first published on November 13, 2019 by Will
In February 1942, Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, ordered the creation of a new type of unit, the Marine Raiders. These elite units became instrumental to the success of the allies in the Pacific theater of World War II.
During their creation, leaders were looking to create an asymmetrical warfare unit “for purposes similar to the British Commandos and the Chinese Guerrillas.” Additionally, the Raiders would play crucial roles in amphibious landing assaults, in which they would infiltrate on rafts far from the primary landing point the night before and begin wreaking havoc on enemy logistics, communications, and reinforcements, ensuring that the well-entrenched enemy beach defenders would be limited in their capabilities when the assault came.
The Marine Raiders of today continue to be the Marine Corps’ elite special operations force, conducting clandestine small-team operations across the globe. They can operate in any environment, even with limited resources, specializing in direct action combat, special reconnaissance and intelligence gathering, security assistance to foreign units, as well as counterterrorism and counterinsurgency.