U.S. government decided to stop paying “tribute” money to Barbary Coast pirates, which protected American merchant ships from raids. Led by Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, the Marines rescued the crew of the USS Philadelphia, who had been kidnapped, and helped Tripoli’s Prince Hamet Bey reclaim his throne.

The Battle Of Chapultepec

In September 1847, during the Mexican-American War, the Marines conquered Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. This battle is especially significant for establishing the tradition of the “blood stripe”—the red stripe that appears on the side of Marines’ trousers. The Marines suffered an unusually high number of casualties during the battle, and the blood stripe commemorates fallen soldiers. The first line of the Marines’ Hymn, “From the halls of Montezuma,” also pays tribute to this battle.

Montford Point Marines

On June 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 8802, which allowed racial minorities to join the Armed Forces. Before this the Marines were all-white, but by October of 1942, hundreds of African-American recruits had begun training at Montford Point, many of whom went on to serve in the Second World War. Racially integrated Marines training did not begin until 1949, at which time Montford Point was closed. In 2012, Congress honored over 400 Montford Point Marines with Congressional Gold Medals.

Inchon Landing

Army General Douglas MacArthur was the mastermind behind this surprise attack that took advantage of the Marines’ amphibious capabilities. In a bid to aid South Korea to reclaim their capital, Seoul, from North Korea, the landing unfolded on September 15, 1950, at the Inchon port. In two short weeks, the Marines reclaimed Seoul and chased out the North Korean forces. Historically, this bold mission is regarded as one of the most important amphibious assaults.

Female Engagement Team

The Marines established the Female Engagement Team (FET) in 2009 to reach out to women and children and gather intelligence in combat zones. FETs were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the last group being disbanded in Afghanistan in 2012 after local troops took over. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, however, recently established its own FET, opening the door to future deployments.

Marine One

Marine One is the official call sign given to a Marine Corps helicopter transporting the President of the United States. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to be transported via helicopter by the Marines—on a Bell UH-13J Sioux in 1957. Today the Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N WhiteHawk serve as Marine Ones.

While GEICO hasn’t been around since 1775, we’ve been proudly supporting service members since 1936. Whether you’re Active Duty or Retired, GEICO’s Military Team can help you find the right insurance for your needs.

By Greg Dalgetty

Next article: Desert Storm 25th Anniversary: A Veteran’s Thoughts

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    Leave a comment

  1. Konstance Bruner-Brooks says,

    Thank you for honoring our Marines through Memorable moments. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane of our historical achievements.

  2. Richard Martinez says,

    I am a Marine Corps Veteran and a Geico Insurance Member. I served in Vietnam from Aug. 1965 thru Sept. 1966. In Memory of our US 58,479 lost (1959-1975), I Salute Geico for their recognition of the unwavering commitment of our proud men and women in uniform ! Oorah

  3. Damion Jones says,

    All marines definatley appreciate the acknowledgment of it’s history…i am a marine vet fromt 2003 to 2007….best times of my life made me who i am today….thank u geico current member of geico also now for about 6 years

    Lt. Jones force recon

  4. Chuck Gray says,

    Never get tired of hearing of the conquest of my Marine Corp! Happy Birthday to the world’s greatest fighting men! Semper Fi

  5. Rance Pullin says,

    Thank you for acknowledging the MARINES! People need to know of all the great things the Marines have done for our great country as well as all of the other branches of the military. We enjoy our freedoms due to the many sacrifices of those serving un our military. I am proud to have served in the MARINES! My heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all who have served. and are serving today. Thank you GEICO for the acknowledgement. Once a Marine always a MARINE! Semper Fi! Rance

  6. Doc Bensonowski says,

    Forget what was left out, Geico did something nice! Semper Fi!! Once a Marine – Always a Marine!! Doc, and Yes I am a Geico customer, great service and rates, always. Doc

  7. Lynn Huff says,

    Liked your write up on the Marines, since I am one (1967-1971). However I think you left out a very important incident in Corps history. That being the “flag raising on Iwo Jima”. It is important enough to commemorated with a sculpture in DC and is also tauight every recruit during “boot training”.

  8. Michael Nashleanss says,

    Tripol
    My reading (book Six Frigates) says there were only 12 Marines in this battle.

    What say you?

  9. Frank Scialdone Jr Maj. USM C (Ret) says,

    You left out the major battle being taught at all service schools West Point etc. Probably, the biggest battle since WW Two. The Marines fought thousand of Chinese troops and fought gallantly although weather ( 40 degrees below) and greatly outnumbered.

  10. anthony says,

    I was a Marine in Korea .(1953) came home safely.
    My brother was a Marine helicopter pilot in Viet Nam(1969), but never came home.
    We are a USMC family and love when the public is told of our accomplishments and the cost of our efforts.
    A very pleased customer of Geico,

    Semper Fi,
    , Sgt. Tony USMC

  11. ROBERT DIAZ says,

    As a former US Marine Corps Veteran I would like to thank GEICO for acknowledging the existence of the United States Marine Corps. You have certainly proved your faithfulness to our small family of brothers and sisters. Thank you for making the Marines more noticeable by your printing of some of our historical moments. Semper Fidelas… means Always Faithful

    CPL Robert Diaz USMC Vet

  12. Frederick DellaCamera says,

    Thank you for sending out a webpage that shows everybody and reminds everybody of the great country we live in. Thank you, Sgt.FrederickDellacamera. USMC VET

  13. Joseph Burden says,

    As an African American and both, a member of GEICO Insurance and a Marine Corps Veteran, I truly appreciate that piece of Marine Corps History, displayed by your organization. Thank you and “Semper-FI”.

    Joseph O. Burden