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Out With The New, In With The Old
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Broc Story
February 20, 2020

Remember the FMF ... Fleet Marine Force?

Enlisted Fleet Marine Force PinWell, the United States Marine Corps has announced in MARADMIN Number: 004/20 that it will change its terminology and use Fleet Marine Force to return to naval roots.

The Marine Corps is revitalizing the Fleet Marine Force to renew the long-standing Navy-Marine Corps relationship. With this transition, the Marine Corps has replaced the term “expeditionary” with “Fleet Marine Force.” The returning of this terminology brings back the mindset of a joint effort throughout the Marine Corps and the Navy.

The term Fleet Marine Force draws on Marine Corps naval traditions and reminds Marines and sailors of their long-fought history together. Effective immediately, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is now the premier Fleet Marine Force installation of the West Coast.

“I don’t think it’s a change of name, I think more importantly it is a reflection of the change of our relationship with the Navy,” said Col. Clark Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Installation West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

As the Navy and the Marine Corps return to their roots as a joint naval force, it

will be some time before we know for certain how this shift will affect training aboard Camp Pendleton. Although the Fleet Marine Force is not a new concept for the Marine Corps, this new Fleet Marine Force will learn from past challenges to better enact modern solutions.

“We need to refocus on how we will fulfill our mandate to support the fleet,” tweeted General David H. Berger, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

Officer Fleet Marine Force PinOne reason being cited for this change is a rising global threat level that calls for the need to return to a Navy-Marine Corps integrated approach to operations. Rising global tensions in the Asian-Pacific region could lead to less land based conflict, prompting the Navy and the Marine Corps to begin preparing for this possible change of operational terrain.

By resurrecting the Fleet Marine Force, the Marine Corps can return to the naval integration that it maintained before the Goldwater-Nichols act of 1986. No longer acting as separate but intertwined entities will allow for greater cohesion within the Navy and the Marine Corps, thus allowing for the most effective naval effort.

“In crisis prevention and crisis response, the Fleet Marine Force – acting as an extension of the Fleet – will be first on the scene, first to help, first to contain a brewing crisis, and first to fight if required to do so.” As stated in the Commandant's Planning Guidance.

The United States Marine Corps’ adaptive nature will ensure that, whatever training challenges may arise, they will be faced head on and accomplished. No matter the changing environments or the changing obstacles, the Navy and the Marine Corps, through joint efforts, will respond.

As written in the Commandant’s Planning Guidance, “As good as we are today, we will need to be even better tomorrow to maintain our warfighting overmatch.”

With further instructions and strategic guidance to come, there is no immediate change to Marine Corps and Navy training other than the reinstatement of the Fleet Marine Force title.

However, this MARADMIN serves as a precursor for future training and operational changes. In an ever changing-world, the Marine Corps must change as well, even if that means changing back when needed.

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