The Republic of Korea Marine Corps (aka ROK Marine Corps / ROK Marines, ROKMC, Korean Hangul: 대한민국 해병대, Hanja: 大韓民國海兵隊, Revised Romanization: Dae-Han-min-guk Haebyeongdae) is the marine corps of the Republic of Korea. Though theoretically it is under the direction of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Marine Corps operates as a distinct arm of the military of South Korea, unlike most other "Marine" military organisations, which generally function as part of their respective national navies. It was founded as a reconnaissance group just before the Korean War. The ROKMC also saw action during the Vietnam War while stationed in Danang, sometimes fighting alongside the USMC or U.S. Navy SEALs.
Organization and Capabilities
The ROKMC has approximately 29,000 personnel, and is organized into two divisions and one brigade under Headquarters Republic of Korea Marine Corps and primarily dedicated to protecting the nation's islands.
It has such responsibilities as landing operations, accomplished in coordination with the ROKN using landing craft, surface fleets and aircraft. ROK Marines have the ability to accomplish a variety of missions including ground battles, special fighting scenarios, facility protection and security services. To execute amphibious operations, it possesses a range of amphibious equipment, including amphibious vehicles, as well as its own means of fire support. A major naval evolution during Foal Eagle 2000, an annual combined U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) exercise, was an amphibious assault launched by U.S. and ROK Marines from U.S. Navy ships belonging to 7th Fleet's permanently forward-deployed Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) based in Japan.