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Marine Corps

A Marine lieutenant undergoes training in the Corps' Infantry Officers Course. The course will enroll its first female students this year. Joey Chavez/U.S. Marine Corps

The Marine Corps serves as a versatile combat element, and is adapted to a wide variety of combat operations. The Marine Corps was initially composed of infantry combat forces serving aboard naval vessels, responsible for security of the ship, its captain and officers, offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions, by acting as sharpshooters, and carrying out amphibious assaults. The Marines fully developed and used the tactics of amphibious assault in World War II, most notably in the Pacific Island Campaign.

Since its creation in 1775, the Corps’ role has expanded significantly. The Marines have a unique mission statement, and, alone among the branches of the U.S. armed forces, “shall, at any time, be liable to do duty in the forts and garrisons of the United States, on the seacoast, or any other duty on shore, as the President, at his discretion, shall direct.” In this special capacity, charged with carrying out duties given to them directly by the President of the United States, the Marine Corps serves as an all-purpose, fast-response task force, capable of quick action in areas requiring emergency intervention.

The Marine Corps possesses organic ground and air combat elements, and relies upon the US Navy to provide sea combat elements to fulfill its mission as “America’s 9-1-1 Force”. Ground combat elements are largely contained in three Marine Expeditionary Forces, or “MEF’s”. The 1st MEF is based out of Camp Pendleton, California, the 2nd out of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, while the third is based on Okinawa, Japan. Within the MEF’s are the individual Marine Divisions (MARDIVS) and Force Service Support Groups (FSSG’s).Force Reconnaissance companies are composed of Marines specially trained in covert insertion, reconnaissance, and surveillance tactics, and some have even received special operations training. The “Recon Marine’s” basic mission is to scout out the enemy and report what they find.

Air combat elements are similarly grouped in the first, second and third Marine Aircraft Wings (MAW’s).

Marine tactics and doctrine tends to emphasize aggressiveness and the offensive, compared to Army tactics for similar units. The Marines have been central in developing groundbreaking tactics for maneuver warfare; they can be credited with the development of helicopter insertion doctrine and modern amphibious assault.

The Marines also maintain an operational and training culture dedicated to emphasizing the infantry combat abilities of every Marine. All Marines receive training first and foremost as basic riflemen, and thus the Marine Corps at heart functions as an infantry corps. The Marine Corps is famous for the saying “Every Marine a rifleman.”

There are approximately 198,000 Marines currently serving across the globe.

The Marine Corps motto is “Semper Fidelis,” which means “always faithful.”

Marine Lance Cpl. Julio C. Miranda Jr. rappels

Marines Conduct Rappel Assault Training

BRIDGEPORT, Calif. – Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment rappelled off cliffs during rappel assault training as part of Mountain Exercise 2014 aboard Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., Aug. 29, 2014. Marines with 3/1 will become the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s ground combat element in October. ... more

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25

VFW: Demand WH Get Marine From Mexico Jail

A major veterans' organization is asking millions of U.S. military personnel and veterans to call and email the White House to demand it gain the release of a Marine reservist jailed in Mexico since being arrested in March on gun charges. Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander John Stroud is also demanding the White House impose sancti... more

In this July 3, 1968 file photo, Marines of the first battalion, ninth marines ride on a lightweight tank-like vehicle carrying four 106mm recoilless rifles near Khe Sanh in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Stone)

Marines Deactivate Decorated 'Walking Dead' Unit

RALEIGH, N.C. — Decades before the television show, a Marine Corps battalion decorated for extensive combat in World War II and Vietnam earned the nickname the "Walking Dead." Now the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, which also saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been deactivated during a ceremony Friday at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeun... more

Camp Lejeune

Mess Hall Dedicated to Fallen Marines

The legacy of two Marines were immortalized on Thursday during a ceremony that dedicated a dining facility aboard Camp Lejeune in their honor. The Yale Haerter Mess Hall, formerly known as the Wallace Creek Dining Facility, was named after Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter, two Purple Heart Medal recipients who lost their l... more

Marine Corps Sgt. Major John W. Scott

MARSOC Welcomes New Commander at Camp Lejeune

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command bid farewell to one commander and welcomed another during a ceremony aboard Stone Bay at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 6.    Major Gen. Mark A. Clark relinquished command of MARSOC to Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman before a crowd of nearly 400 inside the... more

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