The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States armed forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces and is one of seven uniformed services. Administratively within the Department of the Navy, operationally the U.S. Marine Corps acts as a separate branch of the military, often working closely with US Naval forces for training, transportation, and logistic purposes.

Seal of the United States Marine Corps


Marine Expeditionary UnitsEdit

The USMC has 12 Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU's) which are the principle amphibious assault forces of the USMC. It consists of a Ground Combat Element, Aviation Combat Element, Logistics Combat Element, and a Command Element.

MEU's are organised with Amphibious Assault Ships, other amphibious ships, and warships to form an Amphibious Strike Group. With its six Harriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and supply ships, the ASG possesses all the combat power needed to launch strikes at land targets, including the ability to interdict enemy forces using Harriers and Tomahawk missiles.

Ground Combat ElementEdit

The Ground Combat Element (GCE) is based around the Battalion Landing Team (BLT), an infantry battalion reinforced with an artillery battery, Amphibious Assault Vehicle platoon, combat engineer platoon, light armored reconnaissance company, tank platoon, reconnaissance platoon, air defence platoon, anti-tank platoon, and other units as the mission and circumstances require. The total strength is approximately 1,200 members.

It has the following equipment:

  • 4 M1A1 Abrams
  • 12 M8 Buford
  • 16 LAV-25
  • 16 AAV-7
  • 6 155mm howitzer: M198 or M777
  • 4 M142 HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
  • 8 M252 81mm mortar
  • 8 BGM-71 TOW
  • 8 FGM-148 Javelin
  • 8 FIM-92 Stinger
  • 3 HUMRAAM launchers
  • 1 HUMRAAM Fire Distribution Center
  • 1 HUMRAAM Remote Terminal Unit
  • 1 AN/MPQ-64 Radar

Extra units can be added depending on the situation.

Aviation Combat ElementEdit

The Aviation Combat Element (ACE) is a Marine Composite Squadron (Reinforced) composed of a Medium/Heavy Helicopter Squadron augmented with three other types of helicopters, one detachment of amphibious flight-deck-capable jets, and a Marine Air Control Group Detachment with air traffic control, direct air support, and anti-aircraft assets.

It has the following aircraft:

Role Aircraft Number
STOVL Strike Fighter McDonnell Douglas A2H-3 Harrier II Plus 6
Attack Helicopter Bell HAL-3/4 SuperCobra 6
Utility Helicopter Bell HU2L-2 TwinHuey 4
Assault Helicopter Boeing HRB-3 Sea Knight 15
Heavy-lift Helicopter Sikorsky HR4S-3 Super Stallion 9
Tanker/Transport Aircraft Lockheed Martin KC-130T Hercules 2

The planned ACE will have the following aircraft

Role Aircraft Number
STOVL Strike Fighter Lockheed Martin F3V-1 Lightning II 6
Attack Helicopter Bell HAL-4 Viper 6
Utility Helicopter Bell HU2L-3 Venom 4
Assault Helicopter Sikorsky HU3S-3 Knighthawk 16
MEDEVAC Helicopter Sikorsky HU3S-3Q Black Hawk 1
Electronic Warfare Helicopter Sikorsky HU3S-3E Black Hawk 1
Heavy-lift Helicopter Sikorsky HR4S-4 Super Stallion 9
Tanker/Transport Aircraft Lockheed Martin GV-5 Hercules 2

Logistics Combat ElementEdit

The Logistics Combat Element (LCE) (formerly Combat Service Support Element or CSSE) contains all the logistics specialists and equipment necessary for the unit to support itself for 15 days in an austere expeditionary environment. It includes service support, medical, dental, maintenance, transportation, explosive ordinance disposal, military police, utilities production and distribution, bulk fuels, and other technical experts. It consists of approximately 300 Marines and sailors. This element is occasionally referred to as the MEU Service Support Group (MSSG).

Command ElementEdit

The Command Element (CE), which includes the MEU commander and his supporting staff, provides command and control over the other three elements. It includes specialized detachments for naval gunfire, reconnaissance, surveillance, specialized communications, radio reconnaissance (SIGINT), electronic warfare, intelligence and counterintelligence, and public affairs missions. The overall strength is about 200 Marines and sailors.

Marine Aviation UnitsEdit

Separate from the MEU's are squadrons operating F/A-18 Hornets, AV-8B Harriers, EA-6B Prowlers, KC-130 Hercules, and all other USMC aircraft not allocated to MEU's.

Marine Ground UnitsEdit

Separate from the MEU's are various unattached units, particularly armour and artillery. These can be attached to MEU's as required, or provide personnel to replace losses in MEU's.

Special OperationsEdit

  • MCSOCOM Detachment One
    • 2 Marine Special Operations Battalions (MSOB)
    • Marine Special Operations Support Group (MSOSG)
    • Marine Special Operations Advisor Group (MSOAG)
    • Marine Special Operations School (MSOS)
  • Marine Force Recon
  • Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team

Marine Corps Security GuardEdit

Marine Security Guards, also known as the MSG or Marine Embassy Guards, are a battalion of U.S. Marines that are posted at American Embassies, American Consulates and other official United States Government offices such as the US Interests Section, located in Havana, Cuba, the U.S. Office, located in Pristina, Kosovo, or the United States Mission to NATO located in Brussels, Belgium. Modern use of Marine Security Guards at Embassies started in 1948.


Small ArmsEdit


  • M9 9mm pistol [1]
  • M11 9mm pistol [2]
  • Mk 23 Mod 0 .45 ACP pistol (Para-Ordnance P-14-45 Special Forces)
  • Wilson Combat CQB .45 ACP pistol (Special Forces)
  • MEUSOC .45 cal pistol

Submachine GunsEdit

  • Colt RO635 9mm submachine gun


  • M16A2/A4 5.56mm rifle
    • USMC Squad Advanced Marksman Rifle (SAM-R)
  • M14 7.62mm rifle
    • USMC Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR)
  • M1 Garand Rifle .30'06 rifle (USMC Silent Drill Platoon)


  • M4/M4A1 Carbine 5.56mm carbine
  • Mk 18 Mod 0 CQBR 5.56mm carbine (Special Forces)
  • Colt Model 723/725/727 5.56mm carbine (Special Forces)

Machine GunsEdit

  • M249 5.56 mm Squad Automatic Weapon
  • M240G 7.62 mm Medium Machine Gun
  • M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun
  • M60E3 7.62 mm Machine Gun (Special Operations)

Sniper RiflesEdit

  • M40 7.62mm sniper rifle
  • Mk 11 Mod 0 7.62mm sniper rifle
  • M82 .50 BMG sniper rifle
  • M107 .50 BMG sniper rifle


  • Mossberg 500 & 590 12 gauge shotgun
  • KAC Masterkey 12 gauge shotgun (Special Forces)
  • Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun

Heavy WeaponsEdit

  • M203A1/A2 40mm grenade launcher
  • M32 40mm Multiple Grenade Launcher
  • M3 MAAWS 84mm recoilless rifle
  • M72 66mm rocket launcher
  • M136 AT4 84mm disposable rocket launcher
  • Mk 153 Mod 0 SMAW 83mm rocket launcher
  • M202A1 Flash (Flame Assault Shoulder Weapon)
  • FGM-172 SRAW anti tank missile
  • FGM-148 Javelin anti tank missile
  • FGM-153 Spike assault missile [3];[4]
  • FIM-92 Stinger surface to air missile

Combat VehiclesEdit


  • M1 Abrams
    • M1A1 AIM
    • M1 Grizzly Engineer Vehicle
    • M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge [5]
    • M105 Abrams Recovery Vehicle [6]
  • M8 Buford

Personnel CarriersEdit

  • AAV-7A1 Amphibious Assault Vehicle
    • AAVC-7A1 Amphibious Command Vehicle
    • AAVR-7A1 Amphibious Recovery Vehicle
  • LAV-25
    • LAV-25 armament/reconnaissance vehicle
    • LAV-AT anti-tank TOW carrier
    • LAV-AD air defence vehicle
    • LAV-M mortar carrier
    • LAV-R recovery
    • LAV-C2 command and control
    • LAV-L logistics cargo carrier

Light Combat VehiclesEdit

  • M1097 Avenger Air Defense System
  • M1099 HUMRAAM Air Defence System
  • Interim Fast Attack Vehicle
  • M44 E-FOGM Launch Unit [7]

Support/Engineering VehicleEdit

  • M93 Fox CBRN Reconnaissance vehicle
  • M9 Armored Combat Earthmover
  • M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge
  • M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicle



  • M224 60 mm mortar
  • M252 81 mm mortar


  • M198 (155 mm Towed Howitzer)
  • M777 (155 mm Towed Howitzer)

Rocket ArtilleryEdit

  • M142 HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
    • M26 Rocket
      • M26A1
      • M26A2
    • M29 Rocket with Sense and Destroy Armor (SADARM)
    • M30 Guided MLRS (GMLRS)
    • M31 Guided MLRS (GMLRS)

Air DefenceEdit

  • FIM-92 Stinger
  • AIM-120 AMRAAM


  • M40 (106mm Recoilless Rifle)
  • FGM-172 SRAW
  • FGM-148 Javelin
  • BGM-71 TOW
  • MGM-157 EFOGM


  • Bell AH-1W SuperCobra
  • Bell AH-1Z Viper
  • Bell UH-1N TwinHuey
  • Bell UH-1Y Venom
  • Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight
  • Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk
  • Sikorsky CH-53D Sea Stallion
  • Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion
  • Sikorsky CH-53K Super Stallion
  • Sikorsky VH-3 Sea King
  • Sikorsky VH-60 White Hawk
720px-Cobra flight

AH-1W SuperCobra in flight

800px-AH-1Z HMLA-303 in flight 2008

The new AH-1Z Viper, the latest iteration of a 45 year old design

800px-Uh-1n takeoff

UH-1N TwinHuey


UH-1Y on trials on the USS Bataan. This is the latest variant of the beloved "Huey"

CH-46 Sea Knight on USS Saipan

CH-46 Sea Knight, the USMC's assault helicopter for 46 years


MH-60S Knighthawk, the replacement for the CH-46

800px-CH-53D Sea Stallion

2 CH-53Ds approach a landing site

CH-53 Super Stallion

CH-53E Super Stallions lift off

AIR CH-53K Concept lg

Artist's impression of the CH-53K

Marine One Whitehouse

VH-3 Sea King taking off from the White House lawn. The VH-3 is normally Marine One

800px-VH-60 Marine One

The VH-60 White Hawk, which occasionally serves as Marine One. These are wholly based on Army UH-60s, unlike the MH-60S used as an assault helicopter which is a hybrid.

Fixed Wing AircraftEdit

  • McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet
  • McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornet
  • McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II Plus
  • Grumman EA-6B Prowler
  • Lockheed KC-130T Hercules
  • Lockheed Martin FC-130J Hercules
  • McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II
  • Beech C-12 Huron
  • Cessna UC-35 Encore
  • Gulfstream C-20 Gulfstream IV
800px-USMC FA-18 Hornet

US Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet

800px-F-A-18A- Hornet)

F/A-18A Hornet launching from the USS Harry S. Truman


AV-8B Harrier II Plus taking off from USS Nassau

800px-VMAQ-2 jet over Iraq in 2004

USMC EA-6B Prowler support jammer

800px-VMGR152 KC130 060616-M-9881Y-003low

3 KC-130T Hercules refueling 4 F/A-18s


KC-130J Hercules, part of the re-equipment of USMC aviation

P1010226 e

C-9B Skytrain II

800px-USMC C-12

USMC C-12 Huron, the C-12 is the military version of the Beech King Air. The King Air is used by all US armed services (Navy T-44s train USCG pilots)


UC-35 Encore, the military version of the Cessna Citation

800px-USMC C-20

USMC Gulfstream VIP transport

Unmanned Aerial VehiclesEdit

  • RQ-7 Shadow
  • RQ-11 Raven
  • Boeing ScanEagle

Support VehiclesEdit

  • HMMWV series
  • Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement MTVR series
  • Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) series
  • Logistics Vehicle System LVS series
  • M3 Amphibious Bridge
  • Improved Ribbon Bridge
  • LARC-V
  • LARC-15
  • LARC-60
  • GKN Aquatrack

Rank InsigniaEdit


Warrant OfficersEdit

Enlisted MenEdit


PlateI Officer Service Uniform
PlateII Enlisted Service Uniform
Service Uniforms
PlateIII Officer Dress Uniform
PlateIV Enlisted Dress Uniform
PlateV Evening Dress
Ceremonial, Band and Mess Dress Uniforms
1801-PC BIG 3clrbdu
Battle Dress Uniforms
5630 5634
USMC BDU covers

Organizational Flight Uniforms


Colours of the United States Marine Corps