On March 15, 1938, the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps was established. Merchant Marines transport cargo and passengers in peacetime and are called upon in times of war to deliver troops and supplies wherever needed.
America’s Merchant Marines traces its roots to the colonial era and first entered combat during the Revolutionary War. On June 12, 1775, a group of citizens who had learned about the fighting at Lexington and Concord captured the British schooner HMS Margaretta. The British refused to surrender, and instead gave the Americans an ultimatum – either load the ships with lumber to build British barracks in Boston or starve (the British had much-needed supplies on other ships). The citizens instead chose to fight.