The new year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps Association by forward-thinking officers stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 1913, those oflcers, led by John A. Lejeune, formed an association to advance the professional development of Marines, disseminate ideas and lessons in military art and science, and preserve the customs and traditions of the Corps.
Three years later, the founding Marines decided that one of the vehicles that they needed to meet the objectives of the organization was a professional journal. In 1916, the Marine Corps Gazette was founded and began publication. The first article (on the defense of advanced naval bases) was authored by then-Col John A. Lejeune.
In honor of 100 years of the Marine Corps Association’s service to Marines, the Gazette will republish seminal articles that have appeared in our pages throughout the history of the journal and the association. In this month’s edition, we start our series of “retro” articles with “An Association Was Formed” on page 10. Written by Col R.D. Heinl, Jr., and published in 1963, it covers the history of the lrst 50 years of the Marine Corps Association. Additionally, it is an interesting look into the Old Corps and at legendary Marines. Of course, the next 50 years were just as interesting and productive. In April, the actual month in which the association was founded, we will have another article that will update the history of the association through the present, and highlight the programs of our foundation.
In future editions, look for articles by legendary Marines such as “Brute” Krulak, Alfred Cunningham, and John A. Lejeune. We will also reprint articles that have had a profound effect on the way we think about warfare and how Marines practice its art. What is particularly interesting is to go through the archives of past issues and read across the decades, and we hope to give you a taste of this experience each month this year. What has struck me as I have gone through the archives of the Gazette is how prescient and enduring are many of the ideas of our authors. Due to length, one or two of our archived articles will be in the Gazette’s digital edition, but we will highlight them in the print edition along with instructions on how to access them.
Glued to the cover of this month’s Gazette, you will find a multiple-fold addition to the print magazine. On the inside is a photo of the original members of the association, as well as a timeline of signilcant events in our 100-year history. I should note that one of the most significant events was the establishment of our supporting charitable foundation. Now known as the Marine Corps Association & Foundation, we have remained faithful to the original mission articulated in Cuba in 1913. Our foundation allows us to fund the programs that are specilcally designed to advance the professional development of Marines. Periodically throughout the year, we will print articles that highlight how the foundation is doing in accomplishing the mission. I think you will find it gratifying to see how your dues and donations are spent to support the professional development of
Marines and of commanders in their efforts to advance the professionalism of their Marines.
In 100 years, much has changed in the world, in the Corps, and in the Corps’ professional association. However, our commitment to the principals on which we were founded has not changed. We hope you will enjoy the walk down memory lane this year, as well as the peek into the future.