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 nearly 61,000 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.
Albert Sydney McLemore was a native of Murfreesboro, TN. Born in 1869. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1891 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on July 1, 1893. He served with the Marine Guard aboard U.S.S. NEW YORK in 1894 and aboard U.S.S. Philadelphia from 1895 to 1897. During the Spanish-American War he served with Co. E, First Marine (Huntington’s) Battalion, North Atlantic Fleet from April 22, 1898 to September 20, 1898. He was present ashore at Guantanamo, Cuba in defense of Camp McCalla June 11, 12 and 13, 1898 for which he was later appointed Captain by Brevet on March 18, 1901 for “distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy at Guantanamo, Cuba”. This was a particularly high honor in a time when there were no decorations in the Naval service to award bravery for officers. The Medal of Honor was reserved for enlisted men only until after the Mexico Campaign in 1914. He had a long career in the Marine Corps serving on numerous ships and stations. By 1917 he had been promoted to Colonel and became Assistant Adjutant and Inspector in the Marine Corps. In 1918 he assumed the duties of Officer-in-Charge of the Marine Corps Recruiting Publicity Bureau in New York, N.Y. He was named to receive a Brevet Medal for his Distinguished Conduct in Cuba in 1898. He died at Mare Island, CA from cancer on July 13, 1921.