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 24, 2013
NEW ORLEANS -- Marines do many things to relieve stress during breaks at work. Some go out for a smoke break or gather around for some “water cooler” talk, while others go outside to catch a whiff of fresh air. Sgt. Emmanuel Dickson, however, does not do any of those things. Dickson, an administrative specialist with personnel sourcing, Marine ... more
Marine Corps News | May 24, 2013
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Staff Sgt. Justin M. Rettenberger, an instructor with Field Medical Training Battalion West, and a native of Dubuque, Iowa, received the military’s fourth highest combat award during a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, May 23. Rettenberger received the combat distinguishing “V” device, for valor, with hi... more
Marine Corps News | May 23, 2013
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – In the world’s strongest fighting force, only a select few can say they’ve earned a second-degree black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Staff Sgt. Jeremy Meadows is one of the few who proudly wear two red tabs here. Before enlisting in the Marine Corps, Meadows -- a Marine Corps Martial... more
| May 23, 2013
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - In accordance with a weeklong deployment for training exercise, the Marines and Sailors with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., took part in combat convoy simulator training at the Tactical Vehicle Simulation Center at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 1... more
Marine Corps News | May 22, 2013
SAN DIEGO -- The crowd erupted into cheers and applause as the honored guests stepped onto the field. Although it was typical sunny Southern Californian weather, it was no ordinary day when the Marines showed up to the Padres game. To celebrate their return from a Western Pacific deployment, Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit at... more