- Customer Care
The First 100 Years
This year the Marine Corps Association celebrates a centennial of serving the proud men and women who bear the Corps emblem.
Iconic Marine then-LtCol John A. Lejeune and the officers of the 2d Provisional Marine Brigade founded the association on 25 April 1913 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They developed a mission statement, membership drive and executive committee in hope of establishing a professional organization that would continuously strengthen the future of the Corps.
A constitution was developed in 1915 and the first official board meeting took place on 17 Jan 1916, in the Office of the Commandant. Just two months later, the Marine Corps Gazette debut issue was published. It was a quarterly publication until 1943 and the editorial offices moved across multiple Eastern states before settling at Marine Corps Base Quantico in 1946.
In the early days, the association was a government entity and the Commandant of the Marine Corps served as President of the Association. But in the early 1970s the Secretary of Defense issued an order stating active duty Marines could no longer be assigned to work at the association. The MCA transitioned to a private organization run by civilians and former military members.
The Leatherneck Association, publisher of Leatherneck magazine, also faced a similar challenge transitioning to a civilian-run company and the two associations merged in 1976. Similar to the Gazette, Leatherneck magazine has provided a historic account of the Marine Corps story. It was first published in 1917.
In 1985, work began to construct a permanent headquarters for the Marine Corps Association at Quantico. The building was complete in 1986 and named after former MCA President BGen George L. Bartlett.
After much renovation, the Marine Corps Association opened its flagship store The MARINE Shop in 2008 just a block from the MCA headquarters. The sister location at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune had opened in 1999.
In 2009, a restructure of the organization was underway with the establishment of the Marine Corps Association Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit support arm of the association and allows tax-deductible donations. We are now known as the Marine Corps Association & Foundation and are able to put even more contribution dollars at work to directly impact Marines.
Such a program is the MCA&F Marine Excellence Awards. Each year MCA&F recognizes more than 8,500 deserving Marines with nearly 11,000 awards and provides about 97 percent of all awards distributed in the Corps outside the USMC awards system.
Through the Commanders’ Forum program, we aim to professionally develop today’s active duty Marines by hosting, military battle education trips, dinners and book signings.
MCA&F also donates professional military education books through the Commanders’ Unit Library program to Marines throughout the far corners of the globe. Developing a “3,000 year-old mind” through knowledge and reading is essential for Marines to be the force-in-readiness.
We exist to serve Marines of all ranks and in every corner of the world. We have striven 100 years to fulfill Lejeune’s mission of advancing leadership and rewarding excellence.
The Marine Corps Association & Foundation proudly upholds its service to esprit de Corps and is ready for the next 100 years of marching alongside Marines.
Watch the video below to learn more about MCA&F’s mission and history.
I want to relay my many thanks to everyone at Marine Corps Association and Military Historical Tours for providing me the opportunity to experience such a wonderful trip to Russia. Had I not won this trip through MCA I may have never taken advantage of such fantastic travels. The group, the Russian Tour guide (Oleg Alexandrov) and Charlie Dunn were wonderful companions during the trip. It will be a memory I will cherish all of my remaing days on this earth.
Again, Many thanks and Semper Fidelis!
1stSgt Bradshaw, USMC (Ret.)
I'm so pleased to see all the great merchandise you are stocking and the awesome promotions. Your store was dissappointing a few years ago and I shopped only at Sgt Grit.
Now, I can find what I am looking for with you guys.
I received the shipment of plaques, books and certificates today for
mail call. It was more exciting to me than candy or magazines! Thank
you very much.
1stSgt Thomas M. Burkhard
Thank you so much for taking the extra time and making the extra effort
to ship another hat to me for my husband last week. The second hat
arrived last Thursday... and he was tickled with it. Although it may be
"only a hat" it is a very special hat in many ways. He will always be a
proud Marine dad, and your kindness is very much appreciated.
I received them this morning. Thank you so much for your help! you guys are awesome and you will have my business for any uniform or military need in the future as well as a hearty recommendation via word of mouth to anyone who wonders where they should purchase uniforms from!
I received my blouse last Friday and want to thank you for your efforts
in getting things done. Also, please thank the tailors involved in
making everything right and please give my sincere thanks to those who
made the decision to make the necessary corrections at no charge to me.
That in itself says a lot about your organization. The blouse fits
like a glove and actually looks and feels like new.
Thank you and all the staff who had a hand in correcting a problem and making an old man happy. Semper Fi
Charles W. (Chuck) Harpe
I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone at the association for sponsoring the Ground Awards Dinner on 3 June at the Crystal City Marriott. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were tremendously pleased with the hospitality shown to us and the great accommodations. As well, I wanted to thank the association for the DVD of the event that was mailed to me. It is something that I will keep and treasure for the rest of my days. Again, thanks for everything.
Capt Chris Conner
Colonel Ford, I have to pass this on because I'm in shock that I was able to Connect (on the first Ring), Chat and concluded my business with "Sharon" in less than 30 seconds, at the MCA-Office. I was taken by surprise. Why, I'm Not used to anyone answering the phone especially on the first ring. AND...a human being...a lovely lady with a disarming voice, which at first I thought was a recording. WOW! I commend THE MCA for doing such an outstanding service for its members...make me proud. Just think...I was not asked "if I knew my parties Extension."?
Wish I had a Blog...I would spread around how delighted I am. What transpired to me today is Rare, just doesn't happen anymore. See, I'm so impressed I'm blitzing you here.
My Name is Sergeant Major Juan. M. Hidalgo, Sergeant Major of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) out of Camp Pendleton, CA. Sergeant Major (Ret.) Frank Pulley is one of my mentors and is someone that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. The MCA and SgtMaj Pulley do a phenomenal job in helping us recognize our Marines and Sailors and they continually demonstrate that they are always more than ready to support; anytime...Anyplace! And on behalf of the entire 13th MEU, I thank you very much!
Sergeant Major Juan. M. Hidalgo
You have been the easiest person I have ever dealt with since I have started MWR out here. You were very quick to respond to my every question and very knowledgeable about your work for an order over a phone that was my greatest experience. If you were in the Marine Corps Skylar I would write you up for a meritorious promotion. I will surely write it in my books to pass the word to the next MWR rep to continue the membership with you guys.
Sgt Richard Colmenarez
- Gen Alfred Gray Honored With Suribachi Award at Annual Ground Dinner (Photo Gallery)
- The Marine Corps Association: Pushing Forward Toward a Century of Service (Article)
- MCA 100th Anniversary Reception & Celebration (Page)
- MCA&F Receives Camp Leatherneck Flag in Honor of 100th Anniversary (Photo Gallery)
- Benefits (Page)