United States Marine CorpsThe United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the smallest branch of the United States Armed Forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve members in 2002. The USMC serves as a versatile combat element, adapted to a wide variety of combat situations. Its original purpose was to provide naval infantry (combat forces serving aboard naval vessels), and to conduct amphibious operations from the sea onto land. The latter tactic was fully developed and utilized in World War II, most notably in the Pacific Island Campaign. The Marine Corps is part of the United States Navy, however the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the highest ranking officer and representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, does report to the Secretary of the Navy, but does not report to the Chief of Naval Operations. Since its inception November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps has been recognized for combat prowess, and the Corps' role has been expanded significantly. Currently, the Marines serve as an all-purpose, quick-response task-force, suitable for quick insertion into areas where emergency intervention is required, and capable of utilizing ground, air, and sea elements. For example, in 1990, the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (22d MEU) conducted Operation Sharp Edge, a so-called NEO, or Non-combatant Evacuation Operation in the west African city of Monrovia, Liberia. Liberia was suffering from civil war at the time, and US and other civilians were not able to depart via conventional means. Sharp Edge was successful. Only one reconnaissance team came under sniper fire (no casualties either side), and several hundred civilians were evacuated within hours to US Navy vessels waiting offshore. The Marines are unique in their mission statement, and do not necessarily fill unique combat roles. The US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force combined do overlap pretty much every area that the Marine Corps covers. However, the Marines consistantly utilize all of the essential elements of combat (air, ground, sea) together, and have perfected these tactics over the years, whereas the larger services may not work together as often, and may take some time to learn to function together in a combat theatre. The Marines do not, and should not take the place of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, any more than the ambulance takes the place of the hospital, but when an emergency situation develops and there is little time to be dealing with communications and/or political problems, the Marines essentially act as a stop-gap, to get into and hold an area until the larger machinery can be mobilized. The Marines have one further difference from the other US military services: all marines, male or female, no matter what the occupational specialty, are trained first and foremost as riflemen. Thus the Marine Corps, at heart, is an infantry corps. The Corps has a creed stating "Every marine a rifleman first." Historically, United States Marine Corps are known for several campaigns as referenced in their anthem "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli". In the 1800s, Stephen Decatur led a group of Marines against the pirates of Tripoli, and separately, the Marines were known for their part in the war against Mexico. The Marines are proud of their Gung-ho attitude and are inculcated with a strong belief in their chain of command and the importance of esprit de corps, a spirit of enthusiasm and pride in themselves and the Corps. The Marine motto is "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful). Famous Marines * (rapper) Shaggy * Adam West, television star * Art Donovan * Barbara Dulinsky * Barney Ross, world champion boxer * Bill Fitch, basketball coach * Bill Gallo * Bill Veeck * Blackbear Bosin * Bob Keeshan * Brian Dennehy, Hollywood actor * Buddy Rich * Burt Reynolds, Hollywood star * Carmen Basilio, world champion boxer * Chesty Puller * Chuck Connors, Television star, basketball player * Clint Eastwood, Hollywood star * Dan Rather, news reporter * David Carradine Hollywood star * David Dinkins, mayor of Chicago * Don Adams * Don Everly, musician * Drew Carey, comedian * Ed McMahon, show host * Elroy Crazy Legs Hirsch, American football player * F. Lee Bailey * Frank Sutton, * Frederick W. Smith, businessman, owner of Fed Ex * Gene Hackman, Hollywood star * Gene Tunney, world boxing champion * George C. Scott , Hollywood star * George Jones * Gil Hodges, baseball player * Glenn Ford * Gregory Pappy Boyington * Hank Bauer, baseball player * Harvey Keitel, Hollywood star * Jerry Coleman, baseball player, announcer * Jo Jo White, basketball player * John Glenn, astronaut, senator * John Philip Sousa * Ken Norton world champion boxer * Lee Harvey Oswald, accussed killer of John F. Kennedy * Lee Marvin, Hollywood actor * Lee Trevino, PGA golfer * Leo Nomelini * Leon Spinks, world boxing champion * Lou Diamond * Mae Johnson * Major General Pedro Del Valle * Mark Fuhrman, policeman who became famous during the O. J. trial * Mike Weaver, world boxing champion * Mills Lane, boxing referee * Oliver North, famous for Iran Contra scandal * Oliver Stone, Hollywood director * Patty Berg, LPGA player * Paul Arizin * Pete Wilson, governor of California * Phil Everly , musician * Ray Mercer, world boxing champion * Donald Scott * Richard Steele, boxing referee * Robert Remus, aka 'Sgt Slaughter' in the WWF * Robert Wagner, Hollywood star * Roberto Clemente, baseball player * Rod Carew , baseball player * Sarah Deal * Steve McQueen, Hollywood star * Ted Williams, baseball player * Tom Seaver, baseball player * Tyrone Power, Hollywood star * Donald Regan * Lee Ermey * Montel Williams, show host * Buster Drayton, world boxing champion * Enrique Camarena, murdered Mexican DEA official * Bill Cowan, hostage rescuer * Sid McMath, Governor of Arkansas Chain of Command Marines can task organize to any size unit. Typical deployment size is a MEU Marine Expeditionary Unit. This is a rifle battalion, with a battery or artillery, a platoon of LAVs, an air component, and a service support elements. A MEB is larger than a MEU with multiple rifle battalions. A MEF, as deployed in IRAQ, is a Marine division, with a artillery regiment, several tank battalions, several LAV battalions, etc.