Talk:United States Marine Corps/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


I reverted a one-line edit adding the sentence "In 2000 the Marines were amalgamated into the US Navy to form one efficient fighting force." Please read the archived discussion if there's any confusion on the issue, or please support that claim with evidence of this organizational change that we've managed to miss for the past four years. Fox1 16:42, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)


How about explaining the Marine Corps component of the U.S. Naval Academy, and how Marine Annapolis cadets distinguish themselves from non-Marine Naval cadets at Annapolis? There's almost nothing here about how people become Marine Corps officers. Please help.

  • aight first of all, students at the Academy are not known as cadets. This term applies to students at West Point and Air Force, Navy's rivals. Students at the academy are known as Midshipmen (both Naval and Marine Corps prospective officers are known as Midshipmen). As for becoming a Marine Corps Officer, that is a decision up to each individual Midshipman. Most training will remain the same, however, summer cruise and summer detail opportunities will be applied for and assigned different as to those wishing to enter the Navy. DDog 3-4

Unarchived discussion

Dan Rather was not really a Marine. He failed out of recruit training for medical reasons. Chadloder 20:09 Mar 29, 2003 (UTC)

Reputation of the Marine Corps?

In my opinion, this article is not unbiased -- especially the section Reputation of the Marine Corps. I think that this part of the article is written from an US point of view. Internationally, for example in Europe, the USMC is not necessarily considered to be the "world's best elite fighting force" that some Americans want it to be. Some reasons for this: 1) The way the personnel are selected. Almost anyone can get in. There is not an aim to choose only the best and the most fittest for service. 2) Basic training is relatively short and contains primarily general military skills. For example, British Army and French Foreign Legion outweigh USMC in these areas.

Moreover, I would like to see examples to support the argument The Marine Corps' reputation often affects enemy planning and operations before and after combat. This sounds more like a legend than a fact.

My goal is not to undermine the fame of the US Marine Corps. It is an accomplished military force which has performed well in many war theaters. But I would like to see this article stripped of "marine lore" and (understandable) national proudness, which don't belong into an encyclopedia.

--oswd 00:30, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)

I disagree with you're statement "The way the personnel are selected. Almost anyone can get in. There is not an aim to choose only the best and the most fittest for service." The Marines are the most selective and hardest service to get into out of any in the US. The Marines have the hardest medical and physical examinations. Also the Marines will not accept anyone with a police record, however other services are more lenient in this respect. Also "Basic training is relatively short and contains primarily general military skills." Basic training is just that. Basic Training. Marines then usually go on to a specific school to further instruct them on specific skills such as rifle, demolitions, or any of a number of skills.

I would largely agree that the phrase "best elite fighting force" is hyperbole. Obviously it's subjective, but it also seems like vague language. "Force" is not, to my knowledge, any kind of quantifiable organizational type, which makes me question why the Corps would be place above even other U.S. elite units with higher entrance standards. The Corps is, I believe, the LARGEST "elite force" in the world. I've seen that factoid referenced in several printed publications (again, I recognize the rather hazy nature of both "elite" and "force").


Upon further reflection, I dislike this entire section, and I wish I had time to rewrite it. I removed the comment about actively recruiting 17 year-olds and "more aggressive" individuals after two days of looking failed to turn up any differences between the services in regards to recruitment age (not that I expected to find anything, since age is mandated across the DoD, not by the individual services). I think the article would be better served by dispersing information about differences in tactics and mentality across the other sections as appropriate IF they can be backed up. Otherwise, I see no reason to use the reputation section as a mask for poorly NPOVed information. Keeping the section would be fine, if there is at least an attempt to use real examples, instead of the author's own generalizations.


This section, and perhaps some parts of the other sections as well, have somewhat gone out of the hand. This article is not even near to an encyclopedia article, but a praise to the superiority, brutality and toughness of the US Marines. I am not the right person to rewrite this article, but I ask whoever edits this article to transform it towards an objective description of the US Marine Corps -- not a collection of stories telling which enemy fears the marines and how much.

--Oswd 20:47, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

I think that the reputation of the Marine Corps has more to do with its actual historical performance on the battlefield, rather than considerations such as the selectivity of its recruitment or basic training, something that probably would distinguish it in the "European" perspective that you cite. Another consideration is the scope, size and responsibility of the Corps. The Marine Corps is not and has never been organized across its entire organization as a "special-operations-type" organization, such as the SEALs, Special Forces, or, if you will, Royal Marines or SAS. The article points out that the Corps is larger than the British Army in its entirety. What the Marine Corps has done for most of its history, and what has distinguished it largely from the US Army, is serve as a mobile and convenient expeditionary force, in coordination with the Navy, in a large number of small actions in support of US policy, most of them in the Western Hemisphere or in Asia. (THe US didn't even maintain a large standing peacetime Army until after 1945). Outside those years when a major war was being fought (technically, the US Congress has declared war only five times in history), if someone saw an armed American in their country, that person was likely to be a Marine. I would argue that the most relevant perspective on the reputation of the Marine Corps would be the perspectives and memories of its historical enemies. I would invite anyone interested, and will work myself, to find and document in this article reliable quotes and sources of those who have encountered Marines in battle.

--Tommythegun 10:29 30 August 2005 (UTC) --

"Additionally, the aggressive tradition of the Marine Corps, and the Corps' widespread efforts to inculcate its Marines and the American public with this image have also sometimes backfired, leading to numerous accusations of sexism, racism and bullying over the years." This strikes me as going somewhat outside NPOV, probably being inaccurate, as well as being non-specific. I'm pulling it within a day unless someone can cite a source. --Tommythegun 12:13 26 September 2005

It's certainly non-specific, it may well be POV.... the description of negative accusations iss probably somewhat accurate, really, although you could certainly argue causation, but you're absolutely correct that it's completely unsourced. If you do end up removing it, might I beg that you revise anything else you dislike in the section? It's my least favorite bit of this article, by far, and I encourage anyone with ideas to Be Bold.
Fox1 12:15, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I changed it, as you can probably see, to:
"Additionally, the aggressive tradition of the Marine Corps, and the public perception of the Corps' as both an agressive organization and an elite force within the US military, has at times led to public relations issues surrounding accusations of bullying, harrassment and hazing since WWII."
This seemed more accurate and precise. It removes, or at least mitigates, the unsupported causative assertion; it removes the accusations of sexism and racism, an accusation that, in the broader context of US society and the military, seemed uncalled for and unusually severe absent either examples or sourcing; and I refined "over the years" to "since WWII", since this seemed a more accurate time-frame. The accusations of bullying and hazing are certainly a more concrete and attributable issue. Tommythegun 10:29 27 September 2005

Regarding MCMAP:

"This program marks another step in a series of calculated efforts to bolster the perception of the Marine Corps as a fierce and effective "warrior culture" both with outside observers, and with its own servicemembers."

This seemed to fall a hair outside of NPOV, and to be at best speculation. Therefore, *poof*! I replaced it with this, which is a rather more logical reason why a military service would want a martial arts program:

"Due to an expectation that urban and police-type peacekeeping missions will become more common in the 21st century, which will place Marines in even closer contact with unarmed civilians, it is expected that the Marines will benefit from having a larger and more versatile set of less-than-lethal options for controlling hostile, but unarmed individuals."

Tommythegun 10:43 27 September 2005

You're certainly correct about the practical benefits of the program. It's worth noting, though, that in this instance the text may be paraphrasing a bit, but is fairly accurate. The Commandant's comments on the new program are actually fairly close to what was written originally, and the "warrior culture" bit is a large, clearly stated idealogical objective of the program that is referenced in that manner in official publications.
Fox1 13:57, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure if people don't realize but Marine Reconnaissance units are special operations. There are two types, "Battalion" & "Force" Recon. Basic training is 13 weeks and it's not a walk in the park, if it was then why don't more join? Why the "Man, you're joining the Marines?!". It is much shorter than Royal Marines, which is 9 months(weekends off). Royal Marines focus more on skill not discipline, they are *really* laid back, first name bases. Our objective, uses, and dynamics are much different. We simply can't afford to have recruits spend nearly a year in basic training. Hazing, bullying is now considered illegal, drill instructors who disobey these orders are investigated. Some 20 or more years ago, hazing and bullying were very common. In any case, Marines are very much known for their performance on the battlefield, what they convey and signify. The legacy, history of the Corps speaks volumes.
The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 20 November, 2005.
Not sure what you're responding to here, but most of the regular editors of this article are familiar, one way or another, with USMC training and doctrine. Can't tell if you have issue with something in the article or are just commenting.
Fox1 (talk) 14:42, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, you are incorrect. Marine Reconnissance (both regular Recon in Recon Bns. and Force Recon Co, along with ANGLICO) are not Special Operations, nor is a MEU(SOC) considered a special operations force under DoD policy. All special operations forces fall under the US Special Operations Command, or USSOCOM. The only units that do so are the US Army Green Berets, the US Navy SEALs, and the US Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC. It was only two years ago that the Marine SOCOM detachment was created, however, it falls under Navy Special Warfare Squadron 1, the same command under which you'd find the SEALs. While highly talented warriors in their own right, what Marine Recon does is, quite simply, recon. Their missions are far different than what special operations forces are charged with. - STS

--You should probably refer to US Army Special Operations Command as opposed to the Special Forces in the above note. The Rangers and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, along with Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations units are also part of SOCOM. The Army likes to load the deck.

I pulled this paragraph over to here from the main article, as it doesn't appear to be at all "encyclopedic" and is a completely biased post (though I must admit that I like the author's sentiment here).

"Reputation, notwithstanding, when an enemy of the United States rears its head, it is the United State Marine Corps that goes to foreign shores and kills those that would harm US citizens. We are constantly amazed at those who revile us and make uninformed judgements about what we do or how we do it. Just shut up and enjoy your freedom."

-- Maz2331

Good call. In the future, it's usually safe to just delete obviously NPOV additions from IP editors.
Fox1 (talk) 20:11, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

in response to fox1's questioning of the word "force" as a quantitative measurement: the term force is indeed used as a echelon type, as in the 1st marine expeditionary force, (the I-MEF) which is comprised of several marine expeditionary units. just wanted to set you straight on that one.

oh, and as for the disbelief of the marines' reputation alone affecting enemy planning, one has to look on further than the first gulf war, when saddam kept several armored and infantry divisions on the coast of kuwait to defend against the possible (although never materialized) marine amphibious invasion.

Second to What?

the aticle opens The United States Marine Corps (USMC) forms the second-smallest branch of the United States Armed Forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve members as of 2002. This leaves the reader wondering what is the smallest? Can this be clarified in the article please? Dainamo 00:21, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Please do not try to strike the U.S. Coast Guard from the list of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are by law (Title 14) and by organization a separate armed force. GABaker 3 Sep 2004

  • this is clarified in the article. It states that the only branch smaller than the Marine Corps in the US is the Coast Guard. DDog 3-4


Platoon leaders in the Marines are known as "platoon commanders." It differs from the Army, which has "platoon leaders." [Moved comment from top of this page.]

Famous Marines

Moved list to own page. Maurreen 16:15, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

section order

I think the article could be better organized, but I'm not sure what order is better. Any thoughts? Maurreen 17:41, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

More Casualties?

The sentence unceremoniously tacked on to the end of that section seems badly implemented and quite possibly untrue.

In fact, in the few times I've seen applicable comparisons, Marine Corps casualties have been significantly less, both in terms of Marine casualties and non-combatant ones.

That said, this also ignores the fact that Marine Corps and U.S. Army tactics and casualty rates may not be comparable in this way, owing to the superficially similar but technically varied nature of their respective missions. Fox1 30 Sep 2004

Infamous Marines

What is the disagreement with describing Lee Harvey Oswald, Clayton Lonetree and Charles Whitman as infamous former Marines? Is there any doubt? Maurreen 04:44, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I changed the wording when I added a third entry, to switch from dual to plural form. If you think there's too much validation wording there now, feel free to change. I had planned on adding Oliver North, with a disclaimer regarding him regaining (or maintaining) some legitimacy in the public eye. Ended up thinking it was better to leave him out.
The one question I would have is whether that sublist would serve better on the famous Marines page? Seems odd to put the INfamous ones in the main entry, and the less controversial ones somewhere else.
--Fox1 12 October, 2004
The famous Marines, in a good way, are too many to list on the main page. I did add Clayton Lonetree to the "famous Marines" list; the others were already on it. I think having some negative information on the main USMC page makes it a little more balanced. But I see your point. I won't argue if you take it out. Or another idea would be to list just a few of the famous ones here. Maurreen 13:15, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I made all the ranks lowercase. They are not proper nouns unless they are immediately before a name. Maurreen 05:30, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Well, I had used title/heading capitalization, but I could see how lowercase would be correct, depending how you looked at the structure of the list, grammatically. I thought it looked better in caps, but it could just be that that's how I'm used to seeing them.
On a related note, I was always taught that the noun "Marine" was always capitalized ("soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines." "He is a Marine."). This seems to be how this article has been handled, how it was practiced in reporting according to government style manuals, and in any official documents that I can find or remember, but I've had the capitalization changed to lowercase in other articles. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any references to the issue specifically in civilian style manuals (they lump all service titles together, from what I've seen), so I don't have anything to back my assertions up on this issue.
--Fox1 12 Oct, 2004
Associated Press style makes "Marine" uppercase; New York Times style makes it lowercase. There isn't clear consensus, but I'm used to AP. I see your point about capitalization in a list, but I think that might encourage people to capitalize the ranks in body copy, which I see a lot of. Maurreen 14:08, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I am removing the note that the reason that there has never been a Marine O-11 is because the Marines are under the control of the Navy. Technically, the next head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will be assuming his office in four days, is a Marine, General Peter Pace. At this point, he will be the senior officer in all branches of the US military. Does this mean that the Army, Navy and Air Force will be under the control of the Marine Corps (oh, yes, and the Coast Guard during wartime)? Tommythegun 11:56 26 September 2005

Captains are company grade officers, not field grade. See I'm not sure how to fix the table. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Telliott (talk • contribs) .

  • I made the appropriate change to the table. Thanks for the reference. —ERcheck @ 20:40, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

It's a funny question, and I'm hoping you're just being sarcastic, but no, the rest of the branches of the Armed Forces will not be subordinate to the Marine Corps any more than the Marine Corps is subordinate to the Air Force or the Army when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is appointed from those particular services. Right or wrong, I tend to believe that the Marine Corps didn't have a five-star general during WWII because it was never as large as the Army or the Navy.

Infantry training

Isn't there an infantry school at Lejeune, also? Do people go from Parris Island to Camp Pendleton? Maurreen 16:28, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Holy crap, I can't believe I didn't include that. Nice catch, now I have to go edit School of Infantry, too. Guess that's my Hollywood bias for ya'. Fox1 16:31, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Also, it would be good for both articles if we could indicate when women started going. Do you have any ideas about that? I went to boot camp in 1980 and didn't even get to the rifle range for at least a few years. I was very disappointed. Maurreen 16:45, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Done on this page, however, I'm starting to think the topic might deserve a subsection of its own. Especially since the Corps' slow adoption of limited gender integration has been thrown around by journalists and others as a cause for quite a few things, good and bad. Fox1 16:59, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You're really quick. Maurreen 17:16, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I updated the section on female Marines at MCT. I was in the reserves from 95-01 and went to MCT in 1997. I trained with one of the first groups of female recruits. How was it that I was it I was at Parris Island in '95 and MCT in '97? I was a 92-day reservist, where my training was staggered so I could attend college. 1995 - Boot camp, 1996 - MOS training (Motor Transport School), 1997 - MCT, 1998-2001 - Annual training schedule (2 weeks). DBBell 16:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Del link

I deleted the link to * Teufelhunden 1775. It's only one page, and little there. Maurreen 06:20, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Code talkers

This was deleted: "Some high military officers have said the United States would never have won the Battle of Iwo Jima without the secrecy afforded by the Navajo code talkers."

I'm restoring it. If anyone disagrees, let's talk. Maurreen 05:27, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Can you provide the source? Jinian 15:47, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It's in the third paragraph of Code talker. If the problem is giving too much credit, maybe there's another way. I just think the code talkers are worth mentioning here. Maurreen 15:57, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Umm, the code talker article doesn't provide a source either. It simply states it, without saying who said it or when it was said. See what you think of my change.

That's good. Thanks. Maurreen 05:49, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)


  • Are the new boots really brown, or closer to tan?
  • Is Oct. 1, 2004, the date the black boots were declared obsolete, or the effective date of that declaration?
Maurreen 05:40, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Should be the effective date, the declaration was, I believe, dated about 12 months prior. Also, they're a light brown or a tan... I'm not very good with colors, but either description would probably fit. Fox1 14:01, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)


1MAW is listed as being in Okinawa, but its HQ is in Hawaii, so why not say it is in Okinawa and Hawaii?

1MAW HQ is in 'Building 1' of Camp Foster, across the street from the Legion Gate of Camp Foster.

Also, the list of Marine Bases needs help from someone at least minimally knowledgeable; it says MCLB Albany is in New York, which sounds like a joke...

I think where most of the unit is, is more important than the headquarters. But you can add the HQ info if you wish. Maurreen 03:53, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Are there are a bunch of H-53 squadrons in Hawaii too -- and ASEK?

I think that is probably too much detail for this article. And what is ASEK? Maurreen 17:52, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You had said "where most of the unit is, is more important than the headquarters." I meant to point out that more than just the headquarters is in Hawaii; that is why I mentioned the H-53 squadrons and ASEK (Aviation Support Element, Kaneohe). I didn't mean they should be listed :) Here is a reference to both: Anyway, thats enough for me, it was only a suggestion, not something I have religious feelings concerning.


I put "soldiers" in lowercase, as is standard. Maurreen 04:21, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

However, the official designation of members of the U.S. Army is "Soldiers." GABaker 14:42 UTC 30 August 2005.
Great, here we go again with the capitalization. What does "official designation" even mean? The reason that we capitalize 'Marine' is that you can find real civilian styles that back that usage up, even if it's not unanimous, and agree with government style manuals. So, feel free to back this up, but I'm reverting until you can source this (with something other than Army documents).
Fox1 15:24, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
I see your point; however, this is now the official U.S. military usage for all the services, though the Navy started capitalizing "Sailor" before the Army did "Soldier" and the Air Force did "Airman." Since we are talking about distinguishing Marines from members of the Army, I think the distinction is worth making. GABaker 18:26 UTC 30 August 2005.
Sorry, but "soldiers" isn't a proper noun. For example, The Associated Press capitalizes "Marine" but not "soldier." I don't think official military usage is the appropriate style. For example, we're not going to use military style to indicate time. I don't understand what you mean by "Since we are talking about distinguishing Marines from members of the Army, I think the distinction is worth making." Maurreen (talk) 06:25, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
while many other newspapers avoid the caps when it comes to the USMC such as the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. SimonATL 12:58, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Soldier is used to describe and Army soldier, not a Marine.

The phrase, "Soldiers of the sea", is, or was, fairly common used for the Marines.
—wwoods 08:21, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Service uniform

This paragraph has undergone a few evolutions. So if anyone objects to what I'm doing, let's talk.

As of now it reads: "The Marine service uniform, roughly equivalent to business attire, is comprised of dark green trousers (or optional skirt for females) and a khaki shirt. The equivalent Army uniform is two different shades of green."

I'm going to change it. For one thing, the word "trousers" is inappropriate for women. And I doubt the skirt is optional, but I've been out for awhile, so I could be wrong. Maurreen 05:07, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The optional skirt reference was not so much right or wrong as ambiguous. Females are required to have both the skirt and the slacks, but, absent specific mention in the Uniform of the Day orders, it's at the Marine's discretion which to wear. So... it's not optional to have and maintain the skirt, but its wear can be optional for day-to-day dress. I suspect this is similar to what you experienced, but just letting you know in case it has changed. Fox1 19:31, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Fox1, I realized I might have misunderstood whether your comments were just explanation or you'd prefer to change the current wording. Maurreen 06:09, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Current wording seems fine to me, I was just pointing out what may have been the confusion of the word "optional."
However, is the army shirt really light green? As above, I'm not good with colors, but it always seemed a pale blue-green, maybe a teal or something similar. I would like to see a reference to the official name for the hue, but I can't locate one. Fox1 01:52, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I found the Army uniform regulation here, but it's not much help. On pages 91-92, they call it Army green shade 415. If you want to change it from "light green", that's OK with me. Maurreen 05:35, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Someone (name unknown) listed the service uniform as being worn with blue trousers. Factually incorrect, and corrected accordingly. Tommythegun 13:23 12 December 2005 (UTC)


I changed "general grade officers" to "generals." But maybe it should be "flag grade officers." Maurreen 05:58, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • "general grade" is a correct, although not often used, term. Guess it's a style decision. Fox1 19:44, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Officially, officers of grades O-7 to O-10 are listed as "General-Grade Officers" (source: 2001 "Handbook for Marines"). I believe that "Flag Grade" would be a Navy designation.

CMC/SMOMC and capitalization

Another capitalization talk segment! Now, we've gone over the various capitalization issues here a few times, and I think we were pretty much in agreement so far, but I was surprised to see the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps' titles in lowercase. I understood the rationale behind de-capitalizing the ranks, but I was 99% sure that those two, as titles specific to a single high-ranking person (like POTUS), were capitalized. I checked the only document I could find specifically addressing the issue (the US Govt Printing Office style manual for 2000) and did a quick google news poll of usage of the term Commandant, and there was clear consensus for capitalization. I couldn't find enough instances of use of the title SMOMC in non-governmental press to get a good consensus, but combining hits for SMOMC and the Sergeant Major of the Army begins to show a fairly strong trend towards capitalization. I'll hold off on changing it to see what you have to say. Fox1 20:21, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am used to titles capitalized only before a name, which is supported by the Associated Press and New York Times style guides.
The Wikipedia:Manual of Style is not very clear to me, but seems to favor capitals only when referring to a specific person (that is, the person holding the rank at a given time).
But if you feel strongly about it, I won't argue if you capitalize them. Maurreen 04:45, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Is it really true that some Marines don't use their utility pockets whatsoever? Maurreen 06:09, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Just speaking from personal experience, we certainly used our utility pockets in the field. However, while in garrison, the general rule was not to carry anything in the utility or blouse pockets which would affect the lay of the cloth and be visible. It occurs to me that I don't ever recall seeing this articulated in a written order, but it seemed to be universally done, nonetheless.
That said, I'm not sure that point merits inclusion in the list, as I knew individuals of all 3 cammie-wearing services (yes, I'm excluding Navy docs, seebees, seals and masters at arms) who sewed their pockets shut, cut out the back panel, etc in order to look sharper for garrison inspections, and I've never known any historical references to WWII or otherwise to be referenced. Fox1 01:48, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

After reading over it again, I removed that bullet. None of the things referenced in it were really useful ways to distinguish a Marine from a soldier, which is the stated purpose of the list. Plus, they were all matters of custom or ettiquette rather than actual regulations anyway. Fox1 02:06, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedian category

I've created Category:Wikipedian military. Maurreen 06:32, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Does anyone agree with the recent change to the intro? [1]

Fouled Anchor?

For years I've thought that the Marine symbols were an eagle, globe and fouled anchor. Am I wrong on that last part? This article just says anchor. I know its not a big difference and I might even be wrong. KorbenDirewolf 23:17, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I just happened to have open. /Customes_Traditions/Emblem_Seal.htm says
In 1776, the device consisted of a "foul anchor" of silver or pewter. The foul anchor still forms a part of the emblem today. (A foul anchor is an anchor which has one or more turns of the chain around it). Changes were made in 1798, 1821, and 1824. In 1834 it was prescribed that a brass eagle be worn on the hat, the eagle to measure 3 ½ inches from wingtip to wingtip.
The emblem recommended by this board [in 1868] consists of a globe (showing the Western Hemisphere) intersected by a foul anchor, and surmounted by a spread eagle. On the emblem itself, the device is topped by a ribbon inscribed with the Latin motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful). The uniform ornaments omit the motto ribbon.
[In 1954] an American bald eagle replaced the crested eagle depicted on the 1868 emblem,
—wwoods 04:56, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

According to Leatherneck magazine, sometimes the anchor is fouled and sometimes it is not. Maurreen 04:59, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC) Of course, the official site given by Wwoods is a better reference. Maurreen 06:27, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Officially, the upper arm of the stock should always be fouled, the only time it would be shown unfouled is by artistic license (low resolution/someone can't draw). That said, in day to day speech I've never heard the fouling referenced, and the insignia is always referred to by the name "eagle, globe and anchor." The fouling is there, but it isn't considered one of the 3 major symbolic elements, in much the same way as other details such as the ribbon in the eagle's mouth or the north and south american continents on the globe. I certainly wouldn't argue against mention of these elements, but some separate reference to the iconic "E.G.A." should remain in its uncluttered form. Fox1 04:05, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Fox1. Maurreen 05:23, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It probably would look better left as it is. KorbenDirewolf 02:37, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Also, thanks to everyone for replying to my question. KorbenDirewolf

Referencing a WWII-vintage set of dress blues on display at the recruitside tailor's shop at MCRD San Diego, WWII-era brass EGA barracks cover insignia did not have a fouled anchor. Tommythegun 10:07 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Number abbreviations

For some Marine references, and also some Navy references, I've seen "2d" and "3d" for "2nd" and "3rd". Is one version incorrect, or are they interchangable, or what? Should we standardize on one--if so, which? —wwoods 02:00, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think "2nd", "3rd", etc. is more common in general. Maurreen 05:39, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I know that Third Marine Division is abbreviated up to 3D MARDIV, thus '3rd' should be '3d'.

If you really want to get into abbreviations, third marine division becomes 3 MD. DDog 3-4 2305 hrs, 24 May 2006 (zulu)

Battle of Bull Run

The article is mistaken in claiming the Marines have never suffered a rout. At the First Battle of Bull Run they ran like the mighty Mississippi. I would make the change, but would prefer one of you Smart Guys on MC history would have better words than I. [[Paul, in Saudi 17:18, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)]]

I have to say, I think you're simply being contrary. The article currently reads "The U.S. Marines have never undertaken a full, large-scale retreat." It does not say "never been routed" or even "never suffered a defeat." There was only one battalion of Marines at Bull Run, and they were the last of the infantry screening that artillery battery to break. It's already been qualified with the note on the Chosin withdrawal, and this really doesn't merit further cluttering up the article. No change needed. Fox1 00:56, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Is this true?

"Marines may wear a khaki "web belt" with a brass buckle with their utility trousers, but more commonly wear a colored belt, often referred to as a "rigger's belt", that is color coded to represent their specfic qualification under the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program."
Maurreen 07:01, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like a bad joke to me. --Alexwcovington (talk) 09:39, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, this is correct. Part of the aforementioned martial arts program, which is rather more holistic and far-reaching than just a hand to hand combat training program, by the way. I was only around for the very early stages of the program, but we had a few Marines earn their belts. Advancement in the program also influences promotion... but I'm getting off the point. Yeah, the belt thing is true. Fox1 01:37, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I went ahead and restored the bullet, here's a reference for you (ALMAR 043/01), with my emphasis added:
Rmks/1....2. The marine corps martial arts program, implemented in October 2000, is a natural extension of these basic tenets. Although it is a skill progression program offering martial arts training through a system of belt rankings from tan through sixth degree black belt, it is much, much more. It is a reflection of our warrior ethos that provides a vehicle for enhanced unit cohesion and increased self-worth.
There ya go, also, if anyone ends up being interested, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is, as you can see, a red link. I might get around to it at some point, otherwise. Fox1 01:55, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for keeping us current. Maurreen 02:05, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I may be a bit late on this, but these days the web belt is no longer authorized for wear with the utilities. The only ones to wear the web belt anymore are recruits who have not yet earned the tan belt, as all Marines have, since the MCMAP program was instated, earned their tan belt or above. If nobody objects, I'll make the change.
The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 9 November, 2005.
Go for it.
Fox1 (talk) 21:35, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Thats incorrect, I know on my base we still have a few Marines in web belts. (Usually above the rank of GySgt) Nothing really effecting the article though, because if you have a MCMAP belt you are required to wear it. - Cpl G.

I agree with Corporal G. I've been out for a while so I don't know the specifics on this, but generally any uniform change in the Corps has a grandfather clause. Kafziel 00:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Marines: Semper Fi

Although i am not a Marine, i do know several things about the corps. First, the Marines differ from the regular US Army in that Marines are adept and ready to be the first ones to fight. The Marines are designed as an adaptable to any situation thrown in their way. Although the Marines may not be taught the same material as the Special Forces or any special operations detachment, they are probably America's best frontline force.

The Marines are trained in Land, Sea, and Air.

Goverments like to make the population think that they are well defended by their armed forces and that the budget is being well spent. This article already reads too much like a hagiography, with its odd attention to little details. I would like to see a more robust article that doesn't seem to pander to delights of US teenagers. Gareth Hughes 11:59, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm really not sure what the anonymous poster was suggesting be done with the article, or whether he was suggesting anything at all. That being said, your comment wasn't much better. If you have any more "robust" suggestions on what can be improved, feel free to voice them, or, better yet, make the improvements yourself. Otherwise you just look like an individual with a POV chip on their shoulder, who found a chance to use the word "hagiography" without it looking too absurd. Fox1 01:14, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok, Gareth, from your user page I see that you're apparently a priest, which causes your use of the word hagiography to seem a lot less contrived.... thusly, I retract the appropriate portion of my snarky reply. The rest stays. And remains snarky. Fox1 01:21, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Gareth, on the specific subject of the Corps, the Corps is considerably smaller and less well-funded than any of the other branches of service. Your implied argument that the presumed "hagiographic" effect about the Corps has something to do with justifying the US taxpayer's money is fallacious. Tommythegun 10:12 30 August 2005 (UTC)
With all due respect, you are forgetting the Coast Guard, which is smaller and less funded than the Corps. Both organizations are remarkable in making do with less. GABaker 14:41 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Point taken, though I'd be interested to see how each service stacks up regarding their relative responsibilities and expenditures vs. their funding (how many dollars they have, say, per aircraft, for example, or per square mile of area of responsibility they're expected to operate in) and funding vs. manpower (dollars per servicemember). Regardless, I believe what you say about the Coast Guard. Semper Fi/Paratus. Tommythegun 07:42 1 September 2005 (UTC)


I think all of the pages - US armed forces, US Department of Defense, and all the services (US Army etc.) need to be reorganised, First so that there is not uneeded overlap, and Second so that Army, Navy etc. are all set out the same way (eg. similar headings and article structure, just with different content.)

and maybe Joint Chiefs of Staff etc.

Some of this could be good. But ... I'm wary of overstandardization, and I prefer "U.S." to "United States" in this context. Maurreen 06:45, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

NCOs and Swords

I'd like to address this issue here on the talk page parallel with the discussion on the talk page of the IP editor who made this change: There has been some confusion about whether USMC NCOs are in fact the only NCOs authorized to carry a sword. There is a Naval Reg available that states that USN Chief Petty Officers are authorized to carry the (I think I remember the year right) 1890 issue cutlass. However, careful reading of this regulation will show that this is only the case for CPOs serving in the corresponding period uniform aboard the USS Constitution. Thus, this is not an authorized modern uniform, it is simply a special case for historical display purposes.

If I'm wrong, please find the reg that shows me to be so, because I really pored over them a couple months ago when this first came up, and the above was my conclusion. Thanks.

Fox1 11:57, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

The Marine Corps is indeed the only US Military service which authorizes the wear of a sword with the uniform. In every other service, the wearing of swords is not authorized below the rank of Staff NCO. In otherwords, E-6 for Army (Staff Sergeant) and Air Force, E-7 for Navy (Chief Petty Officer). The USMC is the only service which still authorizes a sword for the E-4 and E-5 (NCO) ranks. However, it is rarely used outside of ceremonial purposes. --Mushrom 16:56, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Probably a little late on this topic but, anytime someone is marching an armed platoon, he will be armed as well. This is the most common time you'll see a sword in use. Although, you can also use a holstered pistol. Gelston 22:17, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Former Marines and ex-Marines

Minor note on the Famous Marines section: see Using "retired" is more appropriate.

The issue I have with the "once a Marine, always a Marine" thing is that there's really no other way to accurately describe an individual who served as an active-duty or reserve member of the Corps, but left the Corps before being eligible to retire. I really can't think of any term that simultaneously covers that (rather common) eventuality while not violating the "once a Marine" ethos.
Fox1 16:38, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Can someone help me find some reference sources that show that using the title "former Marine" is standard practice among those that have served? DBBell 15:30, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
What, specifically, are you trying to show? A quick google of "former marine" brings up 928,000 results, and that's rather hard to sift unless you give more details as to what you're looking for.
Fox1 (talk) 17:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The "former" an "ex-" designations are not offical as far as I know. The "stripping" of the title Marine which makes a person an "ex-Marine" is just another unoffical but jealously guarded part of the Marine Corp's PR and internal morale campaign that has no legal or offical ramifications, they are both just titles for people that have served in the Marine Corps. "Retired" on the other hand says that the person has served a sufficient time to be officaly retired from service and usually carries the added benefits of being able to wear the uniform to functions, using your retired rank (as in authorship of books ex: MSgt Jon Doe (ret.) as opposed to "Former Marine MSgt Jon Doe") and collecting all the fiscal benefits of 20 plus years of service (unless retired for reasons other than Time in Service). NeoFreak 11:16, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

The "former Marine" usage is unofficial but I have no I idea what you're talking about in reference to "stripping the title." The only time I've ever seen the term "ex-Marine" used (Usually along the lines of "Ex-Marine shoots twelve from water-tower." Positive references usually title someone a veteran.) is in the media. Which is fine, there's no reason to expect them to know Marine customs. Even a dishonorable discharge can't revoke the title of Marine. Not even unofficially in my experience. It's a tricky subject. I usually refer to myself as a prior service Marine or just say I used to be in the Marines. PvtDeth 11:27, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
That's what I'm saying, none of it is offical in any way. The only legal and offical aspect of being a "former, ex, whatever" is the status of "retired" where a person is technically still in the Marine Reserve in a retired non-active status. The rest is just PR and tradition. NeoFreak 03:26, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
  • To the extent of my knowledge, there is no "official" way to call a Marine who has retired or been discharged in any way. In other words, you are not going to get in trouble for calling someone an ex-marine or a former marine. Marines do it sometimes too. The reason the saying exists - "once a Marine, always a Marine" - is mostly to keep with the pride and tradition of the Marine Corps. It implies that once you are indoctrinated, you belong to a special group of people. It is similar to a normal family. When you go off to college, you are not ex-communicated (in most cases) from the family, you simply hold a new title. DDog 3-4 2300 hrs, 24 May 2006 (Zulu)


There is a vote here to change "Military bases" categories to "Military facilities" categories. Maurreen 09:18, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Operation Sharp Edge

Last paragraph of the Mission, says here it was done by 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, but it says 24th in the article about the operation itself. Couldn't find any info which one is correct.

Every Marine a Rifleman

I've always heard the phrase as "Every Marine a Rifleman" so I took out the "is." I reworded the sentence and changed the quote a few months ago and the quote was changed back but my wording stuck so now hopefully the quote will stick, too.

I'm not sure either way about the "is", but I always heard it as ending with "first", as in "Every Marine a rifleman first." Maurreen (talk) 02:18, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Never heard it with the "first". It's just Every Marine a rifleman. Kafziel 12:46, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

My mistake. I googled it and apparently had remembered incorrectly. Maurreen (talk) 05:46, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Actually, it should be Every Marine is a basic rifleman. DBBell 16:03, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

In a literal sense, yes. But I've always heard the saying as "Every Marine a rifleman." PvtDeth 11:27, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Shock Troop

Why does the term "Shock Troop" redirect to the USMC page? attributed to

Well, that's a term commonly used by Marines to refer to themselves... but I'm not sure redirecting the word to this page is justified. I don't have any better ideas what to redirect the term to, however, anyone know if it's common usage to refer to anything in particular?
Fox1 12:55, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I think a shock troop should be any unit that demoralizes or hampers an enemy before actual combat begins. The Nazi SS, was a shock troop. Never heard the Marines called that, by insiders or out, but I think the term does fit. Joe I 19:55, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
The term supposedly originated, according to Marine lore, with a designation applied to 5th and 6th Marines serving in France during WWI. Supposedly, the German high command classified the Marines as "Stosstruppen", or "shock troops", which were elite infantry assault formations of the German army. This is similar to the (possibly apocryphal) origins of the "Teufelhunden" or "Devil Dogs" designation. Either way, Marines today do occasionally still refer to themselves as "Shock Troops" in their running cadences (though this is obviously not any kind of official nomenclature.) Tommythegun 11:40 26 September 2005
It sounds like there should be a link on the USMC article mentioning Marines use as Shock Troops, but that Shock Troop is a more general term that deserves its own article. Hypothetically any nation or military can have troops designed for hardcore, demoralizing assault.
That's the idea. I don't know that the Marine Corps, or any other service or unit in the US military, has ever officially used the designation "Shock Troop". The actual term was "Stosstruppen", and was applied by the WWI Germans. At the time, the Germans had organized specialized formations of mobile, fast-moving infantry who carried lighter weapons, were supported by the most mobile trucks and artillery available and used new "infiltration" tactics, known to the Germans as the "von Huitier" tactics. These tactics would later be established as the earliest formulation of modern, post-WWI infantry tactics in the West. These units were called "Stosstruppen", which translates roughly to "Shock Troops" ("stab", "thrust", or "attack" troops would be a closer translation), and were used to bypass enemy strongpoints and get into the enemy rear to destroy the enemy's rear-echelon support infrastructure. This was done to break the deadlock of WWI trench warfare, and succeeded in turning the war in the Germans' favor until the US entered the war (they used the Stosstruppen to knock Russia out of the war and nearly did the same to Britain and France in 1917). When the Germans encountered the Marines, who were likewise fast-moving assault troops used for special purposes, they applied a comparable designation to identify the Marines' position in the AEF order of battle.Tommythegun 09:14 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Tommythegun, if you'd be willing to take up this little project, I think you'd do a bang up job. You have my support. I'll check out the article when it is up.

Stosstruppen is translated to Stormtrooper. Shock troops were a totally different type of German military unit. In WW1 the Marines were graded on the German enemy effectivness scale as stormtroopers. The highest rating given to any enemy unit. Where the word Shock Troop came into being associated with the Marine Corps is a mystery to me.


The captain bars for the USMC is the same as the USN's lieutenant, which is different from the US Army's which is pictured here. The two horizontal bars that connect the two silver bars are at the very top and very bottom of the device, as opposed to somewhat closer as pictured. If somebody could fix that, it'd be accurate.

Corpsman Uniforms

To clear up a little confusion I'm having with portion on corpsmen/chaplains and uniforms, I've never heard of either type of personnel wearing actual Marine Corps uniforms. When the uniform of the day is cammies they do follow suit, but I was under the impression that they wore Navy cammies, which do exist and are also worn by Masters at Arms, SEALs, Seabees and select others. Additionally, the article, as it stands, seems to imply that corpsmen/chaplains would also wear Marine service and dress uniforms when appropriate, which is, to my knowledge, flat-out false. Fox1 15:09, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok, should've done research before posting, apparently I was wrong. It seems that the choice of service uniform is at the discretion of the wearer, although Navy personnel who choose to wear Marine service dress must abide by Marine grooming regs, which is not required in cammies (and may explain why I personally never saw this :)
Fox1 15:36, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Although I must admit that I am not familiar with CURRENT regs, it was fairly common practice for Corpsmen, Chaplains, and Chaplain's Assistants attached to our unit (2/1) to wear the Marine Service Uniforms. I was in from '93 to '99 and the Corpsmen that I knew viewed it as a badge of honor that if they lived, ate, and trained with us, they were authorized to wear the same uniform (not the dress uniform though if I remember correctly). Happy Birthday Marines!

SgtP_USMC 10 November 2005

Our Corpsmen, RP, and Chaplain wear Marine Corps cammies. The only differences are the cover which does not have an EGA (Eagle Globe and Anchor), and instead of having "U.S. MARINES" on the tape over the left breast pocket they have "U.S. Navy" They are usually indistiguishable from Marines at a distance. They do not wear the Navy cammies SEAL's wear. Cpl M.

Navy Personel attached to Marine units are now authorised (ie ordered) to wear the same cammies as the Marines they are with. Of course non-utility uniforms in medical clinics and the such are still Navy but otherwise Corpsman and Chaplins wear the same MARPATs, EGA and all. Also, a new Marine Corps Order is being published that mandates all Navy personel attached to Marine Units will now also be required to maintain the same grooming standards (haircuts, facial hair, sideburns, etc) as the Marines, a big change from the past. NeoFreak 11:42, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


Ok, I've commented the majority of the images in this article out, adjusted the license tags on some, and reported others as violations. Images must have both a source listed AND a valid copyright/license tag in their description page, or they ain't goin in the article. This isn't your geocities page, we can't just yank images from the net at large and slap 'em on here. Fox1 14:19, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Keep in mind, particularly in the context of combat footage, that photographs or video shot by combat correspondants, as federal employees (of a sort) engaged in the performance of their job duties, fall under the public domain. Tommythegun 10:43, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
You're absolutely right, and I changed a few licenses to reflect that (they're still on the page). However, even if that's the case with an image, you still have to mark it appropriately so that other's are aware of its status and source. That's the primary issue here, nothing's been deleted (yet), we just need the original posters or other knowledgable editors to clarify their status.
Fox1 11:56, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

The copyright of a combat correspondent photo reverts to the individual that took the picture after a certain amount of time. So you would have to locate the actual photographer for permission.


The picture of the guy in the blue uniform is helpful, but what is the difference between Utility dress, service uniform etc. I have seen Marines dressed in all sorts of colors, what are the types they have. I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who knows little about uniforms. I also thought it would be good to have something about the different types of uniforms and the difference between the services on the main page Military of the United States. - Matthew238 04:19, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Utilities are Camie's(camoflauge). Used for everyday use, combat, walk around etc...Service Uniforms...The Blue uniforms are called "dress", the green khaki, "service"...Top teir dress, you have the "Blues" Blue "A" is long sleeve outer blouse, white barrecks cover, all medals and badges, etc...there is a blue "B", same as A cept ribbons instead of medals.Blue "C" is same but without the outer blue coat, a khaki longsleeve shirt and tie instead. Then short sleeve khaki and tie is blue "D". All the blues have the same trousers and cover. There are mess dress whites, and blue whites, but...
Then Service Uniforms come in A,B, and C as well. Both green service covers may be worn with any designation uniform. A is, service green coat, green trousers and ribbons worn. B, no coat, long sleeve khaki shirt, tie. C is just short sleeved. Both dress and service uniforms wear black oxford type dress shoes, like having a mirror on your foot :) Anyways, to long of a reply, hope I got most, been awhile since I wore em. Try [2] site for more. Or go to my talk page, happy to help. Joe I 22:17, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
You said Dress D is with tie. It's short sleeves, no tie. To this day I can't bring myself to wear a tie with a short sleeve shirt.PvtDeth 11:33, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Why are some people calling Marines "Jarheads" ?!!!!

I've had some kinfolk that was in the military who has heard other soldiers,sailors, even other airmen calling Marines "Jarheads". What do the Marines call these other personnel ? Is this some kind of insult, service nickname, like when USAF personnel are called "Flyboys"? I am a "military brat" who went to USAF bases, because some of my kin were in the USAF, and I had heard this term used when a Marine was referred to. I do NOT mean to be offensive,IF I was offensive, I apologise for this. As stated, I had heard the term "Jarhead" all of my life.Martial Law 04:31, 1 November 2005 (UTC) :)

SOME of the other Wikipedians alive today may also have been "military brats", children of people who were, or are in military service, and may have heard things being mentioned about the other services that are detrimental,humorous,etc..Martial Law 04:46, 1 November 2005 (UTC) :)

First off, I was an air force brat, then joined the corps, so I've been around it to. Jarhead came about during the Korean War, I think. Don't remember the story the told us about it tho. Most other military personnel use as a chiding remark I think. There's always gonna be compition between the branches, and some jokin. I've never taken it bad, and even dished it out in a teasin manner. Like, teenagers would say stupid and dunce and clutz and nerd, tosomeone who they still hang with. We earned it, we wear it proud. The Navy is usually the butt of our jokes, but we still need them to get to the front :) Joe I 04:55, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

There is a movie that just came out called "Jarheads" or "Jarhead". It is about some Marines that are involved in the FIRST Desert Storm. Seen it yet ?!Martial Law 06:08, 3 November 2005 (UTC) :)

While I was in High School, the different military recruiters would appear to insult and ridicule each other, like a USAF one would say that it takes 100 Marines to make a good USAF man, or a Marine one would say that it'd take 1,000 USAF men to make a good Marine. Why is THAT ?! Is this a recruiting gimmick ?When I was in school, the Cold War was threatening to get really hot many times.I had some school teachers who were in the military, and they'd report that they used to joke about the other military branches.Martial Law 08:27, 3 November 2005 (UTC) :)

Why is THAT ?! Is this a recruiting gimmick?
Yes, sort of... but also, have you ever been around people who went to two different Ivy League colleges, or even different high schools from the same area? It's the same kind of rivalry, I suppose. In much the same way as in that situation, the folks who argue their group's superiority and name-call the loudest tend to have... uh... an inordinate portion of their self-image defined by their membership in said group (see inferiority complex).
I served my entire tour after boot camp in joint commands, btw, and, while we had the arguing and name-calling in technical training, by the time we were all working in the field we were pretty bored with the "competition." We all did the same jobs in different uniforms, anyway (although us Jarheads did have to do a lot more B.S. after everyone's official "work day" had ended, hehe).
Fox1 (talk) 13:39, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

I have been told that the term 'Jarhead' actualy refers back to the days of wooden ships, when Marines were permantly stationed on them. They were berthed on the lower decks, which had low ceilings. When the Marines would walk about these decks, they would constantly bang their head on the rafters, and the term 'jarhead' has been around ever since. - Marinegunrock

The way i have heard it described is that Jarhead is a term that was given to the Marines from other service branches because of their "high and tight" hair cuts. It was originally intended to be a form of the name-calling mentioned above. In reference to the other services, sailors are referred to sometimes as swabbies, air force as varies depending on who you ask. There are many names that you can call someone. Im sure you are familiar with the term devil dogs that was given to the marines in WWI. DDog 3-4 18:27, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I was told that at one point in time Marines would place thier covers on jars so that they would keep the correct shape of the cover. This is how the name came to be. Lamb782 06:29, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Marines are soldiers

If you look at the Definition of soldier, you will clearly see, that Marines are soldiers.

The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 1 November, 2005.

A Marine is not a soldier. Marine implies what? Water. How many soldiers do you know fight on water? The marines heritage was as shipboard combat/security, or amphibious assualts. Definition of soldier, read carfully...
"In most countries, the term soldier is limited to such people who serve in the land branch of the armed services (usually known as the army)."
"Infantry that are not soldiers include members of the British RAF Regiment (who are technically airmen, not soldiers), and members of the United States Marine Corps, British Royal Marines, and other marine forces (who are marines and not soldiers; in fact many marines bristle at being called soldiers)." Joe I 00:10, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Dear IP editor, despite my best efforts to Assume Good Faith in this instance, I am stymied by the fact that, regardless of your intent, your efforts here are difficult to differentiate from trolling. The Wikipedia entry for soldier itself says "In most countries, the term soldier is limited to such people who serve in the land branch of the armed services (usually known as the army)."
I don't feel that this merits any further discussion.
Fox1 (talk) 13:04, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
As much as it pains me to associate a Marine with the term "soldier" (interservice ribbing, no harm intended,) I think the best description of a Marine is "marine soldier." That is, a land combatant who is experienced in ship-board, ship-based, and ship-to-shore operations. Maybe it would be better to say, "A Marine is not just a soldier." Kind of like, "An M1 tank is not just an automobile." That being said, this whole discussion (including my contribution) is kind of dumb. Have you guys ever heard of the expression "Soldiers of the Sea?" Not common, but hardly disrespectful.PvtDeth 11:42, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't really think that's the best description at all, "naval infantry" is more precise, less ambiguous and does not fall prey to recursive definition. Plus, it's what's in the article now.
Since two people have brought up "soldiers of the sea" now, let's address that. Yes, you can find usage of that term, in books, on some old recruiting posters, etc. So what? Marines have also referred to themselves as "devil dogs" and "hard-chargers" despite the fact that they are neither dogs nor 1970s muscle cars. The most widely accepted practice is to differentiate between services by using separate terms, so why is this worth muddying the waters on this article? Or is everyone just arguing for the sake of arguing?
Fox1 (talk) 13:22, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I think it's just for the sake of arguing. By definition, yes a Marine is a soldier. You just wouldn't want to address him as such. PvtDeth 06:40, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Is that General 9 ............

Is that General Order 9 illustration of a UFO still around ? I've seen it in two places, one in a USMC Boot Manual, the other, online. I was told that this was intended as a example of the USMC protocol to handle unforseen situations, thus the UFO pixes.Martial Law 02:12, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Semper Fi Martial Law 07:22, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Uniforms 2

Added a few misc. things in uniforms, any corrections or whatever, dig in. Oh, by-the-by, the United States mint is coining(or has coined) a 225th year commemorative coin to celebrate the United States Marine Corps. Stay tuned, I'll get something on it this week. One side has the flag raising on Mt. Seribachi(if I spelled it wrong, just say Iwo Jima instead), not about other one. :) Joe I 20:56, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't know about 225th, but I have this one: [3] --Kenyon 15:50, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
BTW there is an article about this coin now: Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver DollarKenyon (t·c) 04:03, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Two Battallions

Actually, the IP vandal was right.

From my copy of Simmons' "The United States Marines', the resolution passed by Congress on 10 November 1775 reads:

Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said battaions but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve with advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present War with Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by names of First and Second Battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the Continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.

MARSOC and Joint Operations

I reorganized the layout of the Organization section of the article to what I thought was a more logical arrangement (MAGTFs, GCEs, Aviation, and Log). I also added a note below this about the history of the Corps' participation in joint operations and the recent moves towards more joint participation as evinced by the establishement of MARSOC under SOCOM. I've also recently started a MARSOC article. Check out both my edits and the new article and let me know what you think. Tommythegun 08:11 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Listing of Divs, Air Wings and MLGs

In my opinion it would look better to not present the Units(Wings Divisions and MLGs) in prose format. It makes it difficult to distinguich. Feel it would be look better either as they were or in some kind of table. Wanted to check with the masses before making any change. Yut--Looper5920 01:39, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Naval Security

Is there nothing in here about navel security aboard ships? Either in historical terms or mordern. I know the Marine Corps still keeps security detachments aboard. I tried addin something, but not a thing I'm totally sure on, or knowledgable about. Joe I 22:29, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

  1. I am sure you must mean naval security -- navel security is protection of the belly button....

The Marine Corps stopped doing sea duty in the early 90's. The only Marines on ship these days are those that are part of a MEU and as part of the Landing Force or F-18 squadrons that deploy on Aircraft Carriers. Also sometimes FAST teams are sent in to protect MPF ships that go through the Straits of Malacca or other dangerous areas. You will no longer find Marine Security Detachments of Naval Ships. There should definetly be something mentioned about sea duty though since it was a large part of the Marine Corps' mission in the early years.--Looper5920 21:33, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Naval, not navel, okay? I don't need Marines to protect my belly button! DBBell 00:31, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Marine Security Elements (MSE's) still guard High Speed Vessels (HSV's) carrying USMC equipment when the associated personnel are traveling via aircraft. This is primarily for Cryptographic equipment but can be extended to all serialized gear.

Mess Dress

There's been some editing back and forth over whether the mess dress uniform is authorized wear, or was non-authorized as of 1992. I feel that there may be some confusion here. I've seen officers and SNCO's wear Mess Dress for formal occasions, such as the Marine Ball, into the 21st century. By mess dress, I mean a uniform patterned after Dress Blues, a description of which may be obtained here. I know that a white colored mess-dress uniform was phased out in the 1990s. Any comments? Tommythegun 04:26, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Mess Dress is still a go as far as I know. I've never heard they were out to begin with and I've seen Staff and Officers in them as well, as recently as a few months ago at that. I could dig up the Order if you need (I think it is covered in 1040.34G) drop me a line on my talk page if you need me to look it up. NeoFreak 11:52, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

There's some confusion between "Mess Dress" and "Evening Dress." PvtDeth 11:47, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Martial arts program

"At the brown belt level, a Marine must be at a minimum an instructor in MCMAP" - does this mean that only instructors are rated brown belt of black belt, or can any Marine be ? - Matthew238 06:20, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The first of the belts in which a Marine can earn "instructor" status is the Green Belt (third of five). A Marine does not have to be an instructor to be a Green Belt though, no. With Brown and Black Belts come instructor certification as well so in a way, yes a Brown Belts must be an instructor. I have met a couple Marines that have been certified all the way up to Black with out an instructor hash mark but that was the result of suspect dealings with friends/instructors. NeoFreak 11:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


I took my first big cut at the Mission section. I really believe this can get streamlined a lot more. THink there should also be a mention of the 1948 National Defense Act and the guarantees set aside for the Marines and their mission statement "At the President's discretion" is actually the last mission assigned to them. The biggest reason for the reshuffle of paragraphs was that it was bouncing back and forth between ideas. Hopefully it flows a little better now.

I also got rid of a few digs at the Army and some of the qualifiers in front of certain statements. There is also a very random section that seems out of place. It should not go from high level units such as MEFs and Divisions and then be followed up solely by Recon.

Love to get feedback from all of the regular contributors to this page--Looper5920 21:46, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

NCOs and Swords

An additional comment on the claim that the USMC is the only branch of the Armed Forces that allows enlisted personnel to carry swords. I don't know about the Navy or Air Force, though I'm pretty sure the Navy has provisions for carry, the Army and the Coast Guard both allow senior NCOs to carry swords--specifically a sword for the Army and a cutlass for the Coast Guard. Maybe the author was referring to the Marine Corps being the only service to allow junior NCOs to carry swords. I know that in certain ceremonies junior NCOs and soldiers in the Army are allowed to carry swords in honor or color guards, but this is not in the regulation, though it is covered in the Drill and Ceremonies Field Manual.

I believe the point was that the marines are the only branch of the armed forces where the sword is an official part of every (dress) uniform.--Cptbuck 02:01, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Not every dress uniform, Non-NCO's do not carry swords. Also not only dress uniforms. Swords can be worn or carried with service uniforms as well, the only change being the frog (sword "holster.") PvtDeth 11:51, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Swords are actually authorized to be worn with the frog in every uniform except PT Gear. The belt color changes though, with white on Dress Blues and black on everything else.--Gelston 22:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)


Article could use a paragraph on women in the Marines. Are they allowed in any combat roles? Tempshill 04:49, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps a link to Women in combat would be more appropriate than a separate section here. Also, if anyone wants to help clean that one up, it could use it. Or a separate History of Women in the Marine Corps, might make sense. Jinian 13:37, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Navy CPOs do wear a type of sword with their dress uniforms in certain circumstances. A cutlass is a short thick cutting sword, or a gross sabre, with a straight or slightly curved blade sharpened on the cutting edge, and often with a solid basket-shaped guard.