Early History - Ship Guard Duty
In 1798, by an order from the Secretary of the Navy, a detachment of Marines was sent for duty aboard the USS General Greene, stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. A few months later, more Marines were sent for duty the USS George Washington, also located in Newport. This was the earliest known beginning of the US Marine Corps presence in Newport, Rhode Island. To support this staffing effort, a Marine lieutenant was sent on recruiting detail to the nearby states of New England to find volunteers for the duty. Marines maintained a presence in Newport in the manner for close to a century.
Establishment of the Marine Barracks
As the size of the Marine presence aboard the base grew over time, the detachment of Marines came to be berthed on the USS New Hampshire due to a lack of barracks. Before being towed to new London, Connecticut in 1891 for decommissioning, it had been used as Commodore Stephen B. Luce's flagship for the Navy's Apprentice Training Squadron. When the New Hampshire left Newport, the Marines had to camp out for nearly two years -summer and winter- until the government awarded a contract for the construction of a new Marine Barracks building to be completed in 1894. Though originally intended to be a model barracks with steam heating and electric bells, by the time of its hasty completion it left much to be desired, albeit a step up from camping out. For the next 50 years, Marines in Newport maintained guard duty for the Naval War College and the Torpedo Station.
World War II - 1977
From 1941 to 1946, Newport was renamed Navy Operating Base Newport and was increased in size and activity substantially to support the war effort in Europe. After World War II ended, the Marine presence continued up until 1977, when the Marine Barracks Newport was officially decommissioned and re-designated as a detachment.
1977 - Present
From 1977 to today, the Marines have maintained a presence aboard Naval Station Newport at detachment strength. No longer in charge of base and facilities security, the Marine Corps Detachment Newport now maintains a detachment that provides headquarters, training, administrative and disbursing support functions to the more than 200-strong Marine presence aboard the base. MCDET Newport, RI was formed in 2010 as a combination of the MarDet Newport Admin Support Detachment and Marine Detachment, Athens GA. With the closing of Navy Supply Corps School Athens, GA as directed by BRAC 2005, the Marine Detachment moved from Athens, GA to Newport, RI. Our schoolhouses teach various courses, including the following: the Aviation Logistics Tactical Information Systems Course, Basic Lawyers Course (BLC), Legal Services Support (LSS), and Legal Services Court Reporter Course (LSCRC).
Chain of Command:
- Marine Corps Combat Development Command
-- Marine Corps Training & Education Command
--- Marine Corps Training Command
---- Marine Corps Intelligence Schools
----- Marine Corps Detachment Newport, RI
------ Marine Corps SERE School East