"Soldiers of the Sea", a poster designed by Bruce Moore and disseminated by the U.S. Marines' Recruiting Bureau in 1923, captures the ethos and valor of the U.S. Marine Corps. Presented on the backdrop of a tropical battlefield, soldiers clad in green and brandishing rifles charge forward, while U.S. warships bolster their advance from the sea behind.
The 1920s marked a pivotal era in the global political climate. Following World War I, the United States was transitioning from the intense war efforts to a more isolationist stance, even while maintaining its military preparedness. The U.S. Marines, vital components of the nation's defense, sought to invigorate their ranks with new enlistments. The depiction of marines charging over tropical landscapes likely invokes recent memories of engagements in places like the Caribbean or Central America, where U.S. interventions were frequent during this period.
Bruce Moore's illustration style is emblematic of the period's propaganda and recruiting posters. His decision to portray the Marines in action against a vibrant, tropical backdrop reflects not only the Corps' global reach but also the romanticized notions of adventure and heroism attached to military service. The U.S. warships, standing majestic and formidable, emphasize naval power and the integration of marine and naval operations.
The phrase "The Service with a Future" entices prospective recruits with the promise of career opportunities and personal growth within the Marines. Such prints were pivotal in creating and promoting the enduring narrative of the U.S. Marine Corps as a force of bravery, opportunity, and national pride.