Photo Information

Special guests observe a ground breaking outside the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, March 27, 2015. The ground breaking is the ceremonial initation of the construction of an expansion to the site that will update the museum on the Marine Corps history during the Post-Vietnam War era.

Photo by Sgt. Terry Brady

Marine Corps Museum grows to showcase Corps legacy

30 Mar 2015 | Sgt. Terry Brady The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The National Museum of the Marine Corps hosted a ceremony Mar. 27, 2015, officially starting the construction of an expansion.

The new expansion will cover historical events since the post-Vietnam era, to include the Gulf War and the Global War of Terrorism, as well as campaigns and engagements in Somalia, Kosovo, and Grenada.

“The museum is vital to the preservation of the heritage of the Marine Corps,” said Timothy T. Day, a Marine veteran and Chairman and CEO of Bar-S Foods Co. “The museum displays heritage in a prominent and impactful way that whether or not you are a Marine you get a sense of the service that the Marine Corps has played in helping the United States become what it has.”

The growth includes: new major artifacts, such as an M60 main battle tank from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, an assault amphibious vehicle and a Humvee, and new exhibits featuring sports, combat art and children galleries and a 350-seat giant screen theater.

“With this upcoming expansion we will be able to honor all of the Marines,” said retired Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman, Jr., the president & CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “The history of the Marine Corps now as we are able to portray it ends with the Vietnam War. When we have generations of Marines since 1975, who’s history has yet to be honored here.

“Forty years of history is missing [in the museum],” said Blackman. “I am personally committed to those Marines, who served during those 40 years, that they come here and have a feeling of pride in their accomplishments and their units.”

The ceremony hosted special guests and speeches from active and retired Marines including retired Gen. Walter E. Boomer, who led Marines during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and retired Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Afterwards, the attendees and project leads met outside to perform the first ground breaking so construction can begin and the designer’s drawings will morph into reality.

The original architects of the museum were requested to design the structure of the expansion. The Museum is the official site for the catalog of Marine Corps History, replacing the Marine Corps Historical Center and Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum in 2006.

“We’ve been designers of museums for many years,” said Brian Chaffey, principal in charge with Fentress architects. “When we saw the opportunity to design this building, we were quick to respond to the Navy’s request for qualification.

“We want to see the owners goals realized. We are seeing that in the completion of phase one.  With the construction of phase two we see the vision of the museum fully realized.”

The finished expansion is expected to be completed January 2017, according to Blackman.

“As a Marine, I am committed to the service of all Marines. We value that unbroken line from Tun Tavern in 1775 to the present day,” said Blackman. “We are committed to ensuring that the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans come with their children, and then later their children can bring their children to see what their grandparent’s service was all about.”