1988: Into the Persian Gulf

- Marine Corps strength: 197,350 (0.08% of U.S. population)

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the mining of sea lanes in the Persian Gulf ran high during the Iran-Iraq War. Marines in April 1988 were sent to board an Iranian oil rig, attach explosives, and detonate it in retaliation for mining that had damaged a Navy vessel a week prior.

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