Marine Corps Reserve Birthday

Next Event Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

In August 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Naval Appropriations Act (1916), officially creating a Naval and Marine Corps Reserve.  This Act focused upon the mobilization status of individuals not units and provided for the wartime expansion of the Corps without changing its statutory regular strength.  When war was declared on Germany, the Marine Corps Reserve totaled just 3 officers and 32 enlisted men. During the course of WWI the figure grew to 276 officers and 5,968 enlisted men, all of whom were either incorporated into the regular Marine Corps or returned to civilian life at the end of the war.

With the passage of the Naval Reserve Act of 1925, the Marine Corps Reserve was organized and paid for services rendered, quite a feat since the entire military was being downsized at the time. It was at this time that a visionary Melvin Maas stepped forward and, with other reserve officers, founded the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association (MCROA). The organization which would produce the highly trained and strong Reserve Force they knew would be needed in future conflicts. The operation was run on a shoestring, but fortunately Melvin Maas was elected to Congress in 1926.