The United States Marine Corps Band: A Proud History

Its illustrious history goes back to July 11, 1798 when John Adams signed an Act of Congress establishing the United States Marine Band. Originally the band was comprised of “32 drummers and fifers” who assisted in recruiting Marines and entertained residents in Philadelphia. (This was at the time the nation’s capital.) Centuries later the band, which is known as “The President’s Own”, is recognized for its role in performing at White House functions and at other public places, which total more than 500 annually. This is of no surprise since music has long been intertwined with the military and with war. This goes all the way back to ancient times. The ancient Greeks, for example were said to have used flutists to raise the spirits of warriors in combat. Indeed, one of the most iconic images of war is the painting ‘Spirit of ‘76’ by A.M. Willard, 1857, showing fifer and drummers marching in support of troops.

The Band Itselfmarine corps

The band itself is comprised of experienced musicians who are selected through a grueling audition procedure. The members must of course be Marines themselves and satisfy stringent security and physical requirements. Additionally, band members wear special rank insignia designed to show their membership in the band. The band tours the United States regularly and performs at many prestigious occasions. They perform on occasions such as:

  • United States presidential inaugurations
  • State funerals
  • State Arrival Ceremonies
  • Arlington National Cemetery military funerals
  • Friday Evening Parades are held at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

Music is just one of the ways that patriots have shown their love of country and their support for the troops. Our customers choose to do in the most important way – their service. Another way to show support for the Marines is in proudly displaying USMC home décor and US marine gifts which are all American made. There are many other sites that sell such products but many cannot make this claim.

All Hail the Hoodie

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of the hoodie has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the popularity of this omnipresent article of clothing continues to confound non-wearers. But people who do wear these items including our USMC hoodies know that there is something that is timeless about them. They know that hoodies rule. But what are the origins of this popular article of clothing and why do people cling onto their hoodies? Here is some info on what is more than a fad or fashion trend for some of us.

The Origins of the Hoodie

Many people believe that the first hoodie was made back in 1919 by the Knickerbocker Knitting Company. Its former president Harold Lipson is believed to have been the first person to add a hood to a sweatshirt in order to protect athletes and laborers from the elements. Eventually workers in cold-storage warehouses and people working outdoors began to see the practicality of wearing this odd looking piece of clothing.

Why Hoodies are so Appealing

It is difficult to find a person who does not own or has not worn a hoodie at some point in his/her life. They are one of the top items in many people’s wardrobe for a good number of reasons such as:

  • Comfort: Hoodies are cozy and comfortable allowing the wearer to get into his/her own private space while still being out among others.

  • Protection: As we stated earlier, hoodies were originally designed to give workers and athletes some protection from the elements without the necessity of carrying an umbrella or clumsy overcoat. They still do this.

  • Style: Hoodies are fashionable and come in all colors, designs, etc.

  • Individuality: Hoodies allow people to express their own sense of taste. Our hoodies are embossed with the USMC emblem showing the wearer’s patriotism and love of the Corps. Some people have the logo of their favorite sports team, rock group, etc. We prefer to display the USMC emblem. We have other Marine Corps items for sale that do so as well.

  • Versatile: Although most popular in the fall and winter, hoodies are not out of place in the spring and summer. That is because the hood can be quickly removed to cool the wearer down.

Finally, despite the fact that there has been some push back against hoodies in recent times, it continues to be a popular part of many wardrobes. It has gone beyond a simple fashion statement to a lifestyle choice.

Opha May Johnson: A Tribute

The history of women in the United States armed forces is a long and complicated one. Even before they were allowed to officially enlist in the services, women still contributed in supporting the defense of the nation as spies, nurses and even secret soldiers. During the revolutionary war, Prudence “Prue” Cummings Wright, who had just lost two children, became leader of “Mrs. David Wright’s Guard. However, for the most part these women were not officially recognized to be members of the branches in which they served. That changed with one woman Opha May Johnson who was the first known woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. She joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1918, officially becoming the first female Marine.



Johnson was born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1879. It was there that she graduated from Wood’s Commercial College and was expected to lead a typical life for a woman of the time. On August 13, 1918, Johnson joined the Marine Corps Reserve during World War I. At that time, Johnson enlisted along with 300 other women. (Due to her good fortune, she happened to be the first in line to do so.) Although her main duties as a Marine were clerical in nature, Johnson put into her work the same amount of zeal that she had used her whole life up to that point.

Her Legacy

Unfortunately, much of the progress that women in the armed services had made up to that point was slowly eroded as the Marine Corps began to steadily dis-enroll women who had enlisted to help out during the war. However, a few decades later Congress would pass the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948. This act acknowledges the trail blazing women like Johnson and others and is behind the fact that there are now approximately 1.4 million women serving in the U.S. armed forces including 14, 000 in the Marines.

Johnson was all about demonstrating her pride in the greatest organization in the world which now benefits greatly from the contributions of both sexes in the defense of our country. You can further demonstrate your pride in the Corps by purchasing one of our USMC novelties and USMC home décor items. Our gift items are quality made in the USA and are an attractive way to add a special touch to your home whether you reside in on or off base housing.

Tips for Staying Safe During Outdoor Workouts

Anyone who has ever served knows that physical fitness is a never-ending journey. It is not simply a goal that once met can be ignored. Marines in particular dedicate themselves to a lifestyle that means that they must physically challenge themselves 365 days a year. However, when it comes to exercising outdoors the desire to challenge oneself must be weighed against the possibility of injury. This is especially true of engaging in outdoor exercises during the winter. The cold can make muscles more prone to strain and other damage. So that you can enjoy the exhilaration of outdoor exercise while keeping your workout routine safe and effective, we would like to offer you some of these tips.

  • Check weather conditions and wind chill: According to experts, wind chill levels below 18F (minus 28C) can cause frostbite to occur on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less. Thus, it is always a good idea to get the forecast before exercising outdoors during the winter.

  • Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia: The early signs of frostbite include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat more rapidly than it can be produced. In both cases you should get indoors immediately.

  • Dress in layers: In order to find the right layer of clothing you should wear during outdoor exercise, try some experimentation. Dress warmly but not too warmly as you may need to remove some layers of clothing if you begin to perspire too much. We have a Marine Corps jacket and other Marine Corps gifts such as hats and sweat pants that can keep you warm as you express your pride.

  • Stay Hydrated: Simply because you are more prone to produce more sweat in the warm months than in winter does not mean that you should ignore your body’s requirements for water. Your body needs to replenish fluids lost during intense workouts regardless of whether it is warm outside or not.

  • Remember to warm up prior to exercising: Warm muscles work more efficiently and are less prone to strain than muscles that have had not been stretched. Try walking for a brief period prior to working out.

In short, there is a certain sense of exhilaration involved in exercising outdoors during any season. But even the most dedicated among us must take certain precautions to ensure that doing so does not put one’s health at risk.


The Marine Corps and Toys for Tots

There is a saying and a song that goes “Christmas is for Children.” And with this saying comes the image of children all over the country who will awaken on Christmas morning to gleefully unwrap their presents after a restless night of sleep. However, as painful as it is to imagine, this is not how Christmas morning will play out in every home in the nation. Some families struggle hard to provide themselves with life’s necessities let alone the luxuries of the season. Children in such homes will sadly not share in the joy of opening a shiny new present on Christmas morning. Knowing that this is the case with many families, Major Bill Hendricks founded the Toys for Tots program in 1947.

The History of Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots began back in 1947 when, inspired by his wife, Major Hendricks, gathered reservists to collect and distribute thousands of unwrapped toys to children. Eventually celebrity support was also gained and since then the organization has been designated as an official mission for the Marine Corps Reserves. Moreover, since its inception the program has collected and dispensed more than 512 million toys. That is a lot of joy delivered to a lot of children.

The Toys for Tots Mission

The mission of Toys for Tots is to collect and distribute unwrapped toys for less fortunate children in the vicinity of the collection sites. These collections take place from October to December of each year. You can go to to find the drop off site nearest you. You can also go to that same site to inquire how you can be of assistance by making your location one of those sites. We have many seasonal USMC gifts that will go well right alongside the rest of your Christmas decorations. Marine Corps items for sale on our site include festive, affordably priced ornaments that demonstrate pride in the Corps. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at eMarine PX.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Christmas Gift

Gift giving can be as anxiety-inducing as it is rewarding. That’s because we want to give our loved ones gifts that will be useful and that they will also cherish due to the thought that we put into selecting them. For visitors to our site a large part of the riddle of what kind of gift to give someone is already solved. After all, visitors to our site already know that the intended recipient of their gift is dedicated to the Corps and its ideals. However, with the large variety of USMC Marine Christmas gifts that are available on our site, choosing just the perfect gift for a current or former member of the Marines Corps can still pose a problem. For that reason, we would like to offer you the following suggestions for selecting just the right gift for your loved ones.

  • Listen to what they say; observe how they act: Often people will drop hints as to what they need or desire in conversation. Sometimes our loved ones will even point out specific items they might like to receive when they are in our presence. Keep your antenna up particularly around the holiday gift giving season for such clues and let this be a guide.

  • Take notes: Whether you do so using a pad and pencil or simply keep mental notes, make a list of gift ideas and refer to it while shopping.

  • Ask the person what they need: It won’t be a surprise when you use this technique, but it will avoid any ambiguity. Some people are direct and very specific about their needs and will let you know right up front that they would rather be pleasantly surprised rather than just surprised.

  • Make a list of all the things the person is interested in: Beyond the Corps, what is the intended recipient interested in? Do they like to read? If so we have many books available on our site. Are they a collector? If so we have coins, coin holders and other items of interest for collectors. Are they especially proud of their car? We have license plate frames, hitch covers, etc. too.

  • Ask other friends, family members, etc: You may get an entirely new perspective from someone else when trying to come up with gift ideas.

In short, some of the anxiety that comes along with gift giving can be lessened by taking a little time and carefully thinking out your strategy. Be it a gift like our Marine Corps hats for sale or our decals and stickers, your loved ones will appreciate a carefully thought out gift the best.