I’m sure Mr. Wike is a very smart man but he seems to have fallen under the old marine corps propaganda. From the beginning when the Continental Congress authorized two battalions of marines in 1775 to today where the USMC is the largest marine (Naval Infantry) force in the world, the corps has leveraged it’s myth to gain popular support even as it’s members denigrate the other services on a daily basis.
Mr. Wike should read A. Scott Piraino’s Never Faithful; The Rivalry Between our Army and Marines to get a better understanding of the competition here.
The U.S. Army has been the first to fight in most all of our nations conflicts yet if you ask the average U.S. civilian he/she will say it’s the marines and that’s the power of the corps. In reality to earn the title of U.S. Marine takes a little over 12 weeks of boot yet the drop out rate is the same as for the U.S. Army’s basic training (10 weeks) at an average of 11% annually, so just about anyone who wants to become a marine can become a marine. Few civilians would have guessed this.
In reality, the Army does not need the USMC but the marines do need the U.S. Army otherwise their budget would be dramatically higher. Marines also desperately need the U.S. Navy since it’s Naval money that buys assault ships like the Iwo Jima for the corps to ride on. God forbid that the marines pay for the building, maintenance, and staffing of their own ships.
A few U.S. Army Green Berets with the help of jets from the USAF and fighters from the Northern Alliance, were able to take down 60,000 Taliban soldiers in just two months at the beginning of OEF (Oct. 2001) without any help from the Navy or Marines. Let the Navy keep their marines.