This article is about a fictional representation of a real world subject.

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor; the logo of the United States Marine Corps.

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) - commonly known and referred to as the U.S. Marines - is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the United States Navy's mobility to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. 

Operation history

The Marines mainly serves as an amphibious force-in-readiness, and its most defining characteristic was as an emergency response team in crisis situations. Today, it has three primary areas of responsibility, originally introduced back in 1947:

MGS2 Marine

A U.S. Marine in field uniform.

  • The seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns
  • The development of tactics, techniques, and equipment used by amphibious landing forces
  • "Such other duties as the President may direct."

During the 19th century, the Marines were sent into Nicaragua to quell political unrest, although their true mission was to prevent the building of the Nicaraguan canal after they created the Panama canal, the former of which they also had no intention of actually building and only leased it so no one else would build there. Eventually by the 1930s, they were driven out by Sandino's rebellion, both due to his skills in guerrilla combat and as a revolutionary leader, as well as due to loss of morale on the Marines' end caused by the Great Depression.

In the 1970s, the United States Marine Corps had troops stationed on a United States Naval Prison Facility, in Cuba.

Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.

Two members, an infamous sniper duo that had participated in the Laotian Civil War, became targets for assassination during their stay at the base in December 1974, by the mercenary group Militaires Sans Frontières.

By December 21, 1974, the entire Marine Corps. personnel at a converted black site at Cuba, even up to the top of the chain of command, was subverted to the control of Cipher. Because the military could not determine who among the personnel was not subverted, they had an undercover agent infiltrate the base and retrieve incriminating information due to the military being unable to simply request the information directly. In addition, the JCS hired the MSF, both because the Chairman owed their commander, Big Boss, for quelling the Peace Walker Incident, and because the MSF had prior experience with Cipher, the group suspected to be responsible for the subversion of the personnel.[1]

Side Ops information ends here.

In March 1975, the Marines allowed the XOF and its leader, Skull Face, to visit the facility to interrogate prisoners, although they were unaffiliated with the group.

Roy Campbell formerly served under the Marines, but he transferred to the Green Berets. McDonell Benedict Miller later became one of the Marines' drill instructors at some point between his memberships to the Militaires Sans Frontières and FOXHOUND. In addition, the soldier who would eventually become the Desperado Winds of Destruction member Khamsin worked as a Marine during Operation Desert Saber of the Gulf War, where he contributed greatly to the ground assault's success, although he eventually was discharged by the time of the second Iraq War for his disastrous personality and inflexibility, resulting in his going mercenary ever since.

At some point during the 2000s, the Marines began to develop an intense rivalry with the United States Army due to the latter increasing its own crisis response capabilities (such as building on the strength of its Medium Brigade), causing the Marines to worry about infringement on its domain. Due to this, as well as the Army's development of Metal Gear REX, they decided to compete with them by developing their own Metal Gear.[2]

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

The Marines were the force responsible for the creation of Metal Gear RAY, a new type of Metal Gear hunter-killer, following the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005. Such an action gave the U.S. Navy cause for concern, as RAY's capabilities of making an approach, launching an attack, and executing takeoffs without aid, would greatly diminish the Navy's role, and rumors existed regarding the development of their own Metal Gear.[2]

3 (2)

The Marines within the Discovery's holds, watch Scott Dolph's speech.

In 2007, a large contingent of Marines guarded the RAY prototype on board the dummy tanker USS Discovery, under Marine Commandant Scott Dolph, during its transport down the Hudson River. To avoid attracting attention from casual observers, the Marines had a skeleton crew patrol on-deck and wear civilian clothing consisting of a blue and white rainjacket with a hood. Following the tanker's hijacking by the Gurlukovich Mercenaries, General Dolph was killed by Revolver Ocelot, who then proceeded to board the RAY prototype and escape. The Marines were forced to fight against the bipedal weapon, though their attempts proved ineffective. More than half of the Marines went down with the sinking tanker[3] after Ocelot broke through the ship's hull, also killing the mercenaries whom he had betrayed.

Guns of the Patriots Incident

See also: Liquid Sun, Solid Sun, Third Sun, Twin Suns, Old Sun, and Naked Sin/Naked Son

In 2014, the U.S. President read Meryl Silverburgh's report on Liquid Ocelot's activities in the Middle East and her threat assessment, and commissioned a joint Marine-Army task force to take Liquid into custody. However, the team's mission in Eastern Europe ended disastrously after Liquid hacked into the SOP system and used the soldiers' weapons against them, causing numerous casualties on their end.

Former members

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.
Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.
Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.
Side Ops information ends here.

Naomi Hunter's false case file also stated that her brother was a Marine who died in a training-related accident.


The Marines motto is "Semper Fidelis", meaning "Always Faithful", commonly shortened to "Semper Fi." It was quoted by Iroquois Pliskin (a.k.a. Solid Snake) to Peter Stillman and Raiden, during the Big Shell Incident.

Confirmed Equipment


U.S. Marines stationed at the U.S. Naval Prison Facility were seen using the following equipment from at least late 1974 to 1975:


  • AM Rifle Type 69
  • AM D114 Pistol
  • FB R-Launcher
  • S1000 Shotgun


Thrown/Placed Weapons

  • M21 D-Mine (placed around Camp Omega to prevent prisoners from escaping)
  • Hand Grenades

Base Defenses

  • M276 AA Gatling Gun

In addition, while it is unknown if they ever used these, the following weapons (some of Eastern Bloc origin) were located at the U.S. Naval Prison Facility in various armories, guard posts, watch towers, and in the back of transport trucks:


  • Sz.-336 Submachine Gun
  • Uragan-5 Pistol (dialogue between the various soldiers during the rescue mission of Paz and Chico suggested that it was a new development assigned to the staff)
  • Broughton M-2000D Sniper Rifle
  • AM MRS-4 Carbine

Thrown/Placed Weapons

  • Smoke Grenades
  • C4

Empty Rifle Magazines were also located around the base, and could be procured by Snake during his infiltrations of the Prison Facility. 


During the Tanker Incident, the U.S. Marines defending the Tanker were issued the following weapons: 

  • M4 Carbine (some equipped with M203 Grenade Launchers)
  • M9 Pistol 

In addition, they were in possession of the Metal Gear RAY prototype before it was stolen by Revolver Ocelot. 

Unconfirmed history

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

Prior to becoming the United States Secretary of Defense in 2005, Jim Houseman was formerly a member of the Marines, and had led a unit of Marines during the Vietnam War.

Behind the scenes

In the English manual for the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Metal Gear, Solid Snake is stated to have formerly been a Marine who participated in the Grenada Invasion. Later games in the series, however, have rendered this account non-canonical. The Worlds of Power novelization for the game also had Snake be a member of a U.S. Marine antiterrorist squad under FOXHOUND.

The non-canonical sequel Snake's Revenge cites FOXHOUND member Nick Myer as having been a former Marine.

In Hideo Kojima's Grand Game Plan for Metal Gear Solid 2, the Marine unit that guarded the original Metal Gear RAY prototype is specified to be a Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

One of the Marines in Metal Gear Solid 2 was seen without his pants. Taking a picture of this particular Marine and submitting it to Otacon in the HD Collection version will unlock the achievement/trophy "Sexting", referring to a method of texting where a person sends racy pictures of themselves to someone else (sexting is a portmanteau of the words "sex" and "texting").

The Marines' deaths were later referenced in their card in the non-canon game Metal Gear Acid, which also established the casualties on the Marines' end as being more than half when the tanker sunk.[3]

Dummied dialogue for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes implied that at least one of the Marines hailed from San Diego, and that at least one of the Marines had a cousin who was a member of Peace Sentinel, and implied that he wanted revenge against Big Boss, the leader of the Militaires Sans Frontières, for something he did to his cousin's friend who was presumably also a member of Peace Sentinel.

The same voice clips used for the Marines in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes are reused in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for FOB Guards and CP, XOF soldiers and Mosquito's Assault Team and CP in Mission 22, with some additional dialogue

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: This is the target. The military hasn't retrieved the information themselves, probably because they no longer know who in the Marines they can trust. This 'subversion' appears to extend all the way to the base's higher-ups, and the source of it? The organization Paz spoke of - Cipher. You can bet on it. They're involved with the creation of that black site... And that is why the Pentagon chose us. We're their bait to catch Cipher. Which means it also becomes a golden opportunity for us. We might actually get an up close and personal look at the bastards.
  2. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    This is mentioned in an optional Codec conversation with Otacon during the Tanker Incident.
  3. ^ a b Metal Gear Acid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    "In MGS2, more than half of the Marine crew of a secret training tanker was lost at sea when mercenaries led by Gurlukovich and Revolver Ocelot raided the ship."
    ―Marines character card description

See also

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