During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces for the recently formed Continental Navy. The resolution, drafted by future U.S. President John Adams and adopted in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775 is now observed as the birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
Serving on land and at sea, the original U.S. Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations during the Revolutionary War. The first Marine landing on a hostile shore occurred when a force of Marines under Captain Samuel Nicholas captured New Province Island in the Bahamas from the British in March 1776. Nicholas was the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines and is celebrated as the first Marine commandant.