Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2
- Sep 28, 2011
Marines Tired of Playing Army Role in Land Wars
Aboard the USS Kearsarge, 12 miles off the North Carolina coast, Lance Cpl. Lewis Rivera finished a cigarette and stared into the rolling Atlantic. Halfway through a four-year stint in the Marine Corps he had already experienced the stinging sand and dust of Afghanistan.
Only now was he becoming acquainted with the salty air, oily industrial odors and cramped quarters aboard an 850-foot amphibious assault ship. It was a welcome duty shift for a young Marine who had only seen service as a ground troop. If he had wanted to do that, he would have joined the Army.
"We're there to get in, kick down doors, kill who we have to kill and get the hell out," said Rivera, with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Weapons Company. "Everybody wants to get back out here at sea. Everybody."
That was a popular refrain among Marines bunked for two weeks in early February aboard 25 ships for Bold Alligator 2012. It was a return to sea for the Marine Corps writ large, and a test of whether it can operate effectively alongside its Navy partners and other nations.
"The whole point of the Marine Corps is to receive a call and get where we need to be," Rivera said. "We're trying to give all this stuff back to the Army. We want to be done with being used as an army."