Should there be a Marine Corps Academy?


I am writing this post to my fellow Marines out there. I am suggesting, though I am not the first, that a discussion regarding the status of formal Marine Corp Academy be created.

To begin with, I am a former Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. I had two tours in Iraq and feel that gives me the right to pose the question, “Why is it that the Marines’ do not have their own formal Academy?”
Currently officers in the United States Marines who have received academy training come from Annapolis. This is the site of United States Naval Academy. For its history Marine Officers were selected from every class of Naval Academy graduates. Officers have been trained in all the standard courses that a sailor would need to begin their career. They are also briefed on what would be necessary to be a Marine, if that were to happen.
While I understand the nature that we rely on the navy for the greatest part of our mission success in a traditional engagement, we have evolved. We are the force in readiness that is the reach of the United States military on every corner of the globe. We do this by piggy backing on Navy vessels around the world. There is no location so far from the sea that a Marine boot can’t land in a matter of minutes. But then things change. For decades now, since the Korean conflict, entire wars have been fought where there is no obvious link between the Marines and their sailor counterparts. Our tactics have evolved to show this. The way we fight now resembles more of an aggressive version of the Army rather than a land version of the Navy.
This has made sense for many years, centuries really. Now though I am concerned about the future of the Corps. In the future of warfare it is questionable to me what the role of the Navy will be. With expanding technological innovation leading the way for remote warfare, the Marines’ ever increasing ground roles, and build up of our direct to the fight capabilities like the Osprey and the SuperCobra attack helicopters how can we continue to rely on the same fundamental training as before?
Part is this the issue of whether or not the Marines should have their own academy. I have heard some arguments for and against this. Some arguments are that this would increase esprit de corps and refine our distinctive culture. Another aspect that I don’t hear mentioned is a new headquarters for the Marine Corps University. This would create a new center for military learning and new theory development concerning Marine tactics and strategy. The best minds in the Marine Corps would be gathered to create the plans that will be instilled in new leaders, hopefully giving us new capabilities that will save Marine lives and ensure mission success.
Cons involve new funds being diverted, a lot of them. And since, last I checked, the Marine Corps only rates 3% of Navy budget, this may be a very large obstacle to overcome. Beyond the fiscal realities are the issues of is this even a good idea? Are we discounting the benefits of the current system? The minds of some the best military leaders are already available in the form Naval professors. And as much as I like to make fun of the sailors, they are a fine group of young cadets to pull from for our future officers. Further, would a break such as this result in a breakdown of our fundamental function, be the first to fight and those who secure the beachhead? If we break from our Naval brothers we may lose a great deal of the teamwork necessary for this type of mission success.
Would this be a tool to continually evolve the Marine Corps in their continually changing role? Would this help the Marines to grow and prosper by refining our already distinctive and world famous culture?

I am writing this post to my fellow Marines out there. I am suggesting, though I am not the first, that a discussion regarding the status of a formal Marine Corps Academy be created.

To begin with, I am a former Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. I had two tours in Iraq and feel that gives me the right to pose the question, “Why is it that the Marines do not have their own formal Academy?”
Currently officers in the United States Marines who have received academy training come from Annapolis. This is the site of United States Naval Academy. For its history Marine Officers were selected from every class of Naval Academy graduates. Officers have been trained in all the standard courses that a sailor would need to begin their career. They are also briefed on what would be necessary to be a Marine, if that were to happen.
While I understand the nature that we rely on the Navy for the greatest part of our mission success in a traditional engagement, we have evolved. We are the force in readiness that is the reach of the United States military on every corner of the globe. We do this by piggy backing on Navy vessels around the world. There is no location so far from the sea that a Marine boot can’t land in a matter of minutes. But then things change. For decades now, since the Korean conflict, entire wars have been fought where there is no obvious link between the Marines and their sailor counterparts. Our tactics have evolved to show this. The way we fight now resembles more of an aggressive version of the Army rather than a land version of the Navy.
This has made sense for many years, centuries really. Now though I am concerned about the future of the Corps. In the future of warfare it is questionable to me what the role of the Navy will be. With expanding technological innovation leading the way for remote warfare, the Marines’ ever increasing ground roles, and build up of our direct to the fight capabilities like the Osprey and the SuperCobra attack helicopters how can we continue to rely on the same fundamental training as before?
Part is this the issue of whether or not the Marines should have their own academy. I have heard some arguments for and against this. Some arguments are that this would increase esprit de corps and refine our distinctive culture. Another aspect that I don’t hear mentioned is a new headquarters for the Marine Corps University. This would create a new center for military learning and new theory development concerning Marine tactics and strategy. The best minds in the Marine Corps would be gathered to create the plans that will be instilled in new leaders, hopefully giving us new capabilities that will save Marine lives and ensure mission success.
Cons involve new funds being diverted, a lot of them. And since I last checked, the Marine Corps only rates 3% of Navy budget, this may be a very large obstacle to overcome. Beyond the fiscal realities are the issues of is this even a good idea? Are we discounting the benefits of the current system? The minds of some the best military leaders are already available in the form Naval professors. And as much as I like to make fun of the sailors, they are a fine group of young cadets to pull from for our future officers. Further, would a break such as this result in a breakdown of our fundamental function, be the first to fight and those who secure the beachhead? If we break from our Naval brothers we may lose a great deal of the teamwork necessary for this type of mission success.
Would this be a tool to continually evolve the Marine Corps in their continually changing role? Would this help the Marines to grow and prosper by refining our already distinctive and world famous culture?
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