August 29th is the birthday of the Marine Corps Reserve. The Marine Corps Reserve has been proudly serving and protecting the United States of America for over 100 years.
What is the Marine Corps Reserve?
The Marine Corps Reserve, also known as the Marine Forces Reserve, is an organization that is responsible for providing fully trained units and individuals that can be mobilized in times of war, national emergency, or contingency operations to support and bolster active duty Marine Corps units.
Marine Corps Reserve units train at least one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Most reserve units are not on active duty but can be called up to active duty as required.
History of the Marine Corps Reserve
The U.S. Marine Corps, itself, dates back to 1775. Marines have served with honor and uncommon distinction in all of America’s armed conflicts. As World War I raged in Europe, America began to plan for possible involvement. Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Act on August 29, 1916. This act established the creation of the Marine Corps Reserve. Congress hoped that if the U.S. did enter the war, it would have a fully trained force of Marines ready for action with little advance notice.
The U.S. Marine Corps has the official motto, Semper Fidelis which means Always Faithful. The Marine Corps Reserve also has its own motto, Augment, Reinforce, Support.
Structure of the Marine Corps Reserve
The Marine Corps Reserve is an integral part of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Marine Forces Reserve has two different groups of Marines. The largest group is part of the Selected Marine Corps Reserve. These operate like standard reserve units. These Marines live off base and have regular civilian jobs. They drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Their annual training exercises are often held in places such as Norway, Thailand, South Korea, the Balkans, and Africa.
The second group of reservists belong to the Individual Ready Reserve. This is a group of Marines that have finished their active duty obligations, however their names remain on the record, ready to be called up if needed. This group must attend annual musters to check in with the corps.
There are currently 100,000 Marines in the Marine Reserve Corps. There are 160 Reserve Training Centers in the United States. The Marine Reserve Corps is the single largest command in the entire U.S. Marine Corps.
There are four major subordinate commands of the Marine Corps Reserve:
- 4th Marine Division
- 4th Marine Aircraft Wing
- 4th Marine Logistics Group
- Force Headquarters Group
Members of the Marine Corps Reserve have served in every major American conflict since World War I. Currently, members of the Marine Corps Reserve support American military involvement throughout the Middle East. Their support has been crucial to the success of American actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.