The United States Marine Corps is part of the United States Armed Forces and was founded in 1775. The letters “USMC” have been nicknamed “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children” since at least 1969.
The USMC nickname is consistent with the history of the term “Uncle Sam.” During the War of 1812, the United States Light Dragoons (USLD) were called “Uncle Sam’s Lazy Dogs”—with one widely reprinted article claiming this was the origin of “Uncle Sam.”
Wikipedia: United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Marine Corps is a component of the United States Department of the Navy, often working closely with U.S. naval forces for training, transportation, and logistic purposes; however, in the military leadership structure the Marine Corps is a separate branch.
Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of the Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare. Its ability to rapidly respond on short notice to expeditionary crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.
The United States Marine Corps includes just under 203,000 active duty Marines (as of October 2010) and just under 40,000 reserve Marines (as of 2010). It is the smallest of the United States’ armed forces in the Department of Defense (the United States Coast Guard is smaller, about one-fifth the size of the Marine Corps, but is normally under the Department of Homeland Security). The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces and the active duty British Army.
uncle sam’s misguided children
abbreviated as USMC. a synonym for US Marine Corps.
I can’t believe you went and joined up with uncle sam’s misguided children.
by Broan Oct 25, 2007
19 June 1816, American Telegraph (PA), pg. 4:
UNCLE SAM’S LAZY DOGS.
Uncle Sam is a cant phrase significant of the United States; as John Bull signifies England.—The origin of it seems to be this. In the year 1807, I think it was, there was authorized by law, the raising of a regiment of light dragoons.—The initial letters, U. S. L. D. were painted on their caps, meaning the United States Light Dragoons. A countryman seeing a regiment of them passing enquired of a bye-stander what they were “The are UNCLE SAM’S LAZY DOGS,” don’t you see it on their caps! This story soon got amongst the soldiers, and they have ever since denominated the United States “Uncle Sam.”
15 May 1969, Assabet Valley Beacon (Maynard, MA), pg. 2, col. 7:
The following poem has been received by Mr. & Mrs. John Mele. The poem was written by their son’s buddy. Both of these men have been in the front lines since their arrival in Vietnam in February 1969. Both are Marine Grunts serving with the 3rd Marine Division:
“Raise up Marines from Vietnam
Fighters trained to kill
Seeking victor Charlie
Not of their own free will!
We’re Uncle Sam’s misguided children
It seems we know no fear
But many men have lost their lives
And many shed a tear. ...”
Google News Archive
4 September 1982, Wilmington (NC) Star, “Marines find humor in rubble of Beirut” by G. G. Labelle (Associated Press), pg. 6A, cols. 1-2:
It too has a sign: “USMC 1st Platoon Tours, Open 24 Hours.” Under USMC, the Marines have written “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.”
Rogue warrior II: Red Cell
By Richard Marcinko and John Weisman
New York, NY: Pocket Books
Jarheads: Marines. The Corps. Formally USMC, or Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.
OCLC WorldCat record
Uncle Sam’s misguided children
Author: Michael J Curran
Publisher: Cleveland, OH : Chambers Pub. Group, 1998.
Edition/Format: Book : English
October 8, 2011
Marine Disrespects the Corps
Posted by Laurence Vance on October 9, 2011 07:16 AM
A Marine Vietnam vet (1965–69) tells me that he and his fellow Marines said USMC meant Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.
Other Expressions • Origin of "Uncle Sam"/"Brother Jonathan" • (0) Comments • Monday, October 10, 2011 • Permalink