Why is Difference Between Navy and Marines

Nov 20, 2023
Why is Difference Between Navy and Marines

Navy vs Marines

Understanding the difference in roles between Navy and Marines becomes easy when considering that US Naval forces include Navy, Marines and Coast Guard units with different tasks and responsibilities. Navy as an institution is responsible for protecting US territorial waters; Coast Guards monitor any suspicious movements at entry and exit points to maintain peace and order in coastal zones. While the Navy protects US waters and allows citizens to utilize them at any time, Marines provide crucial assistance during battle by being trained specifically to complete challenging tasks. This article will outline their differences.

What Is Navy?

Fig-1: Navy

The Navy is one of three main Armed forces that make up the US Armed forces and first began operations on October 13, 1775. Today it is overseen by an administrative branch known as United States Department of Navy supervised by an unofficial Secretary of the Navy. Director of Operations is one of the highest ranking positions within the navy, held by an admiral with four stars as Chief of Operations. Primary tasks for this position in the US Navy include ensuring that naval forces are fully prepared to prosecute war, as well as maintaining aviation for naval vessels and weapons essential to naval operations. Furthermore, developing weapons, techniques, tactics, etc. essential to naval warfare is also part of their responsibilities.

What Is Marines?

Fig-2: Marines

Although initially created together with part of the Navy in 1775 in order to provide landing forces for them both, Marines later gained independence through special legislation passed by Parliament in 1798. Since 1834, Marines have been part of the US Department of Navy. Officially known as United States Marine Corps (USMC). Marine Corps troops may be known for taking on challenging missions, but they’re equally skilled at ground fighting as their airborne counterparts. Marines specialize in clearing ground to allow naval forces to launch an attack against enemies; their deployment makes this possible and also gives the navy more time to strike by sea routes.

Marine Corps personnel should not underestimate their air power; their aircrafts and attack helicopters play an integral part in providing safe passage for Navy forces to move forward. Due to a vast number of aircrafts and equipment needed by them for battle operations, however, assistance and support from other sources often becomes necessary; for instance, doctors supplied by Navy have to help the Marines stay alive during battle operations.

What’s the Difference between Navy and Marines?

Though Navy is one of three branches that comprise our armed force, Marines form part of it.

  • * Marine Corps is an independent organization with its own command structure separate from that of Navy.
  • Marines are highly-skilled combat specialists who are deployed by the Navy for specific missions.
  • Marines offer protection to allow Navy attacks to commence smoothly.
  • Marines’ lighter bodies require them to deploy quickly.
  • *Marine Corps continues to be part of the Navy; however, they operate independently with their own command structure, uniforms, goals and missions that differ significantly from that of Navy.
  • *The Department of Navy oversees both Marines and Navy units.
  • * The highest ranking Marine official is known as the Commander; for Navy Officers it’s Chief of Naval Operations.

As previously discussed, Marines serve a different mission from Navy; one key aspect of their responsibilities includes safeguarding all United States diplomatic missions and military facilities worldwide. Furthermore, they can take any other task assigned by President. Navy must focus on safeguarding its vessels as well as prepare for battles.

Marines Navy SEALs
Introduction (from Wikipedia) The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[7] using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. The United States Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy’s principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC).
Type Amphibious and expeditionary Navy Special Operations Force, Sea, Air, Land
Size 202,779 active (as of October 2010); 40,000 reserve (as of 2010) ~2,400
Part of Department of Defense, Department of the Navy United States Navy, United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSOC), United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
Country United States of America United States of America
Motto Semper Fidelis “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”, “It Pays to be a Winner”
Branch Marine Corps United States Navy
Garrison/HQ Headquarters Marine Corps Coronado, California, Little Creek, Virginia
Engagements American Revolutionary War, Quasi-War, Barbary Wars, Seminole Wars, Mexican–American War, American Civil War, Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War, Boxer Rebellion, Banana Wars, World Wars I & II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War World War II, Vietnam War, Multinational Force in Lebanon, Operation Urgent Fury, Achille Lauro hijacking, Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Restore Hope, Battle of Mogadishu, Operation United Shield, Operation Enduring Freedom
Role Ground and amphibious force Primary tasks: Maritime Special Operations, Special reconnaissance, Direct action, Counter-terrorism. Other roles: Counter-drug operations, Personnel recovery.
Nickname The Few, The Proud; Devil Dogs; Leatherneck Frogmen, The Teams, Greenfaces
Insignia Eagle, globe and anchor Eagle, anchor, trident & cocked flintlock pistol
Women allowed Yes Yes


  • The Navy serves to ensure that seas and waters available and accessible for U.S. usage and travel. As part of its mandate, they transport weapons, planes, Marines as well as weapons but cannot engage directly in combat; but inside its ranks lies an elite special operations unit known as Navy SEALs that belong to Naval Special Warfare Command and have special-ops training that allows them to work under water as well as air or land – an exceptional special operations force renowned for counterterrorism efforts, special reconnaissance activities or recovering personnel among other duties. Their primary responsibilities include counter-terrorism efforts as well as counter-recog activities anti-drug operations or recovering personnel lost.
  • The Marines are an arm of the Navy responsible for patrolling coasts and monitoring everything that enters and leaves from U.S. waters via seas. Trained to occupy beaches and devise attacks plans against enemies from virtually every direction and outlet, Marines also participate in ground combat with some frequency, often serving as an effective alternative to Army troops due to being quickly deployed via water transport networks such as Navy vessels.


  • Navy recruits complete eight weeks of rigorous physical training at The Great Lakes Naval Training Center located in Chicago, Illinois. In these eight weeks they must meet physical fitness standards while also learning firearms maintenance, classroom exercises about the past, culture and fundamental principles of the Navy as well as specific roles such as military police or naval combat roles. After boot camp has concluded they undergo specific training that prepares them for such roles.
  • As part of their training for membership in the US Marine, recruits undergo 13 weeks of intense mental and physical instruction at either Parris Island in South Carolina or at San Diego’s Recruit Training Depot. Training is divided into three phases – Phase One involves drills and physical training while Phase Two offers combat training with weapons as well as more physical conditioning exercises. Phase Three comprises final preparations before an examination on USMC history and values is held before graduating ceremony takes place.


  • Looking back over history that has shaped both the Navy and Marines, one finds the Naval branch is more established. Established by colonists following appeals for help in 1775, this arm of the U.S. Navy eventually came into being as part of its charter to support global maritime interests.
  • As part of their effort to build up American colonies against Royal Navy attacks, they hoped that creating the Continental Navy could assist American colonists against Royal Navy forces that were perceived to be powerful enough to defend against American colonists’ defence against them. Prior to 1775 it was believed that Britain boasted one of the strongest naval fleets.
  • At that time, Britain enjoyed a distinct advantage on the seas over any other nation (often clashing with Spain and France in previous conflicts).
  • In October 1775, Congress voted to create the Continental Navy and initially began with two vessels before eventually growing to 25 by the end of American Revolution.
  • The Marines were officially organized roughly one month after the Navy. Congress approved two battalions of Marines that could join both branches for warfare on land and at sea; both branches eventually disbanded shortly after the American Revolution had concluded.
  • At that point, the United States decided that their military was no longer essential, without war being declared. Between 1794 and 1798 both the Navy and Marine Corps were reinstated – each branch following its original order with the Navy leading.
  • Marine Corps Soldiers play various roles. Primarily focused on combat and direct battle, Marines typically serve as first responders when more troops arrive and assume control of an area until assistance arrives. Marines tend to arrive quickly due to being quick deployers. As soon as an area has fallen under Marine control they should remain guarding and protecting until further assistance arrives.

Ground Combat

  • Combat infantry is an integral component of Marine service. They must seize control over land they manage while working as part of a fire squad, serving in Mortar Marines, Snipers Marines, Infantry Assault Marines or Assault Assault Marine units with focus on hands-on fighting techniques.
  • Crew Marines for Amphibious Assault Vehicles lead their passengers safely from ship to shore, transporting equipment, weapons, supplies and marines across land terrain using tanks-like vehicles tailored specifically for that terrain.
  • Marine Combat Roles for Aviation
    The Marines are an elite military with their own Air Force that ranks among the largest and most powerful worldwide. Their primary function is providing close air support for infantrymen moving forward while simultaneously providing protection for air guards who aid land forces in seizing regions.

USMC Support for Landing

  • Acting as the link between marines on the sea and those living on land, the Support Team manages and oversees material arrivals/departures at ports/beaches as well as personnel/supplies at both. They oversee two areas that support each section as a whole.
  • The Navy can serve many roles. Although their duties differ widely from Marines’ duties, their roles still balance. Essentially the Navy acts as the hall monitors of the ocean – providing oversight and aid for transportation without getting involved directly with hand-to-hand combat. While heavily equipped with aircraft and ship missile fighters, most Navy fleets remain mostly on water. Ground fleets consist of equipment maintenance or mechanical fixes.
  • Naval Aviation Wing: The Navy operates an assortment of flightcraft including helicopters, fighter jets, transport and surveillance craft.
  • The Surface Fleet It consists of vessels specifically tailored for different bodies of water. The navy can access smaller river-borne vessels as well as larger oceanic and high sea vessels for use by their Surface Fleet.
  • Submarine Fleet: Also referred to as “the Silent Service”, submarine fleets play a critical role in combat and surveillance missions, providing safe travel across water bodies for combat forces as well as research vessels.
  • The Shore “Support” Establishment:This role provides support for operating forces in terms of equipment, supplies, communication areas, training centers and storage areas, among others.
  • What are the Navy’s Responsibilities? The Navy has three primary categories of responsibilities.
  • Step one is for the Navy to ensure its forces are fully prepared for missions.
  • Next, the Navy needs to remain dedicated to aviation capabilities since their maritime division of the army also oversees all aspects of aviation on land and at sea.
  • At its core, the Navy develops tools, techniques, and aircrafts to ensure technology and capability remain up-to-date.

What is the Navy’s Mission?

  • The Department of the Navy strives to have ready troops ready to engage in battle to win wars while deterring opponents and protecting freedom across oceans.
  • In order to ensure its readiness, the Navy must find and train new members.
  • Maintaining well-equipped and disciplined military forces is vital to winning war and ensuring our nation’s security.

What Are the Duties of Marine Corps?

  • Marines are charged with fighting war on both shore and in distant theaters of operation – be they seaborne or on land.
  • Marines also work closely with other branches of the military to form an integrated and cohesive response to any crisis situation.
  • Marines boast their own infantry air operations, special missions, and artillery units – as well as having their own infantry air operations.

What are the Marine’s duties during naval conflicts?

  • Their primary mission is to defend and seize naval bases.
  • The second component of our mission is collaborating with other branches of the military in developing warfare tactics and tools.
  • Finally, it should be emphasized that the Marine Corps serves to carry out orders issued by both President of the United States and Department of Defense.


Whilst both Navy and Marines share similarities and distinctions, each presents distinct challenges and advantages for service members. The Navy and Marines differ considerably in terms of tasks and responsibilities as well as mission objectives. But as part of the Marine Corps and working closely together, much of what they do overlaps – helping each other. Additionally, each branch may utilize different command structures; however, their chain of command remains uniform in both nature and execution. Joining has similar requirements and benefits.