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.”

New Sergeant Major Takes Over at Parris Island

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness officially took over as new sergeant major at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island on Friday, according to a news release. Maness will oversee the Eastern Recruiting Region and be the senior enlisted adviser to Brig. Gen. Terry Williams, the commanding officer at Parris Island. Maness joined th... more

Noise from F-35B Comparable to F/A-18s, New Study Says

F-35B Lightning II 600x400

The new F-35B fighters flying over Beaufort might not sound like their older counterparts, but they are no louder, according to data released last month by the F-35's Joint Program Office. An executive summary made public Oct. 31, ahead of the release of the full report, says the F-35B's noise level is comparable to or lower than the F/A-18s cu... more

Marine with Robotic Leg Braces to Get Bronze Star

Marine Capt. Derek Herrera 600x400

SAN DIEGO — Capt. Derek Herrera wanted to remain on active duty after a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan left him paralyzed two years ago. Now he plans to retire from the Marine Corps, but not before walking across a stage with robotic leg braces to receive a Bronze Star. Herrera will be honored Friday at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego, in a... more

Trial Set after Vanishing Marine Request is Denied

Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun

RALEIGH, N.C.  — A judge has declined a request for a new hearing on evidence against a U.S. Marine accused of deserting his unit a decade ago in Iraq and later winding up in Lebanon, a military spokesman said Wednesday. The judge decided last week to deny Cpl. Wassef Hassoun's request for another Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of ... more

Hagel Visits Female Marines Training for Combat Roles

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks with Marines and sailors from II Marine Expeditionary Force aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 18, 2014. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Scott W. Whiting)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to meet the female Marines who are seeking roles in the infantry, armor and artillery that previously were restricted to men. Hagel asked the women at a town hall meeting about their motivation to fight and work in the most grueling combat positions in the U.S. military.... more

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