Key point: Despite being the smallest and least funded of the U.S. armed services, the Marine Corp fields several weapon systems unique to itself.
America’s most famous Marine, retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, coined the phrase, “no better friend, no worse enemy” to describe the United States Marine Corps. The USMC is world-renowned, but does any other country have a Corps that can compare? A breakdown of the strengths, weaknesses, and the roles of five notable Marine Corps from around the world.
If sheer size were the deciding factor, the USMC would win in a heartbeat. With an end-strength of around 186,000 (FY 2017 numbers), and around 38,000 Marine Reservists, some estimate that the USMC is as large as the next ten Marine Corps combined.
The USMC is widely considered to have the longest and hardest basic training of all the American services. At thirteen weeks long, it is indeed grueling. Recruits go through four phases of initial training, where they learn swimming survival basics, conduct rifle qualification, among other things, and peppered throughout with a great deal of physical training. Lastly, the recruits must pass The Crucible, a fifty-four-hour field training exercise in which everything the recruits have learned will be tested. Given little food and little sleep, the recruits are challenged with mental and physical obstacles.
Despite being the smallest and least funded of the armed services, the Marine Corp fields several weapon systems unique to itself. One of these is the versatile Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Using two rotatable rotors, the Osprey can hover like a helicopter, eliminating the need for a runway, and rotate it’s rotors in-flight, functioning like a fixed-wing aircraft and combining the best of helicopters and airplanes.