Difference between USMC and Army infantry?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Strength and Honor, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    I've looked at multiple posts on the subject, and everyone says the same thing: "They are similar but have different missions."

    Honestly in today's military, is there really a difference in the missions of the two branches Infantry-wise? It seems like in Afghanistan, both branches patrol, set up COPs, and support the Afghans. How does this make their missions any different in the 21st century?

    I realize the Marines were created for maritime and amphibious warfare, but would the Marines really be the first to land in a modern day conflict?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Whether they would be first depends on the situation. Keep in mind the Marines are something of a self contained force with their own air and armor still making them preferable in many ways even when not going in from the sea. Also, we still maintain amphibious groups of Marines ready to respond from the sea. It's still their mission and certainly a, if not the, focus of their training. As a Marine you will undoubtedly spend several months at sea as part of one of these groups, perhaps multiple times. (My DS is doing so as his summer cruise this year). If we are successful in refocusing in the Pacific I expect even more emphasis on this. Also, should a conflict with Iran arise, it's not clear to me we would attempt to invade the country, but might instead focus on the security of the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. (Even if we invade this would probably be the first mission). There are several strategically located islands with existing airfields that might help in this... an ideal assignment for the Marines. So the answer to your question is yes, their missions really are different even in the 21st century.

    I wouldn't say Iraq and Afghanistan were aberrant activities, but instead represented an opportunity to gain combat experience, if nothing else. And of course, there was certainly much else involved. Marines fought on the western front in WWI but it didn't prevent the return to their primary mission in WWII.
     
  3. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Well if the Marine infantry is for amphibious assault still, what is the Army infantry for? Just defending what the Marines secured? I guess I'm thinking from a Mech Infantry standpoint, what would be their role in a war with Iran (hypothetical)?
     
  4. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    The Marines aren't necessarily the first ones in, contrary to popular belief. Army is bigger than the Corps, keep in mind, so they have more troops in combat and so on and so forth.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You're thinking of this all wrong IMHO. Think of it like carpentry tools. You always try to use the right tool for the job if you have it. That tool has been forged to do that job best. But it doesn't mean the tool can't do other jobs. I can always drive a screw with a hammer if I need to. Or I can remove a staple with a screw driver if I have to. You try to match up what you have available to the mission. Same in the military except you're working under time and logistical constraints and someone may have borrowed your tool to do some work on their home. It's not a perfect world an certainly war isn't.

    What YOU need to think about is what do you want to do. Do you want to serve as part of a MAGTF and cruise the ocean for months? Or do you want to keep your feet dry? Etc etc.
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    To close with and destroy the enemy.

    I think you need to look back at the last four or five wars for some perspective.
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I think you are mixing tasks, missions, and roles.

    Patrol, ground attacks, and etc are tasks. So either Army or Marines Infantry units can accomplish those tasks.

    The next level might be amphibious landing. If there is a need, the Marines will be tasked first, if not whoever is available. I don't know the answer, does anyone know any US Marines participated in the Normandy landing?

    The next level is what roles do Marines have in our national defense?
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Difference between the USMC and Army infantry?

    In my experience, the Army gets better equipment, better chow, better duty assignments and faster promotions. :smile:

    In regards to mission, I recommend researching Title 10 of the US Code
    http://uscode.house.gov/download/title_10.shtml
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    No, they did not participate in the landing force. And there were numerous Army amphibious landings in the European, North African, and Pacific Theater (Operation Torch, Operation Dragoon, Operation Husky, Operation Shingle, Operation Iceberg, and others). The idea that one service does one mission isn't true. The Marines are certainly better at it, as its a METL task for them and they have the equipment.

    1. The "Marines get hand-me-down equipment" myth started dying ten years ago. Marines have the newest, coolest stuff out there now. See also the "Gruntworks."

    2. Better chow? An MRE is an MRE, sarge. :thumbdown:

    3. Better duty assignments? Korea? Fort Polk? Fort Wainwright? Fort Drum? Fayetteville? Kansas? NTC? Which of these cherry assignments can I interest you in today? :smile:

    4. True. You guys don't promote for ****.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  10. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Scout,

    To be clear, I qualified my comment with "in my experience" which goes back to the late 1970's and early 1980's.

    At that time, the USMC was still using ancient .45's, M16A1, steel pots, ceramic plate flak jackets, etc. The Army had the Baretta, M16A2 and the new kevlar helmets and flak jackets.

    We loved training at Army bases where we got hot chow in the field rather than C-Rats (not MRE's)

    Besides, in the end... I was engaging in some fun banter. My real purpose in posting was to provide the OP with some direction to research branch missions.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Don't worry, I was just pokin' ya back.

    Anyone who's used the M9 would be much happier to have those 1911s! The Army had to use the M9 because NATO STANAG required 9mm parabellum as a sidearm, iirc.

    Either way, feel good. I thought you were much younger! I think the Marines may have a reckoning coming, equipment-wise.
     
  12. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Old enough to talk about "the old Corps!"

    Of course, that tradition starts as soon as the next class graduates from boot camp or TBS!!

    Thanks!
     
  13. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Well it's true that the Army uses the M4, while the Marines use the M16A4, right? However I will say that the Marines have the best dress blues and cammies.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    And that's the only reason you need to go USMC!!! :rolleyes: :thumb:

    And the midshipmen have some great summer whites!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Okay I'll be honest Kinnem: I'm more interested in the Army because the USMC seems ultra-crazy-competitive! It seems impossible to get an NROTC-MO scholarship, and even more impossible to get a PLC slot if NROTC doesn't work out. But if I was enlisting, I'd go Marines.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Makes sense. You're correct that it's difficult to get a scholarship. OTOH you could always apply to both and see what pops out. Good luck in any case! :thumb:

    EDIT: And since you're aware of PLC you have certainly done your research on it!!! Good for you!
     

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