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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:15 PM

Marine generals show rare dominance of top jobs

Source: Military Times

When U.S. and NATO top brass gathered in Kabul to mark a change in the top leadership this month, all three American generals lined up on stage were Marines.

Afghanistan is a landlocked country, but for the second consecutive time, President Obama nominated a Marine to lead the war there. Joining the outgoing and incoming commanders on stage was Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, chief of the command that oversees all forces in the Middle East region.

Little noticed outside defense circles, it was a historic moment for the Marine Corps, a seagoing service whose humble beginnings were to provide security and landing parties for Navy ships.

“The Marine Corps is clearly punching above its weight,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and military history professor at Ohio State University. “This is a very unusual and singular moment in Marine Corps history.”

Read more: http://militarytimes.com/news/2013/02/gannett-marine-generals-showing-rare-dominance-top-jobs-022513/



I remember when I enlisted the thought of a Marine general as chairman of the Joint Chiefs or NATO supreme commander was laughable, but they've both happened since.

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Reply Marine generals show rare dominance of top jobs (Original post)
Recursion Feb 2013 OP
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #1
Recursion Feb 2013 #2
sofa king Feb 2013 #4
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #5
4Q2u2 Feb 2013 #8
paleotn Feb 2013 #13
sofa king Feb 2013 #15
quadrature Feb 2013 #16
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #17
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #11
FreeBC Feb 2013 #6
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2013 #7
paleotn Feb 2013 #14
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #9
Recursion Feb 2013 #10
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #12

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:20 PM

1. Baffled as to why the Marines still exist as a branch. Got any big beach landings planned?

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:22 PM

2. Not amphibious assaults per se, but littoral combat is where we are focusing right now

And that's something the Corps does very well.

This argument happens every generation or so, and in the end the Pentagon always decides they'd

* rather have an expeditionary force-in-readiness than not, and don't want to spend the money to get the Army to build one from scratch, and
* don't want to put up with the howls from former Marines that would come if the Corps were scrapped

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:54 PM

4. It's the Army that has to worry.

The Marines are a unified, organic command (not unlike the IDF) that can put an all-arms force on the ground anywhere faster than everyone else. They are an exceedingly flexible force and the largest elite force in the world.

There are about three other armies in the world that maintain the kind of high-volume, high-quality armored forces that the Marines probably ought not to tangle with and leave instead for the U.S. Army. The other 200 countries out there have more to fear from a Marine Expeditionary Unit showing up in three weeks or less than from an armored corps that takes 100 days (and larger air and sea fleets) to travel and assemble itself within striking distance of its objective.

That is why Marines are rising to the top, because the past twenty five years of combat have rewarded the highly trained, the most mobile, and the ones who can put the most firepower at the right place, first. The Army's toys are too heavy and expensive to do that, and they are already relying heavily on their handful of elite and specially trained units to do Marine-like jobs, because there are no jobs for tank divisions and heavy artillery units.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:02 PM

5. Can they not be fully absorbed into the Navy? Or Army? I would think they could be.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:23 PM

8. Not without Suffering

They are already part of the Navy. Combining them with the Army would have bad consequences on their mission capabilities. As money gets tight they will suffer from the top brass dick flop, and the Old Guard Army will hold it against them. The Navy now funds them as little as possible. All the services missions are expressly defined by Senior Leadership and Civilian Oversight, using the QDR the forces are shaped and funded by that review.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:27 PM

13. Why so hung up on the jar heads?

as stated above, they're not a duplication of effort or capabilities. They do what they do extremely well, and no other service has their mix of skills and abilities.

And, I use the term "jar head" with the utmost amount of reverence and affection.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:37 PM

15. I think it's a bad idea to mess with them.

Consider for a moment that today's Marines have more combat experience per person than ever before in the storied history of the Corps (already a subset of the Navy, as mentioned above).

While I'm sure they would happily point out needed changes (like chronic underfunding compared to all other services), the fact of the matter is that the Corps has seen combat virtually every day for the past ten years with a comparative minimum of casualties (fewer in the past ten years than in the 35 days of the Battle for Iwo Jima, for example). This has allowed the command structure to mature and has doubtlessly improved training and the overall survivability of the troops.

These are the very best Marines the world has ever seen, right now. Which is saying one hell of a lot. That makes them much more valuable, exactly as they are, than virtually any other program of equivalent expense.

That's just my opinion, though. And no, I'm not a Marine.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:04 AM

16. better idea, merge the USAF into the Army

eliminate many redundancies

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Response to quadrature (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:13 AM

17. Nah, we don't want to dumb down the Air Force, LOL.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:24 PM

3. "Send in the Marines" is a cliche for "Coming to the rescue"...

That's pretty engrained in the Pentagon culture.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:08 PM

11. It's also been known as a black-humor statement, or droll humor, sometimes used by sailors.

 

Years ago when the Navy adopted a slogan "Go Navy," some Marines with a somewhat similar humor would write on the back of their helmets, "Go Navy." The phrase essentially meant "I don't want to be here."

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:02 PM

6. Well luckily it's not the evangelicals in the Air Force

 

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Response to FreeBC (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:07 PM

7. Yeah, those guys only have the ICBMs.

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Response to FreeBC (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:49 PM

14. Seems the Army has their share as well....

..lets not forget McChrystal, Boykin et al.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:00 PM

9. None of them are equivalent to the top Marine general who stopped the 1933 coup against FDR,

 

when such coup was organized by the super rich including Prescott Bush.

The attempted coup isn't commonly taught in high schools or even college classes. Many registered Democrats are even unaware of it. (More can be found in Archer's book The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR. http://www.amazon.com/The-Plot-Seize-White-House/dp/1602390363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361730353&sr=8-1&keywords=plot+to+overthrow+the+white+house#_ )

Unlike this crop of Marine generals, retired Major General Smedley Butler's experiences led him to have a change of heart as explained in his 1935 book War is a Racket. http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

In it, Butler wrote, for example:
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

It is unlikely that these generals will reach the same conclusion while serving in their top positions.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:01 PM

10. And yet Republican Smedley Butler is posted about at least 5 times a day on DU

I don't know that he's as unknown as you think; we certainly learned about him in boot camp.

Also, if you look into his history he wasn't all you think he was, though his stand in 1934 was awesome.

Also, nobody has ever actually found any sign that MacGuire had a half-a-million-strong army backing him up like Butler claimed; for that matter MacGuire may have been being an agent provocateur.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:21 PM

12. Your statement "Republican Smedley Butler is posted about at least 5 times a day on DU" is

 

factually untrue.

You learned about him in boot camp? Good for you. It doesn't change the statement that "The attempted coup isn't commonly taught in high schools or even college classes."

So he was a Republican in the 30's before Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II were presidents. So what? Eisenhower was also a Republican.

We should learn from our experiences. Anyone who has been paying attention in the last several years has learned that the super-rich and those who represent them are generally opposed to Constitutional principles and FDR policies which led to the rise in the American middle-class. Anyone who has been paying attention should know that the Bush crime family, which has been opposed to Constitutional principes and FDR policies, has been in existence for a great number of years. You don't want to believe that Prescott Bush was involved in planning a fascist coup in America? So what?

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