what do the marines do

What Do the Marines Do: All About The Marines [2023]

What do the Marines do? It is a little complicated because it depends on the type of Marine that you're talking about. Let this post make it clear!

January 1, 2022

Marines are brave, strong, and courageous. But what do the Marines do in the war? Because it depends on the type of Marine you’re talking about, the answer to this question is a little complicated. What do Marines in WWII do? What does a modern-day Marine Corps Officer (MCO) do? What does a Marine Corps Officer (MCO) do nowadays? What is required for joining the Marines? These questions will be answered in this blog post. Marines have a wide range of roles and responsibilities, which we’ll go over in detail below!

What Is the United States Marine Corps?

The Marine Corps was established on November 10, 1775, when the Continental Congress directed the formation of two battalions of Marines to serve as landing forces with the fleet. Marines have fought in all of the United States’ wars, often being the first or among the first to do so. Furthermore, Marines have carried out over 300 landings on foreign shores and participated in every major U.S. naval action since 1775.

The Marine Corps is one of the world’s most elite fighting forces. The Marines are a part of the Department of the Navy and work closely with US naval forces at sea. The mission of the Marines is unique among the services. Marines serve on US Navy ships, guard naval bases, and provide an always-ready quick strike force to protect US interests anywhere in the world.

What do the Marines do?

Who is the Marine?

Marines are known as the ones who represent the face of the U.S. because they come from all parts of it and contribute different backgrounds in addition. Driven by the desire to answer a country’s call, and a commitment to emerging victorious, Marines walk life into the fight depending on Americans’ way of life.

Roles in the Corps

The United States Marine Corps is a completely separate military service within the United States Department of Navy tasked with providing marine troops for the seizure and defense of advanced bases, as well as conducting operations on land and in the air in support of naval campaigns. It is also in charge of providing detachments for service on specific types of naval vessels, as well as security forces for naval shore installations and US diplomatic missions abroad. The corps specializes in amphibious landings, such as those conducted against Japanese-held Pacific islands during WWII.

The Marine Corps plays a vital role as the first force on the ground in most conflicts. Today, Marines are stationed across the world at all times, ready to deploy quickly whenever and wherever necessary. Total service commitment ranges from four to six years. After completing Marine Corps Recruit Training, Marines can become an expert in any number of 300+ MOS, creating a diverse and talented group of modern fighters for our Nation.

Marines Corps Advantages

The Marine Corps is unique among Service branches with the invisible advantages it brings. Marines are paid well and receive the same health care and lifestyle employment advantages as other service members. However, being a Marine is not simply a job. It is a calling, and only those who prove themselves during the rigorous and tough training have earned the right to wear the uniform.

Marines are trained to improvise, adapt and overcome any obstacle in any necessary situation. They are the first to fight and are determined to succeed.

As we know, The Marine Corps is one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. Being a part of the Department of the Navy and operating in close cooperation with U.S. naval forces at sea, The Marines have unique missions among the services. Marines serve on U.S. Navy ships, protect naval bases, guard U.S. embassies and provide an ever-ready quick strike force to protect U.S. interests anywhere in the world.

Flying planes and helicopters; operating radar equipment; driving armored vehicles; gathering intelligence; surveying and mapping territory; maintaining and repairing radios, computers, jeeps, trucks, tanks, and aircraft; and performing hundreds of other challenging jobs are all included in Marine’s duties that approximately 182,000 officers and enlisted Marines have to perform.

Read more >> Joining the Air Force: All Requirements You Need to Know

Top BEST jobs for the Marine Corps

A Marine is a warrior, skilled in the art of warfare. Still, Marines hold themselves to the high standards of the Corps, no matter what they’re doing.

Most people often think of infantry as the only job of the Marines and even imagine an infantry Marine as the one holding a rifle, but the Marine Corps has a whole lot more to offer than just infantry jobs.

With more than 180 military occupational specialties, the Marine Corps offers everything from aviation to intelligence to special operations.

Combat engineers

Combat engineers often are considered jacks-of-all-trades, but specialize in explosives utilization and recovery as well as the construction and destruction of structures. Engineers are problem-solvers, but don’t let society’s depiction of a nerd with a calculator and pocket protector fool you. Combat engineers often are fighting on the front lines with infantry counterparts.

A busy day in the life of a combat engineer might include building a bunker, making and placing breaching charges, clearing an enemy house, sweeping for improvised explosive devices, designing and implementing defense in depth (creating multiple layers of obstacles to protect a base/fighting position) and building bridges.

Combat engineers often will attend advanced schools, such as Sapper School, which teach advanced tactics used in special operations forces units, making them highly trained warriors.

How to become one: This job is not for the faint of heart. Named one of the world’s toughest schools by the Marine Corps, combat engineers must be intellectually and physically able to adapt to any battlefield challenge.

Becoming a combat engineer is pretty straightforward. First, you must score high enough on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, to meet the minimum requirements. You must have decent math skills as well as show mechanical aptitude. If you want to be sure you are focusing on the right areas to succeed on the ASVAB, talk to a recruiter and let them know you want to be 1371.

As long as your ASVAB is high enough, a recruiter should put you in a combat engineer slot. You will then go to boot camp, Marine Combat Training, and finally engineer school.

Job outlook after the military: Engineers have one of the best job outlooks once phasing back into civilian life. Being trained in so many multifaceted areas opens the door for jobs in a wide range of fields: construction, FBI bomb squad, and weapon manufacturing/testing, just to name a few.

When coupling combat engineer experience with a college degree in an engineering field, you can frame yourself in a position to be highly sought after.

In any case, the government and government contractors often offer the best job opportunities.

Scout Sniper

What they do: Marine scout snipers are renowned as some of the best snipers in the world due to their extensive training in observation, fieldcraft, and long-range precision shooting.

Marine snipers are the eyes and ears of the battalion commander. They often are the first to be sent in behind enemy lines to scout enemy encampments, movements, weapons systems, route selections, etc. They then pass this intel back to their command to be implemented into the battle plan.

Although scout snipers are best known for the ability to engage targets while remaining nearly invisible, this is actually only about 10 percent of the job. That said, scout snipers do get an unparalleled amount of trigger time.

How to become one: First, you need to be an 03XX, meaning you have to join the infantry. Then, whenever the scout sniper platoon is low on people, they will hold a “tryout,” known as a “screener” or “indoc,” which you can volunteer for.

Read more >> U.S Marine Corps Ranks and Insignia

Dog Handler

What they do: You and your furry battle buddy will be tasked with a large assortment of missions across the globe but in all reality, most of these tasks will include something to do with the detection of munitions, explosive devices, or illegal narcotics. Many of our brave servicemen and women have been saved by a military working dog alerting the squad to the presence of IEDs.

Of course, there may be other roles you and your canine may assume such as the detection of living humans in destroyed buildings, aiding in the clearance and security of a suspected room or space, or using your canine as a weapon of self-defense against an assailant.

How to become one: You might be surprised to find out that this position is among some of the most competitive and difficult to get (not including special operations forces roles). Positions are limited and even if you meet all of the requirements, you may be beaten out by others that exceed your scores. Dog handlers are chosen by their display of leadership and ability to make extremely fast but accurate decisions in stressful environments.

If you think you’re a fine specimen of exemplary Marine behavior and performance and you choose the route of the 5812 you’ll need to attend and perform exceptionally well in the military working dog basic handler courses you’ll be enduring at the Army’s Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Selection is rigorous so it’s best to far exceed physical requirements and to study up before heading out for the course. Of course, you cannot have allergies to dogs and you must have an immune system capable of fighting off zoonotic infections associated with canines.


What they do: There is a saying in the Marines that every Marine is a rifleman, and while it is true that every Marine does have basic infantry skills, not every Marine is an infantry rifleman.

Infantry riflemen are highly trained in infantry skills including combat marksmanship, patrolling, land navigation, the use of grenades and shoulder-fired rockets, etc.

The title “infantry rifleman” is one of the most respected in the Corps, and you could make the argument that every other job exists to support them. Without a doubt, Marine riflemen are the foundation of the Marine Corps. They have a tough job, and their mission’s scope can include everything from engaging enemies in close-quarters combat situations to delivering humanitarian aid.

Marine riflemen know they have a tough job and they take a lot of pride in that, as they should. They have a proud tradition of being at the forefront of so many important battles and volunteering to put themselves in harm’s way for their country.

How to become one: To become a Marine rifleman you must sign a 0311 or 03XX contract. With an 0311 contract, your path to becoming a rifleman is set.

Recon Marine

What they do: Recon Marines are highly trained infantry Marines capable of operating independently behind enemy lines. They are tasked with the assignment of providing commanders with information on their area of operation.

Recon Marines gather intelligence and paint a picture of what the battlefield looks like. They conduct land reconnaissance, amphibious reconnaissance, boat operations, and small unit raids. Once someone qualifies as a recon Marine they likely will have the opportunity to attend many other advanced schools including Marine scout sniper training, Army airborne school, Army pathfinder course, and many others.

How to become one: Your best chance at becoming a Recon Marine is to enlist in the Marine Corps with a UZ contract. With this contract, you are guaranteed at least a shot at becoming a recon Marine. There are also some physical and mental requirements including a GT score of 105 or higher on the ASVAB, no moral waivers, no drug waivers, no colorblindness, and eyesight that is correctable to 20/20.

Marines Corps – FAQs

What does a Marine get paid?

Base pay for an enlisted service member in their first six months comes out to less than $20,000 per year. But troops’ income increases as they advance in rank and gain experience. The highest-ranking enlisted Marine, Sgt. Maj of the Marine Corps Ronald Green makes over $90,000 a year in base pay alone.

Where I can take the Marines ASVAB Practice Test?

Right here. You can take the Marines ASVAB practice test on this website. Thousands of free ASVAB practice questions are available to help you easily study for your coming exam. Our ASVAB practice tests are available for all devices, both on your browsers and applications. To practice it offline, download it here:

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How are the Marines different from the Army?

The Army is primarily land-based, so they will use trucks, tanks, and all-terrain vehicles for transportation. Conversely, the Marines frequently handle Navy-related campaigns, so they might use ships, submarines, and amphibious vehicles in addition to Humvees or tanks.

Do Marines fight in the war?

More than just naval infantry, the service fights in the air and on land…from the sea. … As a result, the Marines can fight the full spectrum of warfare, from lightly armed guerrillas to mechanized tank armies. The 220,000-strong Marine Corps is possibly the most versatile military organization in the world.

Are Navy SEALs Marines?

The US Navy SEALs are more restricted and difficult to join forces with than the US Marines. The United States Marine Corps (abbreviated USMC or Marines) is one of the five military branches of the United States Department of Defense.

If you want to join the Marine Corps, you’ll need to first ASVAB practice test. To achieve your goal, take our free ASVAB practice test 2023!

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    Marvin Shaw - ASVAB-Prep Writer

    Marvin Shaw is a homeschooling high school teacher and an ASVAB tutor. He's one of the creators of our ASVAB question collection. With his broad knowledge and a big love for the U.S. military, he's mentored hundreds of students to successfully enter the military.

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