The Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) is an organization that provides costumer service to Marines and their families through sales and merchandising. This service is provided both at home and abroad.
Though the first official Marine Corps Exchange was established in 1897 Boston by Theodore Roosevelt, civilian sales concessions had been approved long before, during the Revolutionary War. These sales took place until 1866, when various bad practices brought forth the abolition of these concessions from Army posts. Usurious credit practices and inadequate service were just a couple of the issues.
In the year 1900, two Marine Corps Exchanges opened in the Philippines, marking the first overseas MCX presence and adding to the seven exchanges operating out of the United States. By 1950, the total number of exchanges had risen to 52.
In 1990, during Operation Desert Storm, field exchanges in Saudi Arabia called for the deployment of 80 Exchange Marines to the area. In 2005, during the war in the Middle East, Civilian Marines were deployed to Iraq, adding to the number of Exchange Marines already there and allowing for the functioning of forward operating bases.
The official MCX website was launched in 2011. When civilian concessions first became available to soldiers in 1776, the items sold included chewing tobacco, knives and blankets. In 2015, items offered on the website ranged from music players and headphones to flat-screen televisions.