As the U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 245th Anniversary this month (November 10, 2020), it’s interesting to note that ocean current energy has been part of its long-term installations energy strategy to “unleash us from the tether of fuel,” according to then-Lieutenant General James Mattis.
The Marine Corps installations plan (read it here) entails utilizing renewable energy and alternative fuels like ocean current energy to produce cost savings, support energy security by diversifying supply and improving the reliability and resiliency of utility distribution systems, and power critical infrastructure.
The strategy outlines how the Marine Corps will support federal Department of Defense and Department of Navy goals by evaluating potential renewable energy sources such as biofuels, biomass, geothermal, solar, wind, and ocean to provide reliable power supplies and fuel diversification, which enhance energy security for individual facilities, supplement power for peak-use periods, lower risk of fuel spills in environmentally sensitive locations, and increase price stability in an uncertain energy economy.
Achieving these goals has been expected to require significant capital investment, necessitating a deliberate portfolio-based approach that identifies the best locations for renewable generation, and public and private financing options.
In addition, the Marine Corps will support the use of energy storage and alternative fuels in non-tactical vehicles (NTVs) as these technologies mature and become more financially viable.
Meanwhile, Marine Corps Celebrates 245th Birthday
The Marine Corps founding anniversary itself was formally recognized in 1921 at the behest of Major General John Lejeune, who ordered November 10, 1775 to be officially recognized service-wide as the Marine Corps “birthday.”
The origins go back to the Revolutionary War in October of 1775. At that time, the Continental Congress developed an official plan to use Marines to oversee a mission to intercept ammunition shipments from Britain.
This, and a November resolution to create an official standing Marine Corps force, were key in building what eventually became the modern U.S. Marine Corps. Thus November 10, 1775 becamse the day the Continental Marines were created and also serves as the official Marine Corps birthday.
Interestingly, the motivation for that 1775 resolution (a plan to attack Nova Scotia in order to annex it) never happened. While the Marines remained . . . they did experience a few interludes.
According to the U.S. Marine Corps official site, “Throughout the American Revolution, the Marines served with distinction aboard the Continental vessels, but with the ending of that conflict, the entire Naval Service was so neglected through lack of appropriations and necessary legislation that by 1785 it actually ceased to exist.”
That would be the case until 1794 when Congress issued the first legislation since the Revolutionary War addressing the need for a Navy and Marine Corps.
Establishment of the Marine Corps As A Separate Branch Of Military Service
In the late 1700s, piracy had forced the United States to take another look at using naval warfare to project the military power of the United States.
At this time, the Marines still operated under the U.S. Navy, which itself operated under the Secretary of War. Legislation to make the U.S. Navy its own department came in 1798, with more legislation to establish the U.S. Marines as its own branch of service enacted later that same year.
Although the Marine Corps Birthday is not a federal holiday, it is observed as an “internal” holiday by the various branches of the military, with local government and civic organizations holding events to celebrate the men and women who service as United States Marines.
Formal dinners and “Birthday Ball Pageants” in Washington D.C. and on military installations worldwide are part of the recognition of Marine Corps Day.