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.”

DoD to Pay Travel Costs for Families of Marines Killed in Nepal

Nepalese military service members unload supplies from a UH-1Y Huey in Charikot, Nepal on May 5. (Marine photo)

The Pentagon has waived the little-known rule that would have forced the grieving families of six Marines killed on a relief mission in Nepal to pay their own way to the ceremony for the return of the remains at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. There has been no official announcement on a return date for the remains. Pentagon officials on F... more

Construction Underway at Marines Headquarters in Yorktown

ground breaking at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown

Construction on the Marine Security Force Regiment headquarters and compound is well underway at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. Originally slated for completion in June, the first phase of the $200 million project is running behind schedule, according to Navy and Marine officials, who were vague on just how far behind schedule work was. The r... more

Marine Officials Defend Osprey's Safety Record Following Hawaii Crash

Marines load into an MV-22B Osprey 600x400

HONOLULU — An MV-22 Osprey crash that killed a Marine and injured several other service members during a training exercise in Hawaii has renewed safety concerns about the Marine Corps' tilt-rotor aircraft. But the Marines say the MV-22 Osprey has proven itself to be safe despite high-profile accidents early in its operation. The aircraft went ... more

Parade of Ships Signals Start of 2015 Fleet Week New York

The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) enters New York harbor during the Parade of Ships to start Fleet Week New York 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt/Released)

NEW YORK -- The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officially kicked off 2015 Fleet Week New York (FWNY) with a Parade of Ships, May 20. FWNY, now in its 27th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, M... more

Second Marine Dies from Hawaii Osprey Crash Injuries

In this May 17, 2015 photo, a man and woman look toward smoke rising from a Marine Corps Osprey aircraft after making a hard landing on Bellows Air Force Station near Waimanalo, Hawaii. (Zane Dulin via AP)

A second Marine has died of injuries suffered in the training exercise crash of an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, the Marine Corps said Wednesday. The Marine's family was notified but his name was not immediately released. He died early Wednesday at a hospital in Oahu, the Marine Corps said. Two other Mari... more

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