With a propitious sense of timing and a skillful demonstration of political legerdemain, Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps George Barnett insinuated a regiment of Leathernecks into the initial force of Doughboys sailing for France when America entered World War I in 1917. Even as Army General John J. Pershing, commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), was cabling in vain that "no more Marines be sent to France," another regiment and a machine-gun battalion had arrived.
Together, the interloping Marines formed up to become the 4th Brigade (Marine), AEF, in official parlance. Mostly they were just known as "The Marine Brigade." In Army circles, even at the highest level, they were sometimes referred to as "Useless Son-of-a-bitches Made Comfortable." In official correspondence, an Army general who had once served as a regimental commander in the 2nd Division, AEF, called the Marines "adventurers, illiterates, and drunkards."