United States Marine Corps
"USMC" redirects here.
For other uses, see USMC (disambiguation).
|United States Marine Corps|
|Founded||10 November 1775 (1775-11-10)
(245 years, 1 month)
|Part of||Department of the Navy|
|Nickname(s)||"Jarheads", "Devil Dogs", "Teufel Hunden", "Leathernecks"|
|Colors||Scarlet and gold|
|March||"Semper Fidelis" Play (help·)|
|Equipment||List of U.S. Marine Corps equipment|
|Commander-in-Chief||President Donald J. Trump|
|Secretary of Defense||Christopher C. Miller (acting)|
|Secretary of the Navy||Kenneth Braithwaite|
|Commandant||Gen David H. Berger|
|Assistant Commandant||Gen Gary L. Thomas|
|Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps||SMMC Troy E. Black|
|Emblem ("Eagle, Globe, and Anchor" or "EGA")|
|Song||"The Marine's Hymn" Play (help·)|
The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations through combined arms, implementing its own infantry, armor, artillery, aerial and special operations forces.
The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States.
The history of the Marine Corps began when two battalions of Continental Marines were formed on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as a service branch of infantry troops capable of fighting both at sea and on shore.
As of 2017, the USMC has around 182,000 active duty members and some 38,500 personnel in reserve.
- Seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns;
- Development of tactics, technique, and equipment used by amphibious landing forces in coordination with the Army and Air Force; and
- Such other duties as the President or Department of Defense may direct.
This last clause derives from similar language in the Congressional acts "For the Better Organization of the Marine Corps" of 1834, and "Establishing and Organizing a Marine Corps" of 1798.
It noted that the Corps has more often than not performed actions of a non-naval nature, including its famous actions in Tripoli, the War of 1812, Chapultepec, and numerous counter-insurgency and occupational duties (such as those in Central America), World War I, and the 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.
Marines from Ceremonial Companies A & B, quartered in Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., guard presidential retreats, including Camp David, and the Marines of the Executive Flight Detachment of HMX-1 provide helicopter transport to the President and Vice President, with the radio call signs "Marine One" and "Marine Two", respectively.
By authority of the 1946 Foreign Service Act, the Marine Security Guards of the Marine Embassy Security Command provide security for American embassies, legations, and consulates at more than 140 posts worldwide.
The relationship between the Department of State 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, 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 on 15 December 1948, and 83 Marines were deployed to overseas missions.
During the first year of the MSG program, 36 detachments were deployed worldwide.
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; 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 War on 3 March 1776 as the Marines gained control of Fort Montagu and Fort Nassau, a British ammunition depot and naval port in New Providence, 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 of 1832, and continuing in the Caribbean and Mexican campaigns of the early 20th centuries.
Marines would develop 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.
McDonough had urged President Truman to add Marine representation on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Truman, writing in a letter addressed to Rep. 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."
Rep. McDonough then inserted , dated August 29, 1950, into the Congressional Record.
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 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 finally ended in the 1990s.
The Marine Corps fulfills a critical military role as an amphibious warfare force.
While the Marine Corps does not employ any unique capabilities, 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 (MAGTF) that integrates a ground combat element, an aviation combat element and a Logistics Combat Element under a common command element.
While the creation of joint commands under the Goldwater–Nichols Act has improved inter-service coordination between each branch, the Corps's 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.
This focus on the infantry is matched with the doctrine of "Every Marine [is] a rifleman", a focus 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; and all officers receive additional training as infantry platoon commanders.
For example, at Wake Island, 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" 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 and maneuver warfare doctrine, into the current "Operational Maneuver from the Sea" doctrine of power projection 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's traditional missions, it has renewed an emphasis on amphibious capabilities.
The Marine Corps relies on the Navy for sealift to provide its rapid deployment capabilities.
To aid rapid deployment, the Maritime Pre-Positioning System was developed: fleets of container ships are positioned throughout the world with enough equipment and supplies for a Marine Expeditionary Force to deploy for 30 days.
The USMC is planning to reduce its logistical requirements and by 2025 eliminate all liquid fuel use for Marine Expeditionary Forces, except for highly efficient vehicles.
Two small manuals published during the 1930s would establish USMC doctrine in two areas.
The Small Wars Manual laid the framework for Marine counter-insurgency operations from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan while the Tentative Landing Operations Manual established the doctrine for the amphibious operations of World War II.
"Operational Maneuver from the Sea" is the current doctrine of power projection.
Main article: History of the United States Marine Corps
Foundation and American Revolutionary War
The United States Marine Corps traces its roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by Captain Samuel Nicholas by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775, to raise two battalions of Marines.
This date is celebrated as the birthday of the Marine Corps.
Nicholas was nominated to lead the Marines by future president John Adams.
By December of that year, 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 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’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 itself would not be resurrected until 11 July 1798.
Marines had been enlisted by the War Department as early as August 1797 for service in the new-build 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 and First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon led eight Marines and 500 mercenaries in an effort to capture Tripoli.
War of 1812 and afterward
During the War of 1812, 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, however, was holding the center of General 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, HMS Levant and HMS Penguin, the final engagements between British and U.S. forces, the Marines had gained a reputation as expert marksmen, especially in defensive and ship-to-ship actions.
They played a large role in the 1813 defense of Sacket's Harbor, New York and Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, also taking part in the 1814 defense of Plattsburgh in the Champlain Valley during one of the final British offensives along the Canadian-American border.
After the war, the Marine Corps fell into a malaise that ended with the appointment of Archibald Henderson as its fifth Commandant in 1820.
Commandant Henderson is credited with thwarting President Jackson's attempts to combine and integrate the Marine Corps with the Army.
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 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 Gen. Winfield Scott.
Scott organized two storming parties of about 250 men each for 500 men total including 40 Marines.
American Civil War to World War I
As more and more states seceded from the Union, about a third of the Corps's officers left the United States to join the 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 USS Flag 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 bombardment of Fort Pulaski.
In April and May 1862, Union Marines participated in the capture and occupation of New Orleans and the occupation of Baton Rouge, Louisiana signal 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.
The remainder of the 19th century was marked by declining strength and introspection about the mission of the Marine Corps.
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 would be called upon to stem political and labor unrest within the United States.
It was during this time that "The Marines' Hymn" was first heard.
Around 1883, the Marines adopted their current motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful).
Between 1899 and 1916, the Corps continued its record of participation in foreign expeditions, including the Philippine–American War, the Boxer Rebellion in China (1899–1901), Panama, the Cuban Pacifications, the Perdicaris incident in Morocco, Veracruz, Santo Domingo, and the Banana Wars in Haiti and Nicaragua; the experiences gained in counter-insurgency and guerrilla operations during this period were consolidated into the Small Wars Manual.
World War I
The Marine Corps had a deep pool of officers and NCOs with battle experience, and experienced a large expansion.
Though the Marines and U.S. media reported that Germans had nicknamed them Teufel Hunden as 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.
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.
From then until the end of World War I, 305 women enlisted in the Corps.
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.
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
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 put up fierce resistance, but American forces 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 theater.
Nonetheless, they did continue to provide security detachments to U.S. embassies, and ships, contributed personnel to small, special ops teams dropped into 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.
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 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's giving them their military organization, military training, issuing them uniforms and redesignating their units the Seabees remained Navy.
USMC historian Gordon L. Rottmann wrote 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, 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 due to 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.
Shortly afterward, in 1952 the Douglas–Mansfield Act afforded the Commandant an equal voice with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters relating to the Marines and established the structure of three active divisions and air wings that remain today.
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 until the 1953 armistice.
The Korean War saw the Corps expand 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.
Individuals from the USMC generally operated in the Northern I Corps Regions of South Vietnam.
Portions of the Corps were responsible for the less-known Combined Action Program (CAP) that implemented unconventional techniques for counter-insurgency and worked as military advisers to the Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps.
Vietnam was the longest war up to that time for Marines; by its end, 13,091 had been killed in action, 51,392 had been wounded, and 57 Medals of Honor had been awarded.
Due to 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 courts-martial and non-judicial punishments related partially to increased unauthorized absences and desertions during the war.
Overhauling 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 NCO 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 rescue attempt Operation Eagle Claw, the Operation Urgent Fury and the Operation Just Cause.
On 23 October 1983, the Marine headquarters building in Beirut, Lebanon, 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 the country.
In 1997, Marines took part in Operation Silver Wake, the evacuation of American citizens from the US Embassy in Tirana, Albania.
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's budget and programs, cutting only the 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 budget sequestration in 2013, General 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 (Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan)
Marines and other American forces began staging in Pakistan and Uzbekistan on the border of Afghanistan as early as October 2001 in preparation for Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Marines first entered Afghanistan after Army paratroopers secured their entry.
In February 2010, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade launched the largest offensive of the Afghan Campaign since 2001, the 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 (Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve)
U.S. Marines served in the Iraq War, along with its sister services.
The Marines left Iraq in the summer of 2003, but returned in the beginning of 2004.
During this occupation, the Marines lead assaults on the city of Fallujah in April (Operation Vigilant Resolve) and November 2004 (Operation Phantom Fury) and saw intense fighting in such places as Ramadi, Al-Qa'im and Hīt.
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.
U.S. Marines would ultimately return to Iraq in the summer of 2014, in response to growing violence there.
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.
Main article: Organization of the United States Marine Corps
The most senior Marine officer is the Commandant (unless a Marine officer is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or 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 Combatant Commanders.
The Marine Corps is organized into four principal subdivisions: Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), the Operating Forces, the Supporting Establishment, and the Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or USMCR).
Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)
Headquarters Marine Corps 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.
The Operating Forces are divided into three categories: Marine Corps Forces (MARFOR) assigned to unified combatant commands, viz., the Fleet Marine Forces (FMF), Security Forces guarding high-risk naval installations, and Security Guard detachments at American embassies.
Under the "Forces for Unified Commands" memo, in accordance with the Unified Command Plan approved by the President, 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 Forces Command (MARFORCOM) and Pacific Command (MARFORPAC), each headed by a lieutenant general dual-posted as the commanding general of either FMF Atlantic (FMFLANT) or FMF Pacific (FMFPAC), respectively.
Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF)
Main article: Marine Air-Ground Task Force
The basic framework for deployable Marine units is the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), a flexible structure of varying size.
A MAGTF integrates a ground combat element (GCE), an aviation combat element (ACE), and a logistics combat element (LCE) under a common command element (CE), capable of operating independently or as part of a larger coalition.
The Marine Corps has a wariness and distrust of reliance on its sister services, and towards joint operations in general.
The Supporting Establishment includes the Combat Development Command, the Logistics Command, the Systems Command, the Recruiting Command, the Installations Command, the Marine Band, and the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
Marine Corps bases and stations
Main article: List of United States Marine Corps installations
The Marine Corps operates many major bases, 14 of which host operating forces, several support and training installations, as well as satellite facilities.
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's largest base and home to the Corps's most complex, combined-arms, live-fire training.
The Marine Corps maintains a significant presence in the National Capital Region, with Headquarters Marine Corps scattered amongst the Pentagon, Henderson Hall, Washington Navy Yard, and Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Additionally, Marines operate 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 (MARFORRES/USMCR)
Marine Forces Reserve 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 (MEF) or reinforcing/augmenting active-duty forces.
Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) includes the Marine Raider Regiment, the Marine Raider Support Group, and the Marine Raider Training Center.
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 Companies, the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, the Marine Division Reconnaissance Battalions, Force Reconnaissance Companies, Maritime Special Purpose Force, and Special Reaction Teams.
Additionally, all deployed Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) are certified as "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.
Then-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's 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.
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.
The Commandant has the U.S. responsibility to staff, train, and equip the Marine Corps and has no command authority. Code Title 10
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.
The current and 38th Commandant is David Berger, who assumed the position on 11 July 2019.
Main article: Women in the United States Marines
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, NC.
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.
As of October 2019, 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 recruit depot on the west coast in San Diego, California, 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 recruit depot on east coast on Parris Island, South Carolina, which already has a coed program.
Main article: United States Marine Corps rank insignia
As in the rest of the United States Armed Forces (excluding the Air Force and Space Force, which does not currently appoint warrant officers), Marine Corps ranks fall into one of three categories: commissioned officer, warrant officer, and enlisted, in decreasing order of authority.
To standardize compensation, each rank is assigned a pay grade.
Commissioned officers are distinguished from other officers by their 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.
See also: Warrant officer (United States)
Warrant officers are primarily former enlisted experts in a specific specialized field and provide leadership generally only within that speciality.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United States Marine Corps.