Difference Between Army and Marines
Army vs Marines
The United States Army, the largest branch of the United States Armed Forces, and the United States Marine Corps, one of the smallest branches, have unique objectives, capabilities, and training.
The Marine Corps is called the nation’s force in readiness due to having the ability to quickly become engaged in operations and respond to crises, and gain and defend footholds. Providing humanitarian assistance and engaging in counterterrorism and military combat operations both independently and jointly with other military services and allies, the Marine Corps possesses a wide range of capabilities and performs in a variety of roles and functions. While the Army maintains more combat arms in sheer numbers, combat arms constitute a greater proportion of Marine Corps personnel; in addition, the Marine Corps maintains a more diverse aviation arm. Amphibious and highly flexible, the Marine Corps is a lighter force than the Army and is able to operate on and from naval platforms, as well as, carry out campaigns on shore and in the air. The Marine Corps is forward deployed and an integrated air, ground, and sea combined arms force, thus, is uniquely able to adapt in order to meet the nation’s security needs and circumstances. Having the ability to change and deploy rapidly allows for a quick, aggressive response to conflicts and crises, and provides decision-makers with more options than would otherwise be possible.
The United States Army is the ground force of the Armed Forces, whose objectives are to preserve peace, security, and democracy, support national objectives and policies, and defend the United States against any aggressive acts by other nations or entities. Whereas the Marine Corps is trained and equipped to be first into battle with transport assistance from the Navy, the United States Army is organized and prepared for long-term combat. The Army has the responsibility of protecting and defending the United States, as well as, securing resources, people, and land during military campaigns overseas.
A major difference between the Army and Marine Corps is that the latter falls under the United States Department of the Navy. Despite the Marine Corps being a separate service, the branches train together, and share some customs and traditions. The Navy provides the Marine Corps with logistical and technical support, as well as, religious, medical, and dental care. In contrast, the United States Army trains and recruits chaplains, and medical and dental support personnel.
Both military branches require that enlistees complete recruit training, which is 12 weeks in the Marine Corps and 12 weeks in the Army, and takes place at their respective training bases. Marine enlistees, then, must attend Infantry or Marine Combat Training before attending Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) schools. While Army enlistees, after basic training, attend Advanced Individualized Training (AIT) schools to train in a military occupational specialty.
With the exclusion of Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), which includes the Army ROTC and Navy ROTC-Marine Option, the Army and Marine Corps offer different pathways to becoming a commissioned officer. There is a mutual focus on confidence, leadership, and military training; however, the length, location, and curriculum of officer training programs differ when it comes to the United States Army and Marine Corps.
The United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School located in Quantico, Virginia offers two six-week courses and one ten week course to candidates enrolled in one of several commissioning programs targeted at college students and graduates, enlisted Marines, and Navy academy graduates. Training is conducted to prepare candidates for leadership positions, and students are screened and evaluated for leadership fitness throughout the course(s). Midshipmen receive the rank of Second Lieutenant after completing Officer Candidate School.
Fort Benning, Georgia is home to the Officer Candidates School of the United States Army, where college graduates, Warrant Officers, and enlisted members receive 12 weeks of soldier and leadership training and evaluation, via participation in Infantry battle drills, to become commissioned officers with the rank of Second Lieutenants in the United States Army.
The United States Army and Marine Corps each operate their own federal service academy where officer candidates are educated and trained. In Annapolis, Maryland resides the United States Naval Academy, a four year coeducational university that trains officers-in-training known as midshipmen. The Navy provides full tuition with the stipulation that candidates enter active duty service upon graduation. The United States Naval Academy commissions graduates in both the Marine Corps and Navy, as second lieutenants and ensigns, respectively. Midshipmen receive military, physical, and honor training in preparation for active duty service in the Marine Corps. In addition to becoming commissioned officers, graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree in one of 22 major areas of study.
The United States Military Academy at West Point, located in West Point, New York, provides a four year education, and moral, ethical, and physical training to cadets in preparation for post-graduate Army service. Officers-in-training, known as cadets, are required to complete a leadership development program and rigorous academic coursework in order to foster the critical thinking and problem solving skills that will be needed upon becoming commissioned officers at graduation. The residential, coeducational university offers 45 programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree, and bestows on graduates the entry level commissioned officer rank of Second Lieutenant. Tuition is Army funded in exchange for post-graduate active duty service.
- The Marine Corps are equipped for early entry, while the Army is equipped for sustained fighting
- The Army is much larger than the Marine Corps
- The Marine Corps is an amphibious, integrated force under the Department of the Navy and relies on Navy support technical and medical support, whereas the Army is a land force which trains its own medical, dental, and religious personnel
- The United States Army and Marine Corps offer separate pathways to becoming a commissioned officer
- Each branch operates a federal service academy to educate officer candidates and different locations for basic training
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