The most glorified branch of the military in Coalition propaganda, the Marine Corps’ role has changed little from its American predecessor. It is still the branch in charge of rapid response and amphibious assault (although this term has changed to define quick orbital drops). Because of stricter recruit requirements and longer training, the Marines are one of the smallest branches of the military, second only to the Presidential Guard .
Marine Corps history began during the Endless War, quickly replacing the USMC as the American Empire was transformed into the Coalition of Western Republics. The Marines were used to strike from orbit against rebel strongholds, where they were expected to decapitate enemy leadership and ruin enemy logistics so the Army could mop up the bulk of the enemy’s force. This was their primary role in most of the Coalition’s wars shortly afterward, as these wars involved many disunited factions rather than a single monolithic enemy. When the latter made itself manifest in the form of the Conseil Systems, the Marines’ role had to change. With an offworld political leadership, the Marines could not decapitate the Conseil in one blow. At best, they could kill a regional military commander, but more often than not they were stationed in starships and responsibility for their assassination fell to the Navy. The Marines became what they are today: logistical support. Marine units targeted planetside anti-ship batteries, EMSEL point defense systems, and supply lines so the Army and Navy would have an easier time landing troops and providing orbital support respectively. After several instances of heroic sacrifices where entire Marine units attracted massive Conseil forces to their position and called for naval bombardment of the area, the Directorate of Defense saw a new purpose for the Marines. Modern Marine units are trained to “take a stick and hit as many hornets’ nests as possible,” causing chaos behind enemy lines before they are surrounded and call for the Navy to bombard their position. Many Marine commanders understandably despise the Navy and the DoD for treating their men like sacrificial lambs, but given the extremely high casualty rates among Marine units before the practice was implemented, their protests fall on deaf ears.
Marine doctrine emphasizes speed to make up for their lower numbers. Marine tactics revolve around the IFV, which is used to transport Marines around the battlefield very quickly and provide cover and fire support. These IFVs tend to be open-topped, so the Marines inside could use their weapons in conjunction with the mounted weaponry on the vehicle. The IFV is truly the core of Marine doctrine, to the point that even their mortars are mounted on IFVs. Marine armor is designed to be fast and hard-hitting, sacrificing armor for speed. They possess massive firepower compared to Conseil and Coalition Army armor, and are used to crash through enemy defenses. Marines rarely operate defensively, always launching attacks against an enemy and bugging out whenever a threat is overwhelming. The only time a Marine unit should be stationary is during last stands.
Weapons and Equipment
The Marines, while glorified as the best of the best, are typically supplied with old, outdated Army equipment. Coalition bean counters justify this by saying the Marines’ sacrificial role means supplying them with expensive equipment means more expenses on the part of the Coalition government, and that if the Marines really were the best of the best they could do more with equipment that would otherwise rust away in planetary guard gun lockers (the latter argument tends to flatter Marine commanders enough for them to stop pushing the issue). However, what the Marines don’t inherit from the Army is typically made to higher(but very specific) standards, thanks to Marine lobbying and the argument that Marines need to have the right equipment for the job. While their helmets are cheaper, every Marine is supplied with fully-shielded, fully sealed body armor with life support. Their main rifle, the M41 Battle Rifle, is a selective fire automatic sonnecoil, with a twenty-round box magazine. The M41 has more stopping power, is much longer-ranged and much more versatile than the Army’s M98r. However, many Marine units are still supplied by the outdated M98 (a single-action sonnecoil, as opposed to the semiautomatic M98r), while many Army units are supplied with M44 autorepeaters. Marine units tend to favor EMSEL and sonnematerial weapons because of the ease of recharging these weapons (removing the necessity of stable supply lines) and their silent nature. The fact that most of the older weapons are EMSEL and sonnematerial in nature makes this preference appealing to bean counters as well.