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 Proud to Serve Twice during Afghan Drawdown

First Lt. Michael Wish

Marine Corps News | Jul 29, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- During America’s longest war, many newly-minted Marines’ have wished for an opportunity to dirty their boots in Afghanistan. In the past year, however, deployments to Helmand have slowed and the remaining forces are focused on the redeployment and retrograde effort, while others continue to advise and assist the ... more

Marines Honored for Sixth Consecutive Year

 | Jul 28, 2014

For the sixth year in a row, the Marines of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River were recognized for exceptional excellence and dedication to the Department of Defense Operation Support Airlift Program. "It took a team effort and total professionalism from all of our Marines," said Lt. Col. Timothy Le... more

Defense Department Employee Gets 2 Years in Prison

Front gate Camp Pendleton

Associated Press | Jul 28, 2014

SAN DIEGO — A federal judge has sentenced a Defense Department supervisor who oversaw construction and service contracts at a Southern California Marine Corps base to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to bribery and other charges. U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on Friday also ordered Natividad Lara Cervantes to forfeit more ... more

Senate OKs Dunford, Gortney, Votel, Campbell Noms

Army Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Votel

 | Jul 25, 2014

Joseph Votel, newly minted Army general, will become the 10th commander of U.S. Special Operations Command as the result of a voice vote by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. The voice vote was unanimous, said Ryan Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. SOCOM is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. Votel, who before the confirm... more

Marines Investigate Corporal Who Vanished in Iraq


Associated Press | Jul 25, 2014

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marine Corps officers have launched a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or months later after returning to the United States, a military spokesman said Thursday. Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was being investigated for alleged desertion, destruction of government property and... more

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