Marine Corps Sword

The Marine Corps sword is not just a weapon it is the legacy of the United State’s Marines. This is the oldest weapon which is still carried by the United States Armed Forces.

The Marine Corps sword is a Mameluke sword. This sword closely resembles scimitar swords. It has a cross-ridge and has a curved blade. It was historically used by Mamluk warriors, hence the name.


The Mameluke sword has its origin in Persia, from where it migrated to India, Egypt and North Africa. These swords started being used in several Western militaries including the French Army, British Army and the United State Marine Corps.

How did the United States Marine Corps start using the Mameluk swords?

A Mameluk Chief, Prince Hamet, had first gifted this sword to Lt. Presley O’Bannon on 8th of December 1805, in North Africa. The lieutenant and his Marines fought the pirates in the shores of Tripoli.

The Marine Corps had victory in the Battle of Tripoli Harbor against the pirates after a long march across the North African Desert.

Thereafter, the Marine Corps Commandant Archibald Henderson adopted the Mameluke sword in the US Marines in the year 1825 to be carried by all Marine Corps.

Since then the Marine officers wear the Marine Corps sword till date.

The other Marine Corp swords or bladed weapons used by the U.S. Marine officers’ are:

* M7 bayonet: This weapon was introduced in 1964 when the M16 entered service during the Vietnam War. This sword is currently being phased out.

* OKC-3S bayonet: This was a replacement to the M7 bayonet, as the U.S. Marine Corps service bayonet for the M16 rifle. This bayonet was more durable and also served as a fighting knife. It’s made from high carbon steel, its 8 inch long, 1-3/8 inches wide and has a 2 inch thick blade and weighs 1.25 pounds.

* Ka-Bar: This knife is issued to Marines who carry pistols, machine guns and other non-bayonet compatible firearms. It is made of 1095 carbon steel and it has a synthetic handle which is non-slippery. It has a 7 inch clip point blade.

* Marine Non-Commissioned Officers’ Sword: This sword was carried by the NCOs and was adopted in 1859. It is similar to the United State Army’s foot officers’ swords but with a minor difference. It is used till date.

The Marine NCOs sword and the Mameluke swords are used for ceremonial purposes only. A Marine Corps Sword is of great honor to the officers of the United States Marine Corps.