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The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the
maritime land force
maritime land force
service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state. Types of branches Unified forces The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified arm ...
of the
United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the of the . The armed forces consists of six : the , , , , , and . The is the of the armed forces and forms military policy with the (DoD) and (DHS), both , acting as the principal organs by which mil ...

United States Armed Forces
responsible for conducting expeditionary and
amphibious operations Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * Offensive (military), an attack * Offensive language ** Fi ...
through
combined arms Combined Arms is an approach to war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the cas ...
, implementing its own
infantry at the Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place bet ...

infantry
,
armor Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...
,
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
, aerial and
special operations Special operations (S.O.) are military activities conducted by "specially designated, organized, selected, trained, and equipped forces using unconventional techniques and modes of employment," according to NATO. Special operations may include r ...
forces. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight
uniformed services of the United States The United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washin ...
. The Marine Corps has been part of the U.S. Department of the Navy since 30 June 1834 with its sister service, the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
. The USMC operates installations on land and aboard sea-going
amphibious warfare ship An amphibious warfare ship (or amphib) is an amphibious vehicle warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as bei ...
s around the world. Additionally, several of the Marines' tactical
aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes airplane, fixed-wing and helicopter, rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as aerostat, lighter-than-air ...

aviation
squadrons, primarily Marine Fighter Attack squadrons, are also embedded in Navy
carrier air wing#REDIRECT Carrier air wing {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from miscapitalization {{R unprintworthy ...
s and operate from the
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as a seagoing , equipped with a full-length and facilities for . Typically, it is the of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to worldwide without depending on . Carriers have evolved since their incepti ...
s. The history of the Marine Corps began when two
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
s of
Continental Marines The Continental Marines were the Amphibious warfare, amphibious infantry of the Thirteen Colonies, American Colonies (and later the United States) during the American Revolutionary War. The Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on Novem ...
were formed on 10 November 1775 in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the List of United States cities by population, sixth-most-populous city in the ...

Philadelphia
as a service branch of infantry troops capable of fighting both at sea and on shore. In the
Pacific theaterPacific Theatre or Pacific Theater may refer to: Spanish–American War * Pacific Ocean Theater, a theater of operations during the Spanish–American War#Pacific theater, Spanish–American War World War I * Asian and Pacific theatre of World War ...
of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
the Corps took the lead in a massive campaign of amphibious warfare, advancing from island to island. As of 2017, the USMC has around 182,000 active duty members and some 38,500 personnel in Reserve.


Mission

As outlined in and as originally introduced under the
National Security Act of 1947 The National Security Act of 1947 (Act of Congress, Pub.L.]80-253 61 United States Statutes at Large, Stat.]495 enacted July 26, 1947) was a law enacting major restructuring of the Federal government of the United States, United States government' ...
, three primary areas of responsibility for the Marine Corps are: * Seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval warfare, naval campaigns; * Development of tactics, technique, and equipment used by amphibious landing forces in coordination with the
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branc ...
and ; and * Such other duties as the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
or
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) The Department of Defence (DoD) is a Government department, department of the Government of Australia charged with ...
may direct. This last clause derives from similar language in the acts ''"For the Better Organization of the Marine Corps"'' of 1834, and ''"Establishing and Organizing a Marine Corps"'' of 1798. In 1951, the House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee called the clause "one of the most important statutory – and traditional – functions of the Marine Corps". It noted that the Corps has more often than not performed actions of a non-naval nature, including its famous actions in
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
, the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
,
Chapultepec Chapultepec, more commonly called the "Bosque de Chapultepec" (Chapultepec Forest) in Mexico City, is one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere, measuring in total just over 686 hectares (1,695 acres). Centered on a rock formation ca ...

Chapultepec
, and numerous
counter-insurgency Counterinsurgency (COIN) is "the totality of actions aimed at defeating irregular forces Irregular military is any non-standard military component that is distinct from a country's national armed forces. Being defined by exclusion, there is ...
and occupational duties (such as those in Central America,
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea and South Korea from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following clashes along the border and rebellions in So ...

Korean War
). While these actions are not accurately described as support of naval campaigns nor as amphibious warfare, their common thread is that they are of an expeditionary nature, using the mobility of the Navy to provide timely intervention in foreign affairs on behalf of American interests. The Marine Band, dubbed the "President's Own" by
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and who served as the third from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second under and as the first under ...

Thomas Jefferson
, provides music for state functions at the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
. Marines from Ceremonial Companies A & B, quartered in Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., guard presidential retreats, including
Camp David Camp David is the country retreat for the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power of the presidency has grown sub ...

Camp David
, and the Marines of the Executive Flight Detachment of
HMX-1 Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or a ...
provide helicopter transport to the President and
Vice President A vice president, also director in British English, is an officer An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationsh ...
, with the radio call signs "
Marine One Marine One is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president of the United States. It usually denotes a helicopter operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) "Nighthawks", consisting of either the large S ...

Marine One
" and "Marine Two", respectively. The Executive Flight Detachment also provides helicopter transport to Cabinet members and other VIPs. By authority of the 1946 Foreign Service Act, the
Marine Security Guard A Marine Security Guard (MSG), also known as a Marine Embassy Guard, is a member of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (formerly Marine Security Guard Battalion), a battalion A battalion is a military unit, typically consisting of 300 ...
s of the Marine Embassy Security Command provide security for American
embassies A diplomatic mission or foreign mission is a group of people from one Sovereign state, state or an organization present in another state to represent the sending state or organization officially in the receiving state. In practice, the phrase ...
,
legation A legation was a diplomatic representative office of lower rank than an embassy A diplomatic mission or foreign mission is a group of people from one state or an organization present in another state to represent the sending state or organi ...
s, and
consulates The consulate is a diplomatic mission, the office of a consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin plural ''consules'') was the title of one of the two chief Roman magistrate, magistrates of the Roman Republic, and subsequently also an important ...
at more than 140 posts worldwide. The relationship between the
Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and ...
and the U.S. Marine Corps is nearly as old as the Corps itself. For over 200 years, Marines have served at the request of various Secretaries of State. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, an alert, disciplined force was needed to protect American embassies, consulates, and legations throughout the world. In 1947, a proposal was made that the Department of Defense furnishes Marine Corps personnel for Foreign Service guard duty under the provisions of the Foreign Service Act of 1946. A formal Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Department of State and the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of ...
on 15 December 1948, and 83 Marines were deployed to overseas missions. During the first year of the program, 36 detachments were deployed worldwide.


Historical mission

The Marine Corps was founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship's officers from
mutiny Mutiny is a revolt among a group of people (typically of a military, of a crew or of a crew of Piracy, pirates) to oppose, change, or overthrow an organization to which they were previously loyal. The term is commonly used for a rebellion among ...

mutiny
; to the latter end, their quarters on the ship were often strategically positioned between the officers' quarters and the rest of the vessel. Continental Marines manned raiding parties, both at sea and ashore. America's first amphibious assault landing occurred early in the
Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War(s) may refer to: * American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the armed conflict between Great Britain and 13 of its North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America * French Revolution ...
on 3 March 1776 as the Marines gained control of
Fort Montagu Fort Montagu is a small fort of four cannon on the eastern shore of New Providence Island (Nassau) Bahamas The Bahamas (), known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West I ...
and
Fort Nassau The name Fort Nassau was used by the Dutch in the 17th century for several fortifications, mostly trading stations, named for the House of Orange-Nassau. It was also the name of a British fort, which was formerly a Dutch fort. Forts of this name i ...
, a
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
ammunition depot and naval port in
New Providence New Providence is the most populous island in The Bahamas, containing more than 70% of the total population. It is the location of the national capital city of Nassau, Bahamas, Nassau, whose boundaries are coincident with the island; it had a ...
, the Bahamas. The role of the Marine Corps has expanded significantly since then; as the importance of its original naval mission declined with changing naval warfare doctrine and the professionalization of the naval service, the Corps adapted by focusing on formerly secondary missions ashore. The Advanced Base Doctrine of the early 20th century codified their combat duties ashore, outlining the use of Marines in the seizure of bases and other duties on land to support naval campaigns. Throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, Marine detachments served aboard Navy cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers. Marine detachments served in their traditional duties as a ship's landing force, manning the ship's weapons and providing shipboard security. Marine detachments were augmented by members of the ship's company for landing parties, such as in the
First Sumatran expedition The First Sumatran expedition, which featured the Battle of Quallah Battoo (Aceh Aceh () is the westernmost Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the northern end of Sumatra, with Banda Aceh being its capital and lar ...
of 1832, and continuing in the Caribbean and Mexican campaigns of the early 20th centuries. Marines developed tactics and techniques of amphibious assault on defended coastlines in time for use in World War II. During World War II, Marines continued to serve on capital ships. They often were assigned to man anti-aircraft batteries. In 1950, President
Harry Truman Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Harry Truman
responded to a message from U.S. Representative Gordon L. McDonough. McDonough had urged President Truman to add Marine representation on the
Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the , that advises the , the , the and the on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by and consists of a (CJCS), a ...
. President Truman, writing in a letter addressed to McDonough, stated that "The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." McDonough then inserte
President Truman's letter
dated 29 August 1950, into the ''
Congressional Record thumbnail, A page from the February 12, 1999, edition of the ''Congressional Record'', published during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Formal citation: . The ''Congressional Record'' is the official record of the proce ...
''. Congressmen and Marine organizations reacted, calling President Truman's remarks an insult and demanded an apology. Truman apologized to the Marine commandant at the time, writing, "I sincerely regret the unfortunate choice of language which I used in my letter of August 29 to Congressman McDonough concerning the Marine Corps." While Truman had apologized for his metaphor, he did not alter his position that the Marine Corps should continue to report to the Navy secretary. He made amends only by making a surprise visit to the
Marine Corps League The Marine Corps League is the only congressionally chartered United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch ...
a few days later, when he reiterated, "When I make a mistake, I try to correct it. I try to make as few as possible." He received a standing ovation. When gun cruisers were retired by the 1960s, the remaining Marine detachments were only seen on battleships and carriers. Its original mission of providing shipboard security ended in the 1990s.


Capabilities

The Marine Corps fulfills a critical military role as an amphibious warfare force. It is capable of
asymmetric warfare Asymmetric warfare (or asymmetric engagement) is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is typically a war between a Standing army, standing, professi ...
with conventional,
irregular Something that is irregular does not follow the expected pattern; not even or balanced in shape or arrangement; abnormal. The term is used in many different fields, with various meanings. Accounting * Accounting irregularity Astronomy * Irreg ...
, and hybrid forces. As a force it can rapidly deploy a combined-arms task force to almost anywhere in the world within days. The basic structure for all deployed units is a
Marine Air-Ground Task Force Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF, pronounced MAG-TAF) is a term used by the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Milita ...
(MAGTF) that integrates a
ground combat elementIn the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conduc ...
, an
aviation combat elementIn the United States Marine Corps, the aviation combat element or air combat element (ACE) is the aviation component of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). The ACE is task organized to perform the six functions of Marine Corps aviation in sup ...
and a logistics combat element under a common
command element Image:USMC COC.jpg, USMC Combat Operations Center In the United States Marine Corps, the command element (CE) is the command and control force of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It provides C4ISTAR, C3I for the MAGTF. __TOC__ Role within t ...
. While the creation of joint commands under the
Goldwater–Nichols Act The Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of October 4, 1986 , (signed by President Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th presiden ...
has improved inter-service coordination between each branch, the Corps' ability to permanently maintain integrated multi-element task forces under a single command provides a smoother implementation of combined-arms warfare principles. The close integration of disparate Marine units stems from an organizational culture centered on the infantry. Every other Marine capability exists to support the infantry. Unlike some Western militaries, the Corps remained conservative against theories proclaiming the ability of new weapons to win wars independently. For example, Marine aviation has always been focused on
close air support In military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle i ...
and has remained largely uninfluenced by air power theories proclaiming that
strategic bombing after the massive firebombing on Viet Cong The Viet Cong ( vi, Việt Cộng; ), officially known as the National Liberation Front of Southern Vietnam ( vi, Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam), was an armed communis ...
can single-handedly win wars. This focus on the infantry is matched with the doctrine of "Every Marine a rifleman", a precept of Commandant Alfred M. Gray, Jr., emphasizing the infantry combat abilities of every Marine. All Marines, regardless of military specialization, receive training as a
rifleman A rifleman is an infantry soldier armed with a rifling, rifled long gun. Although the rifleman role had its origin with 16th century hand cannoneers and 17th century musketeers, the term originated in the 18th century with the introduction o ...

rifleman
; and all officers receive additional training as infantry platoon commanders. During World War II at the
Battle of Wake Island The Battle of Wake Island began simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbor naval and air bases in Hawaii on the morning of 8 December 1941 (7 December in Hawaii), and ended on 23 December, with the surrender of the United States Armed Forces, ...
, when all of the Marine aircraft were destroyed, pilots continued the fight as ground officers, leading supply clerks and cooks in a final defensive effort. Flexibility of execution is implemented via an emphasis on "
commander's intent Intent is the desired outcome of a military operation. It is a key concept in 21st century military operations A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, gover ...
" as a guiding principle for carrying out orders, specifying the end state but leaving open the method of execution. The amphibious assault techniques developed for World War II evolved, with the addition of
air assault Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces behind ene ...
and
maneuver warfare Maneuver warfare, or manoeuvre warfare, is a military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (pol ...
doctrine, into the current "''Operational Maneuver from the Sea''" doctrine of
power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and ma ...
from the seas. The Marines are credited with the development of helicopter insertion doctrine and were the earliest in the American military to widely adopt maneuver-warfare principles, which emphasize low-level initiative and flexible execution. In light of recent warfare that has strayed from the Corps' traditional missions, it has renewed an emphasis on amphibious capabilities. The Marine Corps relies on the Navy for
sealift Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement, supply, and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or milita ...
to provide its rapid deployment capabilities. In addition to basing a third of the
Fleet Marine Force The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general- and special-purpose forces within the United States United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy that perform offensive Amphibious warfare, amphibious or expeditiona ...
in Japan, Marine expeditionary units (MEU) are typically stationed at sea so they can function as first responders to international incidents. To aid rapid deployment, the Maritime Pre-Positioning System was developed: fleets of
container ship A container ship (also called boxship or spelled containership) is a cargo ship 300px, The ''Colombo Express'', one of the largest container ships in the world (when it was built in 2005), owned and operated by Hapag-Lloyd of Germany A cargo sh ...

container ship
s are positioned throughout the world with enough equipment and supplies for a Marine expeditionary force to deploy for 30 days.


Doctrine

Two small manuals published during the 1930s established USMC doctrine in two areas. The '''' laid the framework for Marine
counter-insurgency Counterinsurgency (COIN) is "the totality of actions aimed at defeating irregular forces Irregular military is any non-standard military component that is distinct from a country's national armed forces. Being defined by exclusion, there is ...
operations from
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...
to
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...
and
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the ea ...
while the ''Tentative Landing Operations Manual'' established the doctrine for the amphibious operations of World War II. "''Operational Maneuver from the Sea''" was the doctrine of power projection in 2006.


History


Foundation and American Revolutionary War

The United States Marine Corps traces its roots to the
Continental Marines The Continental Marines were the Amphibious warfare, amphibious infantry of the Thirteen Colonies, American Colonies (and later the United States) during the American Revolutionary War. The Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on Novem ...
of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colon ...
, formed by Captain
Samuel Nicholas Samuel Nicholas (1744 – 27 August 1790) was the first officer commissioned in the United States Continental Marines The Continental Marines were the Amphibious warfare, amphibious infantry of the Thirteen Colonies, American Colonies (an ...

Samuel Nicholas
by a resolution of the
Second Continental Congress The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British c ...
on 10 November 1775, to raise two
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
s of Marines. This date is celebrated as the birthday of the Marine Corps. Nicholas was nominated to lead the Marines by John Adams. By December 1775, Nicholas raised one battalion of 300 men by recruitment in his home city of Philadelphia. In January 1776, the Marines went to sea under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins and in March undertook their first amphibious landing, the Raid of Nassau, Battle of Nassau in the Bahamas, occupying the British port of Nassau for two weeks. On 3 January 1777, the Marines arrived at the Battle of Princeton attached to General John Cadwalader (general), John Cadwalader’s brigade, where they had been assigned by General George Washington; by December 1776, Washington was retreating through New Jersey and, "in desperate need of veteran soldiers," had ordered Nicholas and the Marines to attach themselves to the Continental Army. The Battle of Princeton, where the Marines along with General Cadwalader's brigade were personally rallied by Washington, was the first land combat engagement of the Marines; an estimated 130 Marines were present at the battle. At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution was resurrected on 11 July 1798; in preparation for the Quasi-War with French First Republic, France, Congress created the United States Marine Corps. Marines had been enlisted by the United States Department of War, War Department as early as August 1797 for service in the newly-built frigates authorized by the Congressional "Act to provide a Naval Armament" of 18 March 1794, which specified the numbers of Marines to recruit for each frigate. The Marines' most famous action of this period occurred during the First Barbary War (1801–1805) against the Barbary pirates, when William Eaton (soldier), William Eaton and First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon led 8 Marines and 500 mercenary, mercenaries in an effort to capture Tripoli. Though they only reached Battle of Derna (1805), Derna, the action at Tripoli has been immortalized in the Marines' Hymn and the Mameluke sword carried by Marine officers.


War of 1812 and afterward

During the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, Marine detachments on Navy ships took part in some of the great frigate duels that characterized the war, which were the first and last engagements of the conflict. Their most significant contribution was holding the center of General Andrew Jackson's defensive line at the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, the final major battle and one of the most one-sided engagements of the war. With widespread news of the battle and the Capture of HMS Cyane and HMS Levant, capture of HMS ''Cyane'', HMS ''Levant'' and Capture of HMS Penguin, HMS ''Penguin'', the final engagements between British and U.S. forces, the Marines had gained a reputation as expert marksman, marksmen, especially in defensive and ship-to-ship actions. They played a large role in the 1813 Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor, defense of Sacket's Harbor, New York and Battle of Craney Island, Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, also taking part in the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh, defense of Plattsburgh in the Champlain Valley during one of the final British offensives along the Canadian-American border. The battle of Bladensburg, fought 24 August 1814, was one of the worst days for American arms, though a few units and individuals performed heroic service. Notable among them were Commodore Joshua Barney‘s 500 sailors and the 120 marines under Captain Samuel Miller USMC, who inflicted the bulk of British casualties and were the only effective American resistance during the battle. A final desperate Marine counter attack, with the fighting at close quarters, however was not enough; Barney and Miller’s forces were overrun. In all of 114 Marines, 11 were killed and 16 wounded. During the battle Captain Miller's arm was badly wounded, for his gallant service in action, Miller was brevetted to the rank of Major USMC. After the war, the Marine Corps fell into a malaise that ended with the appointment of Archibald Henderson as its fifth commandant in 1820. Under his tenure, the Corps took on expeditionary duties in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Key West, West Africa, the Falkland Islands, and Sumatra. Commandant Henderson is credited with thwarting President Jackson's attempts to combine and integrate the Marine Corps with the Army. Instead, Congress passed the ''Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps'' in 1834, stipulating that the Corps was part of the Department of the Navy as a sister service to the Navy. This would be the first of many times that the independent existence of the Corps was challenged. Commandant Henderson volunteered the Marines for service in the Seminole Wars of 1835, personally leading nearly half of the entire Corps (two battalions) to war. A decade later, in the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), the Marines made their famed Battle of Chapultepec, assault on Chapultepec Palace in Mexico City, which would be later celebrated as the "Halls of Montezuma" in the Marines' Hymn. In fairness to the U.S. Army, most of the troops who made the final assault at the Halls of Montezuma were soldiers and not Marines. The Americans forces were led by Army General Winfield Scott. Scott organized two storming parties of about 250 men each for 500 men total including 40 Marines. In the 1850s, the Marines engaged in service in Panama and Asia and were attached to Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Matthew Perry's East India Squadron on its historic trip to the Far East.


American Civil War to World War I

The Marine Corps played a small role in the American Civil War, Civil War (1861–1865); their most prominent task was blockade duty. As more and more states Ordinance of Secession, seceded from the Union (American Civil War), Union, about a third of the Corps' officers left the United States to join the Confederate States of America, Confederacy and form the Confederate States Marine Corps, which ultimately played little part in the war. The battalion of recruits formed for the First Battle of Bull Run performed poorly, retreating with the rest of the Union forces. Blockade duty included sea-based amphibious operations to secure forward bases. In late November 1861, Marines and sailors landed a reconnaissance in force from at Tybee Island, Georgia, to occupy the Lighthouse and Martello Tower on the northern end of the island. It would later be the Army base for Siege of Fort Pulaski, bombardment of Fort Pulaski. In April and May 1862, Union Marines participated in the Capture of New Orleans, capture and occupation of New Orleans and the occupation of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, key events in the war that helped secure Union control of the lower Mississippi River basin and denied the Confederacy a major port and naval base on the Gulf Coast of the United States, Gulf Coast. The remainder of the 19th century was marked by declining strength and introspection about the mission of the Marine Corps. The Navy's transition from sailing ship, sail to steamboat, steam put into question the need for Marines on naval ships. Meanwhile, Marines served as a convenient resource for interventions and landings to protect American interests overseas. The Corps was involved in over 28 separate interventions in the 30 years from the end of the American Civil War to the end of 19th century. They were called upon to stem political and labor unrest within the United States. Under Commandant Jacob Zeilin's tenure, Marine customs and traditions took shape: the Corps adopted the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, Marine Corps emblem on 19 November 1868. It was during this time that "The Marines' Hymn" was first heard. Around 1883, the Marines adopted their current motto "''Semper fidelis''" (''Always Faithful''). John Philip Sousa, the musician and composer, enlisted as a Marine apprentice at age 13, serving from 1867 until 1872, and again from 1880 to 1892 as the leader of the Marine Band. During the Spanish–American War (1898), Marines led American forces ashore in the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, demonstrating their readiness for deployment. At Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Marines seized an Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, advanced naval base that remains in use today. Between 1899 and 1916, the Corps continued its record of participation in foreign expeditions, including the Philippine–American War, the Boxer Rebellion in China, Panama, the Cuban Pacifications, the Perdicaris affair, Perdicaris incident in Morocco, United States occupation of Veracruz, Veracruz, Santo Domingo, and the Banana Wars in United States occupation of Haiti, Haiti and United States occupation of Nicaragua, Nicaragua; the experiences gained in counter-insurgency and Guerrilla warfare, guerrilla operations during this period were consolidated into the ''Small Wars Manual''.


World War I

During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, Marines served as a part of the American Expeditionary Forces, American Expeditionary Force under General John J. Pershing when American entry into World War I, America entered into the war on 6 April 1917. The Marine Corps had a deep pool of officers and Non-commissioned officer, non-commissioned officers with battle experience and thus experienced a large expansion. The U.S. Marine Corps entered the war with 511 officers and 13,214 enlisted personnel and by 11 November 1918 had reached a strength of 2,400 officers and 70,000 enlisted. African-Americans were entirely excluded from the Marine Corps during this conflict. Opha May Johnson was the first woman to enlist in the Marines; she joined the Marine Forces Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve in 1918 during World War I, officially becoming the first female Marine. From then until the end of World War I, 305 women enlisted in the Corps. During the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, the Marines and U.S. media reported that Germans had nicknamed them ''Teufel Hunden,'' meaning "Devil Dogs" for their reputation as shock troops and marksmen at ranges up to 900 meters; there is no evidence of this in German records (as ''Teufelshunde'' would be the proper German phrase). Nevertheless, the name stuck in U.S. Marine lore. Interwar period, Between the World Wars, the Marine Corps was headed by Commandant John A. Lejeune, and under his leadership, the Corps studied and developed amphibious techniques that would be of great use in World War II. Many officers, including Lieutenant Colonel Earl Hancock Ellis, Earl Hancock "Pete" Ellis, foresaw a war in the Pacific with Empire of Japan, Japan and undertook preparations for such a conflict. Through 1941, as the prospect of war grew, the Corps pushed urgently for joint amphibious exercises with the Army and acquired amphibious equipment that would prove of great use in the upcoming conflict.


World War II

In
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the Marines performed a central role in the Pacific War, along with the U.S. Army. The battles of Guadalcanal campaign, Guadalcanal, Bougainville campaign, Bougainville, Battle of Tarawa, Tarawa, Second Battle of Guam, Guam, Battle of Tinian, Tinian, New Britain campaign, Cape Gloucester, Battle of Saipan, Saipan, Battle of Peleliu, Peleliu, Battle of Iwo Jima, Iwo Jima, and Battle of Okinawa, Okinawa saw fierce fighting between Marines and the Imperial Japanese Army. Some 600,000 Americans served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II. The Battle of Iwo Jima, which began on 19 February 1945, was arguably the most famous Marine engagement of the war. The Japanese had learned from their defeats in the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, Marianas Campaign and prepared many fortified positions on the island including Pillbox (military), pillboxes and network of tunnels. The Japanese put up fierce resistance, but American forces Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, reached the summit of Mount Suribachi on 23 February. The mission was accomplished with high losses of 26,000 American casualties and 22,000 Japanese. The Marines played a comparatively minor role in the European theatre of World War II, European theater. Nonetheless, they did continue to provide security detachments to U.S. embassies and ships, contributed personnel to small Special operations, special ops teams dropped into Wehrmacht, Nazi-occupied Europe as part of Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the precursor to the CIA) missions, and acted as staff planners and trainers for U.S. Army amphibious operations, including the Normandy landings. By the end of the war, the Corps had expanded from two brigades to six division (military), divisions, five Wing (military unit), air wings, and supporting troops, totaling about 485,000 Marines. In addition, 20 Marine defense battalions, defense battalions and a paramarines, parachute battalion were raised. Nearly 87,000 Marines were casualties during World War II (including nearly 20,000 killed), and 82 were awarded the Medal of Honor. In 1942, the Navy Seabee, Seabees were created with the Marine Corps providing their organization and military training. Many Seabee units were issued the USMC standard issue and were re-designated "Marine". Despite the Corps giving them their military organization, military training, issuing them uniforms and redesignating their units, the Seabees remained Navy. USMC historian Gordon L. Rottmann writes that one of the "Navy's biggest contributions to the Marine Corps during WWII was the creation of the Seabees." Despite
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of ...
James Forrestal's prediction that the Marine flag raising at Iwo Jima meant "a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years", the Corps faced an immediate institutional crisis following the war because of a suddenly shrunken budget. Army generals pushing for a strengthened and reorganized defense establishment attempted to fold the Marine mission and assets into the Navy and Army. Drawing on hastily assembled Congressional support, and with the assistance of the so-called "Revolt of the Admirals", the Marine Corps rebuffed such efforts to dismantle the Corps, resulting in statutory protection of the Marine Corps in the
National Security Act of 1947 The National Security Act of 1947 (Act of Congress, Pub.L.]80-253 61 United States Statutes at Large, Stat.]495 enacted July 26, 1947) was a law enacting major restructuring of the Federal government of the United States, United States government' ...
. Chapter 7, ''The Marines' Push Button'' pp. 113–119. Shortly afterward, in 1952 the Douglas–Mansfield Act afforded the commandant an equal voice with the
Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the , that advises the , the , the and the on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by and consists of a (CJCS), a ...
on matters relating to the Marines and established the structure of List of United States Marine Corps divisions, three active divisions and List of United States Marine Corps aircraft wings, air wings that remain today.


Korean War

The
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea and South Korea from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following clashes along the border and rebellions in So ...

Korean War
(1950–1953) saw the hastily formed 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, Provisional Marine Brigade holding the defensive line at the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, Pusan Perimeter. To execute a flanking maneuver, General Douglas MacArthur called on United Nations forces, including U.S. Marines, to make an amphibious landing at Battle of Inchon, Inchon. The successful landing resulted in the collapse of North Korean lines and the pursuit of North Korean forces north near the Yalu River until the entrance of the People's Republic of China into the war. Chinese troops surrounded, surprised, and overwhelmed the overextended and outnumbered American forces. The U.S. Army's X Corps, which included the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division regrouped and inflicted heavy casualties during their fighting withdrawal to the coast, known as the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. The fighting calmed after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, but late in March 1953, the relative quiet of the war was broken when the People's Liberation Army launched a massive offensive on three outposts manned by the 5th Marine Regiment. These outposts were codenamed "Reno", "Vegas", and "Carson". The campaign was collectively known as the Nevada Cities Campaign. There was brutal fighting on Reno hill, which was eventually captured by the Chinese. Although Reno was lost, the 5th Marines held both Vegas and Carson through the rest of the campaign. In this one campaign, the Marines suffered approximately 1,000 casualties and might have suffered much more without the U.S. Army's Task Force Faith. Marines would continue a battle of attrition around the 38th parallel north, 38th Parallel until the Korean Armistice Agreement, 1953 armistice. During the war, the Corps expanded from 75,000 regulars to a force of 261,000 Marines, mostly reservists; 30,544 Marines were killed or wounded during the war, and 42 were awarded the Medal of Honor.


Vietnam War

The Marine Corps served in the Vietnam War, taking part in such battles as the Battle of Huế, Battle of Hue and the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968. Individuals from the USMC generally operated in the Northern I Corps Regions of South Vietnam. While there, they were constantly engaged in a guerrilla war against the Viet Cong, along with an intermittent conventional war against the People's Army of Vietnam, North Vietnamese Army, this made the Marine Corps known throughout Vietnam and gained a frightening reputation from the Viet Cong. Portions of the Corps were responsible for the less-known Combined Action Program that implemented unconventional techniques for counter-insurgency and worked as military advisers to the Republic of Vietnam Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps. Marines were withdrawn in 1971 and returned briefly in 1975 to evacuate Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon and attempt a rescue of the crew of the Mayaguez incident, SS ''Mayaguez''. Vietnam was the longest war up to that time for Marines; by its end, 13,091 had been killed in action,Official Navy figures number the Marine deaths at 13,091. This source provides a number of 14,837. 51,392 had been wounded, and 57 Medals of Honor had been awarded. Because of policies concerning rotation, more Marines were deployed for service during Vietnam than World War II. While recovering from Vietnam, the Corps hit a detrimental low point in its service history caused by court-martial, courts-martial and non-judicial punishments related partially to increased desertion, unauthorized absences and desertions during the war. Overhaul of the Corps began in the late 1970s, discharging the most delinquent, and once the quality of new recruits improved, the Corps focused on reforming the non-commissioned officer Corps, a vital functioning part of its forces.


Interim: Vietnam War to the War on Terror

After the Vietnam War, the U.S. Marines resumed their expeditionary role, participating in the failed 1980 Iran hostage crisis, Iran hostage rescue attempt Operation Eagle Claw, the United States invasion of Grenada, Operation Urgent Fury and the United States invasion of Panama, Operation Just Cause. On 23 October 1983, the Marine barracks 1983 Beirut barracks bombings, in Beirut was bombed, causing the highest peacetime losses to the Corps in its history (220 Marines and 21 other service members were killed) and leading to the American withdrawal from Lebanon. In 1990, Marines of the Operation Sharp Edge, Joint Task Force Sharp Edge saved thousands of lives by evacuating British, French and American nationals from the violence of the First Liberian Civil War, Liberian Civil War. During the Gulf War, Persian Gulf War of 1990 to 1991, Marine task forces formed for Operation Desert Shield and later liberated Kuwait, along with Coalition forces, in Operation Desert Storm. Marines participated in combat operations in Somalia (1992–1995) during Operations Unified Task Force, Restore Hope, Restore Hope II, and Operation United Shield, United Shield to provide humanitarian relief. In 1997, Marines took part in Operation Silver Wake, the evacuation of American citizens from the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania.


Global War on Terrorism

Following the September 11 attacks, attacks on 11 September 2001, President George W. Bush announced the War on terror, Global War on Terrorism. The stated objective of the Global War on Terror is "the defeat of Al-Qaeda, other terrorist groups and any nation that supports or harbors terrorists". Since then, the Marine Corps, alongside the other military services, has engaged in global operations around the world in support of that mission. In spring 2009, President Barack Obama's goal of reducing spending in the Defense Department was led by Secretary Robert Gates in a series of budget cuts that did not significantly change the Corps' budget and programs, cutting only the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel, VH-71 Kestrel and resetting the VXX program. However, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform singled the Corps out for the brunt of a series of recommended cuts in late 2010. In light of United States budget sequestration in 2013, budget sequestration in 2013, General James F. Amos, James Amos set a goal of a force of 174,000 Marines. He testified that this was the minimum number that would allow for an effective response to even a single contingency operation, but it would reduce the peacetime ratio of time at home bases to time deployed down to a historical low level.


Afghanistan Campaign

Marines and other American forces began staging in Pakistan and Uzbekistan on the border of Afghanistan as early as October 2001 in preparation for War in Afghanistan (2001–2021), Operation Enduring Freedom. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units were some of the first conventional forces into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2001. Since then, Marine battalions and squadrons have been rotating through, engaging Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit flooded into the Taliban-held town of Battle of Garmsir, Garmsir on 29 April 2008, in Helmand province campaign, Helmand Province, in the first major American operation in the region in years. In June 2009, 7,000 Marines with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States), 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in an effort to improve security and began Operation Strike of the Sword the next month. In February 2010, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade launched the largest offensive of the Afghan Campaign since 2001, the Operation Moshtarak, Battle of Marjah, to clear the Taliban from their key stronghold in Helmand Province. After Marjah, Marines progressed north up the Helmand River and cleared the towns of Kajahki and Sangin. Marines remained in Helmand Province until 2014.


Iraq Campaign

U.S. Marines served in the Iraq War, along with its sister services. The I Marine Expeditionary Force, along with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division (United States), 3rd Infantry Division, spearheaded the Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Marines left Iraq in the summer of 2003 but returned in the beginning of 2004. They were given Multi-National Force West, responsibility for the Anbar campaign (2003–2011), Al Anbar Province, the large desert region to the west of Baghdad. During this occupation, the Marines lead assaults on the city of Fallujah in April (First Battle of Fallujah, Operation Vigilant Resolve) and November 2004 (Second Battle of Fallujah, Operation Phantom Fury) and saw intense fighting in such places as Ramadi, Al-Qa'im (town), Al-Qa'im and Hit, Iraq, Hīt. Their time in Iraq has courted controversy with the Haditha massacre, Haditha killings and the Hamdania incident. The Sons of Iraq, Anbar Awakening and Iraq War troop surge of 2007, 2007 surge reduced levels of violence. The Marine Corps officially ended its role in Iraq on 23 January 2010 when they handed over responsibility for Al Anbar Province to the U.S. Army. Marines American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present), returned to Iraq in the summer of 2014 in response to growing violence there.


Operations in Africa

Throughout the Global War on Terrorism, the U.S. Marines have supported operations in Africa to counter Islamic extremism and piracy in the Red Sea. In late 2002, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa was stood up at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti to provide regional security. Despite transferring overall command to the Navy in 2006, the Marines continued to Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa, operate in the Horn of Africa into 2007.


Organization


Department of the Navy

The United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, led by the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of ...
, is a military department of the cabinet-level U.S. Department of Defense that oversees the Marine Corps and the Navy. The most senior Marine officer is the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commandant (unless a Marine officer is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs), responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for organizing, recruiting, training, and equipping the Marine Corps so that its forces are ready for deployment under the operational command of the Unified combatant command, combatant commanders. The Marine Corps is organized into four principal subdivisions: Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), the Operating Forces, the Supporting Establishment, and the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or USMCR).


Headquarters Marine Corps

Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) consists of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Director Marine Corps Staff, the several Deputy Commandants, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and various special staff officers and Marine Corps agency heads that report directly to either the Commandant or Assistant Commandant. HQMC is supported by the Headquarters and Service Battalion, USMC providing administrative, supply, logistics, training, and services support to the Commandant and his staff.


Operating Forces

The Operating Forces are divided into three categories: Marine Corps Forces (MARFOR) assigned to unified combatant commands, viz., the
Fleet Marine Force The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general- and special-purpose forces within the United States United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy that perform offensive Amphibious warfare, amphibious or expeditiona ...
s (FMF); Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, Security Forces guarding high-risk naval installations; and Marine Corps Security Guard, Security Guard detachments at list of American embassies, American embassies. Under the "Forces for Unified Commands" memo, in accordance with the Unified Command Plan, Marine Corps Forces are assigned to each of the combatant commands at the discretion of the secretary of defense. Since 1991, the Marine Corps has maintained component headquarters at each of the regional unified combatant commands. Marine Corps Forces are divided into United States Marine Corps Forces Command, Forces Command (MARFORCOM) and United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Pacific Command (MARFORPAC), each headed by a Lieutenant general (United States), lieutenant general dual-posted as the commanding general of either Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, FMF Atlantic (FMFLANT) or Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, FMF Pacific (FMFPAC), respectively. MARFORCOM/FMFLANT has operational control of the II Marine Expeditionary Force; MARFORPAC/FMFPAC has operational control of the I Marine Expeditionary Force and III Marine Expeditionary Force.


Marine Air-Ground Task Force

The basic framework for deployable Marine units is the
Marine Air-Ground Task Force Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF, pronounced MAG-TAF) is a term used by the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Milita ...
(MAGTF), a flexible structure of varying size. A MAGTF integrates a
ground combat elementIn the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conduc ...
(GCE), an
aviation combat elementIn the United States Marine Corps, the aviation combat element or air combat element (ACE) is the aviation component of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). The ACE is task organized to perform the six functions of Marine Corps aviation in sup ...
(ACE), and a logistics combat element (LCE) under a common
command element Image:USMC COC.jpg, USMC Combat Operations Center In the United States Marine Corps, the command element (CE) is the command and control force of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It provides C4ISTAR, C3I for the MAGTF. __TOC__ Role within t ...
(CE), capable of operating independently or as part of a larger coalition. The MAGTF structure reflects a strong preference in the Corps towards self-sufficiency and a commitment to
combined arms Combined Arms is an approach to war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the cas ...
, both essential assets to an Expeditionary warfare, expeditionary force. The Marine Corps has a wariness and distrust of reliance on its sister services and towards joint operations in general.


Supporting Establishment

The Supporting Establishment includes the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Combat Development Command, the Marine Corps Logistics Command, Logistics Command, the Marine Corps Systems Command, Systems Command, the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Recruiting Command, the Marine Corps Installations Command, Installations Command, the Marine Band, and the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.


Marine Corps bases and stations

The Marine Corps operates many major bases, 14 of which host operating forces, several support and training installations, as well as satellite facilities. Marine Corps bases are concentrated around the locations of the Marine Expeditionary Forces, though reserve units are scattered throughout the United States. The principal bases are Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Camp Pendleton on the West Coast, home to I Marine Expeditionary Force; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Camp Lejeune on the East Coast, home to II Marine Expeditionary Force; and Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Camp Butler in Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa, Japan, home to III Marine Expeditionary Force. Other important bases include air stations, recruit depots, logistics bases, and training commands. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in California is the Marine Corps' largest base and home to the Corps' most complex, combined-arms, live-fire training. Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia is home to Marine Corps Combat Development Command and nicknamed the "Crossroads of the Marine Corps". The Marine Corps maintains a significant presence in the National Capital Region (United States), National Capital Region, with Headquarters Marine Corps scattered amongst the Pentagon, Henderson Hall (Arlington, Virginia), Henderson Hall, Washington Navy Yard, and Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Additionally, Marines operate Detachment (military), detachments at many installations owned by other branches to better share resources, such as specialty schools. Marines are also present at and operate many forward bases during expeditionary operations.


Marine Forces Reserve

Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES/USMCRR) consists of the Force Headquarters Group, 4th Marine Division, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, and the 4th Marine Logistics Group. The MARFORRES/USMCR is capable of forming a 4th Marine Expeditionary Force or reinforcing/augmenting active-duty forces.


Special Operations

Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) includes the Marine Raider Regiment, the Marine Raider Support Group, and the Marine Raider Training Center (MRTC). Both the Raider Regiment and the Raider Support Group consist of a headquarters company and three operations battalions. MRTC conducts screening, assessment, selection, training and development functions for MARSOC units. Marine Corps Special Operations Capable forces include: Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies, the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, the United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions, Marine Division Reconnaissance Battalions, United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance, Force Reconnaissance Companies, Maritime Special Purpose Force, and United States Marine Corps Special Operations Capable Forces#Special Reaction Teams, Special Reaction Teams. Additionally, all deployed MEUs are certified as "Special operations capable, Special Operations Capable", viz. "MEU(SOC)", however Special Operations Capable forces are not considered to be special operations forces. Although the notion of a Marine special operations forces contribution to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) was considered as early as the founding of USSOCOM in the 1980s, it was resisted by the Marine Corps. Commandant Paul X. Kelley expressed the belief that Marines should only support Marines and that the Corps should not fund a special operations capability that would not directly support Marine operations. However, much of the resistance from within the Corps dissipated when Marine leaders watched the Corps' 15th and 26th MEU(SOC)s "sit on the sidelines" during the very early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom while other conventional units and special operations units from the Army, Navy, and Air Force actively engaged in operations in Afghanistan. After a three-year development period, the Corps agreed in 2006 to supply a 2,500-strong unit, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, which would answer directly to USSOCOM.


Personnel


Leadership

The Commandant of the Marine Corps is the highest-ranking officer of the Marine Corps, unless a Marine is either the chairman or vice chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the , that advises the , the , the and the on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by and consists of a (CJCS), a ...
. The commandant has the Title 10 of the United States Code, U.S. Code Title 10 responsibility to staff, train, and equip the Marine Corps and has no command authority. The commandant is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and reports to the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of ...
. The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps acts as the chief deputy to the commandant. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is the senior enlisted Marine and acts as an adviser to the commandant. Headquarters Marine Corps comprises the rest of the commandant's counsel and staff (military), staff, with deputy commandants that oversee various aspects of the Corps assets and capabilities. The current and 38th Commandant is David H. Berger, David Berger, who assumed the position on 11 July 2019. The 36th and current Assistant Commandant is Eric Smith (general), Eric M. Smith, while the 19th and current Sergeant Major is Troy E. Black.


Women

Women have served in the United States Marine Corps since 1918. The first woman to have enlisted was Opha May Johnson (1878–1955). In January 2017, three women joined an infantry battalion at Camp Lejeune. Women had not served as infantry Marines prior to this. In 2017, the Marines released a recruitment advertisement that focused on women for the first time. , female Marines make up 7.8% of the force. In December 2020, the Marine Corps began a trial program to have females integrated into the training companies at their Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, recruit depot in San Diego as Congress has mandated an end to the male-only program there. For the 60 female recruits, scheduled to begin training in San Diego in February 2021, the Corps will transfer female drill instructors from their Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, recruit depot in Parris Island, which already has a Mixed-sex education, coed program. Fifty-three of these recruits successfully graduated from boot camp in April 2021 and become Marines.


Rank structure

As in the rest of the United States Armed Forces (excluding the Air Force and Space Force, which do not currently appoint warrant officers), Marine Corps military rank, ranks fall into one of three categories: officer (armed forces), commissioned officer, Warrant officer (United States), warrant officer, and enlisted, in decreasing order of authority. To standardize compensation, each rank is assigned a pay grade.


Commissioned officers

Commissioned officers are distinguished from other officers by their Commission (document), commission, which is the formal written authority, issued in the name of the President of the United States, that confers the rank and authority of a Marine officer. Commissioned officers carry the "special trust and confidence" of the President of the United States. Marine Corps commissioned officers are promoted based on an "up or out" system in accordance with the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980.


Warrant officers

Warrant officers are primarily formerly enlisted experts in a specific specialized field and provide leadership generally only within that speciality.


Enlisted

Enlisted Marines in the pay grades E-1 to E-3 make up the bulk of the Corps' ranks. Although they do not technically hold leadership ranks, the Corps' ethos stresses leadership among all Marines, and junior Marines are often assigned responsibility normally reserved for superiors. Those in the pay grades of E-4 and E-5 are non-commissioned officers (NCOs). They primarily supervise junior Marines and act as a vital link with the higher command structure, ensuring that orders are carried out correctly. Marines E-6 and higher are staff non-commissioned officers (SNCOs), charged with supervising NCOs and acting as enlisted advisers to the command. The E-8 and E-9 levels have two and three ranks per pay grade, respectively, each with different responsibilities. The first sergeant and sergeant major ranks are command-oriented, serving as the senior enlisted Marines in a unit, charged to assist the commanding officer in matters of discipline, administration, and the morale and welfare of the unit. Master sergeants and master gunnery sergeants provide technical leadership as occupational specialists in their specific MOS. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps also E-9, is a billet conferred on the senior enlisted Marine of the entire Marine Corps, personally selected by the commandant. It is possible for an enlisted Marine to hold a position senior to Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps which was the case from 2011 to 2015 with the appointment of Sergeant Major Bryan B. Battaglia to the billet of Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, who is the most senior enlisted member of the United States military, serving in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Military Occupational Specialty

The Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is a system of job classification. Using a four digit code, it designates what field and specific occupation a Marine performs. Segregated between officer and enlisted, the MOS determines the staffing of a unit. Some MOSs change with rank to reflect supervisory positions; others are secondary and represent a temporary assignment outside of a Marine's normal duties or special skill.


Initial training

Every year, over 2,000 new Marine officers are commissioned, and 38,000 recruits are accepted and trained. All new Marines, enlisted or officer, are military recruitment, recruited by the Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Commissioned officers are commissioned mainly through one of three sources: Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, Officer Candidates School (United States Marine Corps), Officer Candidates School, or the United States Naval Academy. Following commissioning, all Marine commissioned officers, regardless of accession route or further training requirements, attend The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico. At The Basic School, second lieutenants, warrant officers, and selected foreign officers learn the art of infantry and
combined arms Combined Arms is an approach to war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the cas ...
warfare. Enlisted Marines attend United States Marine Corps Recruit Training, recruit training, known as ''boot camp'', at either Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego or Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Historically, the Mississippi River served as a dividing line that delineated who would be trained where, while more recently, a Marine Corps Recruiting Command#Structure, district system has ensured a more even distribution of male recruits between the two facilities. All recruits must pass a fitness test to start training; those who fail will receive individualized attention and training until the minimum standards are reached. Marine recruit training is the longest among the American military services; it is 13 weeks long including processing and out-processing. Following recruit training, enlisted Marines then attend United States Marine Corps School of Infantry, The School of Infantry at Camp Geiger or Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Camp Pendleton. Infantry Marines begin their combat training, which varies in length, immediately with the Infantry Training Battalion. Marines in all other MOSs train for 29 days in Marine Combat Training, learning common infantry skills, before continuing on to their MOS schools, which vary in length.


Uniforms

The Marine Corps has the most stable and most recognizable uniforms in the American military; the Dress Blues dates back to the early 19th century and the service uniform to the early 20th century. Only a handful of skills (parachutist, air crew, explosive ordnance disposal, etc.) warrant Badges of the United States Marine Corps, distinguishing badges, and rank insignia is not worn on uniform headgear (with the exception of an officer's garrison service cover). While other servicemembers commonly identify with a sub-group as much as or more than their service (Tabs of the United States Army, Ranger, Submarine Warfare insignia, submariner, aircrew, etc.), Marine uniforms do not reflect such division. Marines have four main uniforms: dress, service, utility, and physical training. These uniforms have a few minor but very distinct variations from enlisted personnel to commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The Marine Corps Full dress uniform, dress uniform is the most elaborate, worn for formal or ceremonial occasions. There are four different forms of the dress uniform. The variations of the dress uniforms are known as "Alphas", "Bravos", "Charlies", or "Deltas". The most common being the "Blue Dress Alphas or Bravos", called "Dress Blues" or simply "Blues". It is most often seen in recruiting advertisements and is equivalent to black tie. There is a "Blue-White" Dress for summer, and Evening Dress for formal (white tie) occasions. Versions with a khaki shirt in lieu of the coat (Blue Dress Charlie/Delta) are worn as a daily working uniform by Marine recruiters and NROTC staff. The service uniform was once the prescribed daily work attire in garrison; however, it has been largely superseded in this role by the utility uniform. Consisting of olive green and khaki colors, it is commonly referred to as "Greens". It is roughly equivalent in function and composition to a suit (clothing), business suit. The utility uniform, currently the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform, is a camouflage uniform intended for wear in the field or for dirty work in garrison, though it has been standardized for regular duty. It is rendered in MARPAT pixelated camouflage that breaks up the wearer's shape. In garrison, the woodland and desert uniforms are worn depending on the Marine's duty station. Marines consider the utilities a working uniform and do not permit their wear off-base, except in transit to and from their place of duty and in the event of an emergency.


Culture


Official traditions and customs

As in any military organization, the official and unofficial traditions of the Marine Corps serve to reinforce camaraderie and set the service apart from others. The Corps' embrace of its rich culture and history is cited as a reason for its high ''esprit de corps''. An important part of the Marine Corps culture is the traditional seafaring Glossary of nautical terms, naval terminology derived from its history with the Navy. Marines are not "soldiers" or "sailors". The ''Marine Corps emblem'' is the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, sometimes abbreviated "EGA", adopted in 1868. The Marine Corps seal includes the emblem, also is found on the flag of the United States Marine Corps, and establishes scarlet and gold as the official colors. The Marine motto ''Semper Fidelis'' means ''Always Faithful'' in Latin, often appearing as ''Semper Fi''. The ''Marines' Hymn'' dates back to the 19th century and is the oldest official song in the United States armed forces. ''Semper Fi'' is also the name of the Semper Fidelis (march), official march of the Corps, composed by John Philip Sousa. The mottos ''"Fortitudine"'' (With Fortitude); ''By Sea and by Land'', a translation of the Royal Marines' ''Per Mare, Per Terram''; and ''To the Shores of Tripoli'' were used until 1868. Two styles of swords are worn by Marines: the officers' Mameluke Sword, similar to the Persian shamshir presented to Lt. Presley O'Bannon after the Battle of Derna, and the United States Marine Corps noncommissioned officer's sword, Marine NCO sword. The United States Marine Corps birthday ball, Marine Corps Birthday is celebrated every year on 10 November in a cake-cutting ceremony where the first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present, who in turn hands it off to the youngest Marine present. The celebration includes a reading of Commandant John A. Lejeune, Lejeune's Birthday Message. Close Order Drill is heavily emphasized early on in a Marine's initial training, incorporated into most formal events, and is used to teach discipline by instilling habits of precision and automatic response to orders, increase the confidence of junior officers and noncommissioned officers through the exercise of command and give Marines an opportunity to handle individual weapons.


Unofficial traditions and customs

Marines have several generic nicknames: * ''Devil Dog:'' German soldiers during the First World War said that at Battle of Belleau Wood, Belleau Wood the Marines were so vicious that the German infantrymen called them Teufel Hunden – 'devil dogs'. * ''Gyrene:'' commonly used between fellow Marines. * ''Leatherneck:'' refers to a leather collar formerly part of the Marine uniform during the Revolutionary War period. * ''Jarhead'' has several oft-disputed explanations. Some other unofficial traditions include mottos and exclamations: * ''Oorah'' is common among Marines, being similar in function and purpose to the Army and Air Force's hooah and the Navy's hooyah cries. Many possible Etymology, etymologies have been offered for the term. * ''Semper Fi'' is a common greeting among serving and veteran Marines. * ''Improvise, Adapt and Overcome'' has become an adopted mantra in many units. The Marines have historically had issues with extremism in their ranks, particularly White supremacy. In 1976 the Camp Pendleton Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan had over 100 members and was headed by an active duty Marine. In 1986, a number of Marines were implicated in the theft of weapons for the White Patriot Party. The USMC, along with the rest of the military, has since made a serious effort to address extremism in the ranks.


Veteran Marines

The Corps encourages the idea that "Marine" is an earned title, and most Marine Corps personnel take to heart the phrase, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine". They reject the term "ex-Marine" in most circumstances. There are no regulations concerning the address of persons who have left active service, so a number of customary terms have come into common use. An honorably discharged Marine may be referred to as "Marine" or "Marine Corps Veteran". It is inappropriate to describe such personnel as "former Marines" or "ex-Marines". The term "retired Marine" is generally reserved for those who have formally retired after 20 or more years of service, or for those who have been medically retired. According to one of the "Commandant's White letters" from Commandant Alfred M. Gray Jr., referring to a Marine by their last earned rank is appropriate.


Martial arts program

In 2001, the Marine Corps initiated an internally designed martial arts program, called Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). Because of an expectation that urban and police-type peacekeeping missions would become more common in the 21st century, placing Marines in even closer contact with unarmed civilians, MCMAP was implemented to provide Marines with a larger and more versatile set of less-than-lethal options for controlling hostile, unarmed individuals. It is a stated aim of the program to instill and maintain the "Warrior Ethos" within Marines.Yi, Capt. Jamison, USMC. "MCMAP and the Warrior Ethos", ''Military Review'', November–December 2004. The MCMAP is an eclectic mix of different styles of martial arts melded together. MCMAP consists of punches and kicks from Taekwondo and Karate, opponent weight transfer from Jujutsu, Jujitsu, ground grappling involving joint locking techniques and chokehold, chokes from Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a mix of knife and baton/stick fighting derived from Arnis, Eskrima, and elbow strikes and kick boxing from Muay Thai. Marines begin MCMAP training in boot camp, where they will earn the first of five available Marine Corps Martial Arts Program#Structure and belt system, belts. The belts begin at tan and progress to black and are worn with standard utility uniforms.


Equipment

As of 2013, the typical infantry rifleman carries $14,000 worth of gear (excluding night vision device, night-vision goggles), compared to $2,500 a decade earlier. The number of pieces of equipment (everything from radios to trucks) in a typical infantry battalion has also increased, from 3,400 pieces of gear in 2001 to 8,500 in 2013.


Infantry weapons

The basic infantry weapon of the Marine Corps has been M16 rifle, M16A4 service rifle. Most non-infantry Marines have been equipped with the M4 carbine, M4 Carbine or Colt 9mm SMG. The standard Sidearm (weapon), side arm is the Beretta M9, M9A1 pistol. The Colt M1911 pistol, M1911 is also being put back into service as the MEU(SOC) pistol, M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol (CQBP) in small numbers. Suppressive fire is provided by the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, M27 IAR, M249 light machine gun, M249 SAW, and M240 machine gun, M240 machine guns, at the squad and company levels respectively. In 2018, the M27 IAR was selected to be the standard issue rifle for the all infantry squads. In 2021, the Marine Corps committed to fielding Silencer (firearms), suppressors to all its infantry units, making it the first branch of the U.S. military to adopt them for widespread use. Indirect fire is provided by the M203 grenade launcher and the Milkor MGL, M32 grenade launcher in fireteams, M224 mortar, M224 60 mm mortar in companies, and M252 mortar, M252 81 mm mortar in battalions. The M2 Browning, M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun and Mk 19 grenade launcher, MK19 automatic grenade launcher (40 mm) are available for use by dismounted infantry, though they are more commonly vehicle-mounted. Precision firepower is provided by the M40 rifle, M40 series and the Barrett M82, Barrett M107, while Designated marksman, designated marksmen use the United States Marine Corps Designated Marksman Rifle, DMR (being replaced by the M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle, M39 EMR), and the United States Marine Corps Squad Advanced Marksman Rifle, SAM-R. The Marine Corps utilizes a variety of direct-fire rockets and missiles to provide infantry with an offensive and defensive anti-armor capability. The Mk 153 Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon, SMAW and AT4 are unguided rockets that can destroy armor and fixed defenses (e.g., bunkers) at ranges up to 500 meters. The smaller and lighter M72 LAW can destroy targets at ranges up to 200 meters. The FGM-172 SRAW, Predator SRAW, FGM-148 Javelin and BGM-71 TOW are anti-tank guided missiles. The Javelin can utilize top-attack profiles to avoid heavy frontal armor. The Predator is a short-range fire-and-forget weapon; the Javelin and TOW are heavier missiles effective past 2,000 meters that give infantry an offensive capability against armor.


Ground vehicles

The Corps operates the same Humvee, HMMWV as does the Army, which is in the process of being replaced by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). However, for its specific needs, the Corps uses a number of unique vehicles. The LAV-25 is a dedicated wheeled armored personnel carrier, similar to the Army's Stryker vehicle, used to provide strategic mobility. Amphibious capability is provided by the Assault Amphibious Vehicle, AAV-7A1 Assault Amphibious Vehicle, an armored tracked vehicle that doubles as an Armoured personnel carrier, armored personnel carrier, due to be replaced by the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, a faster vehicle with superior armor and weaponry. The threat of land mines and improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan has seen the Corps begin purchasing heavy armored vehicles that can better withstand the effects of these weapons as part of the MRAP, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program. The Marines operate the M777 howitzer, M777 155 mm howitzer, including the M142 HIMARS, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a truck-mounted rocket artillery system. Both are capable of firing guided munitions. In 2020, the Marine Corps retired its M1 Abrams, M1A1 Abrams tanks and eliminated all of its tank units. General David Berger explained the decision describing the long-serving Marine weapons system as "operationally unsuitable for our highest-priority challenges." The move leaves the Army as the sole operator of American tanks.


Aircraft

The Organic unit, organic aviation capability of the Marine Corps is essential to its amphibious mission. The Corps operates both helicopter, rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft mainly to provide Assault Support and
close air support In military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle i ...
to its ground forces. Other aircraft types are used in a variety of support and special-purpose roles. The light transport and attack capabilities are provided by the Bell UH-1Y Venom and Bell AH-1Z Viper. Medium-lift squadrons utilize the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor. Heavy-lift squadrons are equipped with the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion, CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, which are being replaced with the upgraded Sikorsky CH-53K, CH-53K. Marine attack squadrons fly the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, AV-8B Harrier II; while the fighter/attack mission is handled by the single-seat and dual-seat versions of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Hornet strike-fighter aircraft. The AV-8B is a V/STOL aircraft that can operate from amphibious assault ships, land air bases and short, expeditionary airfields, while the F/A-18 can only be flown from land or
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as a seagoing , equipped with a full-length and facilities for . Typically, it is the of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to worldwide without depending on . Carriers have evolved since their incepti ...
s. Both are slated to be replaced by 340 of the STOVL B version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, F-35 Lightning II and 80 of the carrier F-35C versions for deployment with Navy
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s. The Corps operates its own organic aerial refueling assets in the form of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, KC-130 Hercules; however it also receives a large amount of support from the U.S. Air Force. The Hercules doubles as a ground refueler and tactical-airlift transport aircraft. The USMC electronic warfare plane, the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler, EA-6B, was retired in 2019. The Marines operate unmanned aerial vehicles: the AAI RQ-7 Shadow, RQ-7 Shadow and Boeing ScanEagle, Scan Eagle for tactical reconnaissance. Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 (VMFT-401), operates Northrop F-5, F-5E, F-5F and F-5N Tiger II aircraft in support of air combat adversary (dissimilar air combat training, aggressor) training. Marine Helicopter Squadron One (
HMX-1 Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or a ...
) operates the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, VH-3D Sea King and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, VH-60N Whitehawk helicopters in the VIP transport role, most notably
Marine One Marine One is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president of the United States. It usually denotes a helicopter operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) "Nighthawks", consisting of either the large S ...

Marine One
, but are VXX, due to be replaced. A single Marine Corps Lockheed C-130 Hercules, C-130 Hercules aircraft, "Fat Albert", is used to support the U.S. Navy's flight demonstration team, the "Blue Angels".


Relationship with other services

In general, the Marine Corps shares many resources with the other branches of the
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United States Armed Forces
. However, the Corps has consistently sought to maintain its own identity with regard to mission, funding, and assets, while utilizing support available from the larger branches. While the Marine Corps has far fewer installations both in the U.S. and worldwide than the other branches, many List of United States Army installations, Army posts, List of United States Navy installations, Naval stations, and List of United States Air Force installations, Air Force bases have a Marine presence. They also cross-train with other countries.


United States Navy

The Marine Corps's counterpart under the Department of the Navy is the United States Navy. As a result, the Navy and Marine Corps have a close relationship, more so than with other branches of the military. White paper, Whitepapers and promotional literature have commonly used the phrase "Navy-Marine Corps Team", or refer to "the Naval Service". Both the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Commandant of the Marine Corps report directly to the Secretary of the Navy. Operationally, the Marine Corps provides the
Fleet Marine Force The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general- and special-purpose forces within the United States United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy that perform offensive Amphibious warfare, amphibious or expeditiona ...
s for service with the Navy's fleets, including the forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Units embarked aboard Navy amphibious warships. The Corps also contributes some Marine Aviation fixed-wing fighter/attack assets (aircraft squadrons and related aircraft maintenance augmentation units) as part of the Carrier Air Wings deployed aboard aircraft carriers. The Marine Corps Security Force Regiment provides infantry-based security battalions and Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team companies to guard and defend high-priority and overseas Navy bases. Security for the Presidential Retreat located aboard the Camp David, Naval Support Activity Thurmont, viz., ''Camp David'' is provided by the Marine infantry battalion stationed as part of the garrison aboard Marine Barracks Washington. Cooperation between the two services includes the training and instruction of some future Marine Corps officers (most are trained and commissioned through Marine Corps OCS), all Marine Corps Naval Aviators (aircraft pilots) and Naval Flight Officers (airborne weapons and sensor system officers), and some Navy and Marine Corps enlisted personnel. The Corps receives a significant portion of its officers from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) and Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). USNA and NROTC staff and faculty includes Marine Corps instructors. United States Marine Corps Aviation#Aviators and Flight Officers, Marine Corps aviators and flight officers are trained in the Naval Air Training Command (NATRACOM) and are designated, or ''winged'' as United States Naval Aviator, Naval Aviators or Naval Flight Officers. The Marine Corps provides flight instructors to the Naval Air Training Command as well as drill instructors to the Officer Candidate School (United States Navy), Navy's Officer Candidate School. Many enlisted Marines, particularly those in the aviation maintenance specialties, are trained at Navy technical training centers. The Marine Corps also provides ground combat training support to various Navy field medical (Hospital Corpsmen), Naval Construction Force (Seabee), and Navy Expeditionary Warfare personnel, units, and commands. Training alongside each other is viewed as critical, as the Navy provides transport, logistical, and combat support to put Marine units into the fight, such as Strategic sealift ships, maritime prepositioning ships and naval gunfire support. Most Marine aviation assets ultimately derive from the Navy, with regard to acquisition, funding, and testing, and Navy aircraft carriers typically deploy with a Marine squadron alongside Navy squadrons. Marines do not recruit or train noncombatants such as chaplains or medical/dental personnel; naval personnel fill these roles. Some of these sailors, particularly Hospital corpsman, Hospital corpsmen and Religious program specialist, Religious program specialists, generally wear Marine uniforms emblazoned with Navy insignia. Conversely, the Marine Corps is responsible for conducting land operations to support naval campaigns, including the seizure of naval bases. Both services operate a network security team in conjunction. Marines and sailors share many naval traditions, especially terminology and customs. Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients wear the Navy variant of this and other awards; and with few exceptions, the awards and badges of the Navy and Marine Corps are identical. Much of testing for new Marine Corps aircraft is done at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team is staffed by both Navy and Marine officers and enlisted men. In 2007, the Marine Corps joined with the Navy and Coast Guard to adopt a new maritime strategy called ''A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower'' that raises the notion of prevention of war to the same Philosophy of war, philosophical level as the conduct of war. This new strategy charts a course for the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent regional crises, man-made or natural, from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to avoid negative impacts to the United States.


United States Army

The Marine Corps capabilities overlap with those of the United States Army, historically creating competition for funding and missions. The competition dates back to the founding of the Continental Marines, when General George Washington refused to allow the initial Marine battalions to be drawn from among his Continental Army. In the aftermath of World War II, Army leadership made efforts to restructure the American defense establishment including the dissolution of the Marine Corps and the folding of its capabilities into the other services. Leading this movement were such prominent Army officers as General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall. The Goldwater-Nichols Act significantly reshaped the services roles and relationships with each other, enforcing more joint decision making. Department of Defense Directive 5100.01 tasks both the Army and Marine Corps with expeditionary and amphibious operations. With most of the 2000s spent in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates voiced concerns that the Marines are becoming a "second Army". Since these comments, the Marine Corps has shed its main battle tanks, reduced its size, and focused more on operations in littoral areas where the Army is not explicitly tasked to operate. The Army maintains much larger and diverse combat arms, special operations, and logistics forces. The Army has much lighter and expeditionary forces in its infantry and airborne infantry brigade combat teams. The Army also maintains heavier and more logistically taxing armored brigade combat teams. The Marine Corps, in comparison, maintains forces between these two extremes of mobility and protection. The Marine Corps organizes much smaller deployable units with integrated aviation support. The Marine Corps was been historically hesitant to providing forces to U.S. Special Operations Command, instead making specialty units available to its division commanders. The Army has maintained Special Forces, Rangers, civil affairs, psychological operations, special operations aviation, and special missions units for decades. In 2003 the Marine Corps, created the present-day successors to the Marine Raiders and provided them to United States Special Operations Command, Special Operations Command starting with the establishment of Det One, MCSOCOM Detachment One. The modern Marine Raider training pipeline was based on input from U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces units. Culturally, Marines and soldiers share most of the common U.S. military slang and terminology, but the Corps utilizes a large number of naval terms and traditions incompatible with Army lifestyle, as well as their own List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions, unique vernacular. As the Army Reserve and Army National Guard is much larger than the Marine Corps' Reserve, many more former active duty Marines continue their service in the Army's reserve components. The Army does not require transfers from the Marines, Air Force security forces, or special operations of any branch to attend Army Basic Combat Training. Due to the requirement that all inter-service transfers attend Marine Corps Recruit Training, very few former soldiers serve in the Marine Corps.


United States Air Force

While some of United States Marine Corps Aviation, Marine Corps Aviation assets ultimately derive from the Navy, a large amount of support is drawn from the United States Air Force. The Marine Corps makes extensive use of the USAF Air Mobility Command to airlift Marines and equipment, along with utilizing close air support from the Air Force. The Air Force may also attach Tactical Air Control Party units to conventional Marine ground forces to provide coordination for close air support. The Air Force traditionally provides the United States Air Force#Aerospace Expeditionary Task Force, Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) who controls "sorties for air defense, and long range interdiction and reconnaissance" while the MAGTF commander retains control of the Marines' organic aviation assets, however Marine Aviation missions not directly in the support of the MAGTF will be typically controlled by the JFACC.


United States Coast Guard

The Marine Corps shares a sphere of operation with units of the United States Coast Guard, including operation of the Joint Maritime Training Center (JMTC) (previously known as the Special Missions Training Center (SMTC)), a joint Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps training facility located on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.


Budget

According to the Department of the Navy (from whence the Marine Corps receives its funding), for FY 2019, the Marine Corps received $43.2B in funding. * not exact since certain fields are combined with Navy expenditures In 2013, the USMC became the first American military branch to ever have a fully audited annual budget.


See also

* Marine Corps Key Volunteer Network * United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve *List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions * List of equipment of the United States Marine Corps


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

*


Further reading

* * * *


External links


Marines.mil – Official site

Marine Corps History Division

Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
{{Authority control United States Marine Corps, 1775 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies Articles containing video clips Military units and formations established in 1775 Uniformed services of the United States, Marine Corps Marines, US United States Armed Forces service branches