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 Corps News | May 20, 2013
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETRY, Va. -- Under overcast skies, 10 Marines, two sailors and one airman were finally laid to rest in an internment ceremony for the troops who didn’t make it home in the aftermath of a CH-53 crash during The Battle of Koh Tang, May 15. The 13 interred were in a waterborne CH-53 crash that occurred off the coast of Koh... more
Associated Press | May 19, 2013
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A simple test could have alerted officials that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated, long before authorities determined that as many as a million Marines and their families were exposed to a witch's brew of cancer-causing chemicals. But no one responsible for the lab at the base can recall that the procedur... more
Military.com | May 17, 2013
Marine Corps officials on Thursday brushed off allegations by a defense lawyer that the Corps was bowing to “political hysteria” in ordering a court-martial for the only officer facing charges over the video showing troops urinating on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan. Capt. James Clement will face a special court-martial on two charges in connec... more
Marine Corps News | May 17, 2013
NAHA, Okinawa, Japan -- The crowd grew silent as it watched competitors tensely grip their oars. Moments later the silence was shattered by an instantaneous eruption of splashing and cheering as the 39th annual Naha Haarii Festival commenced at the Naha New Port Wharf May 5. The tradition of dragon boat-racing began hundreds of years ago when ... more
| May 17, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Col. - The Marine Corps has officially established a winning dynasty at the 2013 Warrior Games, taking top honors for the fourth year in a row. The 50 Marines who comprise the team took home 93 medals. The Army placed second with 81 medals. The Marines take home 34 gold medals, 33 silver and 26 bronze medals. "Congratulations... more