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.

 

ROLES WITHIN COMBAT LOGISTICS

There are more Marines who serve in supporting military occupational specialties than Marines who engage in direct combat with the enemy. Many of these Marines call the Logistics Combat Element home and provide the essential supplies, services and communication that keep the Marine Air-Ground Task Force ready for any mission. Without our mechanics, small arms technicians, supply chiefs or dozens of other LCE roles, no boot ever hits the ground. Learn more about the hundreds of roles that support our missions.

Strategy and tactics provide the scheme for the conduct of military operations, logistics the means therefore.

Lt. Col. George C. Thorpe, USMC

A VITAL ELEMENT OF READINESS

The Marine Corps could not be the expeditionary force in readiness our nation requires without the self-sufficiency our Logistics Combat Element (LCE) provides. The capabilities that the LCE offers are essential to our ability to rapidly deploy and remain flexible on the battlefield—without which we would not be known as "First to Fight." Without the support from Marines in the LCE, the success of our missions would be jeopardized.

THE RED PATCH

Combat Logistics Marines attached to Landing Support Platoons are in charge of supplying Marines ashore during amphibious landings and wear a distinguishable patch on their utility uniforms. Their first usage dating back to the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, the red patches were clearly visible on the trousers and covers (military hats) of combat utility uniforms and were designed to distinguish Landing Support Marines from follow-on forces during ship-to-shore operations. In the midst of the confusion that can be present during a beach landing, these patches made it clear which Marines were to provide support and which were to push forward.  Today the red patches are worn by Marines in the Landing Support Specialist and Traffic Management Specialist Military Occupational Specialties. These Marines are responsible for directing helicopters in and out of landing zones, erecting beach markers and securing external loads for transport by Marine aircraft.