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Subject: Will the Marine Corp create commando units?
macawman    10/27/2002 10:48:50 PM
The Corp had commando units in the Pacfic in WW II. They were called Marine Raiders. They did an effective job on Makin Island. The main reason the Raiders were disbanded was the Marine Corp did not want an elite organization within an already elite organization. Like todays SF these marines stood out from the typical marine when it came to military discipline, and their commander was too out spoken for his peers. It will be more than just retiree associations that will impede development of battalion size Marine commando units. October 25, 2002; The U.S. Marine Corps, as is their custom, now thinks it might be a good idea to copy their brethren, the British Royal Marines, and convert themselves to a commando force. During World War II, the Royal Marines turned themselves into the Royal Marine Commandos. After 1945, when Britain disbanded all of it's commandos, the Royal Marines retained three of their infantry battalions as Royal Marines Commandos (commando battalions). These three battalions have remained in service to the present, mainly because they always performed as advertised. The U.S. marines have long since dropped their divisional organization, using the three "division" headquarters as an administrative units for managing the battalion and brigade (2-4 battalions) size task forces for whatever assignments come their way. This has worked quite well over the last two decades. The new proposal would finally do away with the marine division (the first one was organized in 1942, six were active in World War II). Marines would be trained more for commando operations rather than traditional infantry combat. This is a trend that is already present in marine training, although marines are still considered, first and foremost, elite ground combat troops. It is expected that there might be a lot of resistance from marine veterans groups (over a hundred thousand marine veterans of World War II are still around, and they can be a feisty lot.) But the marines do have a tradition of constantly transforming themselves, something even old marines recognize and respect.
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Scorpene    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   11/28/2003 5:53:35 AM
In a sense, they are already doing this. The Marines have pioneered the concept of the "tactical corporal", they have the FAST, STA platoons, and the Marine Expeditionary Unit, "Special Operations Capable", or MEU-SOC. The USMC was dealing with insurgencies many years ago before it became the "cool" thing to be into-- they have a publication on it called, "The Small Wars Manual". The MEUs can be configured as they need them. Someone who is in the Marines right now will weigh in here and give you better on-the-scene details. What the Marines have to be careful of (and rest assured, this is never far from their mind) is losing sight of the sea-to-shore or other pathfinder missions that require mass. The Army has a lot of formations that can be labeled special ops without too much difficulty; three Ranger batallions and two whole divisions of airmobile and airborne. If they try to compete directly with the Army, they could specialize themselves right out of business. What the Marines have that the Army does not have is the ability to take these highly trained units and insert them into the theater with the heavy firepower with them, there, and ready to , lock, and rock. An airborne division needs a secure DZ, and the 101st has short legs. The choppers have to be flown or shipped to the theater, unless Mexico attacks. As the Army tries to become more "mobile", and incur what some of us consider a significant loss in firepower, the Marines might wind up winners by keeping themselves a bit heavy. In a way, the Army is trying to imitate the Marines. The Marines have another advantage in the leaner budgets (and they will return, I think) and that is they are a bit more used to making do and stretching funds, based on their long culture of having to wrestle funds, fuel, ammo, and missions away from the other services.
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Worcester    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   12/3/2003 1:27:48 PM
I think I'm right in saying the RM Commandos are "out of theater" troops - independent, high endurance light infantry. After decades in the Far and Middle East they got themselves Arctic Norway as a specialization while keeping the Arctic/Mountain specialization. About firepower, the Brit 3 Commando Brigade first line log scale is 5,000 tons (mostly artillery & other ammo) - that's 1 ton per may be amphibious/mobile but "light" it is not!
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ZealousZionist    Marines in SOCOM? Not really   12/15/2003 7:00:23 PM
Sorry, but for reasons of organizational philosophy the Marines have refused to assign their reconnaisance units to SOCOM. This decision stems from the dogged insistance that the entire Corps is an elite unit. This of course, all depends upon what you mean by elite. It is not particularly difficult to become a Marine enlisted man, with about a 90% of boots completing basic training. Compare that with only about 30% of trainees completing Army Ranger school, and between 10 and 15% of aspiring SEALS completing BUDS. And I don't even want to mention Delta, where on average fewer than 10% complete selection. And most Delta applicants come from the Ranger SF community. So, while the Marines are certainly fine conventional infantry troops, only their Force Recon companies (recently merged into the Divisional Recon Bns) can be really regarded as truly elite units in the SEAL/Delta sense of the term. Yet, as stated before, the Marines refuse to let their recon troops become a part of SOCOM. Thus, the Marines are non-players in the US special ops community, but only by their own choice.
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Downunder    From an outsiders view   12/19/2003 1:22:30 AM
From what I have gathered from this site and others, SOCOM has a virtual monopoly on Special Forces troops in the US military apart from the USMC Force Recon units, and the parent services have no control over them any more. Looks to me like the Marines have come out of this better than the Army, Navy and Air Force.
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count von moltke    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   2/1/2004 4:41:17 AM
marine corps commandos ? they are the navy seals right ?
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gf0012-aus    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   2/1/2004 5:02:05 AM
navy seals = navy (first word is a clue) ;) Don't say that to a SEAL
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joe6pack    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   2/1/2004 3:41:16 PM
Well, the Marines are also a part of the Navy as well.... but its best not to discuss that with them either...
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Sam    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   2/4/2004 5:55:57 PM
Marine have no problem owning up to being a Department of the Navy. We are the mens department!
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frogdiverNSWG8    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   2/5/2004 10:11:14 AM
The mens department? lol, that's a good one.
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Nexota    RE:Will the Marine Corp create commando units?   3/16/2004 9:15:46 PM
Many of the SOCOM personel come from the Marines, so little would be accomplished by creating a commando unit within USMC. Besides, you would run the risk of decentralizing command and undermining the idea behind the marines, which is a strong, elite, expeditionary force. Read Greene's reply Zealous..The Marine Corps is an elite force in that respect alone.I've never heard anyone call a Delta an elite soldier.I think that would be an insult doing a job that requires more than a normal soldier can think of.They call it special forces for a reason.
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