Portal:United States Marine Corps

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The United States Marine Corps Portal

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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Marine Corps is a component of the United States Department of the Navy, often working closely with U.S. naval forces for training, transportation, and logistic purposes; however, in the military leadership structure the Marine Corps is a separate branch.

Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of the Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare. Its ability to rapidly respond on short notice to expeditionary crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.

The United States Marine Corps includes approximately 182,000 active duty Marines (as of 2016) and 38,500 reserve Marines. It is the smallest of the United States' armed forces in the Department of Defense (the United States Coast Guard is smaller, about one-fifth the size of the Marine Corps, but is normally under the Department of Homeland Security). The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces, or the entire British Army.

This month in USMC history

Did you know...?

  • ... before "Semper Fidelis" became the Marine Corps official motto in 1883, there were three unofficial mottos: "By Sea and by Land," "Fortitudine," and "To the shores of Tripoli."
  • ... Marine Corps pilots are now flying more flight hours per pilot than the U.S. Air Force Pilots. See Marine Corps Times Feb 15, 2018
  • ... Overcoming nerve damage to his hand from the Battle of Iwo Jima, in 1992, Colonel Charles Waterhouse became the only Marine to receive the title "USMC Artist-in-Residence".
  • ... Sergeant Reckless, a war horse for 5th Marines made 51 trips to haul ammo for the recoilless rifle section during Battle for Outpost Vegas of the Korean War and was wounded twice in battle.
  • ... 5th Marines is the only Marine regiment to fight in every major war since World War I and is the most highly decorated regiment in the Marine Corps.
  • ... The Small Wars Manual, published by the Marine Corps in 1940, and still considered a classic in military science, has a chapter dedicated to the supervision of elections.

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McTureous RM.jpg

Robert M. McTureous, Jr. (1924-1945), for which Camp McTureous in Japan is named, was a United States Marine Corps private who was killed during the World War II Battle of Okinawa. He was mortally wounded while diverting fire from stretcher bearers evacuating wounded Marines — filling his shirt with hand grenades, he repeatedly charged the enemy-occupied caves from which the machine gun fire was coming. For his gallantry, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Selected quote

"Honor, courage and commitment, the core values of the Marines, define how every Marine in the Corps thinks, acts and fights. Throughout the evolving battlefields of the 21st Century, every Marine in the Corps must be confident in the abilities of themselves—and each other. In the chaos of battle, character matters."

~ Held to Higher Standards, marines.com

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