MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Oct. 14, 2011) --
The Navy and Marine Corps were born together as a team, each seeing to the other’s needs. The Navy is the senior service by 27 days when it was created by an act of the Continental Congress on Oct. 13, 1775. Congress knew that within the Navy a force would be necessary to prevent mutinies, provide ship security and provide infantry for shore landings. On Nov. 10, 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was born to perform these functions, creating a teamwork-based war-fighting machine that still exists today.
More Navy support functions were created to provide non-combat support for both services. The Navy Chaplain Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on Nov. 28, 1775, to perform religious ceremonies aboard ships for both Marines and Sailors. More than 100 years later, the Navy Hospital Corps was formed on June 17, 1898, in preparation for the Spanish-American War and has provided for the Department of the Navy’s medical needs ever since.
The Corps’ early mission was simply to be the Navy’s fighting force. Early Marines would fight against enemy boarding parties, man the ships’ artillery and provide ground troops when needed. The Marine Corps provided security detachments for this role until 1998. The Marine Corps continues to provide Navy strategic assets, including all nuclear installations, with highly trained security personnel.
When the Marine Corps’ amphibious role was envisioned during the 1920s and 1930s, it was reorganized to accomplish amphibious operations as its primary mission. During World War II, Marines executed this amphibious role, enabling the Navy-Marine Corps team to establish a forward presence anywhere in the world. This continues to be the Corps’ primary mission.
Marine and Naval Aviation have been closely entwined since their births. Marine 1st. Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham was Naval Aviator No. 5. Marine squadrons continue to operate from both amphibious ships and the Navy’s mighty fleet carriers, proving to be a powerful force to be reckoned with when necessary.
“I think the Navy-Marine Corps team is the most powerful, efficient force that the military has,” said Sgt. Maj. Mario P. Fields, the sergeant major for Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, who served as a first sergeant aboard the 26 Marine Expeditionary Unit. “The capabilities we can bring to any area of operations are limitless. After experiencing all the accomplishments of 26th MEU, I’m always proud to see what the Navy-Marine Corps team can do.”
Fields said the 26th MEU succeeded in a wide variety of missions including humanitarian assistance, training of foreign security forces and combat actions.
“We are a very versatile team and are found virtually everywhere on air, land and sea,” said U.S. Navy Command Master Chief Glenn A. Baxter, the command master chief of the Naval Health Clinic.” It’s a relationship that we’ve endeared for a long time and we look forward to serving together in the future.”