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THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE

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Mission Statement

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, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service that they may effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.[1]

From original Congressional Charter

History

The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe, and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937. The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps. Today, the League boasts a membership of more than 60,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans, qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen and qualified Navy FMF Chaplains and is one of the few Veterans Organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.[2]

Marine Corps Veterans Conference of 1922 (November 10, 1922)
In 1922 Major Sidney W. Brewster, retired, had a vision in which appeared thousands of Marines who had seen service with the Corps, and as they marched before him in a monster parade, he conceived the idea of making his vision a reality. “Once a Marine, always!” was embodied in the thought of “Why not?” and from then until February 1923, the vision became an obsession until others with whom Brewster talked and conferred also became impressed and they, too, echoed “Why not?” From 1919 to 1923 veteran organizations sprang up in all parts of the country and in almost every section enthusiasm for such gatherings became a very vital factor in the community’s life. The Marines were not behind in these matters and clubs, associations, and groups were formed in keeping with the prevalent feeling of comradeship, “buddyism”, and good fellowship. They had served and fought together and how they met to recount the days of 1917, ’18, and ’19 spent in Parris Island, Quantico, France, and Germany.

At length, a gathering convened on November 10, 1922, by Brewster met together at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City to talk over the problem of making contacts and cementing relationships with other Marine Corps veteran organizations which had been formed in various parts of the country. Amongst others, First Lt. Paul Howard, retired; First Lt. James Duffy, retired; Second Lt. Frank D’Ipoli, Albert Ladies, Milton Solomon, Roy Hagan, Frank Lambert, Miss Ray Sawyer, Mrs. Mae Garner, Webster de S. Smith, Merle McAlister, Rev. J. H. Clifford, and others were present. After a lengthy discussion the Major’s vision materialized and at this meeting, he was elected temporary chairman and Miss Sawyer temporary secretary, and Raymond Wills, temporary treasurer.

A committee was then appointed to lay plans for a national organization and the name of Marine Corps Veterans Association adopted. The titles of officers were then changed to Commandant, Adjutant, Paymaster, etc.

The first national commandant, Major Brewster, was elected by acclamation, holding that position until the election of Major General John A. Lejeune at the second annual convention.

The work of the association was a terrific task, but the National Adjutant, Miss Ray Sawyer, worked almost day and night during those early days to obtain a place for the new organization.[3]

The Marine Corps Veterans Association began to organize posts across the country. The first New York Post was organized, unanimously electing Colonel George C. Reid as Commandant of the first New York Post, Monday night, December 11, 1922.[4] Detachments began to organize in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, Houston, and Pittsburg. New York Post and the McLemore Detachment,[5] are the only remaining detachment of the Marine Corps Veterans Association, predating the Marine Corps League and has been in continuous operation since. The list of units is arranged in order of their first publication appeared in the Leatherneck Magazines. There are no organization or charter dates mentioned.

All-Marine Caucus of 1923 (June 3–6, 1923)

The Marine Corps League was organized at the All-Marine Caucus held at the Hotel Pennsylvania, New York City, from June 3–6, 1923. It was the offspring of the Marine Corps Veterans Association headed by Major Sidney W. Brewster, who presided at the caucus.

Marine Corps veterans from many states attended. Brigadier General John A. LeJeune, Commandant of the Marine Corps at the time, was unable to be present but kept informed of the proceedings by telephone. Brigadier General James G. Harbord, U.S. Army, who commanded the Second Division, American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.), which included the Fifth Marine Regiment and Sixth Marine Regiment, addressed the closing session and was made an honorary member. At the end of the caucus, the Marine Corps Veterans Association would change its name after a bitter battle on the floor, to the Marine Corps League.

Major General John A. Lejeune was unanimously elected to the position of National Commandant and Major Brewster became the first Past National Commandant. An amendment to the constitution was also passed at this convention, as follows: “All Past National Commandants shall be members of the Staff for life, with a vote, and shall also be life delegates to the National Assembly with the vote.”[6]

Progression of the Marine Corps League

New York Detachment No. 1, was the first detachment formed, organized during the All-Marine Caucus of 1923, making it the oldest, continuous detachment of the Marine Corps League. After the conclusion of the Caucus, other detachments began to organize. Buffalo, N.Y., was the second and Newark, N.J., the third. Other detachments quickly followed in the East and Middle West. By 1928 the chain was completed to the West Coast. The second National Convention was held in Washington, D.C., the third in Philadelphia, the fourth in Cleveland and the fifth in Erie, Pennsylvania. General LeJeune remaining as National Commandant until that time, 1929, when Maj. Gen. Wendell C. Neville succeeded Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune as Commandant of the Marine Corps on March 5, 1929. General LeJeune then appointed General Neville to be the new National Commandant of the Marine Corps League for the duration of his term until the next National Convention at St. Louis, MO, in 1930. At the St. Louis Convention, W. Karl Lations of Worcester, Massachusetts, was elected the first civilian Commandant of the League.

The League prospered and expanded under the able leadership of Lations, who was National Commandant for four years until 1931 at the Ninth National Convention in Buffalo, N.Y. when Carlton A. Fisher of the Niagara-Frontier Detachment of that city was elected to succeed him.

Fisher carried on for three years in a capable manner despite National Depression which handicapped the League as well as other veteran and fraternal groups at that time. It was during his term of office, early in 1932, that a movement was started in Washington, under the guise of the economy, to abolish the Marine Corps. This was frustrating when New York Detachment No. 1 sprang into action. A newspaper campaign of protest was followed by contact with every senator and congressman in the National Capital by letter and personal visits. Thus the movement was smothered.

John F. Manning of Methuen, Massachusetts succeeded Fisher as National Commandant at the convention in Denver, Colorado in 1934. Manning was a tireless worker and the League prospered under his guidance until he was succeeded by Maurice A. Illch of Albany, at the National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts in 1936. During his administration the “Corrigan Will” contest was settled, which enriched the National Treasury by $10,000 and on August 4, 1937, the League was chartered by Congress.

Florence E. O’Leary of Cincinnati, Ohio, succeeded Illch as National Commandant at the National Convention in Washington, D.C. in 1938. He, too, had a successful administration and was succeeded by Chris J. Cunningham of Albany, N.Y., at the National Convention in Detroit in 1940. With Cunningham at the helm, the League began to really move. During his two years in office and with the able assistance of National Adjutant-Paymaster Steve Brown, the membership more than doubled, the number of detachments was increased to more than 160 and our first National Monthly Bulletin was successfully launched. Cunningham was succeeded by Judge Alexander F. Ormsby of Jersey City, N.J. at the National Convention in Chicago. After the successful Ormsby Administration, Thomas E. Wood was elected National Commandant at the convention held in the New Yorker Hotel in September 1943.[7]

Programs

The Marine Corps League supports various programs to promote and honor the spirit and traditions of the Marines:

Injured Marines

Youth programs

  • Young Marines: A youth program emphasizing the core values of the Marine Corps.
  • U.S. Marines Youth Physical Fitness Program: For elementary and high school students.
  • Boy Scouts of America: One of the largest youth organizations in the United States.
  • Scholarship program: Provides academic scholarships to children of Marines and former Marines.
  • Toys for Tots: A program of the U.S. Marine Reserve.

Veterans benefits

  • Legislative program: Participates in national and state issues which impact the military and veterans programs.
  • Veterans Service Officer Program: Assist with claims resulting from active duty service.
  • Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service Program: Volunteer assistance in VA hospitals and clinics.

Miscellaneous

  • Military Order of the Devil Dogs: Fun and honor society of the MCL.
  • Toys For Tots – The Marine Corps League started and runs the Toys for Tots program.

Publication

Initially, the official bulletin of the League was the Leatherneck Magazine, which carried League news in every issue.[8] The circulation of the Leatherneck Magazine at the time was over 5,200. Through the Leatherneck Magazine and the recruiting service of the U.S. Marine Corps, the information of the League’s activities was disseminated and through these mediums the Major General Commandant’s hope of building the Marine Corps Reserve to an appreciable size.

Eventually, the League would produce its own official publication, known as the Semper Fi Magazine, but every now and then, the League is allowed to contribute articles to the Leatherneck Magazine. The Semper Fi Magazine is published on a quarterly basis.

Organization

The Marine Corps League is headed by an elected National Commandant, with 14 elected National Staff Officers who serve as trustees. The National Board of Trustees coordinates the efforts of 48 departments, or state, entities and the activities of over 1,000 community-based detachments located throughout the United States and overseas. The day-to-day operations of the League are under the control of the National Executive Director with the responsibility for the management and direction of all programs, activities, and affairs of the Marine Corps League as well as supervising the National Headquarters staff.

National

The prime authority of the League is derived from its Congressional charter and from its annual National Convention held each August in different major U.S. cities throughout the nation. It is a not-for-profit organization within the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(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.

Divisions

To obtain more effective administrative functioning, the United States is divided into geographical units called Divisions. The function of Divisions is administrative only. The duties and authority of the National Vice Commandants of Divisions are covered in the National Bylaws.[9] The Divisions of the Marine Corps League are:

  • (1) Central Division – Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky
  • (2) Mideast Division – Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom
  • (3) Midwest Division – Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
  • (4) New England Division – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island
  • (5) Northeast Division – New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
  • (6) Northwest Division – Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho
  • (7) Rocky Mountain Division – Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming
  • (8) Southeast Division – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee
  • (9) Southern Division – Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas
  • (10) Southwest Division – Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, Okinawa

Departments

A State in which there are three or more Detachments with a combined membership of sixty (60) or more members may be chartered as a Department by the National Board of Trustees upon receiving a written request from such Detachments via the jurisdictional National Division Vice Commandant.[10]

Area

The function of an Area is administrative only and is formed at the discretion of the Department. The Area Vice Commandant will be responsible for the Area.

Detachments

The Detachment is the basic unit of the League and usually represents a small geographic area such as a single town or part of a county. There are over 1000 community-based Detachments located throughout the United States and overseas, supporting veterans and their families while being active and involved in the local community. The Detachment is used for formal business such as meetings and a coordination point for community service projects. A Detachment member is distinguished by a Red garrison cap with gold piping.

*PLEASE, NOTE*

This was mostly copied and paste from wikipedia.com because it is a solid and concise history that I  could not have compiled better.  All links will take you to Wikipedia, where you may research till your heart’s content.~ A. ‘Yobi’ Blumberg

References

  1. ^ “About the Marine Corps League – Mission Statement”Marine Corps League. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  2. ^ “About the Marine Corps League – History”Marine Corps League.
  3. ^ Clifford, John (July 1929). “The Marine Corps League”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation. 12 (7): 22, 23 – via The Leatherneck Magazine.
  4. ^ “Ex-Marines Are Rapidly Organizing”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation. 5 (62): 5. December 23, 1922 [1922]. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ “Marine Veteran Chapter Named After Col. M’Lemore”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation (published May 12, 1923). 6 (19): 1, 2. May 1923 [1923] – via The Leatherneck Magazine. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ “Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book”. Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book. New York City: Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League: 40. November 1943 [1943] – via Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book.
  7. ^ “Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book”. Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book. New York City: Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League: 40. November 1943 [1943] – via Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book.
  8. ^ “Marine Corps League News”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation (published May 31, 1924). 7 (23): 5. May 1924 [1924] – via The Leatherneck Magazine. (Subscription required (help)).
  9. ^ “Chapter 4 – Divisions”. Marine Corps League National Bylaws & Administrative Procedures(PDF) (1987 ed.). Marine Corps League. 2017 [1987]. p. AP 4-1.
  10. ^ “Chapter 5 – Departments”. Marine Corps League National Bylaws & Administrative Procedures(PDF) (1987 ed.). Marine Corps League. 2017 [1987]. p. AP 5-1.

References

  1. ^ “About the Marine Corps League – Mission Statement”Marine Corps League. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  2. ^ “About the Marine Corps League – History”Marine Corps League.
  3. ^ Clifford, John (July 1929). “The Marine Corps League”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation. 12 (7): 22, 23 – via The Leatherneck Magazine.
  4. ^ “Ex-Marines Are Rapidly Organizing”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation. 5 (62): 5. December 23, 1922 [1922]. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ “Marine Veteran Chapter Named After Col. M’Lemore”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation (published May 12, 1923). 6 (19): 1, 2. May 1923 [1923] – via The Leatherneck Magazine. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ “Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book”. Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book. New York City: Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League: 40. November 1943 [1943] – via Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book.
  7. ^ “Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book”. Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book. New York City: Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League: 40. November 1943 [1943] – via Greater New York Detachment Marine Corps League 168th Anniversary United States Marine Corps 1775-1943 Program Book.
  8. ^ “Marine Corps League News”The Leatherneck Magazine. Marine Corps Association & Foundation (published May 31, 1924). 7 (23): 5. May 1924 [1924] – via The Leatherneck Magazine. (Subscription required (help)).
  9. ^ “Chapter 4 – Divisions”. Marine Corps League National Bylaws & Administrative Procedures (PDF) (1987 ed.). Marine Corps League. 2017 [1987]. p. AP 4-1.
  10. ^ “Chapter 5 – Departments”. Marine Corps League National Bylaws & Administrative Procedures (PDF) (1987 ed.). Marine Corps League. 2017 [1987]. p. AP 5-1.

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