I have a lot of devil dog buddies and whenever they start talking “hoorah” and patting each other on the back with how great they are I like to point out that the Marine Corps may win battles…but the Army wins wars!
Here’s an anecdote along the same lines that I mentioned in an earlier discussion:
Back during the First Gulf War, I saw a news item on television in which a reporter spoke (on separate occasions) to a guy from the US Marines and a guy from the US Army. When he asked the leatherneck why he was in the USMC rather than the Army, the guy answered (as I recall) “Well, I think the Army is kind of ordinary, and I think of myself as somebody who’s more than just ordinary.” When he later asked the GI why he was in the Army rather than the Marines, the soldier answered, “I know some guys who are in the Marines and they’re all crazy.”
LOL, and that’s basically the crux of it. Marines revolve their lives around their Marine identities it seems. For instance, you’ll see MANY more Marines/former Marines wearing their respective Marine shirts, hats, jackets, license plates, etc than you will for soldiers. I think it is great that devil dogs are proud of their service and want everyone to know it. At the same time, I believe soldiers are just as proud, they just don’t feel the compulsion to let everyone around them know how proud they are. I think soldiers simply prefer the quiet professionals approach.
When I got out of the Marines my office was in an old WW2 barracks. The building across the street was being demolished so was used by Force recon for a live fire urban assault excercise.
We are rah rah about being Marines because we have the scraps of the navy budget and at the time of my exit, deployable Marines were expected to deploy 7 months out of each year and that was a peacetime commitment. We’re good cause we have to be to crack the defenses. There are not many of us so once we’ve made the hole, the army with more and heavier equipment takes over for the long haul. Combined with the Navy’s air assets and our rides, our mission is offensive power projection. We were tasked with attacking the the Iraqis head on to fix their units in Kuwait during the 1990 gulf war. We attacked exactly where they were expecting us to attack so the rest of the coalition could take them from behind. Out of ~500k US troops in theatre, there were 80k of us. That head on attack was however helped by the Army’s Tiger brigade since our armour assets were not enough and the original British armored division allocated to us were reassigned for the encirclement. Hell even our armored battalions had to borrow Abrams from Army units since we took M60A3 tanks with us to war. ( Not to mention the vehicles we unofficially borrowed from the army)
I’m proud of what we did since we did it with with what we had. That was just an example of why we are so proud. We do a lot with less. Pride is the only that drives us since we get the scraps of the military budget. If you want to mention Peleliu then let me bring your attention to Kasserine. By the way the officers and Staff NCOs from my unit went to war with .45s since we hadn’t been issued the Berrettas yet.
Also on topic, There were Marine contingents in Normandy in the Battlewagons. The were scraped together as a secondary assault force for the point du Hoc attack since the rangers were getting splattered. However the assault succeeded so the Marines were never used in Normandie and why we don’t have that Battle honor.
If you want to know if I am talking out of my ass or from experience, check out my thread here and make your own opinions.
Semper Fi and Hoorah