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The United States Marine Corps Portal

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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the U.S. military responsible for providing power projection from the sea, utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces to global crises. Alongside the U.S. Navy, the Marine Corps operates under the United States Department of the Navy.

Originally organized as the Continental Marines on November 10, 1775 as naval infantry, the Marine Corps would evolve its mission with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. Owing to the availability of Marines at sea, the Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict going back to the Revolutionary War. It attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practice of amphibious warfare proved prescient, and ultimately formed a cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. Its ability to rapidly respond to regional crises continues to make it an important body in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.

The Marine Corps, with 193,000 active duty and 40,000 reserve Marines as of April 2008, is the smallest of the United States' armed forces in the Department of Defense (the United States Coast Guard, about one fifth the size of the Marine Corps, is under the Department of Homeland Security). The Corps is nonetheless larger than the entire armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the Israeli Defense Forces.

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Flag of the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.jpg
The personal flag of a four star general, such as the Assistant Commandant.
Credit: National Defense University image

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps is the second highest ranking billet in the Marine Corps, acting as a deputy for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Should the Commandant be unable to perform his duties, the Assistant Commandant will assume those duties and responsibilities. By law, the Assistant Commandant is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate; he also must be a four-star general. The current Assistan Commandant is General James F. Amos.

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Photo credit: Peter Rimar, January 2007. source
Musicians of the United States Marine Band wait to perform.


Charles C. Krulak.jpg

"Sound morals and ethical behavior cannot be established of created in a day, a semester … or a year. They must be institutionalized our character over time. They must become a way of life. They go beyond our individual services and beyond our ranks or positions. They cut to the heart and soul of who we are and what we are and what we must be: men and women of character.

They arm us for the challenges to come and impart to us a sense of wholeness. They unite us in the calling we now know as the profession of arms. Of all the moral and ethical guideposts that we have been brought up to recognize, the one that, for me, stands above the rest. The one that I have kept in the forefront of my mind . . . is integrity."

— General Charles C. Krulak, USMC (Retired), January 27, 2000

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James L. Jones 2.jpg

General James L. Jones, Jr., a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, is President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor.

Jones, the son of a decorated World War II U.S. Marine Corps officer, was raised in France. He returned to the U.S. for his college education at Georgetown University, where 6 foot 4 inch (1.93 m) tall Jones was a forward for the Hoyas' basketball team. He was commissioned an officer in the Marine Corps in 1967, deploying to Vietnam the same year.

In 1979, then-Major (O-4) Jones was a Marine Corps liaison to the U.S. Senate, reporting to U.S. Navy Captain (O-6) John McCain.

General Jones served as the 32nd Commandant from 1999 to 2003, followed by three years as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe for NATO. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2007.

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More USMC-related news can be found at or Marine Corps Times.

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