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  Wikipedia: United States Marine Corps

Wikipedia: United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Marine Corps emblem

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) forms the smallest branch of the United States Armed Forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve members as of 2002. The USMC serves as a versatile combat element, adapted to a wide variety of combat situations. Its original purpose, giving it the name Marine Corps, comprised the provision naval infantry (combat forces serving aboard naval vessels), and carrying out amphibious operations from the sea onto land. The Marines fully developed and utilized the latter tactic in World War II, most notably in the Pacific Island Campaign. The Marine Corps forms part of the Department of the Navy (but not part of the United States Navy).

Commandant of the Marine Corps

The Commandant of the Marine Corps functions as the highest ranking officer of the Marine Corps. Even though occasionally higher-ranking Marine officers exist, the Commandant is still considered to be in charge of the Marine Corps. The Commandant is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and reports to the Secretary of the Navy, but not to the Chief of Naval Operations.

Marine Generals Peter Pace (Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and James L. Jones (Commander in Chief of the United States European Command; NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; and a former Commandant of the Marine Corps) are Marines currently senior to the Commandant.

Creation and History

The United States Marine Corps first appeared as the "Continental Marines" during the American Revolutionary War, formed by a resolution of the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. They served as landing troops for the recently created Continental Navy. The Continental Marines were disbanded at end of war in April of 1783 but reformed on July 11, 1798.

Since its inception, the Marine Corps has had a reputation for combat prowess, and the Corps' role has expanded significantly. Currently, the Marines serve as an all-purpose, quick-response task-force, suitable for quick insertion into areas requiring emergency intervention, and capable of utilizing ground, air, and sea elements. For example, in 1990, the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (22d MEU) conducted Operation Sharp Edge, a so-called NEO, or Non-combatant Evacuation Operation in the west African city of Monrovia, Liberia. Liberia suffered from civil war at the time, and civilian citizens of the United States and other countries could not depart via conventional means. Sharp Edge ended in success. Only one reconnaissance team came under sniper fire (no casualties occured on either side), and the Marines evacuated several hundred civilians within hours to US Navy vessels waiting offshore.

The Marines have a unique mission statement, and do not necessarily fill unique combat roles. The Marine Corps is the only branch of the US Armed Forces with a mandate to do whatever the President may direct. The US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force combined do overlap pretty much every area that the Marine Corps covers. However, the Marines consistantly utilize all of the essential elements of combat (air, ground, sea) together, and have perfected these tactics over the years, whereas the larger services may not work together as often, and may take some time to learn to function together in a combat theatre. The Marines do not and should not take the place of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, any more than an ambulance takes the place of a hospital, but when an emergency situation develops and little time remains to deal with communications and/or political problems, the Marines essentially act as a stop-gap, to get into and hold an area until the larger machinery can be mobilized.

The Marines have one further difference from the other US military services: all marines, male or female, no matter what the occupational specialty, receive training first and foremost as riflemen. Thus the Marine Corps, at heart, functions as an infantry corps. The Corps has a creed stating "Every Marine a rifleman first."

Historically, the United States Marine Corps has achieved fame in several campaigns, as referenced in their anthem "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli". In the early 19th century, 1stLt Presley O’Bannon led a group of seven Marines in deposing the dictator of Tripoli (thereby restoring the rightful ruler). Separately, the Marines took part in the Mexican-American War (1846 - 1848).

The Marines take pride in their gung-ho attitude and are inculcated with a strong belief in their chain of command and the importance of esprit de corps, a spirit of enthusiasm and pride in themselves and the Corps.

The Marine motto "Semper fidelis" means "Always faithful". This motto often appears in the shortened form "Semper fi!"

Marines have several generic nicknames, mildly derogatory when used by outsiders but complimentary when used by Marines themselves. They include "jarhead" (apparently referring to the shape of a hat formerly worn by Marines), "gyrene" (perhaps a combination of "G.I" and "Marine"), and "leatherneck", referring to the leather collar that used to be a part of the Marine uniform.

Famous Marines

See also: marine, Ka-bar,List of actors who played Marines at movies, Flag of the United States Marine Corps

Chain of Command

Marines can task-organize to any size unit.

Typical deployment size is a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). This comprises a rifle battalion, with a battery or artillery, a platoon of LAVs, an air component, and service support elements.

A Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) is larger than a MEU, consisting of multiple rifle battalions.

A Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), as deployed in Iraq in 2003, comprises a Marine division with an artillery regiment, several tank battalions, several LAV battalions, etc.

Marine Bases

External links


  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona