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.”

New Top Enlisted Leader: 'Mission First, and Marines Always'

Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green speaks to a group of Marines and sailors in Italy on Oct. 29, 2011. (U.S. Marines)

SAN DIEGO — It’s been more than 30 years since Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green was a private, but the Marine Corps’ next top enlisted leader said he still tries to see things from the most junior Marines’ point of view every day. “I’m the type of Marine who looks through the lens of the private. What’s good for the private is good for everyone,” Gree... more

Duke Energy to Build Solar Farm at Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune Main Gate

Duke Energy will build a 13-megawatt solar farm at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Onslow County. Duke Energy Progress, the utility that serves Eastern North Carolina, will own and operate the $25 million to $30 million facility. It's expected to be online this year. The solar farm will help Duke meet North Carolina's green-energy mandat... more

Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green Named Top Enlisted Marine

Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green speaks to a group of Marines and sailors in Italy on Oct. 29, 2011. (U.S. Marines)

SAN DIEGO — Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green will be the 18th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Marine Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford announced Tuesday. Green, the current sergeant major of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., will assume duties as the senior enlisted leader of the Corps on Feb. 10 in a ceremony at the Mar... more

A South Philly Marine's Final Mission

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Marines salute their fallen brothers after a memorial service at Camp Schwab Feb. 3, 2012. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite)

Up in the high desert of northeastern Utah near the Colorado border, a teen with a jawline as rugged as the surrounding mountain ranges decided early in life that he was a Marine. Staff Sgt. Daniel D. Gurr enlisted before his senior year at Uintah High School, where he was an all-state soccer player, a defender known to sacrifice his body on th... more

Two People, Dog Rescued from Boat in N.C.

MH-60 Jayhawk

Coast Guard and Marine Corps helicopter crews airlifted two people and a dog from a grounded sailboat near Beaufort, N.C., on Sunday. An HH-46 Sea Knight crew from Cherry Point Air Station first rescued a man with a heart condition from the 22-foot Serendipity, which had called for help at 11:50 a.m. The man was put in the care of emergency res... more

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