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National Museum of the Marine Corps

National Museum of the Marine Corps
Established 2006
Location 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway (see US Route 1 in Virginia)
Triangle, Virginia
Type Military History
Director Lin Ezell
Public transit access none
Website National Museum of the Marine Corps

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. Located in Triangle, Virginia near MCB Quantico, the museum opened on November 10, 2006, and is now the top tourist attraction in the state, drawing over 500,000 people annually.[1]

In July 2013, the museum announced plans for a major expansion, to include sections on more modern Marine Corps history, such as the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing.[2]


  • Background 1
  • Marine Corps Heritage Foundation 2
    • Heritage Center 2.1
  • Exhibits 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Aerial view of the Museum under construction in April 2006

The museum replaces both the Marine Corps Historical Center in the Washington Navy Yard, which closed on July 1, 2005, and the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum in Quantico, Virginia, which closed on November 15, 2002.[3] [4]

A public-private venture, the museum is a cooperative effort between the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. The Foundation manages the museum operation, while the museum building will be donated to the Marine Corps.[5]

Designed by Curtis W. Fentress of Fentress Architects, the museum's exterior is meant to "evoke the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima," an image that is also preserved by the Marine Corps War Memorial.[5]

The museum is 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2), and is open to the public with free admission.[5]

Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

Established in 1979, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that supports the historical programs of the Marine Corps. In 1999, the Foundation expanded its mission to include the creation of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.[5]

Heritage Center

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is designed to be the centerpiece of a complex of facilities called the Marine Corps Heritage Center.[6] This multi-use, 135-acre (0.55 km2) campus includes the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park and Semper Fidelis Chapel; a demonstration area with parade grounds; hiking trails and other outdoor recreational offerings; a conference center and hotel; and an archive facility to restore and preserve Marine artifacts.[5]

The chapel, designed by Fentress Architects, was completed in 2009 with a $5 million donation from a retired Marine.[7]


Photosphere of the interior of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

The museum features the following permanent exhibits, which were designed by Christopher Chadbourne and Associates:[5]

On June 5, 2010 the following three exhibits were opened:

  • Defending a New Nation (1775–1865)
  • Age of Expansion (1866–1916)
  • World War I (1917–1918)

It also has a statue of a horse, Sergeant Reckless, which served with the Marine Corps in Korea. The statue was dedicated on Friday, 26 July 2013.[8]

The museum also includes class rooms, a theater, a gift shop, a bar, a restaurant, and a laser shooting range. In the Korean War gallery in the museum there is an area where you can feel the cold and hear the sounds during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in 1951 while the Korean War was at its peak. There are also areas where little children can play (there are two of those areas).[5]

See also


  1. ^ Vassil, Chris (January 27, 2009). "National Museum of the Marine Corps Remains Top Virginia Destination". Marketwatch. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  2. ^ "National Marine Corps Museum plans massive expansion," Marine Corps Times, July 13, 2013, retrieved January 26, 2014
  3. ^ "Marine Corps History and Museum Division". Archived from the original on 2006-02-05. MUSEUMS: Visitors and Researchers – Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, DC, Permanently Closed as of July 1, 2005; National Museum of the Marine Corps, MCB, Quantico, VA, Opening in 2006. 
  4. ^ "Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Closed Permanently. The Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum aboard Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA, is closed permanently as of November 15, 2002. This is part of the transition to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, which will be opening in the near future. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g National museum of the marine corps history
  6. ^ Richard F. Snow "New Museum: One Service's Bid to 'Live Forever,'" American Heritage, Nov./Dec. 2006.
  7. ^ "Worship in the woods". Washington Post. 2009-10-23. pp. B1. 
  8. ^ Miller, Joshua Rhett. "Statue of Korean War Horse Reckless to be Unveiled at Marine museum in Virginia". Fox News. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Marine Corps Heritage Foundation website
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps, Fentress Architects (Retrieved 2006-06-25). General and "green" design features of the Museum.
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps, Christopher Chadbourne and Associates, Inc. (Exhibit Design)
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps, Moh.Visuals, Inc. (Tun Tavern Design)
  • Photo Gallery

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