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Marine Corps Reserve Turns 102

“Ready, Relevant, Responsive.”

This succinct, three-word motto perfectly sums up the United States Marine Corps Reserve, established on this day 102 years ago. They are the largest command in the Marine Corps with approximately 40,000 Reserve Marines and 184 Reserve Training Centers.

The Reserve’s day-to-day mission is to provide operational relief and community service, but they were founded as a means of reinforcement for active Marines in wartime, national emergency, or contingency operations.

Reserve Marines have operated with active forces and played an integral role in the two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Operations Desert Shield/Storm, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

There are two groups of Reserve Marines:

  1. The Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR). They are the personnel that make up the reserve units and drill one weekend per month and two weeks per year.

  2. The Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). They are the Marines who are no longer active duty, but are at the ready to be called back in the event of a war or national emergency.

To join the SMCR forces, recruits must take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test), pass a physical exam, and be sworn in. Basic training is still required for Reserve recruits, and after its completion they must undergo further training at the School of Infantry (SOI) and for their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) before their service as a United States Marine can truly begin.

Providing that extra component of balance and readiness to the Marine Corps is what the Reserve is there for. It gives its Marines the opportunity to serve their country, as well as time to pursue other things, like furthering their education or developing a civilian career.

The Reserve celebrates by participating in the Marine Corps Ball every year; it commemorates the establishment of the Marine Corps as a whole, and occurs in November. You can celebrate the Marine Reservists by simply flying their flag, or supporting the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, who provide assistance to members of the Naval Service and their family.

On this August 29th, it’s important to be aware of the soldiers who aren’t on the front lines, and appreciate everything they contribute to our military. Happy birthday, Marine Corps Reserve!


“United States Marine Corps Reserve.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 July 2018,

“Marine Corps Reserve.” Today’s Military,

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