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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) also referred to as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force.

Overview[]

The USMC was set up as an infantry striking arm of the Navy, as well as ship's troops. It slowly evolved into a separate strike arm on its own, still part of and allied with the Navy, but capable of performing independent missions on its own. Eventually the Marines, not weighed down with the heavy equipment and top-heavy administration that dog the Army, came to be considered a sort of rapid-deployment force, a group of military troubleshooters who could be at the scene of military trouble swiftly.

Despite the fact that the Marines now work hand·in·hand with the Army, once their most bitter rivals, the Marines still maintain separate training and operational guidelines. Even their unit organization is slightly different. Because of their rigorous entry and training standards, and their mental conditioning, the Marines are still perceived as being the most elite of the U.S. land forces. (Even so, they are primarily light infantry; the Army still has the edge in mobility/firepower.)

Marine conditioning has long been portrayed as a matter of turning young people into mindless, wholly-obedient killers. This is not completely true; while Marines just out of basic training seem like this, this training is later refined to turn each Marine into a self-motivated, courageous soldier. Others interpret the results as brainwashing, and frequently see Marines as in need of serious attitude adjustment in order to fit into society, but the end result is that the average Marine is better motivated and more confident than the average Army soldier.[1]

Organization[]

USMC organization is similar to Army organization; after all, Marines are just infantry and tank forces, like Army units. However, Marine forces aren't as bulky, since they don't usually have exactly the same duties as Army forces. Individually, a Marine battalion is almost the same as its Army counterpart, but Marine units stop at the regimental level; the USMC doesn't have larger units. Marine armor units are quite rare, and in an aquatic role are replaced with hovercraft units. Marine air units are more plentiful, since the Marines have a long history of their own air branch.[1]

Deployment[]

Marine units are usually deployed in coastal defense roles, where they can make good use of their relationship with the Navy. Marine units are also deployed as ships' troops; a PB-20 patrol boat, for instance, usually carries a fire team or a squad of Marines on its patrols. These Marines are carried in crew positions, as gunners or other qualified ship's crew.[1]

Tactics[]

As ground forces, Marine units use the same sort of tactics employed by the Army, with the addition of amphibious assault (a Marine specialty). Marine armor prefers to outflank the enemy and either provide stiffening firepower for Marine units, or swiftly move into the enemy rear area, using tanks for the former and hovercraft for the latter.[1]

Equipment[]

Marine infantry equipment and armor is generally mostly the same as Army equipment, albeit marinised, and including specialized gear such as armored life jackets. For instance, the USMC's standard assault rifle in the late 2010s was the Militech Mk IV Assault Weapon, with specialist elements such as Force Reconnaissance (i.e. Recon Marines) also using more exotic weaponry like the Sternmeyer M-95A4. There is also ongoing interest in Militech's new M-31A1 AICW. In other areas the Marines do diverge more from the Army, one example being the use of the Sternmeyer SMG-21 as the USMC's standard sub-machine gun. Armor tends to be light; they have a few M-11 MBT's, but most Marine armored units have either M-75's or M-40 hovercraft (though as of 2020 there is at least one trials unit equipped with the amphibious Militech MT-4 MBT). Hover-trucks and jeeps are popular Marine transports when the terrain is flat or near open expanses of water; these and hover APCs are supported by wheeled, amphibious APCs/IFVs. Hummers are still in service in at least some numbers as of 2020. The USMC, along with the USN, also use an Armored ACAV design closely related to the famous Militech A-20 ACAV. Like the U.S. Army, the Marine Corps uses both the XML-2O Support Walker and the XML-21 AT Walker to provide fire support for infantry and ACPA troopers in rough terrain. Marine air units mostly use the Wasp or A-01 attack planes. Normal infantry units also make good use of AVs and helicopters.[1]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1992 (pg.69, 70)
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