WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Actor and Marine Corps veteran R. Lee Ermey says he backs a bill to rename the Department of the Navy the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps League, which is orchestrating the grassroots effort with Ermey, has started a petition-writing campaign to back legislation sponsored by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., The Hill reported Saturday.
"Marines have fought and died with their Navy brothers and sisters for more than 200 years," said Michael Blum, the Marine Corps League executive director. "It's finally time to give the Marine Corps the recognition the branch has long deserved."
The Marine Corps League noted families of those who die in combat receive condolence letters on Navy letterhead stationery with no mention of the Marine Corps.
Congress officially created the Marine Corps on June 30, 1834 but placed the corps under the Department of the Navy.
The Marines have their own military command structure and function separately, The Hill said.