Like their brothers of the 18th century, today's Marines serve as an infantry unit aboard Naval vessels charged with protecting the ship and performing offensive and defensive measures during combat. "Continental Marines also manned raiding parties, both at sea and ashore. America's first amphibious assault landing occurred early in the Revolutionary War as the Marines gained control of a British ammunition depot and naval port in New Providence, the Bahamas".(wikipedia) While the tactics and certainly the equipment have changed over the last 235 years, the mission of the USMC has remained the same, to protect and defend, to attack and neutralize. There is so much history of the United States Marine Corps, that it would take a week's worth of blogging to even scratch the surface of it. Therefore, I am going to link to wikipedia and two fantastic pages that describe the history and mission of the Corps. This page is a fairly detailed account of the history of the USMC. While more general in nature, the wikipedia page at this link has some great information about and history of the Marine Corps.
My oldest son, while no longer on active duty, is a United States Marine. The Marine Corps took a raw young man wondering down the wrong path in life, and turned him into a man with his priorities in order. Today that wayward young man is the father of two of my grand children and is married to a wonderful young lady. I bring this up for a reason. The Marines are not just all about killing bad guys and protecting the country. They are also about taking a young man like my son and transforming him from a boy headed in the wrong direction in life into a man, in every sense of the word. That's how I see the Marine Corp - as a maker of men.
For 235 years, the United States Marine Corps has served this country with distinction, bravery and honor. I can not begin to express my personal gratitude for the sacrifices these men and women have made in service to their country. The United States is forever in your debt.