Structure

The capabilities we offer our nation in response to global conflicts are as distinct as they are decisive.
It is our flexible organizational structure that enables Marines to provide rapid, powerful and sustainable
response on a global scale. Ship-to-shore, air-to-ground, door-to-door—there isn't a force more capable
of facing down the threats of our time.

 

There are 42 Occupational Fields but 19% of Marines are in just one: Infantry.

GROUND COMBAT TRAINING

Training is an integral part of our ability to go anywhere, take on any adversary—and win. Marine Corps units train as they expect to fight. This philosophy provides the Marine Corps with an undeniable edge in combat operations. In combat, Marines must exploit every advantage over an opponent to ensure a successful outcome. Part of this training includes the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP), which trains all Marines to use their fighting skills when no other weapons are available.

ROLES ON THE GROUND

Examples of Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) in the Ground Combat Element include:
INFANTRY – rifleman, light armored vehicle crewman, mortarman, machine gunner, anti-tank missileman
ARMOR – tank crewman, amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) crewman
ARTILLERY – field artillery radar operator, field artillery cannoneer, field artillery fire control man
Learn more about the many roles in the Corps.

OWNING THE BATTLEFIELD

For more than two centuries, the ground combat units of the Marine Corps have asserted combat power and established battlefield dominance. Today, these units find their home in the Ground Combat Element (GCE) of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). The mainstay of the GCE is the infantry, but every Marine on the ground is ably supported by artillery, amphibious assault vehicles, tanks and combat engineers. The only element of the MAGTF that can seize and occupy terrain, the GCE varies in size and composition from a rifle platoon to one or more Marine divisions.

THE GROUND WARRIOR

The very nature of war makes certainty impossible, so every Marine must train relentlessly to be superior in both body and mind. As in life, success on the battlefield depends on the ability to adapt quickly to constantly evolving conditions. Today's Marines are engaged in operations across the full spectrum of conflict—from humanitarian assistance to combat. Often, Marines must make split-second decisions because the success of the mission depends on their actions. To make the right decision, Marines must understand all of the combat techniques available to them.

"I AM INCLINED TO THINK THERE IS NO MILITARY BODY IN OUR COUNTRY OF HIGHER EFFICIENCY THAN THE MARINE CORPS. OF COURSE THEIR PROBLEMS ARE SIMPLER THAN OURS. THEIR ESPRIT DE CORPS IS VERY HIGH; THEY TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN THEIR PROFESSIONALISM. THEY NEVER LET THINGS SLACK A BIT."

RAdm C. M. Winslow, before the House Committee on Naval Affairs in 1916

GROUND EQUIPMENT

The Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) we use to transport combat-loaded Marines from ship to shore in a hostile environment are the same that we use to get supplies and aid to a disaster area. Regardless of the mission, Marines have the equipment to achieve success on the ground. Learn more about all Marine Corps equipment.