“…they will see the streets are guarded by UNITED STATES MARINES.”

“If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes, they will see the streets are guarded by United States Marines.” The last line of the Marine Corps Hymn may mean nothing to an outsider. However, if you have stepped foot on those yellow footprints…it’s meaning is endless.

I usually don’t disagree with my buddy the Mad Ogre but I have to part company on one point. I have heard him on more than one occasion mention that the Marines should be absorbed into the Army Rangers. That’s all a Marine is…right? Just another Ranger level soldier? George isn’t alone. We’ve had presidents want to disband the Corps. So he’s in good company.

Let’s take a closer look at what a Marine is. A Marine is so much more than another warrior in uniform. You’ll notice that a Marine doesn’t wear a flag on his uniform. He doesn’t need to. You see, only a Marine is allowed to be on the Presidential Detail. Only a Marine is allowed to guard Camp David. Go to any US Embassy and you will find Marines guarding it. A Marine doesn’t need to have a flag on his uniform to represent America. A Marines is HIS OWN symbol of America. You go anywhere in the world and civilians meet a Marine in uniform with a certain reverence. The same reverence that you would expect at a flag ceremony. A Marine is a walking, talking American banner for all to see. So you strip away the Corps you strip away part of what makes America great.

A Marine is more than the man. A Marine is a symbol of why America has lasted long enough to fight and win two world wars. He symbolizes the greatness of the country he fights for. It’s one of the first lessons in boot camp. You are more than yourself. People see you they see your entire family, your unit, your Corps, your country. From the time you step on those yellow foot prints you are more than you ever were before.

So, do we just throw away a symbol that has been looked on with awe since 1775? Do we toss out the reverence given the Devil Dogs name earned in WWI? How about the national symbol of Marines and Sailors raising the flag on Mt Suribochi? Do we just absorb that and call them Rangers or do we show a little goll damned respect? Sure the Army has their own heroes. Their own men that will forever be remembered. Not one of them will ever be a United States Marine. Even the name alone exudes power and respect. Every country has an army. A few even have their own Marines but there is only one UNITED STATES MARINE CORP.

8 thoughts on ““…they will see the streets are guarded by UNITED STATES MARINES.”

  1. Gundoc,
    When it comes to the Marine Corp we would not have this country without them. No offense to Mad Ogre but we need them to do what very few want to do or will do.

  2. We had an Army before we had a Marine Corps. Marines are not the equivalent of an Army Ranger in any category, Marine’s do not guard the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. Marines did not storm the shores of Normandy and Marines bleed just like us Army grunts when we’re wounded. Wanna know about a Marine check out WO Felix J. McCool, my wife’s uncle, now that was a Marine. HOOAH!

    1. No need to get testy. I would point out that Marines actually do attend Ranger school and even win the Ranger Challenge.

      Marines didn’t do the Normandy landing because they were too busy doing landings all across the south Pacific. You got one landing…congrats.

      Yeah, you have the tomb of the unknown. Since he was an unknown army soldier don’t you think its fitting that he is guarded by soldiers?

      Not trying to create a pissing match but come on. This is not a “we’re better than you are” article.

  3. Sorry to hear that Doc. Read it again. You may just see that it is reasoning to keep the Marines out of being absorbed into the army. That’s in the first paragraph. I’m just saying that for what the Marines represent is enough reason to keep them separate.

  4. On a serious note, I don’t think the model of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force can be as successfully recreated in the Army. It would require one of two things, IMHO. Either the Navy would need to develop a large population of maritime infantry and ground combat support, essentially another Marine Corps different only in name. Or the Army would need to develop infantry units with additional competencies related to maritime warfare. Neither of these solutions would be particularly effective. All the members of a MAGTF not only share a common command structure, but common military culture as well. I believe this makes the coordination of the MAGTF elements much more effective and efficient. As much as some might argue it, the Marine Corps isn’t duplicative of the other branches.

    1. Reading this made me proud. My father was an Army Sgt., and I am proud of his fight from Normandy to Berlin. My uncle retired as a Marine Colonel, who fought from one side of the Pacific to the other; and had more pride in being “gunnery sgt” than he ever did in his officer rank. And I was proud of him as well. Years ago, l received a letter drafting me into the army, and at my father’s urging, I went and enlisted in my beloved Corps that same afternoon. He never explained why, and after 3 combat tours in Nam, he didn’t have to… There is more contained in the words “the few, the proud…” than people understand. Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. Comparing Marines to Rangers is a non-starter. Different mission, different men. Simple. Warriors are warriors.

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