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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.”

Erin Corwin, left, with her husband, Jonathan Wayne Corwin, a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. Erin Corwin disappeared after leaving her home on the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base. (AP Photo/San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, File)

Former Marine Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Lover

JOSHUA TREE, Calif.  — A former Marine has pleaded not guilty to killing the pregnant wife of another Marine. The Desert Sun of Palm Springs says 24-year-old Christopher Lee entered the plea Tuesday to first-degree murder with a special allegation of lying in wait. Lee was arrested in Alaska on Aug. 17 after the body of 19-year-old Erin Corwin... more

former Marine Corps Capt. Jason C. Brezler

IG Investigating If 3-star Punished Whistleblower

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense Inspector General is investigating whether a three-star general tried to end another officer’s career in retaliation for talking to politicians and other officials about incidents surrounding an insider attack in Afghanistan. Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Jason Brezler has accused Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, the c... more

The commandant is considering changes to Marine hairstyle rules.

Marine Hair Policy Being Considered by Commandant

The decision to allow female Marines to wear twists, where two portions or strands of hair are interwoven together, now lies in the hands of the commandant of the Marine Corps. Capt. Tyler Balzer, the media officer with public affairs at Headquarters Marine Corps, said a special working group within the Marine Corps Uniform Board recommended th... more

Corporal David Calle

Marines Conduct Security Patrol in Afghanistan

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan— Enemy insurgents continue to operate in Helmand province, Afghanistan. To mitigate this threat, infantry units conduct security patrols to build relationships with locals in the surrounding area of Camps Bastion and Leatherneck, and to rid local routes of improvised explosive devices. Marines and sailors with Brav... more

Montford Point Marines Honored during Ceremony

Four Montford Point Marines were honored on Friday during a ceremony celebrating the nation's Montford Point Marines Day. More than 200 people attended the ceremony at the Bachelor's Officers Quarters Parade Deck aboard Camp Johnson where Marines, sailors, family and friends witnessed the awarding of the four Congressional Gold Medals to family... more

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