An Army officer sums up what makes Marines different

By Col. Daniel F. Bolger, USA

What makes Marine infantry special?

Asking the question that misses the most fundamental point about the United States Marine Corps. In the Marines, everyone–sergeant, mechanic, cannoneer, supply man, clerk, aviator, cook–is a rifleman first. The entire Corps, all 170,000 or so on the active rolls, plus the reserves, are all infantry. All speak the language of the rifle and bayonet, of muddy boots and long, hot marches. It’s never us and them, only us. That is the secret of the Corps.”


“If Army infantry amounts to a stern monastic order standing apart, on the edge of the wider secular soldier world, Marine infantry more resembles the central totem worshipped by the entire tribe. Marines have specialized, as have all modern military organizations. And despite the all-too-real rigors of boot camp, annual rifle qualification, and high physical standards, a Marine aircraft crew chief or radio repairman wouldn’t make a good 0311 on a squad assault. But those Marine technical types know that they serve the humble grunt, the man who will look the enemy in the eye within close to belly-ripping range. Moreover, all Marines think of themselves as grunts at heart, just a bit out of practice at the moment. That connections creates a great strength throughout the Corps.”

We take our flag everywhere we go!
Marines in Hue, Vietnam

“It explains why Marine commanders routinely, even casually, combine widely disparate kinds of capabilities into small units….

Marines send junior officers and NCOs out from their line rifle companies and expect results. They get them, too.”

“Even a single Marine has on call the firepower of the air wing, the Navy, and all of the United States. Or at least he thinks he does. A Marine acts accordingly. He is expected to take charge, to improvise, to adapt, to overcome. A Marine gets by with ancient aircraft (the ratty C-46E Frog, for example), hand-me-down weapons (such as the old M-60 tanks used in the Gulf War), and whatever else he can bum off the Army or cajole out of the Navy. Marines get the job done regardless, because they are Marines. They make a virtue out of necessity. The men, not the gear, make the difference. Now and again, the Marines want to send men, not bullets.”

“This leads to a self-assurance that sometimes comes across as disregard for detailed staff-college quality planning and short shrift for high-level supervision. Senior Army officers in particular sometimes find the Marines amateurish, cavalier, and overly trusting in just wading in and letting the junior leaders sort it out. In the extreme, a few soldiers have looked at the Corps as some weird, inferior, ersatz ground war establishment, a bad knockoff of the real thing. ‘A small, bitched-up army talking Navy lingo,’ opined Army Brigadier General Frank Armstrong in one of the most brutal inter-service assessments. That was going too far. But deep down, many Army professionals tend to wonder about the Marines. Grab a defended beach? Definitely. Seize a hill? Sure, if you don’t mind paying a little. But take charge of a really big land operation? Not if we can help it.”

“Anyone who has watched an amphibious landing unfold would be careful with that kind of thinking. The Marines actually have a lot in common with their elite Army infantry brothers, if not with all the various Army headquarters and service echelons. True, Marine orders do tend to be, well…brief. But so do those of the airborne, the air assault, the light-fighters, and the Rangers, for the same good reason: Hard, realistic training teaches soldiers how to fight by doing, over and over, so they need not keep writing about it, regurgitating basics every time. More enlightened soldiers consider that goodness. A three-inch thick order, a big CP, and lots of meeting do not victory make. The Marines consciously reject all that.”

“A Corps infused with a rifleman ethos has few barriers to intra-service cooperation. The Army talks a great deal about combined arms and does it down to about battalion level, often with great wailing and gnashing of the teeth. Marines do it all the way down to the individual Marine. Soldiers have defined military occupational specialties and guard their prerogatives like a union shop stewards. Finance clerks don’t do machine guns. Mechanics skip foot marches to fix trucks. Intell analysts work in air-conditioned trailers; they don’t patrol.

Marines, though, are just Marines. They all consider themselves trigger pullers. They even like it, as might be expected of an elite body.

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David Jenkins
2017/03/28 12:57

It’s all about the same. I fought in Iraq with the Army, but we fought with Marines too. We all did our jobs and were all equally effective at it.

Freedom Mikey
2017/03/06 23:10

I’ve had the pleasure of serving/working with both Soldiers and Marines; most of both service were outstanding individuals but both also had their worthless shit-bags as well. Just my humble $0.02. comment image

Dirk Baker
2016/04/08 18:07

Wow you all need to grow the fuck up. ARMY is better no USMC is better. We all fight for the same reason. It is stupid to compare a non Infantryman to someone who is Infantry. I was 11B for 6 years. It takes a special type of person to put up with all the shit we had to army and usmc. Id be damed to shove some none combat MOS in my door kicking team. They just dont have the training needed. Everyone goes through a basic training army and usmc. That doesnt make you special because you went through usmc basic. I had friends go into the usmc as infantry and the only diffrence is the attitude my friends came home with. It didn’t sit well with me. I beat 2 of my usmc buddies ASSES because of the attitudes. Im better than you im tougher than you usmc infantry is better than army infantry bullshit. And one more bullshit thing. I know for a fact that if my couple friends made it through usmc infantry training I could fucking breeze through it. It’s not the branch you join but who you are as a person that will make you or break you. SSG

2016/05/27 14:53

“When you’re working with Army and Marine Corps units, you immediately notice a difference. The Army is pretty tough, but their performance can depend on the individual unit. Some are excellent, filled with hoorah and first-class warriors. A few are absolutely horrible; most are somewhere in between. In my experience, Marines are gung ho no matter what. They will all fight to the death. Every one of them just wants to get out there and kill. They are bad-ass, hard-charging mothers.”

― Chris Kyle, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

2016/05/03 09:15

Trained with MANY Marines on Sill from 97-99, only had one that was out of line. They listened to instruction TO THE LETTER & never asked “why”. I was 13B (0811) and had some good times with those guys. Yeah…we bust each others balls…..but we ALWAYS had and will continue to have each others backs. I’d stack up with them ANY time..

2016/04/26 13:15

Hi Guys…
I haven’t served as a soldier myself, but I am a son of a US Army WWII veteran, and the father of a US Marine Assaultman… I’ve watched a few ‘state of the union’ addresses from Marine Corps officers, and similar to the article, there seems to be this acknowledgement that the Marine Corps is underfunded, leaving them with hand-me-down equipment and technology… It seems the Corps take pride in doing more with less, but given my only son is using this outdated and worn equipment, I am concerned this puts him more at risk!
I have no doubt that he has received the best training in the military world, but I just have to wonder how much more ass they could kick, and how many boys would come home alive or intact, if they had the best equipment!
As a father I want my son to have all the tools he needs to remain alive, effectively kick as much ass as possible, be victorious, and come home… I don’t want any of our boys to be casualties of blind pride… seems to me, true pride demands the best, equipment included!
Just the thoughts of a loving dad, and citizen… your thought are appreciated!

Tina Thompson
2016/04/26 12:20

Why can we all just respect each other. I am an army veteran and I think we all serve a purpose and we all fight for the same country.. why cant we all just respect that and not bash the other armed forces. Nice article on the Marine Corp btw.

2016/04/20 21:43

As a Marine I have a appreciation and respect for Army Ranger Bns, 82nd, 101st, 10th Mt and SF dudes for the same reason

2016/04/08 17:04

I don’t see the point in your fighting over who is the best as Americans are by far the most deadly combined militant force since the time of the Roman Empire. That being said if anyone really wanted to mess with you just remember go north ask the Canadians for support and the rest of the world will follow suit. As Canadians always have and will support your country, your people and your military operations. There is literally no country in the world that could hold their own against the military ground forces of America.

2016/04/08 00:20

Another point of the Corp! After boot, (platoon honor man) ITR and com. school, I went to 29 Palms MCB, CA. Assigned to a Nuclear security Unit. I got a secret clearence, was promoted to L/CPL made corporal of the quard, in charge of security moving nuclear weapons from base to base. At the time I didn’t think too much about it, but I was 18 years old. Only in the U.S. Marines. Later on I was back in communications, I was ground control for Naval and Marine Aviators training to fly ground support for the Marines on the ground. I always had two F-106’s that flew together. As ground control, those 106’s were my weapon, I picked the target and the weapon, and believe me, a fully loaded, combat ready F-106 is a sight to behold. I still tell people it was the most powerful I have ever been in my life. In 1971 two F-106’s were worth $60 million dollars (today’s $600 million). Most valuable? The two pilots lives you had to always consider and were responsible for. I was 19 years old. When you become a U.S. Marine, they don’t care how old you are, you are a Marine. We were also trained to make decisions, if you are getting your ass kicked, do something, anything different. MAKE A DECISION!!! People who can’t do that die. The proudest thing I ever did was enlist and become a U.S. Marine. And we are The Few, The Proud, The Marines. Semper Fi my fellow Marines. USMC

2016/04/07 21:43

Semper Fi!!! From this Hollywood Marine (MCRD San Diego) and two years in Nam, Kilo 3/5, Charlie Med, Danang, 1st MP Bn then home. Almost three years MSG with Paris Peace Talks, then Camp Lejuene
working for a General for a year and a half…. Glad to be a civilian Marine now!!

Michael Monaldi
2016/03/18 17:35

At a party a few years ago some of the men really got into which service had the best fighters, etc. 30 years out from active duty and I am getting tired of all of the talk. I didn’t say a thing until asked. So I told everyone to make up their own mind. Here is the scenario:
WWIII has broken out. All phones are out, there is no electricity, there is no gasoline. You can travel with a platoon of military people. The airman are headed north, the sailors are headed east, the soldiers are headed south and the Marines are headed west. Who do you go with? Nobody said a word.

Michael Monaldi
2016/03/18 17:28

Here is what you hear when the enemy approaches:
Airman, “Where are they?”
Soldier, “How many of them are there?”
Sailor, “What kind of weapons do they have?”
Marine, “That was easy.”
M. Monaldi
USMC 1969-1972
Cpl 0331

2016/03/08 06:31

Trigger pullers and like it. That’s a fair assessment I I would say. As a Marine from 98-02 I thought the article was awesome and reflected a lot of what I remember.

Brett J. Patron
2016/03/06 17:55

Till they logistics. Then they call the Army.

David Podesta
2016/02/13 20:21

Truth is I don’t care what an army officer has to say about us. You are either a Marine or you are not, we started distinguishing ourselves with 8 Marines in Tripoli and have done it ever since. Thanks for your input, but I joined to carry on a proud tradition of distinguished service the Marine Corps has brought for 200 years, not to explain to an army officer why I choose the tougher road.

Charles Hart
2016/02/09 02:35

Interesting, but not a wholly factual premise: United States Marine Band members are NOT riflemen, nor do they wear the “crossed rifles”. OK, it’s a minor point but representative of a larger problem: Citing as facts inaccurate statements in order to justify a conclusion. I can’t pick up a newspaper without noting statements couched as facts that simply are not true. In this case, a simple “except the United States Marine Band”, would not have detracted from the article, and actually improved it!

2016/02/08 10:21

The guest speaker at my Marine Corps OCS graduation commented, “The Army mans equipment. The Marines equip the man.” I have no idea who the guest speaker was, but still remember that statement, from August 18, 1978.

2016/02/07 00:23

I have been in the corp and in the army so i think im more anle to speak on this than most.if it had not been from lessons i learned as a marine i would have surely died in iraq as a army nco an that is no lie

Courtney Saint Alexander Ellis
2015/11/12 12:35

You know what another difference is, we as grunts in the Corps have a bit more respect for our support units. but in the end if I were never a grunt or even a Marine or Soldier period I would not want to run afoul of either one. The reason is that Marine infantryman will just beat the piss out of you then call their Army infantry buddies to keep you for a while and beat you some more until you understand that fact!! This I know from experience as a former Marine infantryman and 82nd Airborne Combat Medic….heheheheeeeee!!

doc in Galveston
2015/10/26 23:41

Thanks, COL. You’re On Target. Reciprocal respect for those Soldiers I was privileged to care for
in Iraq and Somalia and Thailand…Strong American Troops…as y’all say….Hooah!! doc in Galveston

doc in Galveston
2015/10/26 23:27

An old saw, but a good, funny one…learned it trying to keep Marines out of trouble, sometimes succeeding…
“…We, the Unwilling, Led by the Unknowing….have done the Impossible for the Ungrateful….We have done so much, for so long, for so many, with so little…that we are now qualified to do Absolutely Anything with Basically Nothing…”
OOOORAAAAH!!! So Proud to have served with 3/7, 2d ANGLiCO (West) and Temp Loan to 3rd Recon…Best years of my life were as a Corpsman in the field with US Marines….Semper Fidelis…doc in Galveston

Brian F. Jordan
2015/10/26 21:22

I came from AJROTC. I soon realized everyone was interchangeable. Paper work does not equal communication and one monkey don’t stop no show. No one was is special. The Generals who trained me never had to tell me they had been privates or seaman. We are all the same. The joke is unless you are the lead dog the view is the same. We are all riflemen. Going fully automatic is not considered cool. One hit is all that is needed. I am 60 and will miss the Corps until I die. I worry about what weapons Marines get today and who is selected to lead them..

2015/09/14 06:59

I don’t know about other Marines but I had a Top Sgt, a Korea and Vietnam War Vet, when I first arrived as a missile tech, in a HAWK Missile Btry, in ’71. He would look you in the eye when you told him you completed a task and ask if you would stake your life on it. From then on that’s how I completed all my tasks. I passed that attitude on to my subordinates and found out at a reunion some 40 years later, that they passed it on too. Semper Fi

Dale Camp
2015/08/21 14:05

Check out the 27th Marines deployment to Viet Nam in Feb. 68. Johnson ordered it to Nam due to Tet 68. It was filled out with Marines from all Mos’s. We went right into the bush and fit right in. Sure some of us were short a few weeks of Infantry School but in the 6 months we were there we won PUC’s, MUC’s, a MOA, many Navy Crosses and Silver Stars. We destroyed a newly arrived NVA regiment, the 36th on Operation Allen Brooke. Proud to be a Grunt/Mechanic with India 3,27. Semper Fi

Bob Anick
2015/08/17 10:57

Semper FI to All Marines (and Corpsmen) and especially to my three Marine children!

D Bush
2015/08/05 21:41

As a Huey mech for two tours in Nam, and working on the Tri-Services contract as a general aircraft mechanic after, I had the chance to visit many military bases thru out the U.S.
I’m here to tell you, you can tell the pride as you approach the gate and see the demeanor of the gate guards.
Civilians were, well – civilian.
Air force always looked sharp and professional.
Navy… well, even my two retired Command Master Chiefs commented they were “bothered” when they saw enlisted gate SPs armed.
Of all the Army bases I worked on, including West Point, the only one that made a definite impression I remember 20 plus years later, is Ft. Campbell, KY. The gate guards had their jump wings and you just knew they had pride and brotherhood. I remember thinking “They would have made good Marines.”
And Marine bases? Until they ceded security to the Navy, who contracted civilians, they were always the sharpest, best, and most professional.
Only at Marine bases with Marines on the gate and Ft. Campbell did I get the impression there would be no hesitation to place themselves in front of a car and open fire if the need arose.

Louie Correia
2015/07/09 22:29

from 1998 – 2003 worked on the 46E mentioned in the article … my aircraft was trashed by the NAVY in 1967… by the time I got to it, the aircraft had parts from all over the place… it leaked every ounce of fluid (not fuel) we put into it… But we were expected to make it fly, regardless of why it was not on flight status, it had to be fixed and put on the ready board.

This is what makes us different… I was a mechanic, then became a plane captain, expeditor, translator, pneumatics, airframes, publication custodian and artist … AND MY HELO still had to be fixed and ready to go…

of course this was done in between multiple deployments, rifle ranges, inspections, dynamic mixes, etc…

The one thing that wasn’t expected… was complaining, or excuses, and definitely accountability for my actions… I have to agree with the Army officer’s view of what we do and what we are as Marines, I would make a terrible grunt as they would make horrible helicopter mechanics… but our commitment to success and to each other is there. S/F

2015/06/30 10:53

We are a little different for sure. I remember back in Saudi, we were 4 decks down in a cargo hold unloading munitions with a fork truck, two Jarheads, one Army officer , no where to go, cramped, dark and hot as hell. While trying to free a crate of willie pete rounds, it fell apart, rounds banging and clanging off the bulk head. Anyway, the Army O ran 30 feet strait up the bulkhead, looked like super mario jumping around trying to get out of there 🙂 … I looked at my buddy, we laughed. I said, “shit sir, even if you get out, everything within a mile gonna blow, whole ports full of munitions.” He shook his head trying to catch his breath. The thing is, no body wants to die, but we all have a job to do and some jobs just suck. Marines might bitch, but we get it done.
Later that day, that Army O told our SSgt that he had never worked with a more motivated and professional group…. All in a days work.
Semper Fi

Leslie Buzan
2015/05/15 00:20

ok, I’am going to try again to ask all of you Marines out there,as well as all other branches of service, to please donate to the Missouri State Veterans Home in Warrensburg,,Missouri…we are in the process of raising funds for a new handicapped-accessible bus for our guys and gals at the home…the cost of the bus is going to run around 118,000.00 dollars..We at last check with Latisha Koetting , the volunteer services director around 18,000.00-20,000.00 dollars from all over the map…As well as from VFW,USO,FIRST SERGEANTS FROM WHITEMAN AFB,AMERICAN LEGION, ETC ETC. now anyone wishing to help can contact Latisha Koetting incare of the Missouri State Veterans Home at 1-660-543-5064 ..this is the main number for the home..or her office direct line at 1-660-429-4661 through the Veterans Assistance League.the non-profit of the Missouri State Veterans Home…The bus we currently have is worn out and does not meet our current needs for the Veterans we have at this time…and the new bus and upgrades would give us a safer way to transport our well as more room..that way depending on where we go we hopefully won’t have to make but one trip to get everyone where they are wanting to go back and forth too….it is used for trips to Wal-Mart to going fishing to the casino’s in KC,MO..and a host of other events…So please call Latisha Koetting and ask her how to help…if you wish to mail a check directly to the home. Make the check out to VAL..1300 Veterans rd..Warrensburg,MO. 64093. And please put in the Memo spot “BUS FUND”..For those of you who have already donated…I say Thank You very much….and as VAL,Veterans Assistance League, is a non-profit you can get a receipt for your donation for a tax deduction…Again, Thank You so much for your donations about to be made as well as those that have already done so…Capt.Leslie Buzan ,,USAFAUX,U.S.CIVIL AIR PATROL.(retired)..Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend..

Super Moose
2015/05/03 11:42

I trained as as a radio telegrapher and crypto man. Got to Okinawa and got drafted into Recon. Served my tour in Nam as a Recon team primary radio operator. Old now but still a badass jarhead at heart.

Dennis Reyerson NCC, USN Ret.
2015/05/01 10:10

I always said that if I had to go into combat i would want to go with the USMC. The chances of my coming back would be greatly better.

Ron Burling
2015/04/30 09:10

I was not a Marine, I was a Seabee in Vietnam and served under the OPCON of both the 1st and 3rd MARDIVES as well as the 101st. Give me the Marines any day. I don’t know what makes them different but their organization and cohesiveness makes them much better to work with. And they even talk like us. 😉

Robert Forrest
2015/04/28 10:02

As an Army Field Artillery officer, I had the opportunity to work extensively with my Marine brothers at the Field Artillery School. Marine Artilerymen are trained there also. I was always pleased by the professionalism and esprit de corps exhibited by both the students and fellow faculty members. Proud to have served with my brother Redlegs!

2015/04/27 22:19

Your primary MOS may be on paper as such and such……but you always know in your heart you’re an 0311…….Semper Fi

Leslie Buzan
2015/04/27 19:08

ok i see that i need to step into the caseworker position here and say now everyone play nice with each other ….for where i sit and i have dealt with every branch of service including every form of special forces that exists in each branch as well as the pentagon,,and all i ever saw was Men and Women willing to serve their country at the possible loss of their life….just kidding on the play nice thing i know for a fact that personally supplied the pink paint for both the Seal Team on base as well as the purple paint for the Force Recon. on base to paint each others emblems with…and would then get the phone call from the First Shirt for MP because the little shits would leave one of my business cards attached to their work..but oh what fun we all had before each time i had to give Briefings to service personnal as well as families before deployments..i love you guys and gals…

Leslie Buzan
2015/04/27 18:39

damn spell check ….please forgive all misspelled words in my previous

Leslie Buzan
2015/04/27 18:32

ok i am going to try this again ….i have one of those laptops that has a mind of its own…so i will start from the beginning…. Hi , my name is Leslie Buzan and i would first off like to say that none of you are ever very far from my heart my prayers or my mind..second for those of you who served at Whiteman AF Base before and after 9-11..may reconsize my name from have been your Armed Forces Emergency Caseworker and as one First Shirt put it the little lady with big shoulders, ..I was a case mananger for American Red Cross for more years then i care to admit to and i am told that is a ladies enought said on that subject….I am writting to ask all of you that have served or are still serving to not forget those that served long ,long before you ..I and my service dog Samantha, volunteer at the local Missouri State Veterans Home in Warrensburg,MO..on Veterans Rd…and they are in need of a new bus the help get our guys and gals from events we take them to as well as doctors appointments..and other outings they get to go on …like fishing, sight seeing, shopping at local stores, and even up to the casinos in KC,MO. for those vets. who can afford to…and they love it…but our bus is not up to the standards we need nor is it large enough to support all that we transport sometimes….there are times we have to make 2-4 trips to get everyone back and forth from event to event. or appointment to all get the drift…the bus is not as wheelchair friendly as it needs to be nor is it at all friendly for those veterans who use a walker or a cain and have problems stepping up….add to that the miles on the bus and you have and out of date bus for a group that uses it for the people they serve and take care of a lot….so i am now going to ask for your help for those who can…so far according to Latisha Koetting our head of volunteer services and the one spear heading this raising of funds to get this much needed bus.Is around 80,000.00 dollars as of last week…so the bus costs 180,000.00 dollars.. and anyone who would love to donate i asked that you do …you can call the home to vet all of this the main number for the home is 1-660-543-5064 thats the front desk her office number is 1-660-429-4661 ..if she is in her office she will answer if not you can talk to the desk to confirm or leave a message on her voice mail and tell her why you are calling and she will return your calls…just so everyone knows the 80,000.00 dollars raised so far has come from everyone from American Legion, VFW,Lions Club ,to the Air Force First Sergeants Assoc. to even several elementary schools in the well as a lot of fund raising from t-shirt sales to bake sales to you name it sales…including our local Motorcycle Veterans group…and least i forget the Elks Lodge…and the many people who have given money from their heart..including some of our own Veterans at the home…I recently as a member of the Gary Sinise Foundation even put in and app. for help through the Foundation.. but in the mean time we still need to raise funds for this bus…there is no guarantee that the Foundation is going to come through…the program i apply through is one of the newest ones so it is just getting started and i know they have sent it up the chain of command to the director for that program…so that still leaves us with needing money until we reach our goal of 180,000.00 if you can help please do so ..just call the Missouri State Veterans Home and ask them which way is the best to send it..and don’t forget we always have a veterans wish list. That needs money we do not have in our budget…so please again if you can or your group can give please call Latisha Koetting,Director of Volunteer Services at 1-660-429-4661 and tell her you would like to help …and THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SERVICE … but most of all for at least taking some time out of your day to call her and see where you might help in other ways..we are always looking for a few good guys and gals who want to visit with our guys and gals…And again thank you for your time..

2015/04/27 17:29

While I was in the Navy I had the opportunity to work with a few Marines on the ship. One night when I was working in the Galley (I’m an electronics guy but everyone starts in the scullery when they come on board) a group of them came in after hours and asked if they could have some coffee. They brewed it, made a mess, made sandwiches, and a mess, and so on… When they left for the night though the mess quickly disappeared and they swabbed the deck for me. They were Recon but not above swabbing a deck for a brand new seaman. My respect for the Corps is immeasurable.

2015/04/27 15:29

I agree to disagree. Marines are traditionally a ‘rifleman’ first, however this basic Warrior ethics, ingrained in Boot Camp, has withered over time. The Marine infantry, without a doubt, are willing to not only fight but annihilate any evil in this life or the next. BUT, the organization as a whole struggles to find its identity and back fill the lost of true warriors to budget cuts and a growing society unable to meet the basic standards of entry…

sue jordan
2015/04/27 10:00

My father was Navy, my brother Air Force, another brother a Marine killed in the Buirut Bombing and my son is Army. I respect and honor all branches!

2015/04/26 22:43

My uncle was in Nam. He told me the difference in the air support from each branch. Airforce would fly at 10,000 and get within a few 100 yards of the target. Navy and army would come in at 5000 feet and get some what close. Marines would come in, your ass better duck cause you’ll get hit with hot brass.

2015/04/26 18:22

One point the Colonel missed, that I was taught MANY moons ago, at MCRD Parris Island {the ONLY USMC boot camp for women}, was that ALL Marines are taught leadership – if the 2nd LT in charge of the platoon is incapacitated, the Sgt or SSgt take over; if they’re out of the loop, the Cpl assumes leadership – the Cpl out of commission, each individual down the line assumes command, until such time as higher authority is able to re-assume command.

Semper Fi’

Lou Rothenstein
2015/04/17 10:35

I believe that your opinion of Army Aviation does not apply across the board. There are good, really good, and so-so units but safety rules everywhere. Stats show this. Take a look at special operations aviation.

I paid a visit to a Marine I met some years back. He was a Senior Maint guy at Camp Pendleton. He took me out to the field where sat some really old FROGS. Inside, I saw this drum with a hand pump and lines from it. I asked if it was fuel. I was told it was hydraulic fluid. The FROGS were old, and leaked a lot so they simply replaced the leaking fluid from the drum. He said it worked and without the field fix, they couldn’t fly them.

My experiences around Marines is that they have a lot of pride in making things work. In the Army we call them field expedients.

I asked a retired Marine 3-Star how the Marines kept the AAV-7’s running up the long highway from Kuwait to Baghdad. This vehicle was not designed for long road marches. He told me that every other AAV had a tow bar and they carried the maintenance folks, tools and parts in them. When one broke down, it was towed and repaired while under way. That is a real field expedient.

I believe this Marine attitude came out of the past when the Navy simply gave them Army stuff, and not necessarily the latest models. The Army (Materiel Command) vigorously supported the Marines getting their own R&D and procurement systems – I saw the hands on training while still on active duty. It has been good to see the Marines develop and procure materiel that fits its mission rather than hand-me-downs. I hope the draw down does not effect the need for newer and better things.

Time for old warhorses like the FROG to retire to museums and static displays. They provided the Corps great service.

2015/04/17 04:36

I was a Ch-46 helicopter mechanic. Nobody fixes and operates piece of garbage flying machines like Marine air wing. I had the “pleasure” of working with the army fixing h 47’s and 60’s as a contractor after I got out. No pride. Lazy maintenance. I watched as they literally flew a couple helicopters into the ground over the course of a few months, no enemy fire, just plain crashed them. What happened? The army just sent out new ones. Joked about the old ones as they scrapped them. Brand new helicopters with 50 hours on the airframe. That doesn’t happen in the Marine Corps. You get a kick on the backside from every one of your brothers because, well, now we have to fight the enemy with 10 helicopters instead of 12. “Way to go Marine”, they’ll say. Thats what separates Jarheads from everyone else. Grunt or no grunt, Marines do it better, for less, with less and at an intensity that other services do not understand. They do not understand this, because their drill instuctors failed them.

2014/11/10 20:28

jowicknos Jarhead0861 The Falconer 
Ugh, what a chuckle. Okay, I was kind of hoping you would have something a little bit better than this. But I suppose I should have expected nothing more. Okay, let me break this down Barney style for you…
First, I believe I anticipated your come back about the Army and it’s role in D-DAY.

I said ” I have no doubt this will illicit some response with tediously
researched dates and unit numbers contesting to some instance of an Army
unit accomplishing a task that should have been carried out by Marines”. 
Yes, very good. D-Day was an amphibious operation. One of a handful in the European theater. Check your little book you got there and count how many amphibious landing there were in Europe, and then compare that number to the Pacific. (I am not saying one if better than the other. I am just offering counter insight to your theory.) The European theater was dominated by the Army. The Pacific was dominated by Marines because of this very reason.

So I’m glad I got that right. 
Second, what does visiting me have to do with the SEALs being the best fighting force? I imagine you were motivated by some sort of anger and that by visiting me would some how bend me to view this your way. But I digress, the SEALs are in fact a very well accomplished and respectable fighting force. They are however, a Special Force. 
Again I believe I noted the difference when I said “We are not a special force. We don’t do rescue missions.” To further expand on this we don’t traditionally do oil rig seizures, or piracy interdiction. All SEAL stuff and they are damn good at it.

The SEALs have a very specific mission (Hence “special force”). The Marines are a conventional force. I hope even you can see the difference. 

By the way, telling me to tail pipe my Captain is just reinforcing my theory that you might be a little red under the collar. I think you should take a moment to breathe a little. (By the way, trying to entice me into an elementary name calling contest only serves to degrade the validity of your argument.)

Better now? Okay good. Here we go.

Marines are very capable of fighting tank battles. I don’t know what you want to call large tank battles, but I’ll give you that there are some things that yes, the army is very good at. “Large tank battles” being one of them. I have no doubt that if Russia wishes to reassert itself as a regional hegemony in eastern Europe, the US Army would gallantly meet the Russian armor column with valor and great success.

In fact I even gave credit to the Army that there are things they can do that the Marines don’t… “We are not an occupying force. We didn’t rebuild Europe or Japan.”
Finally, telling me that the Army has beach landing vehicles and the only reason they haven’t used them is because their battles have been fought in desert is pretty nonsensical. Because I am pretty sure the Marines are right there next to the Army. 
But okay, I’ll bite. The Army may have beach landing equipment. Please be advised, the Air Force has logistical ships. Does this mean the Navy can close up shop because the Air Force has it all locked down now? By your logic in informing me of the Army’s landing vehicles, you should say “Yes”.

Also, if you have respect for all the branches of service, and I am guessing the Army is the one you call your own, try and capitalizing the names.

I wasn’t looking to get into an internet argument. But I admit, I was trying to get under your skin a little bit, and did so with a lot less effort than I anticipated. Toughen up there champ. Your better than that!

Look, I was trying to reinforce what sets the Marines apart. And it is that basic, glorified bullet catching, knuckle dragging, devil dog mentality that we, Marines, are all brawlers. We are door kickers, trigger pullers, ass kickers, name takers, and its okay that you are a little angry because not everyone can be like us. Its that animosity that we embrace, and secretly love because we know we have what a lot of others don’t. Respect.

Ill leave you with a suggestion. Next time you want to rattle off some nonsense to me, make your argument a little bit better? Perhaps try punctuation. I swear it will make you look a whole lot smarter next time. Oh, and actually read what I wrote so I don’t have to just copy and paste
it in a response to you and make you look like an illiterate boob.
Semper Fi

2014/11/10 15:01

Jarhead0861 jowicknos The Falconer  again another stupid ignorant marine .The army can and did do every thing the marines can don’t u remember D-Day moron.Most the fighting in WW-2 Europe was done by US-ARMY
I would like to visit u. The best fighting force is the Seals.
go give it to your captain up the ass
The marines are not capable of fighting large tank battles.
The army also has beach landing vehicles .this equipment has not been used yet because our battles have been fought in the desert in the most recent times

2014/11/10 01:51

jowicknos The Falconer 
First of all, the decision to withdraw from the first siege of Fallujah was not one of the Marines choosing. It was a decision made way above the pay grade of any officer in the sand there. The civilian casualties were causing too much political heat for some law makers. The Marines were ordered out.

While I am in no way advocating for civilian casualties, but lets put this in perspective. Curtis Lemay, after the firebombing of Tokyo, told a guy named Robert McNamara if they ever lost the war, they would be tried for war crimes. They knew what they had done, yet did it anyway. They did what they felt they had to do to win the war. Now anyone with half a semester in community college can see the hypocrisy of the actions. A question of ethics for sure. 
Now as a Marine my self, I don’t agree with the notion of a propaganda machine. I’ve seen “Times” reporters come to do stories on our operations in Iraq. He wasn’t exactly met with a welcome basket as suggested. In fact, if a reporter takes a story only for a kick back from those their reporting on, the integrity of the reporter is in question. And I can tell you, no Marine want’s some sap who’s writes stories for a living with no integrity. God knows what they would end up writing about you.

The bottom line is that Marines don’t have a great PR department. We have charisma. We have that chip on our shoulder that the Army, Navy, Air Force don’t have. We don’t write propaganda. Our actions create it. We are fighters. The Army and the Marines have a very different mission. The Army is a massive, highly funded armed service that does occupation very well. 
Marines…we fight. We survive on 6 cents of every dollar spent on defense, and we do it well. Point us in the direction, cut the leash and we will destroy everything in our path. We are not a special force. We don’t do rescue missions. We are not an occupying force. We didn’t rebuild Europe or Japan. We are our nations finest fighting force. Because every ounce of our training, spirit, camaraderie is focused on destroying our enemy. Where ever, who ever they may be. Grunt, air winger, artillery, who ever. We all focus on locating, closing with, and destroying our enemy with fire and maneuver. All of us. 

This is something the Army simple cannot say. 

Semper Fi, Happy Birthday Marines. 

-Sergeant of Marines 

PS I have no doubt this will illicit some response with tediously researched dates and unit numbers contesting to some instance of an Army unit accomplishing a task that should have been carried out by Marines. By all means do so… it doesn’t mean I am wrong. I admit, even the Army does something well once in a while.

2014/10/29 12:29

The Falconer Tigerman  Yes I agree with you ,It was the continental Army and the Minute Men who fought the revolutionary war

2014/10/28 22:45

The Falconer jowicknos  Yes U are correct. To sum it all up the Marines have a better  public image and propaganda machine than the Army.  D day was an amphibious landing.
The battle fought in the Aleutians was fought by the US Army and the Canadian Army and it was a very bloody battle in very bad weather.
Look up the battles in the S Pacific ,many were fought with the Army and Marines making beach landings.
The first time the Marines went into Fallujah they were unable to over come the insurgents so they had to fight that battle again with the 101 ST airborne ,and some delta force. I think most Marines who fought along side US Army units do not have a low opinion about the US Army.