Organized, trained, and equipped to provide Fleet Marine Forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of naval campaigns.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is General James L. Jones. He has held the office of CMC since 1 July 1999. Leadership positions during his career include:
Issues of Primary Concern
Readiness for the current War on Terrorism. Transformation of the Marine Corps to meet the challenges of the future.
Organization and Capabilities
The U.S. Marine Corps is composed of 3 active and 1 reserve divisions, 3 active and 1 reserve air wings, 3 active and 1 reserve Force Service Support Groups, and a supporting establishment to include headquarters, depots, and bases. There are 175,000 active duty Marines and 39,000 reserve Marines in the organized reserve. Over 114,000 of the active duty Marines serve in the operating forces. Operational forces are task organized into combined arms Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTF). Currently, three Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) headquarters, four Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEB) headquarters, and seven Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) headquarters provide the command elements for these MAGTFs. Marine Forces Command headquarters, commanded by Lieutenant Generals, are the Service Component to the combatant commanders. There are 41 commissioned amphibious ships in the U.S. Navy that can lift over 2 MEB assault echelons, and the 3 forward positioned Maritime Prepositioning Squadrons carry the equipment and 30 days of sustainment for 3 additional MEBs.
Weapons and Equipment
The major weapons systems organic to the Marine Division are the 155mm towed howitzer, the M1A1 Abrams tank, the 81mm mortar and various anti-armor weapons. The Light Armored Vehicle with a 20mm chain gun provides firepower for the division's light armored reconnaissance battalion. The AAV7A1 provides amphibious mobility while the Combat Engineer Battalion employs various mobility and counter-mobility systems including assault bridging assets. The Marine Air Wing s—. provides both offensive air support and assault support for the Marine Expeditionary Force. Fixed wing assets include the F/A-18 Hornet, the AV-8B Harrier, the EA-6B Prowler, and the C-130. Rotary wing assets include the AH-1 Super Cobra, UH-1 Huey, the CH-46 Sea Knight, and CH-53 Super Stallion.