Marine Corps History Division Inquiries
Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Marine Corps History Division is under occupancy restrictions that require most of our staff historians and archivists to work remotely with limited access to resource materials. The History Division’s archives are open by appointment only. The History Division answers mailbox questions (please see priority), but will be unable to answer most public inquiries for the foreseeable future. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Greetings and thank you for contacting the Marine Corps History Division. For more than a century, the History Division's primary task has been to preserve and promulgate the official record of the Marine Corps in peacetime and in war. In doing so, its archivists collect and maintain research materials (official documents, special collections, maps, oral histories, photos, and film/video) so that its historians might research and write official accounts on operational, institutional, and doctrinal topics and events; unit histories and lineage; and the establishment and lifecycle of Marine Corps bases/stations. Because of its focus, the History Division is not staffed to retrieve materials from our archival holdings, make copies of research materials, or research general queries for the public. We can, however, provide you advice and guidance on how to conduct your own research. Our intent for the future is to provide the general public access to our holdings though a state-of-the-art online website. Until then, access to the majority of our holdings is by way of in-person visits only. Queries from Headquarters Marine Corps, Marine Corps units and commands, Department of Defense organizations and agencies, and other government agencies will, however, continue to be our priority.
For visiting researchers (military and civilian), the History Division is located in a secured facility with controlled access. All researchers must request an appointment at least a week in advance when visiting. Appointments can be made through firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located on the campus of the Marine Corps University on board Marine Corps Base Quantico in Northern Virginia, a secure military reservation. Please review the base’s access instructions on the Marine Corps Base Quantico website at www.quantico.marines.mil.
For immediate assistance, we ask that you visit our website at www.usmcu.edu/Research/History-Division and search our current digitized collections. To expedite your research, consider the following:
- Search our Archives Branch at https://grc-usmcu.libguides.com/marine-corps-archives/main to see where the information you are looking for is held. If you think the document is held by the History Division, go into the research tools area at the left of the webpage to see if it is listed in one of the finding aids.
- Check our Frequently Requested Topics page to see if we have already posted an answer to your question.
- Check our online bookshelf at www.usmcu.edu/HDPublishing to study and to see if you can glean the information from materials we have published.
- For researchers seeking historical photos, please visit our Flickr page at or contact the National Archives in Washington, DC.
- Contact the Marine Corps Association and Foundation at email@example.com or call (866) 622-1775 for access to past articles featured in the Marine Corps Gazette and/or Leatherneck and that provide insight into the Marine Corps and its history.
- Another source to consider for general Marine Corps history is your local library. Many of the most basic and even the most detailed questions about the Marine Corps can be answered with standard reference materials or by requesting specialized literature through interlibrary loan. Local libraries are one of our nation's most valuable resources and should be the first stop for anyone interested in pursuing research in Marine Corps history.
- Commonly requested topics often misdirected to the Marine Corps History Division center on awards, casualties, and service records. If you have queries on these topics, please follow these instructions:
a. AWARDS: For information on military awards (personal, unit, and service/campaign), please contact the Marine Corps Awards Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps at www.manpower.usmc.mil/webcenter/portal/MMMA
b. CASUALTIES: For information on casualties and casualty cards, please submit a FOIA request at https://foiaonline.gov. The request will be routed to Marine Corps Casualty Assistance Branch. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call HQMC FOIA at 703-614-4008.
c. SERVICE RECORDS: For information on obtaining service records, please contact either Manpower & Reserve Affairs (M&RA) or National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO.
d. MAPS: For maps ranging from World War II to Vietnam, please use the go to the Library of Congress website and the associated map repository or the Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University at www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/.
e. UNIT AND COMMAND RECORDS (KOREA AND VIETNAM): For command chronologies and battle reports on Marine Corps units and commands during the Korean War and Vietnam War, please see Records of War at www.recordsofwar.com.
- CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRIES: If you are inquiring from the office of a member of Congress, please direct your question to the Congressional Liaison Service, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs.
- LOCATOR SERVICES: For information on finding living veterans or a veterans' group, please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- DONATIONS. For anyone wishing to make a donation to the Marine Corps History Division, we consider archival donations on a case-by-case basis and only when the donations are of historical relevance (e.g., official documents, personal papers and special collections, maps, photos, film/video, and select Marine Corps history and doctrinal books) and research value. For material donations, such as Marine Corps uniform items, medals, and equipment, please contact the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
We thank you for your patronage, understanding, and support.