Our Mission

The mission of the Marine Corps League is to promote the interest and to preserve traditions of the United States Marine Corps; strengthen the fraternity of Marines and their families; serve Marines, FMF Corpsmen, and FMF Chaplains who wear or who have worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor; and foster the ideals of Americanism and patriotic volunteerism.

Our History

The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe, and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune, the 13th Marine Corps commandant, as one of its founding members.

The Battleship Oregon Memorial, located in the Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, was built in 1956 to honor an 1893 ship. It was nicknamed ‘the Bulldog of the United States Navy.’

Prior to becoming the USS Oregon Detachment #470, there were two detachments in the area, the Janigian Detachment and the Portland Detachment. The USS Oregon Detachment 470 was a direct result of these two merging. Detachment 470 of the Marine Corps League was founded in 1986 by Gary J. Kniss.

The Military Order of the Devil Dogs (Webfoot Pound 104), was chartered July 18, 1988, by PDD Gary J, Kniss and signed by nine charter members. We currently have one charter member still in the Detachment, life member Jeffrey H Barker.

The Detachment was nicknamed the “USS Oregon” in honor of the USS Oregon (BB-3), which was the third and final member of the Indiana class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the United States Navy in the 1890s. The three ships were built as part of a modernization program aimed at strengthening the American fleet to prepare for a possible conflict with a European navy. Designed for short-range operations in defense of the United States, the three Indiana-class ships had a low freeboard and carried a main battery of four 13-inch (330 mm) guns in a pair of gun turrets. Oregon and her sister ships were the first modern battleships built for the United States, though they suffered from significant stability and seakeeping problems owing to their small size and insufficient freeboard.

After entering service in 1896, Oregon briefly served with the Pacific Squadron before being transferred to the East Coast of the United States as tensions with Spain over Cuba grew in early 1898. She completed a 14,000-nautical-mile (26,000 km; 16,000 mi) journey around South America in the span of 66 days, arriving shortly after the start of the Spanish–American War. She thereafter took part in the blockade of Santiago de Cuba, which culminated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July, where Oregon contributed to the destruction of the Spanish squadron in Cuba.

After the war, Oregon was deployed to the Asiatic Squadron, serving during the Philippine–American War and the Boxer Rebellion in Qing China. The ship returned to the United States in 1906, when she was decommissioned and placed in reserve for the next five years, during which she was modernized.

Reactivated in 1911, Oregon spent the next several years cruising off the West Coast of the United States, frequently going in and out of service. During the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War in 1918, she escorted a convoy for the Siberian expedition.

The ship was decommissioned in 1919 and efforts by naval enthusiasts in the early 1920s led the Navy to loan Oregon to her namesake state for use as a museum ship.

Our Work

The Detachment takes part in ceremonies and events for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day.  Officers of the Detachment also attend the Department of Oregon summer convention and mid-winter conference.

The Marine Corps League is proud to support our Marines in many areas. We have 10 Divisions covering 48 Departments, and over 1,140 Detachments in communities across the Country.

The Marine Corps League provides funeral honors support to over 10,000 funerals per year. This support allows the Marine Corps (Active and Reserve) to focus more of their resources on mission preparation.

The Marine Corps League is the only congressionally chartered United States Marine Corps-related veterans organization in the United States. Its congressional charter was approved by the 75th U.S. Congress and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937.

The Marine Corps League produces a quarterly publication called the Semper Fi Magazine.

We have many programs supporting our Marines, their families, and our community:

  • Veteran Service Officers (VSO)
  • Scouting/Eagle Scout Program
  • Marine Roses Program
  • POW/MIA Remembrance
  • Rifle and Pistol Competition Matches
  • Volunteer Assistance Veterans Service (VAVS)
  • Color Guards

Our Officers & Staff

Commandant William D. Allen   

Senior Vice Commandant Terry L. Welter

Junior Vice Commandant Andre C. Wood

Judge Advocate Dave Simpson

Junior Past Commandant Clyde A. (Tony) Rizzutto

Adjutant Hugh M. Henry

Paymaster Hugh M. Henry

Chaplain Gary C. Brannan

Sgt-At-Arms Donald W. Jackson

Service Officer Robert P. Topping

Web Sergeant Christy Munro

Contact MCL USS Oregon

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Our Partners