Marines from the English adjective marine, meaning of the sea, via French marin(e), of the sea from Latin marinus ("maritime"), are military forces similar to the army. Historically the marine forces or marine corps are infantry forces that are part of the country's navy. However, in some countries the marine force or marine corps are under independent command.
Tasks undertaken by marines have included providing security in a warship while at sea, reflecting the pressed nature of the ships' company and the risk of mutiny. Other tasks would include boarding of vessels during combat or capture of prize ships and providing manpower for raiding ashore in support of the naval objectives. Marine elements would also contribute to the campaign ashore, in support of the military objective.
With the industrialization of warfare in the 20th Century the scale of landing operations increased, and brought with it an increased likelihood of opposition, and a need for co-ordination of various military elements. Marine forces evolved to specialize in the skills and capabilities required for amphibious warfare.
The word Marine was originally used for the forces of England and United States, and the exact term marine does not exist in many other languages. Typically, foreign equivalents are called naval infantry or navy infantry (e.g., as in Spain, Germany, and Russia) or coastal infantry. In French-speaking countries, two terms exist which could be translated as marine: troupes de marine and fusiliers-marins; similar pseudo-translations exist elsewhere, e.g., Fuzileiros Navais in Portuguese. The word marine means Navy in many European languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian.
The principal role of marine troops is military operations in the littoral zone, operating from ships they are trained to land on and secure key points to around 50 miles inland.
In addition to their primary role, marine troops are also used in a variety of other naval roles such as boarding operations, ship and port security or riverine operations.
The Naval Infantry of the Armada of Argentina (Infantería de Marina de la Armada de la República Argentina, IMARA) is a part of the Argentine Navy. Argentine Marines have the same rank insignia and titles as the rest of the Navy. It is composed of a Fleet Marine Force (one Marine Battalion, plus artillery, air defence, communications, logistics, engineer and vehicle units), a Southern Marine Force (2 Marine Battalions), a River Operations Battalion, a Special Forces Unit (the Amphibious Commandos Group) and several Security Battalions and Companies. The 5th Battalion of the Infanteria de Marina fought and lost against three British battalions in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur).
The Bolivian Naval Force includes about 2,000 naval infantry personnel and marines
The Corps of Naval Fusiliers (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais), is subordinate to the Brazilian Navy. The Marine Corps is composed of an Operational Brigade and some Guard and Ceremonial Duty Battalions. The main unit is the brigade-sized Divisão Anfíbia (Amphibious Division).
The Royal Cambodian Navy created a force of 2,000 marines in 2007.
The Chilean Corps of Naval Infantry (Cuerpo de Infanteria de Marina) is a branch of the Chilean Navy. They specialise in performing amphibious assaults, and belong to the Chilean Special Forces Unit, along with the Combat Divers. The Corps is composed of four units, organized along the Chilean territory. Each one with their own anti-aircraft guns, artillery and landing craft.
The 24000-member Colombian Marine Corps is organized into a single division with four brigades (one amphibious assault brigade and three riverine brigade), each with several battalions plus numerous small security units. It is a part of the Colombian Navy.
The Croatian Navy maintains a 200 man (naval infantry corps) headquartered in Split. The group consists in three companies divided between Pula, Šibenik, Ploče and the 4th Guards Brigade (based at Split) which was transferred to the Croatian Navy as a naval infantry unit in January 2002. 
The Cuban Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria, or MGR) maintains a small marine battalion called the Desembarco de Granma.
The 5000 man Ecuadorian Navy maintains a 1700 man Naval Infantry Corps (Cuerpo de Infanteria de Marina) headquartered in Guayaquil. It was formed on 12 November 1962. It is organised into two security battalions, one east in the Amazon River area and the other on the coast. There is also a commando battalion based in the Galápagos Islands.
The 111th Independent Mechanized Brigade (formerly the 130th Marine Amphibious Brigade) of the Egyptian Army can conduct amphibious assault operations. There is also the 153d Commando Group with three Marine Commandos Battalions (515th, 616th, 818th) controlling 12 Marine Commandos Companies.
The Meredessantpataljon, was a short lived marine infantry battalion of the Estonian Navy. The battalion was created in 1919 from the crews of the Estonian surface warships and was based in Tallinn. The unit was mainly used on the Southern Front during the Estonian War of Independence. The unit was operational from March to June in 1919. Today there are no marine infantry units among the Estonian Defence Forces.
The Finnish Uusimaa Brigade (Swedish: Nylands brigad) in Ekenäs is part of the Finnish Navy and trains the Finnish coastal jaegers. The detachment is the only Swedish-speaking unit in the Finnish Defence Forces.
The Troupes de marine (Navy Troops) are, despite the name, a branch of the French Army. The arm is dedicated to service overseas, particularly in Africa. The troupes de marine include infantry (Infanterie de Marine), including paratroopers and light cavalry, artillery (Artillerie de Marine). Due to their former name of Troupes Coloniales, Marine Forces are commonly referred as La Colo.
The troupes de marine were founded in 1622 (officially titled compagnies ordinaires de la mer) as land forces under the control of the Secretary of State of the Navy, notably for operations in French Canada. The Compagnies de la Mer were transformed in line infantry regiments by Napoleon, but became once more Marine Forces in 1822 (for the artillery) and 1831 (for the Infantry). These Troupes de marines were in the 19th century the main overseas and colonial forces of the French military. In 1900 they were put under the orders of the War Ministry and took the name of Troupes Coloniales (Colonial Forces). In 1967 the name of the Troupes Coloniales was changed back to Troupes de Marine, but they continued to serve in the French Army.
The Deutsche Marine (German Navy) maintains two distinct marine commando organizations:
32nd Marine Brigade "Moravas" (32η Ταξιαρχία Πεζοναυτών Mοράβας) is a unit of naval infantry maintained by the Hellenic Army.
The Honduran Navy established at least one 600-man Marine Infantry Battalion (Batallón de Infantería de Marina — BIM) in 1982.
The Iraqi Navy is a small force with 800 sailors and six platoons of marines designed to protect the shoreline and inland waterways from insurgent infiltration. The navy is also responsible for the security of offshore oil platforms. The navy will have coastal patrol squadrons, assault boat squadrons and a marine battalion. The force will consist of 2,000 to 2,500 sailors by year 2010.
The Givati Brigade functions as the amphibious force and is one of the infantry brigades in the Israel Defense Forces. It was formed in December 1948 and placed under the command of Shimon Avidan. Before that it participated in Operation Yoav (October 15-22, 1948). Its role was to capture the areas of Hulikat, Kawkaba and the junction which is today known as the Givati Junction. Later it was disbanded but was reestablished in 1983 and still exists today. Since 1999 it serves under the Southern Command (Pikud Darom). Givati soldiers are designated by purple berets. The Brigade's symbol is the fox, alluding to Shualei Shimshon (שועלי שמשון, lit. Samson's Foxes), a unit in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
The Italian military maintains two marine type units:
The NKPA's Light Infantry Training Guidance Bureau has a two or more amphibious light infantry/sniper brigades. These brigades are believed deployed to Wonsan on the east coast and Namp'o and Tasa-ri on the west coast. In organization and manpower, they are reduced versions of the regular light infantry brigades with a total strength of approximately 5,000 men organized into ten battalions. Each battalion has about 400 men organized into five companies each. Some amphibious brigade personnel are trained as frogmen.
The Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico) - The Mexican Marines consists 8,000 men in a brigade of three battalions, plus a battalion attached to the Presidential Guard Brigade, three Regional battalions with headquarters in Mexico City, Acapulco, and Veracruz, and thirty-five independent companies and detachments distributed among ports, bases, and zonal headquarters. The marines are responsible for port security, protection of the ten-kilometer coastal fringe, and patrolling major waterways. In addition to having light arms, the marines are equipped with 105mm towed howitzers, 60mm and 81mm mortars, and 106mm recoilless rifles, as well as Pegaso BMR VAP-3550 and BTR-60 amphibious vehicles. The marines riverine duties have been increasingly taken over by the Mexican Army. More recently the Navy has ceded most of its riverine responsibilities (formally handled by the Marines) to the Army, and has reduced the size of the Marine force, putting them back aboard ships where they play a vital role in drug interdiction and boarding of suspect vessels in territorial waters.
The modern Royal Moroccan Navy (Marine Royale) was founded in 1960, four years after the country's independence from France. It has a manpower strength of 50,000 sailors, officers and marines. The Royal Moroccan Navy is the naval branch within the Moroccan Military. It is inspected by Inspector of the Royal Navy Mohammed Berrada Kouzi. The Royal navy enjoys friendship with the French Navy and uses modern French equipment like the Floréal class frigate, Surcouf (F711) and Panther helicopters.
The Royal Moroccan Navy is divided in critical response elite teams and the 'regular' navy, which day to day tasks are defending the Moroccan coasts and search for illegal traffic of drugs and illegal aliens from and to Europe.
The Myanmar Navy raised a naval infantry battalion of 800 men in 1964, followed by a second battalion in 1967, 3rd and 4th battalions may have also been raised. They were deployed mainly to the Arakan and Tenasserim areas, and to the Irrawaddy delta, to assist in counter-insurgency operations, but also performed other security duties.
The Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) naval infantry unit is the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps (Korps Mariniers). Founded in 1665, originally as an infantry regiment to the Dutch Navy. Today, it is a brigade, made of 3 marine infantry battalions (of which 1 in Aruba and Curacao), 1 amphibious combat support battalion and 1 logistical battalion. The Dutch Marine Corps is a light infantry unit, operating as a rapid-reaction force, deployable anywhere in the world within a 48-hours notice. Dutch marines train in all possible geological and climate conditions for their role.
Enlisted marine recruit training lasts 30 weeks, as for marine officers, it takes up to 5 years (including naval academy). Similar to the United Kingdom's Royal Marines, they both share a Bond of Friendship.
Kystjegerkommandoen (KJK: in English "The Coastal Ranger Command") of the Norwegian Navy is an amphibious unit trained to operate in littoral combat theatres, filling the role of a marine corps and coastal artillery.
The Pakistani Navy operates two amphibious organizations.
The Paraguayan Marine Corps (Cuerpo de Fuzilieros Navale) is a battalion sized organization consisting of four company sized brigades.
3,000 man Marine Infantry of Peru (Infantería de Marina del Perú) included an amphibious brigade of three battalions and local security units with two transports (one used as a school ship), four tank landing ships, and about forty Portuguese Chaimite armored personnel carriers. Since 1982 IMAP detachments have been deployed, under army command, in counterinsurgency capacities in Ayacucho and Huancavelica departments.
The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) has a strength of about 9,000 men divided into three (3) brigades. The Marine units include three infantry maneuver brigades, each composed of three tactical infantry battalions with one infantry battalion in reserve and one heavy weapons battalion (composed of the 105mm howitzer, 106mm recoilless gun, along with amphibious vehicles (LVT) and various armoured units). Two of the Marine battalions have specialized roles: the Force Reconnaissance (Recon) battalion is used for rapid airlift to troubled areas. This Recon Battalion is also trained in ship-boarding attacks. The Marine Guard battalion is deployed in urban warfare and in defence of installations. The Philippine Marine Corps is also considered the shock force of the Armed Forces and is the first unit to be involved in any amphibious or seaborne clashes.
Poland maintains two marine type forces
Since 1621 the Portuguese Navy has maintained a naval infantry corps, which is currently known as Corpo de Fuzileiros. The Portuguese Marine Corps consists of about 1500 men, including two naval infantry battalions, a naval police unit, a special operations unit and several support units (logistical, fire support, landing craft, etc.).
The 307th Marine Battalion (Batalionul 307 Infanterie Marină) is the light infantry/reconnaissance/special operations unit of the Romanian Navy. It is located in Babadag, Tulcea County, and it was formed in the mid 1970s for the defence of the Danube Delta and Romanian Black Sea shore. Its operational capabilities are the same as those of the United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions, which provided member exchange programmes and instructors to its Romanian counterpart. Its base is near the largest military training range in Romania.
The Russian Naval Infantry, (Russian: Морская пехота) are the amphibious forces of the Russian Armed Forces. The naval infantry includes the 55th Division of the Russian Pacific Fleet, the detached brigades of the Northern and Baltic Fleets and of the Caspian Military Flotilla, and the detached regiment of the Black Sea Fleet. SPUTNIK is the name of the Arctic Ocean Northern Fleet Marine Main Naval Base.
The Saudi Navy maintains two 1500 (approx) man marine brigades consisting of three battalions each. The brigades are assigned to the Western Fleet Headquartered in Jeddah and the Eastern Fleet headquartered in Jubail. The brigades are equipped with 200 Pegaso BMR AFV's and US made HMMWVs.
The South African Navy's new Rapid Reaction Squadron is a marine type unit. It is planned that this squadron will eventually be a battalion sized unit. Currently it consists of roughly two companies. Members are sailors and use Naval ranks. They are trained in infantry combat up to company sized operations. They are also used for crowd control and conduct peacekeeping operations. During peacekeeping operations they are meant to augment and Army infantry battalion. Their role is very similar to the now disbanded South Africa Marine Corps.
The Spanish Navy Marines (Infantería de Marina), are the oldest existing marine force in the world, as they were established on February 27, 1537 by Charles I when he permanently assigned the Compañías Viejas del Mar de Nápoles (Naples Old Sea Companies) to the Escuadras de Galeras del Mediterráneo (Mediterranean Galley Squadrons). Their red trouser stripes mark the Infanteria de Marina as part of the Royal Household Corps, an honor only shared with the Royal Guard, and were given by Charles III to the marines in reward for their fierce defence of the Castillo del Morro in Havana against the British fleet in 1763.
The Swedish Amphibious Corps (Svenska amfibiekåren) is an arm of the Swedish Navy. The Corps is organized in a single battalion, capable of everything from reconnaissance, amphibious assaults, and combat on, over, and under the surface of the sea. The Amphibious Corps wears green berets.
The Turkish Navy maintains several Marine and Special Operations units. These include the Amphibious Marines Brigade (Amfibi Deniz Piyade Tugayı), several commando detachments and two special operations forces:
Ukrainian Marines, founded in 1993 from a unit of the former Soviet Naval Infantry.
The Royal Marines (RM) of the United Kingdom were formed in 1664 and are a part of the Royal Navy. They have the longest infantry training in the world, which stands at 32 weeks for an enlisted recruit and 54 weeks for an officer recruit. They include a commando brigade (3 Commando Brigade RM), a naval security unit responsible for guarding Britain's naval nuclear weapons and other security duties (the Fleet Protection Group RM), a commando training centre, a landing craft and boat-training group which is also a parent unit for three landing craft units deployed on amphibious-support ships, a naval Special Forces unit (the Special Boat Service) and a naval band service (Royal Marines Band Service).
The Uruguayan Marine Corps-FUSNA (Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales) is a battalion-sized organization consisting of four company sized brigades.
The Venezuelan Marine Corps (Infantería de Marina) of Venezuela is a sub-division of the Venezuelan Navy which forms part of the National Armed Forces of the BRV. Headquartered in Meseta de Mamo, Vargas, the estimated numerical strength of this unit is of approx. 8,000 men and women. Its mission is to "enlist and direct its units in order to form the disembarking force and/or support of amphibious or special operations; executing naval safeguarding and environmental policing, as well as actively participating in the national development".
The Vietnam People's Navy maintains a Naval Infantry Force of which not much is known. It once stood at 11 brigades each of several battalions. The first Naval Infantry unit was established in 1975 is 126th Brigade. Nowadays, Vietnam maintains two Naval Infantry brigades, the 101st Brigade and 147th Brigade.
The Roman Navy was known to use marines and naval personnel were trained for raiding and also provided at least two legions (I Adiutrix and II Adiutrix) for service on land. The various provincial fleets were usually provided with marines from the adjacent legions.
The Royal Austrian Marines, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, existed until 1918.
For several centuries, the Byzantine navy used the descendants of the Mardaites, who were settled in southern Anatolia and Greece, as marines and rowers for its ships. Emperor Basil I also established a separate marine regiment, 4,000 strong, for the central Imperial Fleet based at Constantinople. These were professional troops, and were counted among the elite tagmata troops.
In the 1260s, when emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos rebuilt the navy, he recruited the Tzakones (settlers from Laconia) and the Gasmouloi (men of mixed Greek-Latin descent) as special marine troops. Despite the progressive decline and virtual disappearance of the navy, they remained active until the late Palaiologan period.
The corps was founded on 10 December 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War by the unofficial leader of the republic Johan de Witt and Admiral Michiel de Ruyter as the Regiment de Marine. Its leader was Willem Joseph Baron van Ghent. The Dutch had successfully used ordinary soldiers in ships at sea in the First Anglo-Dutch War. It was the fifth European Marine unit formed, being preceded by the Spanish Marines (1537), the Portuguese Marines (1610), the French Marines (1622) and the English Royal Marines (1664). Like Britain, the Netherlands has had several periods when its Marines were disbanded. The Netherlands itself was under French occupation or control from 1810 until 1813. A new Marine unit was raised on 20 March 1801 during the time of the Batavian Republic and on 14 August 1806 the Korps Koninklijke Grenadiers van de Marine was raised under King Louis Bonaparte. The modern Korps Mariniers dates from 1814, receiving its current name in 1817.
The battle honors on the Korps Mariniers' colors are: Raid on the Medway (1667), Kijkduin (1673), Sennefe (1674), Spain, Dogger Bank (1781), West Indies, Algiers (1816), Atjeh, Bali, Rotterdam (1940), Java Sea (1942), Java and Madoera (1947-1948), and New Guinea (1962).
The Confederation of Gran Colombia Marines were formed in 1822 and were disbanded in 1829, Personnel were mostly from Venezuela.
The Ordinary Marine Companies (Compagnies Ordinaires de la Mer) was a French Marine force created in 1622.
Both the Imperial Japanese Navy and Imperial Japanese Army maintained marine type units. Both were dissolved at the end of World War II and Japan no longer has marines.
The role of Ottoman naval infantry originated in Orhan's conquest of the Karasi Beylik and the capture of its fleet. From then on Janissaries and Azaps were sometimes deployed as marines during the 14th Century. The Deniz azaps were used during the 16th Century; while troops called Levend(Bahriyeli) were raised on and off over the centuries - over 50,000 of them by the late 18th century. The last raised units were the Ta'ifat al Ru'sa (corsair captains militia) recruited from among the North African Arabs and indigenous Berbers. Ottoman marines were part of the Ottoman navy.
Portugal raised numerous companies of Special Marines (Fuzileiros Especiais) and African Special Marines (Fuzileiros Especiais Africanos), both at home and in the African colonies of Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique, for service in Africa during the Portuguese Colonial Wars. The African Special Marines were all-black units.
Until Novogorod was annexed by Moscow in the fifteenth century, Novgorod was notorious for its Ushkuiniks. These were irregular marines, the last successors of Viking traditions, and often raided other Russian settlements.
The Imperial Russian Navy used several regiments of marine equipage troops that fought as much on land as they served in ship detachments. One battalion was formed within the Guard, and served on the Imperial family's ships.
The Soviet Navy had a number of small battalion-sized naval infantry and coastal defence units that mostly served in the ports and bases before the Second World War. During the war, and building on the visuals of the mutinied sailors of Petrograd in 1917, the Stavka ordered formation of naval infantry brigades from the surplus to either ship or shore duty sailors, and forty brigades served in mostly ground troops roles until 1944 when they were used for amphibious operations in Norway and along the Black Sea coast.
The South Africa Marine Corps was set up as a sub-branch of the South African Navy in 1979, with the primary purpose of protecting harbours. The Marines were disbanded in 1989, following a major restructuring of the Navy at the end of the South African Border War.
The Spanish Infanteria de Marina were first established under the instructions of Charles I to guard the Spanish Crown's possessions in the Mediterranean. In the following centuries it was used in distant parts of the world with the expansion of the Spanish empire.
Yugoslavia Navy (the entire coast of Yugoslavia was part of a naval region headquartered at Split) maintained the 12th Naval Infantry Brigade (Mornaricka Pesadijska Brigada) near Kotor, a coastal town in Montenegro. The brigade consisted of 900 to 2000 men in three battalions. A multi-ethnic unit, the brigade was broken up during the [[Breakup of Yugoslavia}dissolution of the Yugoslav federation]] and saw little action. The largest remnant moved to Montenegro.