Honorary Marine is a title that has been given to various people by the United States Marine Corps.
The distinction is currently bestowed solely by the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps to "individuals in the civilian community who have made extraordinary contributions to the Marine Corps." It "carries no entitlement to pay or benefits."
Nominations may be submitted to the commandant by "commanding generals, commanding officers, and officers-in-charge" and "must be endorsed by a general officer within their chain of command." Criteria include:
Two somewhat differing lists can be viewed on the official Marine Corps website, one at the Marine Corps Honorary Marine page (1992-2011), and the other in this document (1992-2007).
Among the notables on both lists are:
Among the 2012 honorees were Cody Green, a terminally ill boy who loved the U.S. Marine Corps, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.
Jacob Tyler Sprinkle was posthumously made an Honorary Marine on July 11, 2014 and the family was presented his honor on October 15, 2014. The ceremony was held at Lee High School in Jonesville, Virginia. The presenting officer of the United States Marine Corps was Lt. General John A. Toolan, Jr., Commander, Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Jacob lost a 13-year fight with congenital heart defects.
As of October 2014, there have been fewer than 100 Honorary Marine titles presented in the 239 years of the Marine Corps.
Lon Chaney, Sr. was made an honorary member of the Corps for his portrayal of a Marine sergeant in the 1926 film Tell It to the Marines. Cartoon character Bugs Bunny was given the rank of honorary Marine master sergeant for his performance in Super-Rabbit. Actor and comedian Bob Hope, famous for his work with the USO, was named an honorary brigadier general of the Corps.