Marine Corps Reserve

Def   Def

June 25, 1950
United Nations intervention in Korea, following the Communist aggression of 25 June 1950, found the United States forces in the Far East inadequate both in numbers and training. Initially, indeed, the United States was hard-pressed to maintain a foothold on the Korean peninsula. A bitter struggle of several months ensued before the North Korean invasion was contained, then crushed.

The subsequent Chinese Communist invasion won some swift preliminary successes, but it was also contained early in 1951.

The role of the Marine Corps as a whole in Korea has been widely publicized. Not so well known, however, is the essential part played by the Marine Corps Reserve in such operations as the Inch'ŏn amphibious assault, the capture of Sŏul, and the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir

"Mobilization of the Marine Corps Reserve in the Korean conflict, 1950-1951" is a concise narrative of the major events surrounding not only the call-up of reserve units and individuals but also the policies affecting service. This publication is intended to provide staff officers with a ready source of reliable information on a reserve mobilization that was well executed. Marine commanders will find some of the material herein useful for training and profitable for professional and recreational reading. A final purpose of this pamphlet is to, provide a source for answers to many questions received from the general public about mobilization of the reserve for Korea,

Experience is an excellent instructor, and many lessons have been learned from the conflict, but there is no precept more valuable to the Marine Corps than the one prescribing the vital importance of a large, readily available and high quality reserve. The significance of the reserve contribution to Marine achievements in Korea may be measured by citing just a few facts:

 At the time of the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul operations, 15 September to 7 October 1950, there were more Marines in the Far East than there had been in the total Fleet Marine Force two and a half months earlier, and 20 percent of these were reservists only six to eight weeks removed from their civilian pursuits;

July 25, 1950

Smith arrived in Pendleton on July 25 after a cross-country drive and was as dismayed as his G-3 at the rapid turn of events. Headquarters already had turned on the manpower spigot. At the Commandantís request, President Truman had authorized activation of the Marine Corps Reserve on the 19th.