Marine Corps Enlisted Emblem General Marine Corps Information Marine Corps Officer Emblem

Secretary of the Navy, Commandant, Assistant Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps


Marine Corps Officer and Enlisted Rank Structure
Marine Corps Enlisted Rank
Click on chevron below for information
Marine Corps Private E-1
Marine Corps Private First Class E-2
Private First Class
Marine Corps Lance Corporal E-3
Lance Corporal
Marine Corps Corporal E-4
Marine Corps Sergeant E-5
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant E-6
Staff Sergeant
Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant E-7
Gunnery Sergeant
Marine Corps Master Sergeant E-8
Master Sergeant
Marine Corps First Sergeant E-8
First Sergeant
Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant E-9
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Marine Corps Sergeant Major E-9
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major Of The Marine Corps E-9
Sergeant Major Of The Marine Corps
Marine Corps Officer Rank
Marine Corps Second Lieutenant O-1
Second Lieutenant
Marine Corps First Lieutenant O-2
First Lieutenant
Marine Corps Captain O-3
Marine Corps Major O-4
Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel O-5
Lieutenant Colonel
Marine Corps Colonel O-6
Marine Corps Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Marine Corps Major General
Major General
Marine Corps Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Marine Corps General
Marine Corps Warrant Officer Rank
Marine Corps Warrant Officer W-1
Warrant Officer
Marine Corps Cief Warrant Officer W-2
Chief Warrant Officer 2
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer W-3
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer W-4
Chief Warrant Officer 4
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer W-5
Chief Warrant Officer 5

Old USMC Rank

Walking John – Name for Sergeants, wearing dress blues, who appear on recruiting posters.

782 Gear – This is the individual combat equipment issued to Marine officers and men; it is so called because of the designation of the receipt forms employed.

The President's Own – Official name of the Marine Band.

Number of Marines in a Marine Expeditionary Force - 47,000, a Division - 16,000, a Brigade - between 4,000 and 16,000, a Regiment - 2,250, a Unit - 2,200, a Battalion - 750, a Company/Battery - 150, a Platoon - 42, a Squad - 13 and a Fire Team - 4.

Mission of Marine Corps Rifle Squad – To locate, close with, and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver, and to repel the enemy assault through fire and close combat.

Here is the typical organization for Marine Corps infantry units:

Fire team:
four Marines; team leader, automatic rifleman, assistant automatic rifleman, and rifleman.

Infantry Squad: three fire teams and a corporal or sergeant as squad leader.

Rifle Platoon: three squads, a Navy corpsman, a platoon sergeant (staff sergeant), and a lieutenant as platoon commander.

Weapons Platoon: a 60mm mortar section, an assault section, a medium machinegun section, a Navy corpsman, a platoon sergeant (gunnery sergeant), and a lieutenant as platoon commander.

Rifle Company, Weapons Company or Headquarters and Support Company: three rifle platoons, a weapons platoon, a Navy corpsman, a administrative clerk, a training NCO, a company gunnery sergeant, first sergeant, a first lieutenant as executive officer, and captain as commander.

Infantry Battalion: three or four companies, commanded by a lieutenant colonel.

Infantry Regiment: three or four battalions, commanded by a colonel.

Brigade: uncommon in the Marine Corps, but typically made up of one or more regiments and commanded by a brigadier general

Division: three or four regiments, officers and others, commanded by a major general.

Battalions and larger units have a sergeant major, and an executive officer as second in command, plus officers and others for: Administration (S-1), Intelligence (S-2), Operations (S-3), Logistics (S-4), Civil Affairs [wartime only] (S-5), and Communications (S-6).

There are four Marine divisions:
the First in Camp Pendleton, California;
the Second in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina;
the Third in Camp Smedley Butler in Okinawa, Japan; and
the Fourth is a reserve unit headquarted in New Orleans, Louisiana, with units scattered throughout the continental United States.

In World War II, two more Marine Divisions were formed: the Fifth and Sixth, which fought in the Pacific War. These divisions were disbanded after the end of the war.

Typical aviation units are squadron, group and wing.

There are four Marine aircraft wings:
the First in Okinawa, Japan;
the Second in Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina;
the Third at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California; and
the Fourth, a reserve unit.

There are also four Force Service Support Groups:
the First in Camp Pendleton, California;
the Second in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina;
the Third in Okinawa, Japan;
and the Fourth in New Orleans.

Air-ground task forces:
The Marine Corps organization is flexible, and task forces can be formed of any size. Modern deployed Marine units are based upon the doctrine of the Marine air-ground task force, or MAGTF. A MAGTF can generally be of any of three sizes, based upon the amount of force required in the given situation; however, all MAGTFs have a similar organization.

A MAGTF is comprised of four elements: the command element (CE), the ground combat element (GCE), the air combat element (ACE) and the combat service support element (CSSE).

Command element - A headquarters unit that directs the other elements
Ground combat element - Usually infantry, supported by armor (tanks), and artillery, but including special units such as scouts or Force Reconnaissance, snipers and forward air controllers.
Air combat element - The total airpower strength of the MAGTF, the ACE includes all aerial vehicles (both fixed wing and helicopter), their pilots and maintenance personnel.
Combat service support element - This element includes all of the support units for the MAGTF: communications, combat engineers, motor transport, medical and supply units, and certain specialized groups such as air delivery and landing support teams.

The smallest type of MAGTF is the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The MEU is trained to operated as an independant force or as part of a Joint Task Force. Four elements make up a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable): The Command Element is the standing headquarters for the MEU, usually headed by a Colonel (O-6). The Ground Combat Element is a Battalion Landing Team; an infantry battalion reinforced with tanks, artillery, engineers, amphibious vehicles, light armored vehicles, and other ground combat assets. The Aviation Combat Element is made up of a composite squadron of both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. The Combat Service Support Element consists of a MEU Service Support Group which handles the logistics and administration needs of the MEU. The specific makeup of the MEU can be customized based upon the task at hand; additional artillery, armor, or air units can be attached, including squadrons of F/A-18 Hornet and Harrier jets.

There are usually three MEUs assigned to each of the U.S. Navy Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, with another MEU based on Okinawa. While one MEU is on deployment, one MEU is training to deploy and one is standing down, resting its Marines, and refitting. Each MEU is rated as capable of performing special operations.

A Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) is larger than a MEU, and is based upon a Marine regiment, with larger air and support contingents.

A Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), as deployed in Iraq in 2003, comprises a Marine division with an artillery regiment, several tank battalions, several LAV battalions, as well as an air wing. The I Marine Expeditionary Force as deployed in the Persian Gulf War ultimately consisted of the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions as well as considerable Marine air and support units.

Marine History:

Most Decorated Marine –Chesty Puller (5 Navy Crosses), retired as Lt. General

First Marine Aviator to win the Medal of Honor –  Cpt. Hank Elrod

Only Enlisted Marine to receive two Medals of Honor – Gunnery Sgt. Dan Daly, who was the Marine who said "Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?!" at Belleau Wood

Only Marine Officer to receive two Medals of Honor – Smedley Butler, retired as Major General

Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps – Archibald Henderson (Why? 39 years as Commandant 1820–1859)

First Marine Aviator – Lt. Alfred A Cunningham (5th Naval Aviator)

Iron Mike – The nickname bestowed on the statue of the World War I Marine, located in front of the old post headquarters, now the Marine Corps Museum, in Quantico.

Fourragere – This is the senior unit award, and the first collective award won by Marines.  It was awarded to the 4th Marine Brigade in 1918, in lieu of awarding all hands the Croix de Guerre.  The green and scarlet of the Fourragere may still be seen on the left shoulders of the 5th and 6th Marines.

Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful – This is the motto of the Marine Corps.  That Marines have lived up to this motto is proven by the fact that there has never been a mutiny in the Corps.  This is also the title of the Marine's March, composed by John Phillip Sousa, in 1888m during his tour with the Marine Band.

Marine Colors – The colors scarlet and gold were made the official colors of the Marine Corps by General John A. Lejeune, the 13th Commandant.  The color forest green is considered the unofficial color of the Corps.

Globe and Anchor – The Marine Emblem dates from 1868.  It was contributed to the Corps by Brigadier General Jacob Zeilen, 7th Commandant.  Until 1840, Marines wore various devices, mainly based on the eagle or foul anchor.  In 1868, General Zeilen felt a distinctive emblem was needed.  The decided on device was borrowed from the British Marines: the globe.  The globe had been conferred on the Royal Marines by King George IV.  Because it was impossible to show all of the Royal Marines honors on their colors, said the king, "the great globe itself" was to be their emblem, because they had won honor everywhere.  The Western Hemisphere is displayed on the globe of the US Marines.  The eagle and foul anchor leave no doubt that the Corps is both American and Maritime.

Quatrefoil – The cross shaped braid atop the barracks covers of the Marine Officers.  The braid is of French origin, and has been worn ever since 1859.  It is said to have been first used to allow the Marines in the masts of ships to distinguish their officers from the sailors during a sea battle.

The Canton Bell – This was won by the Royal Marines during the battle of the Canton forts in China.  It originally occupied an honored spot at the Royal Marines Barracks at Chatham, and when the barracks was decommissioned after World War II, the bell was given to the US Marines, as a symbol of the comradeship between the two Corps.

Mameluke Sword – This is the name of the sword carried by Marine officers.  It dates back to before 1812.  It gets its name from the cross hilt and ivory grip.  Lt. Presley O'Bannon is said to have won the sword from the Governor of Derne, Tripoli.

The Scarlet Trouser Stripe – Blood Stripe – The scarlet stripe worn on the blue trousers of officers (width 1 1/2 inches) and NCO's (width 1 1/8 inches) is said to represent the bloody battle for Chapultec Castle, at Vera Cruz, in Mexico, in 1847.

Belleau Wood – (June, 1918) Up until that time, this battle was considered the greatest battle in the history of the Marine Corps.  The stocks of Rifles carried by Marines are occasionally said to be made of Belleau Wood.

Women Marines – First established in August, 1918, and nicknamed the "Marinettes."  When disbanded after World War I, many of the women stayed on in civilan status, and later filled many important managerial positions.  Re–established in February, 1943, as the Women Reserves.  In November, 1948, permanently organized as the Women Marines.

Marine Corps Birthday – 10 November, 1775

Marine Corps Birthplace – Tun's Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Marines' Hymn:

From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles, in the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.
Our flag's unfurled in every breeze, from dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far off northern lands, and in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job, The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life, and never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy, ever look on heaven's scene;
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

The Springfield Rifle:

Nomenclature – US Rifle, caliber 30, model 190A3 is a demilitarized, magazine fed, manually operated, air cooled, bolt action, shoulder weapon.

Ten Rifle Characteristics:

Clip – 5 rounds
Cooling – Air
Muzzle Velocity – 2700 ft/s
Maximum Effective Range – 600 yds
Maximum Range – 3500 yds
Chamber Pressure – 50,000 psi
Bore Diameter – .308 in
Barrel Length – 24 in
Overall Length – 3 ft 7 1/2 in (43.5 in)
Maximum Effective Rate of Fire – Number of well aimed rounds per minute

History of the Model 1903:

    The Model 1903 A1, A3 standard service rifle was the culmination of the development of a weapon which was conceived during the Spanish–American War.  The 7mmm Mauser Rifle, carried by the Spanish, was much more effective and efficient than the .30–.40 Krags and the .45–.70 trapdoor Springfields, which were carried by the Americans.  First tested in combat during World War I, the Springfield was the standard Marine Infantry weapon until after the battle of Guadalcanal, in 1942.  The Model 1903 Mark 1 rifle was brought into existence due to the invention of a device which converted the standard service rifle into a  semi–automatic weapon.  This device, named after its inventor, J.D. Peterson, consisted of a replacement assembly for the standard service bolt, and a 40 round magazine which, when installed, fitted above and at a  45 degree to the right of the receiver group of the weapon.  Due to the energy required to work the device, a fired round had a muzzle energy of only 1/8th that of the standard service weapon, and thus less velocity and impact; but the Peterson Device was enthusiastically accepted nonetheless due to the weapon's highly increased firepower.  Additionally, it was felt that the weapons effective range was still up to 500 yards for a positive kill.

Weights of 1903A3 Springfield Rifle:

Unloaded – 9.2 lbs.
Loaded – 9.8 lbs.
Unloaded, with bayonet – 10.2 lbs.
Loaded, with bayonet – 10.8 lbs.

Cycle of Operations for 1903A3 Springfield Rifle:

1. Feeding
2. Chambering
3. Locking
4. Firing
5. Unlocking
6. Extraction
7. Ejection
8. Cooling

The M16A2 Rifle:

Nomenclature – The M16A2 is a lightweight, gas–operated, air–cooled, magazine–fed, shoulder–fired weapons that can be fired either in automatic, three–round bursts, or semiautomatic single shots.

Thirteen Rifle Characteristics:

Manufacturer: Colt Manufacturing and Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc.
Length: 39.63 inches (100.66 centimeters)
Weight, with 30 round magazine: 8.79 pounds (3.99 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 5.56mm (.233 inches)
Maximum effective range:
   Area target: 2,624.8 feet (800 meters)
   Point target: 1,804.5 feet (550 meters)
Maximum Range – 3534 meters
Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
Chamber Pressure – 52,000 psi
Rate of fire:
   Cyclic: 800 rounds per minute
   Sustained: 12–15 rounds per minute
   Semiautomatic: 45 rounds per minute
   Burst: 90 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Unit Replacement Cost: $586
Type of Grenade Launcher – M203
Type of Bayonet – M7

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