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.”

Marines on Frontline Battling to End Sexual Assault

The Marine Corps takes measures to educate and train Marines on sexual assault prevention and response and its effect on our brothers and sisters in arms. (U.S. Marine photo)

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- The Marine Corps has a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault, an act that directly contradicts our Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment. The Marine Corps takes measures to educate and train Marines on sexual assault prevention and response and its effect on our brothers and sisters in arms. The fr... more

Blue Angels Plan Return to Island Sky

Blue Angels 600x400

The Blue Angels, with a 2001 Maryknoll School graduate piloting one of the F/A-18 Hornet jets, will perform Oct. 17-18 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. Navy Lt. Matt Suyderhoud, who grew up in Hawaii Kai, joined the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team last July. Suyderhoud and his twin brother, Johann, are 2001 graduates of... more

From Bare Feet to Combat Boots

Corporal Osmar S. Gorish

MARINE AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, California -- People come from different climes and places, from around the world, to join the ranks of the Unites States Marine Corps. For one Marine in particular, earning the title meant the biggest opportunity of his life.  Being born in Colon, Panama, Cpl. Osmar S. Gorish, a section chief f... more

Jury Sees Video of Killing of Former Marine in Camden


There is no question that Darrell Crone and Timothy Loper Jr. both went to the same bar on the same night near Camden's waterfront nearly a year and a half ago, but a jury will have to decide whether the gunman seen in a video shooting Loper is actually Crone. The jury, seated this week, started hearing testimony Tuesday in the trial of Crone o... more

Marine's Perceptions of the Enemy Changed During his WWII Experiences

Bill Rhodes of Stafford County signed up to fight in the kind of war he saw in the movies. He watched "Guadalcanal Diary," a 1943 film about a World War II correspondent, when he was 18 and craved the glory depicted on the silver screen. "I was a dumb country kid; I had never been away from home before, ever," he said. "I was going to be a Mar... more

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