Though the United States Marine Corps has been in existence since November 10, 1775, it was not until 1923 that Marines discharged from active service banded together to preserve among themselves the associations and comradeship they had known while serving actively with the Corps. Increased membership and gradually crystallized objectives resulted in nationwide recognition. In 1937 by Act of Congress, signed by the President of the United States, on August 4th, the Marine Corps League became a nationally recognized veterans’ organization. As a U.S. Marine you can become a member of that organization, and have the right to enjoy the association and mutual aid of your former comrades in arms, in our League that is the natural outgrowth of a proud fighting fraternity. In the years to come, let us trust that our zeal in the work of the League for the accomplishment of its purposes, and your personal conduct in our community, will increase the luster of an already great organization.
It will always remain our purpose to band together by new ties of comradeship all those who now bear, or have borne arms, in the Marine Corps, during their active military support of our beloved Country, to the end that the proud and fine traditions of the Corps may be upheld and preserved for those Marines who are to follow after us: to hold before the eyes of our countrymen the memory and sacrifice of those of our fellows who gave the last full measure of devotion; to make that sacrifice, if the need requires, as did those of our fellow Marines, who laid their lives on the Altar of their Country, to the end that this Nation may continue as the beacon light of justice and freedom for self-governing men, among the peoples of the world.
Though devoted to high ideals and purposes, the League does not neglect the current needs of its members and their families. Mutual consideration and assistance are essential requirements. Recently discharged Marines must be assisted in making adjustments upon their return to civil life, and given encouragement to serve their community and their Country as faithfully as they did while under arms. As they were the choices of the choice in their service to their Country, so should they be the most respected leaders in their community. The widows and children of deceased Marines must be protected and counseled, nor may they be allowed to suffer for want of the necessities of life. Had it been your lot to die in the field of battle, in full knowledge that your death was for your Country, could you have had a more comforting thought than that the comrades who survived you would comfort, aid, and protect those dear to you?
Ponder well then these things which become your duties as a member of the League. Such obligations should not be lightly assumed, for once accepted no honorable person can ever forget, or neglect them.
The Marine Corps League
The Marine Corps League was founded by Major General Commandant, John A. Lejeune, in 1923 and chartered by an Act of Congress on August 4, 1937. Its membership of 60,000 is comprised of honorably discharged, active duty and Reserve Marines with 90 days of service or more, and retired Marines. It includes officer, enlisted, male and female members.
The Marine Corps League is headed by an elected National Commandant, with 14 elected national staff officers who serve as trustees. Day to day operations are under the control of an executive director who supervises the day-to-day performance of the national headquarters staff, located at 8626 Lee Highway in Fairfax, Virginia.
The prime authority of the League is derived from its charter and from its annual national convention held in August in different major U. S. cities throughout the nation. The National Commandant has operational control over the National Headquarters staff and the National Board of Trustees, who in turn coordinate the efforts of 47 department, or State entities, and the activities of over 812 community-based detachments located throughout the United States and overseas.
The League is classified as a veterans / military service organization and was formed for the purposes of promoting the interests of the U. S. Marine Corps; to provide camaraderie and assistance to Marines, as well as to their widows and orphans; and to preserve the traditions of the U. S. Marine Corps. It is a not for profit organization within the provisions of Internal Revenue Service Code 50l (c) (4), with a special group exemption letter which allows for contributions to the Marine Corps League, its Auxiliary and subsidiary units, to be tax deductible by the donor.
League members participate in:
- The Veterans Administration Voluntary Service Program, an assistance program for hospitalized veterans
- A national Service Program, which provides assistance to veterans in a wide area of matters relating to their military service
The League also:
- Awards scholarships
- Sponsors a National Youth Physical Fitness Program
- Provides membership incentives
- Participates in patriotic functions and provides representation to the U. S. Congress in legislative matters affecting the U. S. Marine Corps, national security and veterans benefits through its National Legislative Committee and its National Legislative Officer
- Participates in Toys for Tots and other community based programs
Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps. This is accomplished by banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service; voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans, and by perpetuating the history of the United States Marine Corps through fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.