Marine Barracks represents the oldest military installation operated by the United States Marine Corps. It is located in Washington, DC, and spreads over 6 acres only. The place is commanded by Paul D. Montanus and is also a National Historic Landmark since 1976, Unlike many other installations run by the United States Marine Corps, this one is also open to the public, but only at specific occasions, ceremonies and parades.
Marine Barracks is established in some of the oldest buildings in Washington. The construction was tightly connected with the president of the United States of America back then – Thomas Jefferson. The president spent a few days riding around with one of his most trusted commandants to find a suitable place for a new installation. The installation was supposed to be in the immediate proximity of the Washington Navy Yard. As soon as the location was picked, George Hadfield was the architect who took this huge responsibility on his shoulders. The installation was established and commissioned in 1801.
It went through some harsh times during the War of 1812, when the British armed forces burnt down Washington. The installation was not affected though. It was taken over and left untouched. The British hoped to turn it into a command post, but they left the country without fulfilling this mission. Most of the original buildings were renovated and rebuilt at the beginning of the 20-th century. These days, there is just one original building left out there – the commandant’s house. Marine Barracks can brag with the oldest government building in Washington, although plenty of historians debate whether the commandant’s house is older than the White House or not. According to some studies, it seems the White House might be one year older.
The military objectives of Marine Barracks are no longer as obvious as they used to be decades ago. Most of the military missions imply correspondence training sessions for the Marines. Most of these courses are held by the local Marine Corps institute. The courses are open to other armed forces in the country too. Other than that, the installation is also maintaining the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) preparedness, not to mention about dealing with the armed forces that protect the White House and the nearby Camp David.
The facility is more popular in the area when it comes to the objectives with a less obvious military purpose. It is responsible for escorting official funerals of Marines, as well as other officials coming from other armed forces. As for the country functions, the troops on site deal with honor guard during specific ceremonies and parades too. There are two popular parades hosted on site that attract thousands of civilians.
In order to fulfill its mission, Marine Barracks selects and hosts the military troops after strict standards. They must meet the weight and height, while their professional background must be clean. This is because they perform in official ceremonies, parades and funerals. Some of the parades are held with presidential purposes, therefore there is no room for failure.