Roles in the Corps

There are hundreds of ways to serve, and every Marine trains in an area of expertise that contributes to the success of our missions.
Whatever their expertise or field of training, Marines are ready to transition from mission to mission at a moment's notice.


Marines in the Communications field design, install, connect and operate the networks and information systems the Marine Corps relies on. Communications Marines are dispersed throughout the entire MAGTF and support units in each of the four elements.

Initial Training

After recruit training, Marines in this field will attend Communications Systems Training at Twentynine Palms, CA.

Within the MEU

Communications Marines accompany ground forces on every mission as specialists, responsible for ensuring the flow of information throughout the mission.

In the Fleet, they prepare communications plans, operate and maintain information systems, and operate equipment such as radios, computer networks and cryptography protocol.

In addition, each element's staff includes a Communications section that coordinates and operates the overall systems and operations for the unit.

Specialties in Communications include:
  • Field Radio Operator: Sets up and operates all radio equipment used in a field mission.
  • Data Network Specialist: Installs, configures and maintains network services, including both hardware and software.


MAGTF refers to the unique four-part structure that organizes Marine Corps operating forces. This framework brings together Aviation, Ground and Logistics Combat elements under a central Command element. The result is a flexible, combined-arms unit with the capabilities to conduct the Marine Corps' full range of operations, from humanitarian aid and disaster relief to projection of power from the sea. 

Many Roles. One Mission.

The Marine Corps is only as capable as each and every Marine. That's why all Marines have a specific role for which they are optimally trained, in support of the overall mission.



A MEU, or Marine Expeditionary Unit, is the smallest type of MAGTF, often providing the most substantial response in the shortest amount of time. 2,200 Marines that are trained in hundreds of areas of expertise serve on a MEU. Here is the breakdown of a MEU's makeup:

Command Element – Approximately 200 Marines. Responsible for command and control of the entire MEU.

Ground Combat Element – Approximately 1,200 Marines. A Battalion Landing Team that includes three rifle companies, a weapons company, a battery of artillery and platoons of the following: combat engineers, light armored reconnaissance, tanks, Force Reconnaissance and amphibious assault vehicles.

Aviation Combat Element – Approximately 500 Marines. A MEU's ACE is built around a medium tilt-rotor squadron, reinforced by CH-53E heavy lift helicopters, light attack helicopters and Harrier attack jets. The result is a squadron of 25 to 30 aircraft.

Logistics Combat Element – Approximately 300 Marines. Provides supply, transportation, maintenance and additional support for the MEU.


MEUs deploy aboard an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG): Three naval ships specifically designed to provide the Marines with a mobile base of operations. See here what serving aboard a MEU entails.