The usefulness of the United State Marine Corps

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The US Marine Corps is a branch of the wider United States Armed Forces. On November 10, 1775, the unit was founded. The group was formed in response to a congressional suggestion that two teams be assigned with maritime service operations. These roles included ensuring proper security operations for the navy fleet of ships and serving as landing forces. The Marines are in charge of performing amphibious operations in collaboration with the US Navy. It is typically an infantry force that assists the US Navy and Army by carrying out their separate activities and having their own. This group is one of the four branches of the Department of defense. Currently, it is the world’s most dominant military force for amphibian operations. It is known for rapid responses, mortal combat and effective solutions hence making the Marine Corps an essential tool for the American foreign policy (Friedman).


Initially, the Marine Corps was tasked with roles that made the marines look like the soldiers of the sea. Later on, they evolved their operations to be an effective combat team used in air, water, and land. The most famous marine expedition is the Barbary war against the Barbary pirates. Lieutenant Presley O’ Bannon led a mission to Tripoli, North Africa in the early 19th century. This was the first mission that was carried out by the marines away from the tag of Navy. This was in the wake of American independence, and hence that meant no more protection from the European powers. The mission to the shores of Mediterranean Sea was motivated by the continuous piracy along the coastline. Barbary Corsairs and his troops from Algeria and Tripoli had captured the coast making sea operations for the western naval fleet impossible. They demanded ransom from the American ships by holding both goods and crew. In some cases, they would demand approximately 10% of the American budget as ransom. In addition to that, the condition subjected to the hostages was cruel.

President Thomas Jefferson, sent the marines to manage the situation. Led by Lieutenant Presley O’ Bannon, ships were dispatched to combat the piracy. They set up a base starting from Alexandria Egypt and set up a 600-mile march to Derna through the Egyptian deserts. Continued combat in the sea and pressure over the land made Barbary surrender and signed a peace treaty ending the piracy and hostilities. The mission was a success and was the first time the US flag was hoisted on foreign soil. Due to the marines’ corps actions, Ottoman Empire Viceroy then gifted Bannon with a Mameluke sword. This was later engraved in the history of marines and is currently used up until now (Cosmas).

Previous tasks

In addition to that, the Marine Corps was involved in various expeditions. In another expedition, the Marines took part in the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848. Though the marines played a minor role in the war, they managed to assault the castle of Chapultepec. The marines were placed to guard the presidential palace. They also played a useful role in the American civil war. During the civil war, they were tasked with the naval duties of blocking the intruding ships and launching combat operations from the American ships. During the First World War era, the marines now thoroughly tested and with experience in the frontline of wars, were deployed to the battlefields. Led by Major General John A Lejeune, they combated the Germans and captured several hills. Their successful triumph against the dominant German military cemented their reputation in history. The Germans were swept out of the mountains, and they coined a name for the marines “the Devil dogs,” The efficient and experienced Marine Corps served a big role in the Belleau Woods. Their crucial involvement led to them also being nicknamed “the First to Fight.”

Also while being led by Admiral Nimitz, the Marine Corps played a significant role in the Second World War. They led almost all the combats and other expeditions at the war frontline. One major battle at Okinawa involved an all amphibious operation against the Japanese military. They battled to capture Okinawa due to its strategic importance for the triumph of the world war. The battle led to approximately 82,000 causalities of which 77,166 were Japanese soldiers. Their indomitable success in the Second World War led to them being expanded. They were given four more divisions and five air wings making the marines a more important team (Archer).

The marines were also heavily depended on the Korean War. They landed at Inchon and launched their attacks in North Korea. The marines in collaboration with the American army then approached Chosin Reservoir where they also engaged the Korean forces. Unfortunately, the Korean Forces surrounded the reservoir and virtually cut off all the supplies to the marines. The marines were forced to battle their lives out of the reservoir despite the incompetence of the allied US Army at that incident (Richard). Their choice of no retreat by commanding officer General Oliver Smith led to their restructure and battle royal. Their resourcefulness and more advanced military weaponry led to the triumph against the Chinese forces although they were outnumbered.

Marine’s involvement in several battles in the Vietnam War also revealed their importance. At Vietnam in 1983, marine barracks in Lebanon was attacked and bombed leading to the most significant wound effected to the marines. The loss of the marine teams was crucial and led to a tactical withdrawal of American troops from Lebanon. Most recently, the marines were involved in the rescue of an air force fighter pilot from the Bosnia in 1996.

After the 9/11 attack on American soil, President Bush dispatched the military together with the Marines to Afghanistan and Iraq. The Marines played a significant role in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The marine presence in the country to flash out al-Qaida links was crucial in finding information about both Osama bin Laden and former Iraq President Saddam Hussein. Their presence in Iraq for several more years after the triumph and capture of the city of Baghdad led to many bravely fought wars with the terrorist groups. The most significant conflicts in Baghdad include the first and second battles of Fallujah. Also, the marines were involved in a fierce battle at An Nasiriyah in Iraq. The marines have also been very crucial in fighting the Taliban’s in Afghanistan. Their stay in the Iraq resulted in the weakening of the terrorist group of al-Qaida.

Currently, the Marines pride themselves on being the most reliable force the Commander in chief can call for its services at the shortest notice to respond to the worst emergencies. After 9/11 the marines have been deployed to several programs as both a maritime and a land army. Their usefulness in the military powers of America is unquestionable. Their continuous training and mortal naval combat make them the most feared unit of the American forces. Since their nicknaming in the world war as the “devil dogs,” the Marines have lived up to the expectations (Majumdar). All the Marine Corps from the commander to the serviceman have received infantry training and continue to receive such training regularly. Their involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq led to the expansion of the marines significantly to 182,000 marine active and reserve corps. This number makes it as large as the British military force. Their dominance on all amphibian operations makes it hard to engage the Marines due to their uniqueness.

Works Cited

Archer, Emerald M. "The Power of Gendered Stereotypes in the US Marine Corps." Armed Forces & Society 39.2 (2012): 359-391.

Cosmas, Graham A. "Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps." Journal of American History 100.2 (2013): 582-583. <>.

Friedman, B.A. Operational and Strategic Prophecy for the Modern Era. Annapolis. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015.

Majumdar, Dave. 5 Reasons No Nation Wants to Go to War with the U.S. Marines. 23 October 2017. 8 12 2017. .

Richard, Smith Charles. U.S. Marines In the Korean War. Washington DC, 2007.

May 02, 2023


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