United States Marine Corps

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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,[1] 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 Department of the Navy,[2][3] 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.[4]

Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on November 10, 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry.[5] Since then, the mission of Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps 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.[6] By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare.[7][8][9] Its ability to respond rapidly to regional crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.[10]

The United States Marine Corps includes just over 203,000 (as of October 2009) active duty Marines and just under 40,000 reserve Marines.[11] 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 under the Department of Homeland Security). The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the entire armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces or the whole of the British Army.[12][13]

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. Gen. Charles C. Krulak (1996). "Operational Maneuver from the Sea" (PDF). Headquarters Marine Corps.
  2. U.S. Navy Organization: An Overview. United States Navy. Retrieved on 3 August 2008.
  3. National Security Act of 1947, SEC. 206. (a) (50 U.S.C. 409(b)).
  4. National Security Act of 1947, SEC. 606. (50 U.S.C. 426). Retrieved on 2009-04-25.
  5. Naval Orientation. Chapter 14: United States Marine Corps 14–1 to 14-11. Integrated Publishing. Retrieved on 2 May 2009.
  6. Warren, James A. (2005). American Spartans: The U.S. Marines: A Combat History From Iwo Jima to Iraq. New York: Free Press, Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-87284-6. 
  7. Hough, Col Frank O. (USMCR); Ludwig, Maj Verle E. (USMC), and Henry I. Shaw, Jr.. "Part I, Chapter 2: Evolution of Modern Amphibious Warfare, 1920–1941", Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, Volume I. Historical Branch, HQMC, United States Marine Corps. 
  8. Garand, George W. and Truman R. Strobridge (1971). "Part II, Chapter 1: The Development of FMFPac", Western Pacific Operations, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operation in World War II, Volume IV. Historical Branch, HQMC, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved on 3 August 2008. 
  9. Frank, Benis M and Henry I. Saw, Jr. (1968). "Part VI, Chapter 1: Amphibious Doctrine in World War II", Victory and Occupation, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, Volume V. Historical Branch, HQMC, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved on 3 August 2008. 
  10. John H. Dalton, Secretary of the Navy; Adm. J. M. Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations; General Carl E Mundy, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (11 November 1994). "Forward...From the Sea". Department of the Navy.
  11. The Selected Marine Corps Reserve has approximately 39,600 Marines; the Individual Ready Reserve has approximately 60,000 Marines. Reserve Force Figures (PDF). The Continental Marine Magazine - Almanac 209 9. Marine Forces Reserve (2009). Retrieved on 26 February 2009.
  12. "Israeli Defense Forces, CSIS" (PDF). 25 July 2006. p. 12. http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/050323_memilbaldefine%5B1%5D.pdf. 
  13. "United States Armed Forces, DOD" (PDF). DOD. 25 July 2006. http://siadapp.dior.whs.mil/personnel/MILITARY/ms0.pdf.