It is probably no secret to anyone that in the United States everyone is convinced that the Marines are the most fierce warriors in the world. If you do not take special equipment and rested in stories Soviet construction battalion, in principle, the way it can be.
Logan Nye of "We are the Mighty" (it sounds like "We are powerful," and what else to expect from the American media?) Gave an overview of the differences between conventional and marine infantry. And he found as many as five differences.
Nye, for comparison, was guided by the infantry leadership for the rifle platoon and a similar document for the rifle platoon of the Marine Corps and its squads.
It is clear that the doctrine is doctrine, but field realities have their own nuances in the use of marine and conventional infantry.
Organizational rifle platoons of the army and marine corps have many common elements. The main element of the squad is the shooter, each squad is divided into two mini-squads, or fireteams (combat teams Alpha and Bravo with the same set: commander, machine gunner, grenade launcher, shooter). Plus, each platoon has a radio operator and a medic.
Next is the difference.
The Marine Corps has three squads, each of which consists of three combat teams. The platoon commander is a lieutenant. The group commander (usually a sergeant) performs the functions of a grenade launcher (M203) concurrently, with him a machine gun crew of two people (a machine gunner and his assistant) and another shooter.
There are no so-called heavy weapons in the platoon, but there is a platoon in the KMP company weapons (weapons platoon) of the Marine Corps, commanded by another lieutenant. The weapons platoon is a very serious combat unit and consists of:
- mortar compartment (3 60 mm mortar M224);
- machine gun compartment (3 machine guns M240);
- grenade launcher compartment (6 SMAW hand grenade launchers).
This platoon also has two specialists: a platoon weapons specialist (gunnery sergeant) and a medic.
Army platoons consist of two units. The commander of an army rifle division is usually a sergeant or senior sergeant who leads two fire groups of four.
Each army firing group consists of a group commander (corporal), machine gunner, grenade launcher and gunner.
There is also a difference here, the machine gunner does not have a second number, and the commander is no longer required to shoot small grenades. The marksman, who in the marines performs the role of the second number, is usually assigned the responsibilities of a shooter of a detachment or Marxman, who must hit targets at a great distance. Not really a sniper, but something like that.
And, unlike the ILC, the infantry platoon has its own compartment with heavy weapons. The weapons department is usually led by the most experienced sergeant. The department also consists of two groups and is armed with two M240 machine guns and two Javelin ATGMs.
Obviously, the KMP platoon is more mobile precisely because all the heavy weapons are concentrated in a separate platoon, the speed of response of which is entirely the headache of the company command.
However, the KMP’s weapons platoon is a more serious combat unit than the two arms divisions on the one hand, due to the mortar battery, albeit of a small caliber, and there are more machine guns in it.
However to each tank - his battlefield. An armored platoon of the KMP can create a significant advantage and gain in the area where it will be thrown according to the command order. The presence in each rifle platoon of an infantry company of the US Army infantry squad allows for more balanced support for the infantry squad both in defense and in the offensive.
Naturally, when appropriate decisions are made at the battalion level, any unit can be given additional reinforcement in the form of mortars, machine guns and missile systems. This is the same for the US Army, and for the ILC.
Marines complain that the army receives all the new items first. For example, the same M4 rifle hit the ILC almost a year and a half later than the ground forces. The same thing applies to such useful things as optical sights, laser sight, tactical handles, and other “gadgets” that are so dear to the heart of every soldier, which the marine receives fairly later than his land colleague.
And the choice in infantry is more diverse than in the ILC. If the infantryman needs to shatter something more substantial on the enemy than a bullet, such a tasty contraption as the M320 is at his disposal. And at the disposal of the marine is still only M203.
No, of course, the M203 is still relevant and not bad, but still it comes from the 60s of the last century, and therefore it is deprived of the convenience of the M320 and such useful things as a night vision device and a handheld laser rangefinder. Still, the M203 is a very old model. And the M320 can be used without mounting it on the machine, which is also a great advantage.
The army is quickly rearming on the M320, but it’s very difficult to say why the marines are mired in such conservatism. For the mobile marine M320, which can be used as an autonomous weapon, this is a very good help in battle.
If the situation is completely out of control, but does not yet require the invocation of the heavenly cavalry in the form of “Apaches,” then the army has superiority. Need to use a rocket or grenade more powerful than from a grenade launcher? No problem!
Marines can use SMAW, AT-4, or Javelin. And for the Marines at the lower levels, only SMAW is available. Yes, if the marines will scream loudly, the battalion command can send "Javelins" to help, they are in the ILC, but the company has heavy weapons of battalion submission.
You understand, in battle, before the battalion command you can easily not finish.
The same is true of ordinary infantry, but the level of saturation with heavy weapons will be higher for them, and it will be spread more evenly over platoons and companies.
Obviously, the infantry units of both forces are not completely independent on the battlefield. Both marines and army rifle units seek help if an unpleasant situation arises in battle.
Both marines and army companies can receive mortar, heavy machine-gun and rocket-grenade support from their battalion, if the company’s assets are exhausted, or if they are simply not enough.
And yes, at the brigade level, the infantrymen already have support with their own artillery and aviation.
And there are differences too. The Marine Corps is supported by its own artillery, which is planted as part of the landing group, and air support can be provided as land aviation, aviation fleet or KMP aviation. Who will be closer.
Naturally, only air forces of the ground forces will provide air support to infantrymen.
Specialty. Very interesting point.
Of course, the regular and marine are very different in terms of training. This is perhaps the deepest difference between the two.
It is clear that all marines are preparing for landing operations, and not necessarily from ships. Land infantrymen do not need this at all, therefore, for the sake of advanced training, many prefer to receive specialization by type of terrain or method of warfare. These are airborne paratroopers, rangers, mountain or mechanized infantry.
Rangers are greatly appreciated and respected as the most difficult of these specialties. But no less honorable than the Marine, and therefore many try to master this specialty.
In the Marine Corps, everything is different, there they classify their soldiers according to weapons systems and tactics, and not according to specialties, like the Marines. The point here is that it is completely incomprehensible where the marine will fight tomorrow, because narrow specialization is completely useless here.
So the marines do not have such a division, there are only arrows, machine gunners, mortarmen snipers, attack aircraft and rocket launchers.
But in the framework of the military profession there are no limits for improvement. And any marine who wants to move up the career ladder can go beyond the specialization of the standard infantry division of the ILC and get a specification of a different plan, for example, a scout.
In general, despite the similarity, the difference between the ILC and the infantry units lies in the methods of use. The ILC is the arrowhead designed to inevitably and deadly destroy the enemy in any theater of war, from the Arctic to the tropical jungle. This is a mobile and flexible tool for influencing the enemy.
The land army infantry is more specialized for a specific theater of operations, but no less deadly.
The main thing in modern strategy is to know exactly where these troops can be used more effectively. And then victory will be inevitable.
A source: 5 differences between Army and Marine Corps infantry.