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.”

PTSD Argued in Case of Marine Jailed in Mexico

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25

SAN DIEGO -- There's no dispute retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi drove with three loaded guns in his truck into Mexico where firearms are illegal. Tahmooressi says he got lost on a California freeway ramp that sent him across the border with no way to turn back. His attorney argues Mexican Customs officials also violated his rights by hol... more

Bronze Star Awarded Posthumously to Marine

Erin Vasselian

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Marine Charged in Transgender's Killing Transferred to Filipino Base

In this Oct. 18, 2014, photo, activists shout slogans during a rally near the USS Peleliu, where U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton is being held for allegedly killing Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude, at the Subic Bay free port. Aaron Favila/AP

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- A U.S. Marine suspected in the death of a transgender in the Philippines has been transferred from custody on an American ship to a Philippine military base. Local police have filed a murder complaint against the Marine, who they have identified as Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was seen entering the Celzone Lodge in... more

Navy to Commission Amphib Designed for F-35s and No Well Deck

USS America

Saturday will mark the formal commissioning of the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, the USS America-- a big-deck amphib designed to more fully leverage the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and the ability to air-drop Marines behind enemy lines. Unlike previous Wasp-class amphibious assault ships, the America will not have a well-deck to launch ... more

After Marine's Death, His Family Remembers His Life

SUFFOLK -- When the call came on Sept. 16, Mary Strong looked over at her husband, Donny, behind the wheel. The Suffolk couple were on the way to Connecticut to attend a memorial service for Donny's father, who had died four days earlier. There was nowhere to pull over on the busy road, and Mary wondered how she was ever going to repeat what th... more

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