The Marine Raid Force and Its Unique Duties in Modern War-Fighting Environments

I’m old. My time in the service is five decades in my past. Yes. I have paid some attention to developments in the military over the last decade, because of the nature of my job writing about military stories for the Veterans Site, but the agility of the Armed Forces, and, in this case, the Marines, to adapt to the constantly and rapidly changing war-fighting environments of our times never ceases to amaze me. This video is about yet another unit that is new to me since my time as an FMF Corpsman with the Marines in Vietnam. It is called the Marine Raid Force.

In a real way, these Marine Raid Force units harken back to the earliest days of the Marine Corps, when Marines were the forces attached to U.S. Navy ships of the 18th century that could snipe from the masts with long rifles at the sailors and troops aboard the enemy ships. They would then clamor aboard the enemy ships when they drew close to engage in hand-to-hand combat to subdue the crews of the enemy ships. These Marine Raid Force units still do this but with much more sophistication and with stealth.

Photo: YouTube/U.S. Navy

Sea battles have not been up close and personal like they were in the early years and decades of our history as a country for well over a century. These days, the elements of stealth, speed, and surprise are much more in the style of these shipboard Marine Raid Force units. This short video gives a brief description of what they do and what their capabilities are. They have all of the skills and equipment to be a truly effective and deadly force and can also minimize the damage done while obtaining their objectives.

Photo: YouTube/U.S. Navy

In a way, these MRF units are like Marine Recon forces on land, but they do their thing at sea. They can be used, as I understand it here, as the point of the spear for the Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs). Their specialty is to accomplish stealthy, quick, and effective insertions onto a target ship at sea and to clear the vessels sufficiently enough to allow larger Navy units to come aboard to carry out the larger, more detailed issues of securing, maintaining, and intelligence-gathering on board the captured vessel.

Photo: YouTube/U.S. Navy

These Marine Raid Force units are not your Revolutionary War Marines. They are a modern, multi-skilled, quick action force that carries out missions in ways inconceivable to those early Marines. But you can believe this: they share that same Marine Corps DNA. They share that sense of confidence, fighting spirit, and dedication that every generation of Marines has shown from their beginnings with the Revolutionary War Navy to the War of 1812 at the Battle of Baltimore and from “the halls of Moctezuma to the shores of Tripoli” to Belleau Woods in WWI, where the Germans met them and in respectful awe began calling them “Devil Dogs.” From Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima and Okinawa to Hue and Khe Sanh and Con Tien, Vietnam, to those Marines that led the way into Iraq in the Gulf War and those who have fought the good fight in the post 9/11 wars in the deserts and mountains of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Enjoy this short and informative video about the Marine Raid Force and its unique duties in the modern warfighting environments at sea. Respect! Semper Fi!

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