As the Marines re-embrace their amphibious roots, shipboard service shows the differences between (but same ultimate goals of) rank and leadership, Corps-style and Navy-style.
Over the course of the past decade the Marine Corps has found itself moving further from its amphibious mission and closer to becoming a second land army. Sensing this, in the October 2010 issue of Joint Forces Quarterly former Commandant General James Conway stressed the importance of maintaining the Corps’ expeditionary nature. “When I go to meetings and I hear ‘Army and Marine Corps’ talked about in the same breath, I get uncomfortable. It should be ‘Navy and Marine Corps.’” In August 2010, then–Secretary of Defense Robert Gates voiced similar sentiments. In a speech to the Marines’ Memorial Association in San Francisco, Gates stated that regarding the Marine Corps, many in the Department of Defense had “the perception . . . that they have become too heavy, too removed” from their roots as an amphibious force. “Ultimately, the maritime soul of the Marine Corps needs to be preserved.”