Home News President-elect Trump wants the Marine Corps to be huuuuuge

President-elect Trump wants the Marine Corps to be huuuuuge

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In this Sept. 15, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event aboard the retired ship USS Iowa in Los Angeles. The Associated Press has learned that the Internal Revenue Service has revoked the non-profit status of Veterans for a Strong America, the veterans organization that hosted Trump’'s foreign policy speech. Veterans for a Strong America is headed by Joel Arends, a veteran and conservative campaign operative. Arends told the AP he disagrees with the IRS’'s determination and is appealing. He would not provide a copy of any tax returns the group had filed. The IRS automatically revokes any group’'s non-profit status if it fails to file returns for three consecutive years. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
In this Sept. 15, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event aboard the retired ship USS Iowa in Los Angeles. The Associated Press has learned that the Internal Revenue Service has revoked the non-profit status of Veterans for a Strong America, the veterans organization that hosted Trump’’s foreign policy speech. and conservative campaign operative. Arends told the AP he disagrees with the IRS’’s determination and is appealing. He would not provide a copy of any tax returns the group had filed. The IRS automatically revokes any group’’s non-profit status if it fails to file returns for three consecutive years. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

The incoming President of the United States wants to increase the size and strength of the Marine Corps- to the point where they can win two wars at the same time.

“We will build a Marine Corps based on 36 battalions, which the Heritage Foundation notes is the minimum needed to deal with major contingencies,” President-elect Donald J. Trump said on September 7th, as he laid out his plans to expand the military.

The current administration’s drawdown plans will likely be halted, as the current strategy involves keeping 24 active-duty infantry battalions, two tank battalions and countless units that support the combat units’ ground mission.

The Trump administration will likely seek to bolster the Marine Corps to 36 infantry battalions, as well as increasing the Army to 540,000 personnel in active service.

Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller said he could certainly use more funding for the Marine Corps.

“It would be great if we could have the resources to have 190,000 Marines, but we’re not assuming that,” Neller said back in August. “That’s a decision that’s not in my job jar. So we’re going to operate under the assumption that we’re going to have 182,000 Marines because that’s what we’ve been resourced for. So we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to reshape this Marine Corps.”

Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Dakota Wood of the Heritage Foundation think tank suggested that the USMC grow to 36 battalions of infantry and three tank battalions in order to be at peak effectiveness.

“We say that the United States needs to have the ability to handle two wars- not that we’re saying that we’re going to be in two wars simultaneously, but if you only have a one-war force and you have to commit to it, that’s everything,” Wood told the Marine Corps Times.

By increasing the size of the Corps, the relatively small branch will be able to handle more than one conflict at a time and will be able to project force wherever it is required.

“A Marine Corps of 36 battalions would enable an ability to handle a major conflict and an ability to handle other taskings around the world, wherever this may be; your unit deployment program to Okinawa and the MEU deployments that go into all the key regions,” Wood said.

As the Marines seek to modernize, a larger size will come with more strain on logistics and equipment- something the Corps is already struggling to keep afloat.

California Congressman and Marine veteran Duncan Hunter says that while the idea is grand, focus needs to immediately be turned to the massive maintenance funding shortfalls that plague the Marine Corps of late.

“Let’s listen to the Marine Corps,” he said. “I think the Marine Corps would say: ‘That’s all great, absolutely; we would love to have those numbers, but we also need maintenance funding.'”

However, despite reservation, Hunter is hopeful in regards to what the incoming president can do for the Corps.

“I think, finally, for the first time in eight years we’re going to have an overall plan of what our goals are throughout the world and overlay that with our military and what our availabilities are for everybody,” he said.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. What does the tax status of the organization that hosted Trump’s speech have to do with the story about the size of the Marine Corps? Please, please don’t mimic the behavior of the rest of our media.

    If these people are crooks send them to jail but don’t mix two unrelated issues

  2. One can only hope,that if they do expand the USMC,they won’t lower the high standard that was used up till now to get new recrutes.

  3. OK, if we’re talking about all 4 Marine Divisions, which includes the Reserves, and fully staff each division with the three regiments of three battalions each (9 per division), that’s all 36 battalions going to the infantry – which IS the backbone of the Corps. The next question is will the other non-infantry units in the division (artillery, tank, recon, light armored vehicle, assault amphibian, engineers, & the division headquarters battalion) receive the commensurate structure to support the full infantry unit-based landing team (RLT/BLT and now CLT) structure as well plus the “division residual” (as we used to call it – mostly the non-direct support artillery battalions and the division/artillery regiment/separate battalion headquarters)? Then the question becomes what about the aviation & logistics combat elements & the MEF headquarters groups & separate MEU/MEB headquarters? This is all part of the Force Structure study effort underway – all needs to be addressed, to include the Active/Reserve mix.

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