Commander Denny is a retired reserve naval intelligence officer with service starting in Vietnam in 1972 as an aviation electrician’s mate and retiring in 2010 as a commander. Along with his reserve service, he was a civilian electronics engineer for the Army Missile Command and an intelligence analyst for the Protection Intelligence Company (DIA), with 4 deployments to Iraq. After retiring from DIA, he served as a senior intelligence analyst for U.S. Central Command with one further Iraq tour.
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For many years, the U.S. Marine Corps has tried to tweak its pressure construction to boost efficiency inside a constrained funding surroundings. Fairly than persevering with to make adjustments across the margins, we’d be higher off revisiting a debate began following World Conflict II and prematurely truncated through the Korean Conflict. Does the USA want a light-weight infantry pressure specializing in amphibious operations as a separate service, or ought to the Marine Corps be resized to the small police pressure it was previous to World Conflict I and the amphibious group included into the Army?
Associated: Hold It Separate: Why America Desires a Marine Corps
The dialogue after World Conflict II was primarily prompted by President Harry S. Truman, together with Common of the Army George C. Marshall (who later served as a Secretary of State and Secretary of Protection) and Common of the Army and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Whereas admittedly all three have been Army (President Truman was a captain in World Conflict I and rose to colonel and regimental commander within the reserves), they have been clearly educated concerning the U.S. protection necessities. Though the dialogue ceased with Korea, the query was successfully answered in 1957 by Brigadier Common Victor Krulak in a letter to then Marine Corps Commandant Common Randolph Pate, “The US doesn’t want a Marine Corps. Nonetheless, for good causes which utterly transcend chilly logic, the USA desires a Marine Corps.”
Krulak was proper in 1957, and what he mentioned is much more true at this time. The Army, Navy, and Air Pressure are totally able to performing the Marine Corps’ missions. The Army can assume the sunshine infantry and amphibious assault obligations. The 1944 invasion at Normandy, the biggest invasion in historical past, was solely an Army effort for the USA. So far as Marine Corps air, the Navy and Air Pressure are totally able to shut air help, whereas the Army can even execute the wanted rotary and tilt wing missions. The nation desires the Marines. The query could also be the way to preserve the features the nation desires, whereas eliminating the Marines as a separate department and reaping the advantages of a simplified chain of command, smaller general pressure, and one other base realignment and closure (BRAC) evolution.
Additionally from the U.S. Naval Institute:
Deconstructing the Marine Corps
So, what features does the nation need? If the Marine Corps solutions that query, the reply will most likely be what it at the moment has, however with higher funding. The casual Marine Corps propaganda equipment, which President Truman begrudgingly complimented as second on the earth solely to Joseph Stalin’s, will demand the established order. For the primary time in a technology, the dearth of serious numbers of former service members in Congress—coupled with nationwide fatigue after preventing an unsuccessful, two-decade-long conflict—could permit this subject to be mentioned critically.
Maybe the best half of the present Marine Corps to take away is aviation. There may be unlikely to be an enormous help neighborhood with the nation for Marine aviation, particularly the fixed-wing features. For many People, their information of Marine aviation is probably going restricted to watching Flying Leathernecks (1951) and The Nice Santini (1979). Likewise, the typical citizen may even see no distinction between Marine rotary and tilt-wing aviation and its Army equivalents. The typical citizen probably sees no distinction as a result of the variations that do exist—primarily the power to fly from ships—are minor. The nation doesn’t want a separate Marine Corps aviation pressure and few within the nation probably know sufficient about it to need it. Eliminating Marine aviation by incorporating it into the Army and Navy would halve the scale of the service, which at the moment is round 184,000 active-duty members.
The U.S. public is way much less more likely to settle for the entire disappearance of the Fleet Marine Forces, the ever present “Mud Marine.” Stripped of aviation, the Marine Corps would resemble the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, each in dimension (roughly 88,000 troops) and capabilities—each are gentle infantry, each are air-mobile, and each are able to airborne and amphibious operations. Each think about themselves to be “elite” forces with sturdy esprit de corps. Transition of the Fleet Marine Forces into the Army’s yet-to-be created XIX Marine Amphibious Corps would retain the wanted amphibious experience, simplify the chain of command, and could possibly be performed in a manner that retains lots of the distinctive components that make a Marine a Marine.
Establishing the Army’s XIX Marine Amphibious Corps at Camp Pendleton on the west coast would give the nation a light-weight infantry “heart of excellence” on every coast. Decreasing the Marine Corps Commandant to a three-star normal, mirroring the XVIII Corps commander, would assist cut back the gradual improve in rank construction seen over the previous 50 years throughout the Division of Protection (DoD). Army traditions are probably versatile sufficient to retain lots of the cherished Marine Corps’ accoutrement, just like the costume blues and the eagle, globe and anchor emblem. The Army airborne troops at the moment have their maroon berets and cavalry items have their cowboy hats and spurs. Additionally, if the XVIII Corps can informally use the time period “prime” for the command first sergeant, the XIX Corps would possibly effectively use “gunny” for E-7s. Likewise, younger women and men might enlist to be Marines and proceed to undergo Parris Island for boot camp.
Incorporating the Marine Corps into the Army would considerably simplify the DoD chain of command and get rid of the necessity for the Commandant to go to the Army and beg for future armor and artillery help. Likewise, the Marines of the XIX Corps would have an equal probability of acquiring any new capabilities built-in into the Army, whereas probably permitting Army leaders to cut back the operational tempo of each Corps, though each will nonetheless be rapid-deployment items.
To say that Marines would resist incorporation into the Army and Navy is a gross understatement. Nonetheless, there are concessions which may make it barely much less poisonous for the Marines and fewer objectionable to the general public and Congress. Permitting Marine fixed-wing pilots inducted into the Navy to complete out their profession utilizing Marine Corps ranks and uniforms would probably assist and given the Navy’s historical past of blended uniforms, would most likely go unnoticed by the general public. Related concessions for the technology of present Marines included into the Army might probably ease their transition. However no matter how profitable these mitigation efforts are, the DoD would probably be a decade of angst and occasional confusion. The important thing will probably be Congress, which should rewrite laws, together with U.S. Title 10. As talked about beforehand, there are fewer Marines in Congress at this time than at any time because the early Fifties (there are 15 Marine Corps veterans within the 117th Congress). This, coupled with the inevitable financial savings from one other spherical of base closures, could be sufficient to see the initiative championed by President Truman and advocated by Generals Eisenhower and Marshall accomplished.
Common Krulak accurately acknowledged the USA doesn’t want however desires the Marine Corps. For the very best pursuits of the nation, the DoD ought to no less than study if the U.S. public and Congress will settle for a XIX Marine Amphibious Corps. If the reply is sure, then a myriad of questions should be answered: Does the nation want two separate gentle infantry corps? Which Marine Corps installations will probably be closed or decreased? What number of Marine Corps army and civilian personnel, made redundant by the adjustments, will probably be discharged? And what, if something, will stay as a Navy police pressure? If the subject is given a good listening to, the solutions could shock us all.
Since 1873, the U.S. Naval Institute has championed mental debate on key points for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. For extra go to usni.org.
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