compare and contrast of the army and the marines corps

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. Although the United States Army and Marine Corps are both primarily ground- based forces and offer many similar career fields, the two branches are different in some very crucial areas. To accurately compare and contrast the services, it is important to look at their overall missions and career fields.

The Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on 14 June 1775 to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary War (Wright, 1983). The Marine Corps, meanwhile, was organized by Captain Samuel Nicholas who formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 Nov 1775, as part of the Department of the Navy as an amphibious assault force and continues to operate in that capacity (Simmons, 2003). Although the establishment of the Army and the Marine Corps both began during the Revolutionary War, their original missions were quite different.

The Marines were established as sharp shooters for U. S. Navy ships. Often when two ships came close to each other; it was rifleman who could make a big difference by firing at enemy sailors. A company of Marines also made sure that any mutinies by sailors didn’t last very long. The establishment of the U. S. Army under George Washington was aimed at building up a ground force with infantry, artillery and cavalry elements in the model of the great European armies of France and Britain. The purpose of the Army was to defeat opponents in large scale conflicts and occupy territory.

The Army is the largest contingent of the United States military and is primarily tasked with sing its size to occupy territory and wage both short- and long-term wars on land. The Marine Corps, on the other hand, also wages ground-based warfare but is a smaller branch of the military. Instead of assuming primary responsibility for larger-scale wars, the Marine Corps prides itself on being first responders to the initial stages of a conflict. Both the Army and the Marine Corps offers similar career opportunities in areas such as infantry, armor, aviation, administration.

However, due to the Marine Corps’ attachment with the Navy, it does not directly employ health-care professionals such as nurses, doctors, dentists or psychologists like the Army. Instead, it receives these services from commissioned Navy medical officers. The Marines are a highly mobile amphibious attack force. Marines are trained to attack from the water and establish a beach head, an area of control on foreign soil. After the Marines take territory, other armed forces such as the US Army move in to maintain control, while the Marines move on.

Marines are mobile, lightweight, and very rapid. I would compare the Marines to the head of the spear, wedging in to get a foothold and racing ahead once the land has been secured. In addition to acting as a lightweight attack force from the ocean, Marines are also perfectly capable of taking territory on land. Marines are trained for rapid deployment, and are often the first US military personnel on site. Marines also guard American embassies overseas, providing embassy security and safety. In volatile areas, being a Marine embassy guard is a very risky job.

The US Army, on the other hand, is the primary ground-based military forces. As such, the US Army captures and holds territory with the use of infantry, aircraft, and an extensive support staff. The US Army is in the thick of battle, and is substantially larger armed forces than the Marines. Certain members of the US Army, such as the Army Rangers, have training which is similar to that received by the Marines. The question of who has the better training, the Marines or the Army, has bedeviled many a volunteer trying to choose a service and has been the cause of more than a few bar brawls.

The answer, however, is not so easy to come up with. If you want to know who produces the better common soldier, I would have to say the Marine Corps. Who has the better combat brigade? I would probably say the Army has the better brigade. At the level of the common soldier, the typical U. S. Marine is better trained than the typical soldier of the U. S. Army. Basic training, or “boot camp,” is the fundamental training that all enlisted and commissioned recruits are required to undergo before beginning active service in either the U. S. Army or Marine Corps.

At the elementary level of boot camp plus follow-on schools, the Marine Corps has better and more demanding training than the Army. Army Basic Combat Training (BCT, their equivalent of boot camp) lasts 11 weeks, whereas the Marine Corps boot camp lasts 13. Also, the Marine Corps basic training is widely considered to be tougher and more intense. In conclusion, the Army and Marine Corps both have some of the same capabilities. In contrast the main difference is in their theatre of operation. Being a member of the United States Armed Service is a job that must be upheld by the men and woman who chose to answer the call of duty.

All that you have learned in Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, and Permit Party serves a roll in your every day duty. Lots of thing helps make a solider from learning the heritage and traditions, to courtesies, to the military values all the way down to serving as a member of a team. The Army and Marines Corps continue to defend our country from the enemies.


Simmons, Edwin H. (2003). The United States Marines: A History, Fourth Edition. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Wright, Robert. The Continental Army (Washington D. C): Center of Military History. 1983, pp 22-24.

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