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The Marines are usually a branch of the naval force of a country. It specializes in conducting amphibious assaults and fighting on ships. Their designation is of corps rather than a service. It is a versatile combat force, trained to carry out a variety of combat operations. The US Marines is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces. As of 2002, it comprised of 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve Marines.

The Marines act as the provision naval infantry. They carry out amphibious operations from naval vessels. In the World War II, the US Marines has fully developed and used its expertise in conducting such operations. Unlike other branches in the US Armed Forces, it has expertise in all essential elements of combat (air, ground and water). Further, all the Soldiers in this branch receive training as riflemen.

The present US Marine Corps has its origin in the "Continental Marines" of the American Revolutionary War period. The Continental Congress formed the "Continental Marines" by a resolution on November 10, 1775. This force disbanded at the end of the war in April 1783. It reformed again on July 11, 1798. Today the Department of Navy commands this force. The Marines are not a part of the US Navy. However, they maintain close cooperation in operating. Only this branch of the US Armed Forces has the authority to act on president’s direction.

The Marines are capable of operating on ground, air and water. It is an all-purpose, quick-response fighting force. It specializes in swift insertion into areas requiring emergency intervention. Since its inception, the US Marines has no record of a full, large-scale retreat.

The US Marine Corps maintains a great flexibility in organization. Its units can be of any size. The Marines follow the doctrine of the Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF). Depending on the operational requirements, an MAGTF unit can be of any of three sizes.

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