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"Absorb the Marine Corps into the Army and Navy?" Topic


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15 Sep 2022 10:16 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian30 Dec 2021 5:16 a.m. PST

For decades, the U.S. Marine Corps has attempted to tweak its force structure to enhance performance within a constrained funding environment. Rather than continuing to make changes around the margins, we would be better off revisiting a debate started following World War II and prematurely truncated during the Korean War. Does the United States need a light infantry force specializing in amphibious operations as a separate service, or should the Marine Corps be resized to the small police force it was prior to World War I and the amphibious organization incorporated into the Army?…

Military: link

Totenkopf Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 5:39 a.m. PST

Interesting article. Although some of his assertions seem a bit weak. The notion that the Army carried out D-Day and is thus more prepared to carry out amphibious operations totally ignores the entirety of the Marine participation in amphibious operations in the Pacific.

I found his approach to amalgamating the iconic marine corps uniform and insignia into the army structure as similar to airborne or air assault wings as kind of odd too. Airborne/ Air Assault are trained skills. Whereas the author of this piece refers to the Marines (post assimilation) as light infantry like the airborne. So, how does one enlist for marine infantry under his envisioned amalgamation if they are really no more than light infantry?

His strongest argument and the one he spends little time on is the age-old dilemma of USMC logistics. For decades the USMC seemed to get the hind teat when it came to equipment upgrades and financing.

All in all interesting, but not likely to happen anytime soon. As he says, the public wants the Marine Corps.

Striker30 Dec 2021 5:45 a.m. PST

A DoD "this will be a good merger" business plan. What will happen is the Corps will completely disappear into the blob that is the Army.

Marine Corps would resemble the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps,


Then Army brass will say "why do we need this other thing when we have XVIII already, just get rid of the extra. The Corps should get out of the "Army lite" game and go back to ships and small forces. Keep their own training. If the Army wants to play with boats, let them. They can go fight the PRC over atolls

reaping the benefits of a simplified chain of command, smaller overall force, and another base realignment and closure (BRAC) evolution.

Yep CoC is going to get fixed in a brass heavy DoD and to even bring up BRAC is questionable since that never goes well, if it's not skipped outright, and not for military reasons. The article reads like a sports radio hot take. How about the US have an actual strategic plan and set ALL forces for that. Not going to happen though, too much $$ to throw away on toys and companies that make those toys.

HMS Exeter30 Dec 2021 6:00 a.m. PST

Let's face it. This is all a Marine plot to get R. Lee Ermey to rise up out his grave and b***h slap some namby pamby morons.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 6:37 a.m. PST

+1 HMS Exeter. The Marines need to stick to quick amphibious operations. The Army doesn't do that well unless they have a year to plan and complete air and naval superiority.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 6:47 a.m. PST

Moote argument – I think moving Marine Aviation (and, for that matter, Army) aviation to the Air Force makes sense – but the bulk of the Corps amalgamation is not on the table; I refer to U.S. Code 8063 – United States Marine Corps: composition; functions; changing US Code is a tough thing to do

As well, the Marine Corps has demonstrated considerable adaptive ability to produce high quality fighters at the low end of the logistics chain!

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 8:22 a.m. PST

Moote argument I think moving Marine Aviation (and, for that matter, Army) aviation to the Air Force makes sense but the bulk of the Corps amalgamation is not on the table;

I disagree. The MEU structure with a complete set of organic capabilities makes the USMC ideal for rapid response and deployment. We will rarely have the luxury of another 4-5 month build-up of US Army and USAF units into a theatre of operations like we did with Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990.

I think a better restructuring would be to bring back the US Army Air Corps. The USAF is really interested in flying fast things, zoomy zoom zoom, that do Air Superiority missions and blowing up secure targets. There's been a decades long fight inside USAF to dump the A-10 and other CAS missions, so give that back to the US Army who values and needs CAS. Oh, and let's do an even better successor to the A-10 built for CAS instead of the continued attempts to shoe-horn the F-35 into that role.

Wackmole930 Dec 2021 9:48 a.m. PST

Sometime in the late 5 century AD.

Marcus, we can get rid of the Marines and just uses regular infantry types on Ships. We can save lots of dinars and spend it on new Super super heavy Cavalry.

DisasterWargamer30 Dec 2021 10:06 a.m. PST

link

This was a follow-up Op-ed piece from the same site – refutes some of the conclusion of the initial author as well as stating some facts.

What I found most interesting is the piece in here talking about what the Marine Corps is currently doing to get ready for the wars of tomorrow – not today – Quite a few additional links with a lot of those details and thinking

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 10:10 a.m. PST

Great idea, take an organization with a great tradition, great history and a great reputation and subsume it.
Yeppers, great idea.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 10:28 a.m. PST

Hmmm…looks like the COVID mandates may cost the USMC an entire Division worth of Marines…good job current military leadership!!

link

Lascaris30 Dec 2021 10:42 a.m. PST

When I was in the service no one asked our opinion on vaccines. We were just told to line up, shut up, and get our shots. Frankly I'm glad to see people getting the boot for essentially refusing a requirement for military duty.

Now back to the original topic. For perspective I was in the USN however I see zero reason to change our force structure. The USMC a) is aligned with different tasks then the army and b) has a historical esprit de corps that cannot, or at least should not, be overlooked. Folks who haven't been in the service don't understand the importance of unit morale and the accumulated history of the force in question is a major part of that.

Keep the USMC as it is please.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 10:49 a.m. PST

SBminisguy has an excellent analysis. We must keep the Corps, at the very least for their great dress uniform.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 10:51 a.m. PST

Great idea, take an organization with a great tradition, great history and a great reputation and subsume it.
Yeppers, great idea.

It is if you're Army!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 11:38 a.m. PST

I think moving Marine Aviation (and, for that matter, Army) aviation to the Air Force makes sense

Find an Army of Air Force pilot willing to land on or take off from an amphibious ship in state three seas, then get back to me.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 12:28 p.m. PST

Yeah saw that on Military.com too …

My answer NO !

For all the no answers here and more. I was with 18th ABN Corps, twice … USMC units can and have been attached to the 18th but not organic to it. It worked out fine …

The notion that the Army carried out D-Day and is thus more prepared to carry out amphibious operations totally ignores the entirety of the Marine participation in amphibious operations in the Pacific.
In actuality the US Army carried out more amphibious ops in the PTO then the USMC. The USMC only had 6 Divs … period in the PTO. 0 in the ETO. The US ARMY had around 20 Divs in the PTO. It's math …

army structure as similar to airborne or air assault wings as kind of odd too. Airborne/ Air Assault are trained skills.
I have both Airborne & Air Assault wings and a Grad of USMC/USN Basic Amph Training at Norfolk. When units from the 101 cross-trained with the USMC there.

Marines & SEALs go to Army Parachute and Ranger schools at Benning.

As well as USMC units run FTXs with Army units. Also have done that in the USA & ROK.


I think a better restructuring would be to bring back the US Army Air Corps. The USAF is really interested in flying fast things, zoomy zoom zoom, that do Air Superiority missions and blowing up secure targets. There's been a decades long fight inside USAF to dump the A-10 and other CAS missions, so give that back to the US Army who values and needs CAS. Oh, and let's do an even better successor to the A-10 built for CAS instead of the continued attempts to shoe-horn the F-35 into that role.
Nope … You have both rotary & fixed wings in the Army, USMC, USN & USAF.

Keep it that way …


Keep the USMC as it is please.
Yes … if nothing else K.I.S.S. If it's a $ thing … I've got a list of where you can cut funds from the US budget …

Starting with stopping any $ or payments to illegal aliens for a start … The list is long …

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 12:39 p.m. PST

BLASPHEMEY I SAY, BLASPHEMEY!!

Russ Dunaway -- USMC 1967-1973

Striker30 Dec 2021 1:57 p.m. PST

We were just told to line up, shut up, and get our shots.

Yep I remember those days but you forgot the "and if something happens go tell the VA, and see how that works".

Anyway, if they want to save money and cut brass why have Spec Ops command and why not put them all under one branch? Army has the longest track record of them if I'm right so they all go in the Army. Nobody would back that idea.

Regarding air assets, wasn't it Korea where zoomies out of Japan couldn't fly due to weather but USN and USMC could fly off ships? My uncle was in country and had not too high opinions of Air Force ground support.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 2:43 p.m. PST

I think moving Marine Aviation (and, for that matter, Army) aviation to the Air Force makes sense

Only to someone in the Air Force. The Australian Army tried that from 1955 until the mid-80's. Result- choppers frequently unavailable for exercises and training because they were "down for maintenance" or re-tasked (once to an air show), the numbers of choppers got cut before even the VIP fleet did and our whole Chinook fleet was scrapped because "the new STOL cargo aircraft would be able to do the job". After a huge inter-service wrangle Army got it's aircraft back, updated UH-1D's to Blackhawks and replaced the 1963-pruchassed UH-1B gun-ships. There's still some RAAF who bemoan that "army stole the helicopter fleet and get it dirty".

Leave army and USMC aviation where they are, so they will be available when needed and will be supported. If you want a lesson from America then just look at the A-10.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 7:01 p.m. PST

Folks who haven't been in the service don't understand the importance of unit morale and the accumulated history of the force
So very true … a unit history, linage, record, etc. is very important to the unit. E.g. the 82, 101, Rangers, SF, etc., have a very good record as the USMC does. I.e. the Rangers go back to the French & Indian War in the mid 1700s, etc.

why have Spec Ops command and why not put them all under one branch?
Spec Ops Cmd is a Joint Command with all branches being under that command. It is a system that works, like many Joint Commands. E.g. the JCS …

Regarding air assets, wasn't it Korea where zoomies out of Japan couldn't fly due to weather but USN and USMC could fly off ships?
The USAF had to fly out of Japan until bases could be taken back, etc., in Korea. But they flew out of both Japan & Korea thru out the war, IIRC. The USN & USMC are trained to fly off aircraft carriers. That is their primary mission. That is why you need all those assets. I.e. Ground based & Ship based …

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2021 8:50 p.m. PST

As a Brit, I'd go back to the Elan and unit history consideration. Don't destroy the history and tradition. It's tradition which keeps a unit going. The honor of the regiment and the names of the people who made that history is a powerful force.

When that tradition and history goes, so does half the reason for doing things.

Wargamer Blue31 Dec 2021 5:19 a.m. PST

As an outsider I hope the Americans keep the USMC.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2021 8:26 a.m. PST

Good point as to Army Air – had not thought about it that way but the Air Force does like high, shiny things

I do think the Corps is any danger!

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2021 9:38 a.m. PST

Narratio has it right. The strength of cohesion is vital to teamwork and performance. Much of this comes from fostering the sense of belonging that is based on honoring tradition and upholding the standards that have been set, often with great sacrifice.

You perform better because you do not want to let your buddies down, and you show respect for the ones who came before. This is especially true in any elite service,should really be the case in all branches, I don't know if that's so. The military has a long history of reorg but somethings are part of our national psyche and too foundational to lose. The USMC is one of several special cases where the feeling of belonging is especially strong and should be valued and preserved.

Striker31 Dec 2021 11:06 a.m. PST

I agree Legion on the air units but in a couple of books I've read on Korea when the weather went crappy in Japan the USAF was out of the fight, so tying assets to fixed bases is a lesson we seem to have forgotten if the author is pushing the "USAF will do the CAS job".

RE spec ops: the author's case for streamlining should be applied to all cases but he seems to only see the USMC. Assuming it's all cost savings in $$ and brass then it should be USAF only flies, USN only sails, and USA gets everything else. But nobody would say that.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2021 11:55 a.m. PST

Narratio +1 Yes, being in the 101 and 18th ABN CORPs as well as the 2ID. I agree …

air units but in a couple of books I've read on Korea when the weather went crappy in Japan the USAF was out of the fight,
Yes, even today air ops are weather dependent. Back then even more so …

tying assets to fixed bases is a lesson we seem to have forgotten
Well the USAF and even US Army have to have land bases of course. And yes, abandoning Bagram was a lesson that shows some have forgotten. Albeit it probably was not the GENs. They can only follow legal orders from higher. Even if they were poor, bad, dumb, etc. orders.

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