What do the Marines and the Coast Guard do for the US Military?

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In my country we only have the air force, army, and navy who cover the air, land, and the sea, respectively. What makes the Marines and Coast Guard different?

(Also, why do the Marines have a reputation for being bloodthirsty crayon chewers? Is that what makes them special?)

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Marines in theory are the assault troops landed from the sea. Since nearly everywhere away from America is overseas the easiest way to get troops there is to land them by boat. The coast guard protects against smugglers and others who illegally enter US maritime waters.

Coast guard- while considered a branch here in the USA they are actually under Homeland security 90% of the time. They run drug patrols and search and rescue among other things. During a time of war they fall under the navy control.

Marines- they are the army of the navy (dont tell them that) their orginal purpose was ship to ship fighting. In modern times they are ship to shore assualt. They are the beach stormers.

As for what makes marines so notorious its their training. They believe that every marine is an infantry unit thus all are trained with rifiles and can fight. Its also part of their mindset much like spartans where.

Marines are an “overseas” force. Their original purpose was serving on ships to provide some infantry force to that ship (They still do that.), then it became beach landings like in D-Day. Today Marines are used as “spearheads” for any overseas operation.

Let’s say US wants to invade another country in the Middle East, what they’ll do is they’ll send a lot of Marines and their equipment such as IFVs, helicopters, jets on aircraft carriers etc to US bases or ships close to that country and then use those Marines and equipment to start a new, swift attack. After the first attack is successful and some land is under control Army units would rain in and setup camp. The action would pass over from Marines to Army.

They are seen as blood thirsty because of the grueling training and imaginery from WWII (Germans knew them as Teufel Hunden) (Devil Dogs) and the crayon chewing comes from Marines having the lowest ASVAB scores. Anyone with enough physical can become a Marine. Lots of Jocks become a Marine.

Coast Guard is exactly what they are. They guard the coasts. Search and rescue, preventing smugglers etc.

Coast guard is a special type of police force. They have ships and helicopters and big-ish guns to be sure to never be overwhelmed, but they are police. They can arrest civilians.

Army and navy cannot arrest civilians, are not allowed to, because the military is for wars not for police duties, this prevents to slip into a dictatorship where the generals can basically arrest whoever they don’t like. As you can’t stop your army by force, you have to stop them by law.

Marines are the soldiers of a navy. Their duties are to protect navy bases, guard the ships, be the military police on a ship (at least it was centuries ago when it all started). Certain navies, like us one, have a marine corp big enough and with enough land/air vehicle to be able to perform full on invasions. The purpose is to keep the chain of command easy. If the navy attacks a place, the navy doesn’t need to coordinate with the army of it has its own army. Generally, once the navy assaults the coast and takes control of harbors, then the army can step in without much complication, safely land its own troops and vehicles, and take over the fighting tasks. This really saves lives. When you do an action with navy plus army there is a gigantic risk of miscommunication, friendly fire, and inefficient support between troops and ships. By having a single entity running the thing you guarantee the smoothest possible operation.

Extreme examples of marines are the CCCP marines in ww2. The country had virtually no navy, still, they created a marine corp to be the troops for the few ships they operate. So, whatever task required some boats and some soldier, it would be all led by the navy to prevent confusion, using navy ships and navy troops. I say extreme example because the navy was disproportionately fighting land battles over sea battles.

Theoretically, the Marines are better thought of as the Navy’s Army (which they officially were until fairly recently). The Navy’s job is power projection and the Marines are a tool to do that. Anywhere a ship can go, we can invade. If your country has some people called Naval Infantry that specialize in amphibious operations, those are Marines in all but name.

The Cost Guard differs from the Navy in that they’re law enforcement. Before 9/11, they were part of the Treasury Department rather then the military, and even now they’re Homeland Security instead of Defense. They can be called up as part of the military in wartime which is why they have military style shops, but they more generally stop smuggling, maintain navigation aids like buoys and lights, and provide harbor security. So they’re in a weird spot of being an armed service, but not part of the military.

EDIT: Fixed a typo so the USCG stops illicit trade and not human intimacy.

Marines are a force in a constant state of readiness used for power projection. They are a larger and more capable force than most countries entire militaries and are ready for war right now. Magazines loaded, rifles accounted for, troops assigned to combat groups, planes fueled and ready to go against anyone anywhere anytime.

Coast Guard is the national Sea Police.