Our Purpose

Defending our nation at home. Protecting her interests abroad.


We make Marines. We win our nation's battles. We develop quality citizens. These are the promises the Marine Corps makes to our nation and to our Marines. They are the reason for our demanding recruit training process. They form our reputation as America's force in readiness and are honored through the reciprocal commitment, between the Marine and Marine Corps, expressed in our motto: SEMPER FIDELIS.


There are few reputations more deserved than that of earning the title Marine, and few endeavors as fulfilling. This is the cornerstone of the Marine Corps' first promise to our nation: We will make Marines. Today and throughout our storied history, the Marine Corps continues to hold its Enlisted Marines and Marine Officers to the highest of standards. To earn our title is to become an elite warrior. To pass through our gates is to set out on a noble cause. We make Marines with the training and principles to face down the threats of our time. From Enlisted Marines to Commissioned Officers, every Marine is a part of the same storied legacy and is vital to the Marine Corps mission.


Since the day it was formed, the Marine Corps has been committed to winning our nation's battles, fighting determinedly in every one of our country's conflicts. By air, land and sea, the Marine Corps is America's premier expeditionary force, ready to protect our nation's citizens and interests anywhere in the world. 


The core values that guide us, and the leadership skills that enable us, not only make for outstanding Marines—they make for upstanding citizens as well. The promise the Marine Corps makes to develop quality citizens is demonstrated by the way we take care of our own. Whether a Marine remains in the Corps for a few years or an entire career, he or she will retain the benefits earned by keeping this nation safe and free. 



Every Marine is a rifleman, trained first as a disciplined warrior regardless of military occupational specialty. This training is key to our philosophy of maneuver warfare. Maneuver warfare combines operational positioning with firepower, demands agile forces capable of quick decision making, and employs the human elements of war—boldness, creativity, intelligence and the warrior spirit. Our combined arms approach multiplies the Marine Corps' strengths by bringing our land, air and sea forces together to achieve every mission. This organization creates a scalable force with incomparable warfighting capabilities. It is the key to winning battles.


The Marine Corps has been America's expeditionary force in readiness since 1775. We are forward deployed to respond swiftly and aggressively in times of crisis. We are soldiers of the sea, providing forces and detachments to naval ships and shore operations. We are global leaders, developing expeditionary doctrine and innovations that set the example, and leading other countries' forces and agencies in multinational military operations. These unique capabilities make us "First to Fight," and our nation's first line of defense.

It comes as little surprise that the first ground engagement in the Gulf involved Marines. It comes as no surprise that the Marines fought with great distinction and fought very bravely. Their professionalism and sacrifice will end the nightmare—I'm absolutely confident of that—will end the nightmare of Iraq's brutal occupation and ensure that Kuwait is once again free.

George H.W. Bush, 41st U.S. President
February 1, 1991