tv U.S. Marine Corps and Congress CSPAN February 12, 2017 10:39am-10:59am EST
she witnesses that peaceful protesters are shot at. >> monday night on the communicators, the new chair of the house subcommittee on communications and technology, tennessee congresswoman marsha blackburn on how she expects communications and tech issues this year with a republican administration. >> making certain we address what i view as having been an , communities that do not have broadband are not able to go in and expand educational opportunity for their students. they are not able to utilize here they are not
able to recruit new factories to bring jobs to those underserved areas. watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> recently, american history tv was at the american historical association's annual meeting in denver, colorado. we spoke with graduate students about their research. this is about 20 minutes. >> nathan packard. when was the marine corps first established and why? nathan: 1775 at the outset of the american revolution. it was established to provide an industry to surf with the navy. as policed serving
force for the ship's captain, and provide capability of close combat. ships would pull along and try to board one another. musket fire, close combat. >> in terms of history, it is one of the oldest forces in existence. nathan: yes. in the united states. i worked at the conclusion of the american revolution but the congress reestablished it in 1798 and it has been there ever since. bill: what was the national security act of 1947 and why was that so important to the marine corps? nathan: the national security act of 1947 and the associated legislation that came afterward, that basically took intelligence duringitary entities
world war ii and restructured them and put them on a more permanent footing for the cold war. for was a an important time the marine corps. there was a rush to demobilize and budgets were tightening. a concerted effort on the part of senior administration officials along with arms officers to shrink the marine corps assets and give them for the army air forces and move them over to the army. it was sore in core, important because it was associative legislation that the marine corps was able to get these written into law. an amendment to the marine corps's structure, three active divisions, and it made it hard for anyone to come along and shrink the marine corps.
bill: if the marine corps had been so essential in world war ii, why were other branches looking to downsize the marine corps? nathan: it was all about efficiency. unnecessary duplication was a term used over and over again. budgets tightening and people maybeoking and saying, this could best be done, maybe we will put all of these air and ground assets together. with the advent of nuclear we will people say never do this again because countries will have nuclear weapons and we could mask our forces like that. those are some of the reasons. bill: you are here to talk about the relationship between them are in congress, particularly in the more modern europe. how has that changed over time? ishan: the interesting thing
that was when the marine corps realized if we are going to ensure our survival of the institution, we need to work through congress to make sure there is statutory protections for the service. to 1952, it was about institutional survival. from 1952 up to the present, it is more about informing and educating congress about what it does to secure the resources that the marine corps thinks it needs to do its job. bill: how has the marine corps cap the relationship with congress? in 1952, they established the office of legislative affairs and realized the way they had been doing was not really the best way to go. they established an organization
responsible in congress and being the face on capitol hill. bill: do other branches have the office of legislative affairs? nathan: they do. i think what makes the marine corps passes office a little is the marine corps recognizes how important the relationship is. sit and ask, why du you need a navy and an army? when it comes to the marine corps, why do we have that? it recognizes it needs to be up there explaining what it does. paperin your presentation on the relationship, you talk about some of the efforts the marine corps has made to work efforts on a legislative and social and camaraderie basis. tell us about those. nathan: one interesting aspect of the relationship is the efforts on the part of the range -- the marine corps to use cultural traditions on the hill with someamaraderie
people who work on the hill and things like inviting those who we havethe staff, evening parades at the memorial in washington, d.c., and the rain will invite members and andr staff to these events they have congressmen serving as honored guests. the marine corps marathon is another. .hat is more on the fun side summary and to work on the hill will run with members and staffers who are interested. it lives up to everyone participating in the marathon together. is this something the marine corps has led the pack on ? i would say the marine corps leads the pack on this and when it comes to building camaraderie, and
it is something the marine corps prides itself on. i do not know that other -- services have these clubs. they have pizza parties for staffers. just to build those relationships. if other services do those things, i would say it is not with the same enthusiasm that the marines who work on the hill bring to it. bill: why is 1978 so important to the marine corps as a military branch? was the year legislation was passed making the marine corps a full member of the joint chiefs of staff. important because it basically opened the door for marines to serve at the highest levels. for example, the vice-chairman or the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
the general serving as chairman, that was not possible right to 1978. serving as the commanders of the different command, it was not possible prior to 1978. that change allowed for marines to play a greater role in the military establishment. the two key players or commandants lewis wilson and the senator from the head of the senate armed services committee. those two gentlemen have known and other for a long time had close personal ties. it was really that relationship. there were other players such as asugh legislative assistant well as senator dewey bartlett, who had been a marine and brought legislation on the floor and made the argument for it. i think wilson, the two key
players that made this change happen. we talked after world war ii, branches seeking to downsize. was there still that rivalry in 1978 and what other challenges to gety have to overcome this placement on the joint chiefs? nathan: there was no opposition to this. one thing that was pointed out was, when i look back, the comet on has been at 99% of these meetings. that when the national security act was passed, the common on can participate when there are matters pertaining to the supreme -- the marine corps being discussed. on -- the a common inmandant was sitting in these meetings. there was no opposition on it. the legislation passed 9-3.
hey, this is the right thing to do. tell us more about the office of legislative affairs, what day-to-day function and what congressional committees do they interact with? nathan: established in 1952, civiliansabout 50 working in that office. office in thean pentagon and at key locations throughout the united states. the types of things they do most importantly, the national defense authorization act, the legislation passed every year where congress says who gets what. guidance onsues of
what they will do. the defense appropriations bill. a piece of informing that legislation saying this is what the marine corps thinks it needs and this is why. those are the two key pieces of legislation. the armed services committees are the most actively involved in committees. in addition to that, a lot of a lots spent working on of constituent services type things. , parents of aans marine who is on active duty and they have questions about what is going on with their son and daughter. answering the questions come -- senators have, it takes up a good amount of time. average a year are handled through that office. you write that the office's transparency is important. give us an example of why this
became an important thing for the marine corps. nathan: one thing that comes to mind, something this up -- the marine corps places emphasis on, boot camp in san diego, the marine corps thinks this is essential to instilling those recruits and transforming them into marines. from time to time unfortunately, we have had trillin structures who have crossed the line and .buses occurred in the 1970's, there was a string of incidents where drill instructors had harmed. the supreme court did is a full investigation and they invited people down to look at what is going on and they said
hey, we have fixed these things and anyone who wants to come down can take a look to see we have fixed it. when something goes wrong, you look at the investigations the marine corps conducts, and i they are more open and honest. if this did not go right, this is how they will fix it. they will not sugarcoat it if it went wrong. -- there were are concerns recently about drill instructors at parris island. nathan: yes. we see the same thing today. is not tryingps to sweep it under the rug. they are on the hill and telling members what it is that happened and what the marine corps will do to fix it. is a very good example of how your research relates to current issues. go back in history for a
second. you talked about starting the marine corps in 1775 and its role after world war ii. two other countries have marine corps'structure like the u.s. marine corps? unique, when you ,hink about strategic geography the united states has oceans on either side but they have global interests. in order to protect or further need interests, we overtime the ability to project military power from the sea. uc see smalltries, contingents of naval infantry. particularly the british related back in the day. the u.s. geography and global interests specifically, you think about post-world war theyhe united states,
wanted the world to function a certain way and the graincorp played into that we think about and the crisis in the 1950 korean war, they were able to get there quickly. time and again, these emergencies arose and the marine corps proved to be useful. bill: you are a retired marine and what motivated you to join in the first place? nathan: still in the reserve. what motivated me to join, my father was an enlisted marine only for four years back in the 1960's. what impressed me was the camaraderie amongst my father and the gentleman he had served with. still has these ties 20 to 30 years later. it has got to be some the special. the more looked into it, the more i said, at the time, it was before september 11. the world, it worked out all the
time and it seemed exciting and glamorous and interesting. bill: you are a professor at marine corps university. ust do you instruct and tell about your students? what are they therefore? -- there for? nathan: we have some officers from other services, representation from services along with government civilians. pick up there to graduate-level professional training. i teach military history but portion of thee curriculum. they also spend a lot of time learning how to plan military operations. instructionfocus of to make sure we are producing plan effective military operations. bill: an interesting niche in connection to congress.
do you see any other people out in the field looking at this relationship not just with marines but the military to congress? i cannot think of anyone off the top of my head. historians, they sometimes like to focus more on the battles and the wars. things like this are not as appealing. o'connell is currently working on the council staff and was teaching at the naval academy. he was interested in these types of things. it is not as glamorous or exciting. what gravitated you to it initially? as a military historian, i'm interested in wars. for a lot of those topics, it had been done.
i look at the other aspects of the military history. such as logistics. peacetime reforms and those topics that others do not maybe look at as much. , we are working on a book manuscript. and just keep going back forth to congress every time there is an issue. relationship interested me and i started on this project looking deeper into the relationship. , we: nathan packard appreciate you being here on "american history tv." >> you are watching "american history tv" all weekend every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. >> counterculture and san francisco in 1967 is the focus of a panel discussion that a