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 Corps Announces F-35B Fighter Jet Ready for Initial Operations

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The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday announced the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is ready to fly initial operations. After notifying lawmakers in Congress, Commandant Joseph Dunford said he "was pleased to announce" that the F-35B jump-jet version of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made plane achieved the historic milestone, known as initial operational c... more

Veterans Honor Marines Killed in Chattanooga

Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team continue to investigate the shooting at the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office on July 18, 2015. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

After watching the news and seeing fellow Marines shot and killed July 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jean Lushin, past commandant of the Albert E. Shockey Marine Corps League Detachment #930, knew he had to do something in their honor. With the help from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1152, American Legion Post 6, Disabled American Veterans ... more

Report Says Marines Burned Corpses in Fallujah for Sanitary Reasons

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The burning of corpses of insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, was done to prevent disease from spreading among U.S. Marines fighting to retake the Iraqi city and did not violate rules of conduct, the U.S. Marine Corps said Wednesday. The Marines launched an investigation in 2014, after celebrity gossip site TMZ.com published photos o... more

Oil Leak Caused Marine Jet Crash in Southern California

Smoke and flames rise after a Marine jet crashed into a residential area in the desert community of Imperial, Calif., setting two homes on fire Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP photo)

SAN DIEGO — An oil leak caused a Marine fighter jet to crash in a Southern California neighborhood last year, setting several homes on fire and destroying the aircraft, it was reported Monday. The AV-8B Harrier went down on June 4, 2014, after a crack in an oil drain tank caused a leak that sparked a fire, engine failure and total loss of flig... more

Marine Corps Education Programs

Marine Corps commandant James Amos

The Marine Corps Lifelong Learning Programs Branch (MRV) at Headquarters Marine Corps is guided by DoD Directive 1322.8 to provide programs for the following areas: Marine Deployed Education Programs Library Programs Military Academic Skills Program (MASP) Military Tuition Assistance (TA) United Services Military Appre... more

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