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Subject: Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?
GOP    5/23/2005 1:52:26 PM
I have always wondered why anyone would join the Army instead of the USMC. I would much rather be the best trained infantryman and the first to fight rather than just another US Army infantryman. I also like the USMC's fast attack style rather than the slow-moving Army style. I am definitely not knocking anyone in the Army or anything like that, I respect the Army. But the Marines have the reputation of being the best, while the Army has a reputation of being very good. I wouldn't mind flying a Apache longbow, though (that would be my second choice other than being a Marine)
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joe6pack    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 2:20:33 PM
"would much rather be the best trained infantryman and the first to fight rather than just another US Army infantryman." That's a subject for some debate. The two also generally have different missions. However, the Marines certainly do have the esprit de corp thing going on. You join the Marines because you want to be a Marine, they don't run any of the incentive programs that all the other branches of service do. "But the Marines have the reputation of being the best" That reputation sort of has to do with the times. A prime example would be the Korean War, the US Army had been gutted and many of it's combat veterans had left the service. For various reasons (one of them being a much smaller branch) the Marines were able to retain veteran troops. At the onset, the Army performed very poorly and the Marines did much better. There is also a certain amount of myth.. From WWII movies, you'd assume Marines did all the fighting in Pacific but the were far more Army Divisions involved than Marine. I think you take today's all volunteer force of Marines and Army, the level of performance is pretty comparable. Obviously, there are certain jobs the Marines excel at. for instance, it's not likely you will see the 82nd Airborne doing many beach assaults.. but again that's a difference in mission. "I also like the USMC's fast attack style rather than the slow-moving Army style" How do you come to that conclusion?
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Iano    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 2:45:09 PM
They are two organisations for two differing roles. The Marines are a force for spearheading an invasion and for rapid intervention. Whereas the Army has the sustainability to conduct a protracted land campaign. Look at the British perspective. The RM, and other units assigned to 3 Commando Brigade, provide Britains amphibious forces, commando forces and rapid-deployment forces. They can be used to intervene ashore in many differing scenarios and regularly deploy aboard ship. They are a self sustainable landing force outfitted for demanding and sometimes unconventional situations. They provide Britains maritime special forces capability and protection of assets and interests at sea. They can be used to support or to take the place of Army units. Basically they are soldier-sailor shock troops, and with the special perparation that requires they qualify as an elite pool of trained manpower. But they dont have the size or support to conduct the large scale sustained land operations an Army can. Also they are not on a par with the Army admin-wise. The British Army is a service with all the autonomy that brings. Whereas the Marines parent service is actually the Royal Navy. I think the ARMY/USMC debate in America has gotten out of control. The Marines seem to be taking over Army, and Navy, and perhaps even Airforce jobs. Like why do they need their own fixed wing air force? Here in Britain the Marines have one squadron (joint with RN, Army and RAF personnel I believe) of Gazelle and Lynx helos to provide a rapid anti armour capability, recce, comms etc. Whereas I heard that the USMC's air wing is actually larger than the RAF! Probably larger than all our air assets combined then! Really, look how the 2 forces are used - in Iraq the RM were used to "kick in the door" on the Al Faw peninsula and Umm Qasr. After this I believe they were used as an occupying force and a reserve whilst Army units moved in and continued the campaign northwards. The RM also handles riverine and coastal operations, boarding of vessels and training the Iraqi Coastal Defence Force, land operations requiring their Commando training and where required they replace Army units in time of stretch. They do NOT all drive up to Basra or Baghdad in massed columns of armoured vehicles - thats an Army job. But it seems to me that in the USMC doing that, it is becoming a second Army in America.
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?-Joe6pack   5/23/2005 2:52:51 PM
You, know, that same slow, bloated US Army 3rd Infantry Division that was equipped with those lousy M1 tanks and worthless M2 Bradely fighting Vehicles which only covered 500 km in 3 weeks. I purposely turned down the USMC officer commissioning program, which I was accepted into, to go with the US Army. As you have said Joe, there were 6 Marine divisions in WW II......there were 27 Army divisions in the Pacific in WW II. I actually believe the US Army has a much better heritage than the USMC. But that is because the Marines fight battles....the Army fights and wins campaigns and wars.
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joe6pack    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 3:01:41 PM
"I think the ARMY/USMC debate in America has gotten out of control. The Marines seem to be taking over Army, and Navy, and perhaps even Airforce jobs. Like why do they need their own fixed wing air force?" Well as for the Army jobs, I think that has more to do with the overall size of the current force. The smaller the force, the more work everyone has. There just ain't enough infantry to go around.. at least in my opinion. As for their own fixed wing aircraft, it's one of the few areas I agree with our Jarhead cousins. At least Marine pilots have an understanding and empathy with Marine ground troops. I doubt 99.9% of the airforce has a clue as to what it's like to be an infantryman. I think Marine CAS also has a lot better record of "not" hitting friendly troops.
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Iano    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 3:29:39 PM
If friendly fire is an issue, then fine, that needs resolving. But does that mean you need to establish a new organisation, or give an existing one new roles, to make it all better? No, you need to improve your Airforce training. If the RAF had some incidents where they had shot-up friendly units, I wouldnt say "well those RAF boys have proved themselves unworthy, I hereby turn over a significant part of fixed wing aviation and all CAS to the RM". I would get in touch with my chief of air staff and rectify the airforces problems. If I wanted my pilots to have an empathy with my infantrymen for some reason, then I would include a tour as a FAC in the pilots career structure. God knows FACs are needed! I know what you are saying, if we get the forces out there who cares who they belong to. But those Marine pilots could be just as effective pilots in the USAF, or the USN if they need to operate from a ship. People arent better because they have a different cap-badge, its all down to their preparation. If marine pilots are so much better then find out why, then implement the changes into the airforce. Can you imagine if the Army started running carrier battlegroups and tried to displace the Navy from its role providing sea power? Okay thats a bit exagerrated, but thats what I see happening, one service expanding into anothers role. Now in times of stretch a bit of overlap and redundancy isnt too bad but it can make for a flabby organisation in peacetime and theres no reason the USMC couldnt keep itself as a force primarily for rapid amphibious intervention like the RM, and all those excess units directed towards the services who traditionally supply their services...
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lrsrng    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 5:37:07 PM
IN 1981 I talked to a Marine recrutier They could not guarantee much.The Army gave me an Airborne contract and a wide choice of mos's.IF you want to be the first to fight and want a lot of Adventure you should consider a Ranger or Special Forces Assignment in the Army.This is not a shot at the Marine Corp I have the utmost respect for the Corp.The Army just has more opportunities that are accessiable on a initial enlistment.
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Sam    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 6:55:38 PM
First, GOP I know you are young. Threads like these do no good. There are many fine people that join the US Army. Just as there are many fine people in the UASF and the Navy and Coast Guard. Why can't the AF train pilots as well as the Navy/MC? Mindset. Navy/MC regs tell pilots what they cannot do. AF regs tell pilots what they can do. Unless the AF wants to start sending their pilots to Army Infantry school they will not have the same relationship with the ground pounders that the MC does. All MC officers go through The Basic School. There are times when the MC goes places where the AF isn't there and not going to be there. Navy and Marine air are integrated. A Marine officer is about to go(or has gone) out as a Carrier wing commander.Marine pilots are Naval Aviators. Think of the Marine side as navia aviation that specialises in CAS and strike protection while the Navy side specialises in fleet defence. No one wants to get rid of the F-16 block 40s because F-15Es do CAS. As Albany Rifles (And a former Commandant Gen Krulac)"Marines win battles, the Army wins wars." I will say this, You join the Army for a specialty, a school or a duty station. You join the Marines to be a Marine. We will put you where your needed. Would I trade in my Dress Blues for an Army uniform? No Way. But I'll bet alot of Soldiers would say the same thing. See look us Marines can keep the wise cracks down when we want to!!! (Don't get me started)
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ambush    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC Part I?   5/23/2005 6:56:42 PM
Having spent time in both services I will offer my perspective. Both service have their positives and negatives. The Army most certainly offers more career choices by virtue of its larger support organization. Your certainly are not going to have a medical career in the Corps and even choices in occupational fields in some instances is more limited. No Self-Propelled Artillery in the Corps. Of course if you like fixed wing fast movers you have that option I the Corps. I always thought it would be cool to fly Harriers. It also offers more duty stations. As a Marine Grunt once you have done the Pendleton, Lejeune, 29 Palms, Okinawa route you have hit all the normal permanent duty station for your MOS. Of course there is always special duty like Embassy, Security Guard and Drill Instructor Duty. You are not likely to be stationed in Europe or Korea in the Corps but in the Army you will never get to experience a West Pac or Med Cruise. IF you like high-speed mech Warfare the army is should be your choice. The Corps is organized or equipped for it and only does it through improvisation because it has do at times. You do have fast strike options in the Army with the 82nd and Rangers but odds are against you spending your whole career in either unless the Army adopts a true Regimental system.
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ambush    RE:PartII   5/23/2005 7:27:41 PM
Part II The Army’s disadvantages and problems that the Corps does not have or they are smaller problems: (1) Size, unavoidable. But what can be avoided is the disproportionately larger bureaucracy. The number of troops in paper work generating jobs is larger than it should be. Army reforms and elimination of things like Corps Headquarters will help. But the amount of paper work I had to deal with as a Soldier compare to as a Marine was enormous. The Army’s size also makes it less selective. We use to say every unit has it 10% of duds personnel wise but at times in the Army it seemed more like 25% in conventional units. (2) Leadership/attitude. This is changing for the better since the Army has a new Chief of Staff. But since the early 90s with end of the Cold War the Army has suffered with poor leadership at the top, which allowed Political Correctness to infect the establishment. Among these I list coed basic training as the worse. But there were other things. I remember when I first reported to Fort xyz. The first in processing class I had was not a welcome aboard by the post command or but a sexual harassment class. When I pointed out that there were no women in my MOS and that I would not be working with any it did not seem to matter. Despite the new Army Chief of Staff the reforms will proceed slowly in leadership. You have a decade of officers who were promoted in part by their adherence to the party line with regards to things like political correctness and changing that mindset and the CYA risk avoidance attitude it bred will take time. The Corps on the other hand was called a extremist organization by members of the Clinton Administration for it resistance to the PC that prevailed in DOD then. (3) “Branchism” At times it seemed like the Army’s different Branches were like warring tribes each claiming its supremacy within the army as a whole in terms of importance. Many Soldiers showed more loyalty to their branch than to the Army itself and it did at times seem that they were almost separate services with their own songs, emblems etc. The Marine Corps does not have this Problem. Everybody knows that, despite everybody being a Marine, Grunts are the reason everybody else exist. The Commandant is always going to be a Grunt and so on. (4) Awards, badges and Ribbons. The Army use to give out awards like they were lunch. Whole units would get Bronze stars and individual got Army Commendation ribbons just for completing a tour of duty. This, to me, diminished the value and prestige of the awards as a whole. The Army also clutters its uniform up with so many devices a badges that an Army Private often looks like a Latin American Dictator. (5) Co-d basic training-enough said.
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ambush    RE:Why would anyone join the US Army over the USMC?   5/23/2005 7:49:36 PM
Part III The Corps is also not without its problems In my view they are the following: (1) Leadership/MOS training. The Marine Corps is moving too slowly to establish a formal leadership education system for Marines similar to the Army’s NCOES, particularly for Grunts. There is just so much you can learn by OJT particularly in technical matters. (2) Personnel turnover. In one unit I was with we lost about 1/3 of our NCOs to Drill Instructor or Recruiting Duty every year. I recall being at a Sergeants Major retirement ceremony where out of a 30-year career he spent 17 on the drill field and he was not that much out of the norm. Not a good thing if you particularly dislike Drill Instructor Duty or the prospect of it as I did. I am not sure what the solution is for this. (3) Aviation fixation: Despite everything supposed to exist to support the Grunts I think a disproportionate amount of brain power is being put into formulation of aviation related doctrine and equipment. This is so bad the Marine Corps Gazette is often referred to as the official publication of Marine Aviation.
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