Difference Between Navy and Marines

Navy vs Marines

The difference between Navy and Marines can be very easily understood when you see that the naval wing of the armed forces of the US comprises Navy, Marines, and the Coast Guards. All three have different roles and responsibilities. Whereas Navy in totality is responsible for the safety of the US territorial waters, the coastal areas are manned by Coast Guards to keep an eye on any suspicious movement along all entry and exit points. While it is Navy that ensures that US waters are safe and the country can make safe use of its waters all the time, the Marines help in any operation against the enemy as they are trained accordingly to take part in all ambitious missions. This article will highlight the differences between the Navy and the Marines.

What is Navy?

Navy is one part of the main three armed forces of the US. It has been active since 13th October, 1775. The Navy is administratively managed by the United States Department of Navy. That is led by a civilian Secretary of the Navy. The highest naval officer in the navy is the Chief of Operations. He or she is a four-star admiral. The main responsibilities of the US Navy include making sure the naval forces are ready for effective prosecution of war, maintaining naval aviation, all air transport and weapons essential for naval operations. Also, the development of aircraft, weapons, techniques, tactics, etc. essential for naval combat is another responsibility the Navy has.

Difference Between Navy and Marines

What is Marines?

While the Marines was constitutes at the same time as the Navy in 1775, mainly to secure a landing force for the Navy, they were made a separate force in 1798 through a special act of the parliament in 1798. However, since 1834, Marines has been a component of the US Department of Navy. Officially, Marines is known as the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Though Marines are considered to be experts in taking part in ambitious missions, they are trained to be equally good in ground combat. They specialize in clearing and making a route for the Navy to launch an assault on the enemy. Marine Corps are easier and faster in deployment as compared to naval or army troops. This is why their services are required every now and then by the Navy to launch attacks on enemies through naval routes.

Just because they are Marines, one should not think that they do not have any air power. Marine Corps have their own aircrafts and attack helicopters that they make use of while securing a route for the Navy to move ahead. However, in sheer numbers and paraphernalia, Marines often need the help and assistance of the Navy for their missions. For example, Marine Corps have to rely on the doctors provided to them by the Navy in combat situations.

What is the difference between Navy and Marines?

• While Navy is a part of three wings of armed forces, Marines is a part of the Navy.

• Marine Corps is an autonomous body having a separate command system than the Navy.

• Marines specialize in combat situations and are used by Navy on special missions.

• Marines secure routes for the Navy for launching an assault.

• Being lighter, Marines need very little time for deployment.

• While Marine Corps continue to be a part of the Navy, they are an autonomous body with a different command system, different uniform, objectives and missions than Navy.

• The Department of Navy oversees the Marines and the Navy.

• The most senior Marine officer is the Commandant. The most senior Navy officer is the Chief of Naval Operations.

• As told earlier, Marines have different missions than Navy, and an important part of their duty is to provide security for all US embassies and military installations of the US worldwide. They are also entitled to carry out whatever mission the President sets them to. Navy is supposed to take care of naval security and preparations for battles.


Images Courtesy:

  1. US Navy via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. US Marines by Official U.S. Navy Page (CC BY 2.0)