Infantry: October 25, 2002

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The U.S. Marine Corps, as is their custom, now thinks it might be a good idea to copy their brethren, the British Royal Marines, and convert themselves to a commando force. During World War II, the Royal Marines turned themselves into the Royal Marine Commandos. After 1945, when Britain disbanded all of it's commandos, the Royal Marines retained three of their infantry battalions as Royal Marines Commandos (commando battalions). These three battalions have remained in service to the present, mainly because they always performed as advertised. The U.S. marines have long since dropped their divisional organization, using the three "division" headquarters as an administrative units for managing the battalion and brigade (2-4 battalions) size task forces for whatever assignments come their way. This has worked quite well over the last two decades. The new proposal would finally do away with the marine division (the first one was organized in 1942, six were active in World War II). Marines would be trained more for commando operations rather than traditional infantry combat. This is a trend that is already present in marine training, although marines are still considered, first and foremost, elite ground combat troops. It is expected that there might be a lot of resistance from marine veterans groups (over a hundred thousand marine veterans of World War II are still around, and they can be a feisty lot.) But the marines do have a tradition of constantly transforming themselves, something even old marines recognize and respect. 

 


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