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 Veteran Held in Iran to Start Hunger Strike

amir hekmati 428x285

DETROIT — The family of a former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Iran says he is going on a hunger strike and has dictated a letter asking President Obama not to forget him as dialogue continues between the two countries over Iran's nuclear activities. Amir Hekmati told the family by phone Tuesday about the hunger strike, Sarah Hekmati said in an em... more

Vets, Friends of Slaying Suspect Struggle to Make Sense of Killings

This photo provided by the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney in Norristown, Pa., shows Bradley William Stone, 35, of Pennsburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney)

He went to war with a Marine regiment known as the Cannon Cockers, an artillery unit that rained explosive shells on the enemy in Iraq. He did not stay long -- less than three months in 2008. But Bradley Stone claimed he had been fully disabled by post-traumatic stress disorder and was taking medication as part of his mental-health treatment. ... more

Red Reef 15 Closes With Joint Demonstration

A landing craft utility exits the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock to transport Marines and Sailors assigned to the 11th MEU and Comstock ashore. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Melissa Wenger/Released)

RAS AL KHAIR, Saudi Arabia  -- U.S. Marines and Sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), along with members of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces officially concluded exercise Red Reef 15 with a joint demonstration in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dec. 16. Red Reef 15 is a biennial, bilateral exercise between the United States and the Ki... more

Search Intensifies for Marine Vet Suspected of Killing 6

A police officer runs a line near a home, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Pennsburg, Pa., where suspect Bradley William Stone is believed to have barricaded himself inside after shootings at multiple homes. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PENNSBURG, Pa. — A woman who told neighbors she feared her ex-husband would kill her was among six people found fatally shot in three suburban Philadelphia homes, and her Marine veteran former husband was on the run. Suspect Bradley Michael Stone, 35, remained at large early Tuesday, causing one local school district to close schools as a preca... more

Critics Say Progress on Military Sex Assaults an Illusion

stop sexual assault 600x400

In its latest report of sexual assaults, the Pentagon says it has made progress in reducing the problem, but figures from an independent survey of troops raised questions about the improvements, particularly in the Marine Corps. The Marines reported that the number of troops who said they were victims of sexual misconduct dropped by about 1,000... more

© 2014 Military Advantage