When the Marine Corps Saved Itself by Recruiting Politicians

When U.S. Marines raised the U.S. flags on Iwo Jima during World War II, secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who had just landed at the beachhead, turned to Marine lieutenant general Holland M. "Howling Mad" Smith.  Forrestal exclaimed, "Holland, the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for five hundred years." That seems a strange thing to say.  Was the continued existence of the United States Marine Corps actually in jeopardy? Yes, it was.  The U.S. Army had been targeting the Marine Corps for absorption at least since World War I.  And the Marine Corps had been fighting back, by recruiting as officers promising persons who might rise to Congress some day.  Two of these promising recruits included future senator Joseph McCarthy and future televangelist Pat Robertson. The fundamental imperative of a bureaucracy is to expand itself, and the U.S. Army is as susceptible to this...(Read Full Article)
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