It seems that after WW I, the war to end all wars, the US Govt. had a lot of surplus material that they had no use for. What to do with it was a problem, and it was finally decided to hold an auction and sell everything off.
The day of the auction came, and progressed smoothly throughout the day. At the end of the day, everything had been sold off except the Marines and an old jackass.
Not wanting anything left over, the govt. decided to flip a coin between the Army and Navy, the winner getting their choice of the two left over items.
The Army won the toss, and the rest is history.
Submitted by Fred R.
By Rod Powers, About.com Guide