Marines vs Army

Posted February 08, 2021

Right now, you are probably considering your career choice, your life’s missional calling, and simply what you are best at. You might think the US Military is the best way to turn your body and your strategic thinking skills into a job. Of course, you can use your strength for a lot of other jobs. But do any of them do these: (a) pay as well, (b) give you as much respect, honor, dignity, and purpose in life, or (c) are any of them actually fighting for the greatest cause of humanity? Those are the questions--and you’ve probably already answered them, which is why you are here!

Your job in the US Military is as a doer of justice and an icon of courage, dignity, respect, and as an icon which all men and women can revere and honor. Your role of using your body, mind, strategy, virtual and group leadership as tools instead of merely as craft such as being a mechanic, Information Technology Specialist, or an Accountant. 

The US Military (and it’s several branches which include Marines and Army) is the backbone of Democracy, Freedom, Family, Religious Freedom and the ability to provide for oneself. It serves to protect your family (and everyone’s families), your church, your town, city, state, nation, and... the greatest civilization force known to mankind - FREEDOM. That is freedom to choose, and let everyone else choose (all cultures, religions and people groups -- to choose what they want, as long as they are not harming anyone else. That has been the great project of the Westen World -- from the Greeks, to the Romans, to the Great Brits, to America. That is what you are defending -- freedom. If that’s your mission, then you’ll be right at home in the Marines or Army. 

Both Marines and Army are two very prestigious callings in the US Military. But there is a very important difference between Marines vs Army. We’ll take you on a tour of this question and help you understand how being a part of the Military is, and has always been, the grandest and most important calling in world history. 

But first, to decide which branch you are suited for -- Marines vs Army -- let’s take a brief look at both.

The Army fights and accomplishes more structural and geo-political objectives. The US has 80 Army bases around the world. They have served as the global peaceforce for all of Europe, South Korea, Japan,Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Global Security has been ensured by US Strategic Command (USSATCOM) and the whole of the US Military (US Airforce, US Navy, and US Ground Forces), for the last 70 years, since the United States and Great Britain defeated the Facsism of Imperial Japan and the German Reich. This is the great tradition you are considering if you have the strength, courage and fortitude to enter and maintain. We’ll get more into evaluating your calling in a moment.

The Marines are a more strategic and focused fighting force - sent in to accomplish specific missions. They are used to project power through the navy and focus on going from Navy ships to land operations. Where the SEALS might be sent underwater, on ships, or in the air from aircraft carriers.

But first to give you a quick snapshot of Army vs Marines consider these aspects:

  1. If you are a long-term and big picture minded person, you’ll find a great home in the Army.
  1. If you thrive on single missions, being dropped into “hot-zones,” and being thought of as a “Rambo,” or movie-star hero, whenever you tell friends at parties, and truly being known as America’s most deadly and highly trained weapon, then you’ll probably like being a US Marine.
  1. If you like long engagements, being a part of the World’s most complex and sophisticated fighting force that spans every quadrant of this world -- then the US Army might be the right fit for you. If you like being a part of a huge and vast machine, bureaucracy and system, where you just focus on perfecting your role and helping your whole team achieve the mission, then the Army is a perfect fit
  1. This is the idea upon which the US Army was built, it is the same idea that made the Industrial Revolution create the modern capitalist world, and lift the entire world out of poverty, throughout Great Britain and America’s tenure as the leader of the world, since the 1600s to present. The great idea that has made Western Civilization great is this:

“Many people work together, each being masters at their individual specialty, and together they form a symphony, or a great economy, or in this case, the greatest fighting force ever known to mankind” (US Army)

Marines vs Army Stats & Details

The Marines are part of the US Department of Defense and are responsible for providing protection from sea, using the Navy to provide combined-arms task forces rapidly to any part of the globe.

“The U.S. Marine Corps falls under the Department of the Navy; however its command structure is similar to the Army’s, except it follows the “rule of three” and includes Marine expeditionary forces and aircraft wings. The Marines are divided into four groups: the operating forces that do the actual fighting, the headquarters for leadership, the supporting establishment that provides logistical support, and the Marine Corps Reserve.” (

The size of the Marine Corp has shrunk from 202,000 in 2010, to 186,200 in 2021, and a new plan proposed making it smaller to be more elite, dropping it to 184,100. So, you’ll have to train harder to be the best of the best. 

The motto for the US Marines is Semper Fidelis, which is Latin for Always Faithful. The Marine insignia is the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Its commanders are Gen Robert Neller; Assistant Commandant: Gen Glenn Walters; Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps: SgtMaj Ronald Green. It’s run from the Headquarters Marine Corps, inside the Pentagon. 

The motto for the US Army is “Always Faithful.” Its insignia is the Star. It is under the Department of War and was started in 1947 when the United States joined the Allies to save Europe, Asia, and the world from Facism. It is run by Secretary: John M. McHugh; Chief of Staff: Gen. Raymond T. Odierno; Vice Chief of Staff: Gen. John F. Campbell; Sergeant Major: SMA Raymond F. Chandler. It’s also headquartered in the Pentagon.

Those are a lot of facts that might excite the imagination and add detail to your dreams and vision of the world into which you might enter. 

The Army’s Role:

“Prompt and sustained land combat, Combined arms operations, Combined arms maneuver and wide area security, Armored and mechanized operations, Airborne and air assault operations Special operations, Set and sustain the theater for the joint force, Integrate national, multinational, and joint power on land.” (United States Army, WIKI

List of Army Careers

1 Immaterial & Personnel Special Reporting Codes

2 Infantry Branch (IN)

3 Corps of Engineers Branch (EN)

4 Field Artillery Branch (FA)

5 Air Defense Artillery Branch (ADA)

6 Aviation Branch (AV)

7 Cyber Branch (CY)

8 Special Forces (SF)

9 Armor Branch (AR)

10 Signal Corps Branch (SC)

11 Information Network Engineering Functional Area (FA 26)

12 Judge Advocate General Branch (JA)

13 Information Operations Functional Area (FA 30)

14 Military Police Branch (MP)

15 Strategic Intelligence Functional Area (FA 34)

16 Military Intelligence Branch (MI)

17 Finance & Comptroller Branch (FC)

18 Psychological Operations Branch (PO)

19 Civil Affairs Branch (CA)

20 Space Operations Functional Area (FA 40)

21 Adjutant General Corps (AG)

22 Public Affairs Functional Area (FA and CMF 46)

23 Academy Professor Functional Area (FA 47)

24 Foreign Area Officer Functional Area (FA 48)

25 Operations Research/Systems Analysis (ORSA) Functional Area (FA 49)

26 Force Management Functional Area (FA 50)

27 Army Acquisition Corps (FA and CMF 51)

28 Nuclear and Counter WMD Functional Area (FA 52)

29 Simulation Operations Functional Area (FA 57)

30 Chaplain Branch (CH)

31 Army Marketing Functional Area (FA 58)

32 Strategic Plans and Policy Functional Area (FA 59)

33 Medical Department Branches

However for a person to truly understand which branch they fit the best, you have to really understand yourself and your own giftings. Furthermore, to gain true discernment you have to understand what it really means to be in the Marines or Army.

The Marines’ Role:

Marines are “Responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations through combined arms, implementing its own infantry, armor, artillery, aerial and special operations forces.” (United States Marine Corps, WIKI)

Marine Jobs (Noncommissioned Officers Staff NCOS)

  1. STAFF SERGEANT – responsible for the proficiency, training and administration of Marines in their charge.
  2. GUNNERY SERGEANT – serves as their unit’s operations chief, working with superior officers on training, operations, and tactical advising.
  3. MASTER SERGEANT – provides technical leadership as specialists in their specific MOS.
  4. FIRST SERGEANT – serves as the senior enlisted Marine in the company, assisting in their unit’s discipline, administration, morale, and Marine welfare matters.
  5. MASTER GUNNERY SERGEANT – provides technical leadership as specialists in their specific MOS.
  6. SERGEANT MAJOR – serves as the principal enlisted advisor for a senior Marine commander, making high level strategic decisions that impact the entire Marine Corps.
  7. SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE MARINE CORPS – the senior enlisted Marine of the entire Corps, personally selected by the commandant.

The calling of the Military - Evaluate Yourself

Are you truly meant to be in the US Military? You already know that you want to use your body, mind, courage and valor, for your job and life’s calling. But is your heart destined for this kind of service? You can really understand this if you look at what daily life is like in both the Marines and Army. 

One principle is common to both: you are part of a team. Whether you are the recognized leader, or you are leading by your example of following orders of your group leader. Either way you are, and have to be a leader for your whole group, at all times. So, the main question of your discernment should be this: are you a man or woman of valor, courage, integrity, honesty, and do you serve justice, truth, and order? You can do many careers with your body and mind - but serving in the Army or Marines requires the highest purity of your character. You are upholding the backbone of America, democracy, security and freedom. If that calling excites you, then you were indeed born for the US Military.

The calling of the Army - Evaluate Yourself

The Army is for people who like to commit to long term missions and strategies, like the security and infrastructure building in Iraq and Afghanistan. You won’t be looking at the long-term geo-political strategy of either of those missions and how it plays into achieving any big picture global structural goals--that’s up to the State Department, CIA, President and Congress. 

In the Army, you’ll be responsible for executing the mission. Upon executing a mission, the army may also be responsible for on the ground operations -- building relationships with local leaders, shop owners, and heads of families. 

Also, the army maintains security operations in the US’s 80 bases across the globe. They are responsible for ensuring the security and defense of their respective regions. This gives you a picture of the mission of the Army. It’s more of a long term, corporate, structured operation. Of course there are hundreds of individual missions, but the Army is responsible for all of these over the long term.

The Calling of the Marines - Evaluate Yourself

The Marines, on the other hand, are an organization that is designed to deploy to certain hot spots and campaigns of specific urgency. The US Marines were sent into defend the US Embassy in Baghdad in 2020, as well as the US lead intervention against the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and the Levant.

What your life will be like in Military and in Each Branch?

If you live in Los Angeles and are active or reserve in the Army or Marines, then you will live locally, perhaps where you live now, but it’ll need to be near your assigned base. You would workout on base as part of your job, but then you might also join a local gym near your home, if you want. Of course this depends on your level within the Army or Marines, sometimes you’ll be living on or very near base.  

The Big Picture of the Military Calling in the Army and Marines

You will be Serving your country and fighting for an ideal. You might think that moving from the private sector to military service means things have to change in your outlook on life and that it is different than being in business. Yeah, that’s kind of the case. But here is the big picture why it’s not, or at least it’s a very good thing. You are serving to project private business. 

Serving your community, state, nation and your civilization, is part of the natural duty of man. Aristotle and Plato showed this idea very clearly in the beginning of the Western Civilization: serving your family, church, community, city and state are essential parts of being a statesman, protector, provider -- all wrapped into the classical notion of being an excellent citizen.

Ready to see what the Army or Military have for you? Search our job boards (Army Jobs and Marine Corp Jobs) or contact the US Marine Corps Recruiting Team, or US Army Recruiting Team: Marine Corps Requirements | US Army Recruitment.

The CareerBliss Team

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