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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.”

Combat Center Marines Help at Camp Ronald McDonald

shooting an archery bow

MARNE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif --Laughter filled the air as Combat Center Marines volunteered with Desert Arc at Camp Ronald McDonald in Mountain Center, Calif, Saturday. The event was coordinated through Navy Lt. Donald Baker, Chaplain, Headquarters Battalion, to help build a stronger relationship with the base’s s... more

Navy: Deployed Sailors, Marines to Receive Hardship Duty Pay

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The Navy has approved a special provision granting hardship duty pay to sailors and Marines who are deployed beyond 220 consecutive days, service officials said. The newly established Hardship Duty Pay, effective as of Wednesday, will pay sailors and Marines an extra $16.50 per day when they are operationally deployed beyond 220 consecutive... more

MARSOC Marine Killed in Afghanistan in Apparent Insider Attack

Camp Lejeune

SUFFOLK -- A Marine from Suffolk was killed Monday in Afghanistan in what officials described as an insider attack by an Afghan soldier. Sgt. Charles C. Strong, a member of the Marine Forces Special Operations Command, was 28. He graduated from Nansemond River High School in 2003. Strong's unit, the 2nd Marines Special Operations Battalion ba... more

Marine Returns Home during Distant Frontier

Marines in Alaska

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- For most members of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, coming to Alaska is a unique and exciting adventure they have never experienced before. It is home to the tallest peak in North America, Mt. McKinley, as well as being the only state within the Arctic Circle, both of which are within a day trip of Eielson A... more

Iraqi Captive at Guantanamo Gets Marine Lawyer Who Invaded Iraq

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- An Iraqi prisoner accused of war crimes as commander of al-Qaida's resistance of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in 2003 met for the first time Monday with the lawyer chosen by the Pentagon to defend him: A Marine lawyer who was part of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, in his 50s, sat i... more

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