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Marine Raiders

Essay by   •  April 19, 2019  •  Essay  •  255 Words (2 Pages)  •  505 Views

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Marine Raiders

In 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps activated the Marine Raider battalions, the first American special forces units of World War II. This was the first introduction of an elite force within the ranks of the Marine Corps, which already prides itself on being the nation’s elite fighting force. The inspiration behind the Marine Raiders comes from the British Royal Marines. President Franklin D. Roosevelt observed the British Royal Marines, who had developed a special ‘commando’ unit, that was used to go behind German enemy lines and complete the mission at hand.

Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Marines to Britain and Scotland to observe the British Royal Marines and their special ‘commando’ unit. It was then, in 1942, where the First Marine Raider Battalion; commanded by LtCol Edson, was established. One day later the Second Marine Raider Battalion was created and commanded by LtCol Carlson. LtCol Carlson is very infamous in the fact that he conducted the first Marine Raider mission or operation.

During the two years the Marine Raiders were fighting in the south pacific, there were approximately eight thousand Marines built into four Raider Battalions and one Raider Regiment. The Marine Raiders were disbanded in February of 1944. LtGen Vandegrift, Marine Corp Commandant at the time, stated through his operations officer in the pentagon, “it is not in the best interest of the United States Marine Corps to have an elite within an elite.”

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