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A Short History of the United States Marine Corps Dress Uniform

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A Short History of the United States Marine Corps Dress Uniform

Post  Cathode on Sat Apr 10 2010, 07:30

The Mameluke Sword

In 1805, the United States government refused to continue paying Barbary Coast pirates to refrain from raiding American merchant ships.

When negotiations for a treaty failed, President Thomas Jefferson assembled an expeditionary force of Marines to respond.

Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon and his Marines marched across 600 miles of the Libyan Desert to successfully storm the fortified Tripolitan city of Derna and rescue the kidnapped crew of the USS Philadelphia.

The Marines’ victory helped Prince Hamet Bey reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli. In gratitude, he presented his Mameluke sword to Lt O’Bannon.

This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825, and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by United States forces today.

The Battle of Derna was the Marines' first battle on foreign soil, and is notably recalled in the first verse of the Marines’ Hymn: "From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea."

The Blood Stripe

The Mexican-American War played a critical role in defining the border between the two nations that remains in place today.

In 1847, knowing that the capture of the Palacio Nacional would greatly disarm the Mexican army, the Marines stormed the enemy fortress during the Battle of Chapultepec.

After two days of battle, the Marines gained control of the castle, better known as the “Halls of Montezuma.”

The Marines were then given the honor of raising the Stars and Stripes over the palace to mark their victory. Upon returning home, the same Marines presented their flag to the commandant.

The victory at the “Halls of Montezuma” remains a part of Marine Corps tradition, immortalized in the opening line of the famed Marines’ Hymn.

It's from this war and battle that the Marine Corps get our "Blood Stripe"

Marine Corps Dress Blues

Every detail of the dress blues uniform reflects the proud legacy of Marines who have served for more than two centuries:

The buttons featuring the eagle and anchor have been on the uniform since 1804, making them the oldest military insignia in continued use.

The "blood stripe" runs down each trouser leg of the dress blues worn by noncommissioned officers, staff noncommissioned officers and officers. The solid red stripe became part of the uniform in 1849. Today, it serves to honor the memory of fallen comrades.

The collar of today’s dress blues reflects the original Marine uniform of the American Revolution, which had a high leather neck to help protect Marines from sword blows.

Because it embodies Marine Corps history, rigorous standards apply to wearing this uniform and every Marine upholds those standards with pride.

A little from Cathode

I only wrote the italicized words, the rest is taken from the USMC website. I know Napoleon Total War doesn't depict any of these wars or battles, but they should. If you read more on the First Barbary War from 1801 to 1805 you will find that it was very influential over shipping in the Mediterranean. Americans and North Africans were not the only combatants in this war. Italians, Swedes, Greeks, and Arabs all took a part in the First Barbary War. Even in our birth America took a small role in this era of global warfare.

And none of those Marines are me. Razz

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Re: A Short History of the United States Marine Corps Dress Uniform

Post  GrenadierRus on Sat Apr 10 2010, 09:35

I didnt know about the sword. Cool!
btw, there is also an interesting story about USS Philadelphia...

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