49 Reasons Why America Can't Fold Its Marine Corps

A recent post in the Fiscal Times quippedthat Afghanistan may be the “Marines’ last fight.”

It’s a common argument, made most especially following the end of a war, which typically precede shrinking defence budgets.

Well, in terms of fighting, the Marines have historically proven themselves in two theatres: war and Congress.

They’ve been around for 237 years, and here’s 49 reasons why.

Unlike its sister services, Marines attract the youngest recruits, and train the fittest men and women.

Basic physical fitness standards -- even for the guys who sit in offices -- are the most difficult of any service.

Even the basic weapons qualifications are tougher.

Being able to carry a full-grown man is, believe it or not, a prerequisite.

Plus, who else is going to serve as Naval infantry? The Army?

It's not just that Marines are good with mortars, soldiers are good too. It's that Marines can be there in force in 24 hours.

They're also pretty good a shooting, from what I've heard.

They shoot rockets.

They put out fires.

They shoot more rockets.

They fast rope from helicopters.

Where they promptly shoot more rockets.

Swan dives off decks of ships.

And yet more rockets.

Proficient in nuke/chem/bio operations.

Night operations.

Flight operations.


Doing cool jumps off fighter jet wings.

They get dirty fixing tanks.

Shoot rifles.

They literally know how to hover.

Did I mention rifles? Army Gen. John Pershing, 'The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.'

But having a few Ospreys around helps too.

Especially because you can load a bunch of Marines and their rifles in the back.

They can come at the enemy from the sky ...

The sea ...

Or the ground.

And no service emphasises close air support of ground units like the Marine Corps.

Hand-to-hand combat is another emphasis for Marines.

They even developed their own martial art, naming it after themselves: the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, or MCMAP.

So the enemy doesn't want to get on the bad side of even one Marine.

Their special operations units have become more robust over the years, with the introduction of MarSOC ...

And Force Recon.

Many military doctrines would not exist without Marine Officers. 'Vertical envelopment' (helicopter operations) was Corps-borne.

Aside from fighting foreign forces.

Marines train them and train with them.

COIN (Counter Insurgency) was developed with the help of General James Mattis, who drew off the more than century-old Marine Book Of Small Wars.

Of that, basic marksmanship and rifleman tactics are the backbone.

Things get more complex with introduction of squads and movements.

Night fights.

Heliborne operations.

Coordination with air units.



And first aid. Yes, even of the enemy.

Indeed, at least in my mind, and I know I'm horribly biased, there is no replacement for a Corps of Marines.

Ready to go where many others are unwilling.

And ride in a cramped, floating tin can to get there.

You've seen some reasons why America should keep its Corps ...

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