Mission & History

Final 391 x 350

The Mission

Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service that they may effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.

League History


The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937. The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps. Today, the League boasts a membership of more than 62,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans and qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen and is one of the few Veterans Organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.

BF Hickey

Bernard Francis Hickey

Bernard Francis Hickey was born on Jan. 16, 1883 in Syracuse, N.Y. He was appointed midshipman on July 10, 1903 from New York and commissioned 1908. He resigned from the Navy in 1911 after having served as a submarine commander. He then joined the U.S. Marines corps where his promotions came rapidly.

Appointed a 2nd Lt. June 23, 1911 at Washington, D.C.

Reported to Marine Officers School September 2, 1911, for instruction. Absent on temporary tropical shore service from May 25, 1912 and joined Co. C, 1st Regt. 1 Prov. Brigade Marines at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Rejoined Norfolk August 6, 1912. Awarded Certificate of Proficiency, Marine Officers School, No. 1. Detached from Norfolk on September 18, 1912

Joined Marine Barracks, Annapolis Md. September 20, 1912 for duty with Marine Detachment being assembled for WYOMING. Detached September 27, 1912 to USS WYOMING.

Joined September 27, 1912 as junior officer and embarked with Detachment on the MONTANA. Arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on January 30, 1915 for temporary foreign tropical shore service as Headquarters Detachment, Atlantic Fleet Regiment.

Rejoined WYOMING February 8, 1915 and Detached June 19, 1915, to Marine Barracks, Philadelphia, Pa.

Joined Marine Barracks, Philadelphia, Pa. on July 3, 1915, for duty with 1st Brigade but was detached to temporary foreign shore service to 22 Co. 1Regt. on August 10, at Port au Prince, Haiti.

Promoted to 1st Lt. September 25, 1916.Detached December 31, 1916 from temporary expeditionary duty to permanent duty with 1st Prov. Brigade Marine Corp, Haiti.  Joined for permanent duty on December 31, 1916.

Detached January to United States, and joined Marine Barracks, Philadelphia, Pa. February 10, 1917, for duty with the 1st Regiment, Advanced Base Force.

Temporarily promoted to Major September 6, 1918 and on November 4, 1918 assigned to service in the adjutant and Inspectors Dept., of the Marine Corp. Detached November 8, 1918.

Joined 1st Prov. Brigade Marines, Haiti.  December 1, 1918, detailed as Brigade Adjutant.  Temporary appointment as Major revoked July 31, 1919 and reverted to permanent rank of Captain.

On detached duty from Brigade Headquarters to Gendarmerie Detachment from October 11, 1919 to March 25, 1920.January 15, 1920, participated in an engagement against bandits at Port au Prince, Haiti.

March 26, 1920 relieved from duty with the Brigade Headquarters and assigned to duty with the Haitian Gendarmerie. Detached June 6, 1923 to American Embassy, Tokyo, Japan as the Language Officer. He was commended for his outstanding work there during the earthquake in 1923. He retired in 1927 and was later chief of police in Haiti as a member of the American military occupation which lasted from 1915 to 1934.

Major Hickey moved to St Petersburg with his family in 1935, coming here from Washington, D.C. He was an active worker in civic and welfare work in the city and was a founder and organizer of the Happy Hour club for the blind. He took a leading part for many years in many civic programs and was chairman of the Christmas Seal sales in 1940. He was also an ardent promoter of St Petersburg as a deep sea and Naval base and worked in that direction for many years.