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In war, you win or lose, live or die - and the difference is an eyelash.

-- General Douglas MacArthur

An Act for Establishing and Organizing a Marine Corps

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Title: An Act for Establishing and Organizing a Marine Corps
Category: Congressional Act
Author/Presenter: U.S. Congress

Date: 11 July 1798

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SEC 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That in addition to the present military establishment, there shall be raised and organized a corps of marines, which shall consist of one major, four captains, sixteen first lieutenants, twelve second lieutenants, forty-eight sergeants, forty-eight corporals, thirty-two drums and fifes, and seven hundred and twenty privates, including the marines who have been enlisted, or are authorized to be raised, for the naval armament, and the said corps may be formed into as many companies, or detachments, as the President of the United States shall direct, with a proper distribution of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers and musicians to each company or detachment.

SEC 2. And be it further enacted, That the pay and subsistence of the said officer, privates, and musicians, shall be as follows, to wit; to a major, fifty dollars per month, and four rations per day; to a captain, forty dollars per month, and three rations per day; to a first lieutenant, thirty dollars per month, and three rations per day; to a second lieutenant, twenty-five dollars per month, and two rations per day; and to the non-commissioned officers, privates, and musicians, conformably to the act, entitled ?An act providing a naval armament,? as shall be fixed by the President of the United States: and the President of the United States shall be, and is hereby, authorized to continue the enlistment of marines, until the said corps shall be complete: and, of himself, to appoint the commissioned officers, whenever, in the recess of the Senate, an appointment shall be necessary. And the enlistments, which shall be made by virtue hereof, may be for the term of three years, subject to be discharged by the President of the United States, or by the ceasing or repeal of the laws providing for the naval armament. And if the marine corps, or any part of it, shall be ordered by the President to do duty on shore, and it shall become necessary to appoint an adjutant, paymaster, quartermaster, sergeant major, quartermaster sergeant, and drum and fife major, or any of them, the major or commandant of the corps is hereby authorized to appoint such staff officer or officers, from the line of subalterns, sergeants, and music, respectively, who shall be entitled, during the time they shall do such duty, to the same extra pay and emoluments which are allowed by law to officers acting in the same capacities in the infantry.

SEC 3. And be it further enacted, That detachment of the corps of marines hereby authorized, shall be made in lieu of the respective quotas of marines which have been established or authorized for the frigates, and other armed vessels and galleys, which shall be employed in the service of the United States: and the President of the United States may detach and appoint such of the officers of this marine corps to act on board the frigates, and any of the armed vessels of the United States, respectively, as he shall, from time to time, judge necessary, any thing in the act ?providing a naval armament? to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.

SEC 4. And be it further enacted, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, privates, and musicians, aforesaid, shall take the same oath, and shall be governed by the same rules and articles of war, as are prescribed for the military establishment of the United States, and by the rules for the regulation of the navy, heretofore, or which shall be, established by law, according to the nature of the service in which they shall be employed, and shall be entitled to the same allowance, in case of wounds or disabilities, according to their respective ranks, as are granted by the act ?to ascertain and fix the military establishment of the United States.?

SEC 5. And be it further enacted, That the non-commissioned officers, musicians, seamen, and marines, who are or shall be enlisted into the service of the United States; and the non-commissioned officers and musicians, who are or shall be enlisted into the army of the United States, shall be, and they are hereby, exempted, during their term of service, from all personal arrests, for any debt or contract.

SEC 6. And be it further enacted, That the marine corps, established by this act, shall, at any time, be liable to do duty in the forts and garrisons of the United States, on the seacoast, or any other duty on shore, as the President, at his discretion, shall direct.

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