What is the Marine Corps League and what does it do?
Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service that they may effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.
The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937. The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps. Today, the League boasts a membership of nearly 61,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans and qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen and is one of the few Veterans Organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.
The Marine Corps League is headed by an elected National Commandant, with 14 elected National Staff Officers who serve as trustees. The National Board of Trustees coordinates the efforts of 48 department, or state, entities and the activities of over 900 community-based detachments located throughout the United States and overseas. The day-to-day operations of the League are under the control of the National Executive Director with the responsibility for the management and direction of all programs, activities, and affairs of the Marine Corps League as well as supervising the National Headquarters staff.
The prime authority of the League is derived from its Congressional charter and from its annual National Convention held each August in different major U.S. cities throughout the nation. It is a not-for-profit organization within the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c) (4), with a special group exemption letter which allows for contributions to the Marine Corps League, its Auxiliary and subsidiary units, to be tax deductible by the donor.
PROGRAMS OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
MARINES HELPING MARINES – WOUNDED MARINES PROGRAM
The program was created to support injured Marine Corps personnel located at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, Brooke Army hospital in San Antonio, as well as the Naval Hospitals at Balboa, Camp Pendleton and elsewhere. The scope of support encompasses; financial, visits from Marine Corps League members, off site day trips to include family outings, dinners, short trips in support of the individual Marines’ needs and professional sporting events as tickets and opportunities present themselves.
YOUNG MARINES OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
A youth program emphasizing honesty, courage, respect, industry, loyalty, dependability, and a sense of devotion to God, country, community and family.
U. S. MARINES YOUTH PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM
The League developed and administers a program that provides a physical fitness regimen that promotes a healthy, drug free life style for elementary and high school students.
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
The Marine Corps League has long regarded the program of the Boy Scouts of America as in support of the Preamble of the Constitution of the League. The League supports the Boy Scouts of America as they promote traditional family values to America’s youth. The Marine Corps League participates in Scouting through assistance with units, districts, and councils, in community projects, merit badge programs, and special recognition of Eagle Scouts.
Members of the Marine Corps League fund scholarships through donations from individual members and subordinate units of the Marine Corps League and Auxiliary. Children and former Marines are eligible for academic scholarships for attendance at accredited colleges and universities.
The Marine Corps League is a member of The Military Coalition and participates in National and State legislative issues that affect military readiness, benefits and entitlements of active duty personnel as well as Veterans Benefits programs effecting former and retired Marines.
VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER PROGRAM
The National Headquarters retains a full-time staff member who assists veterans in adjudicating claims against the government as a result of active duty service. Claims are processed through the Department of Veterans Affairs or other appropriate agencies of the federal government.
VETERANS AFFAIRS VOLUNTARY SERVICE PROGRAM (VAVS)
Maine Corps League members contribute thousands of man-hours each year supplementing staffs at VA Hospitals and facilities in providing morale, comfort and assistance to institutionalized veterans.
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE AUXILIARY
A social and fraternal organization comprised of spouses, mothers and distaff members of Marines and former Marines.
MILITARY ORDER OF DEVIL DOGS
The fun and honor society of the Marine Corps League.
Marine Corps League Detachments in nearly every community take part annually in the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys-For-Tots campaign to raise funds and collect and distribute toys to needy children. In communities where there is an existing Marine Corps Reserve Unit, the League works hand in hand supporting their campaign. In other communities, the Marine Corps League takes the lead, ensuring a successful campaign.
MARINE-4-LIFE/INJURED MARINE SUPPORT PROGRAM
The League works very closely with the Marine Corps’ M-4-L program, providing mentors nationwide. In areas of the country where there is no Marine Corps “point of contact”, the League works directly with M-4-L Headquarters to provide services to transitioning Marines.
Members find the State and National Conventions of the League ideal vacation venues for themselves and family members. Held in a different city each year, many families attend year after year and particularly enjoy the many planned activities and tours related to these get-togethers.
The Marine Corps League is a charter member of The Military Coalition, The National Marine Corps Council, AdHoc Committee, Navy and Marine Corps Council, the National Veterans Day Committee, and is represented on countless committees and programs serving the military and veteran community.
The League participates in patriotic functions such as the National Memorial Day Parade and the National 4th of July Parade in Washington as well as countless statewide and community parades around the country. We provide representation to the U.S. Congress in legislative matters affecting the United States Marine Corps, national security and veteran’s benefits through our National Legislative Committee. Most importantly, Marine Corps League Detachments are actively involved in Community based programs throughout the country.
Reprinted from “notes from the Director” MCL Magazine January 2006