March 17, 2017

Marines were given the go head to increase their unit size back in November 2016, but the question is, “What plans do the Marines have for growth?” With a green light for expansion, now the only thing left is determining the best way to strengthen the branch while naturally growing its numbers.

The expansion approval, allows the Marine Corps to increase by approximately 185,000 members. A recent evaluation from the USMC revealed a declination of snipers. Platoons should have roughly 20 scout snipers guarding the proximity, running reconnaissance, and calling in artillery strikes for range combat. In reality, platoons in the Marine Corps are lucky to have four well-trained scouts.

This shortage is mainly due to fresh recruits going in not fully prepared or committed to the rigorous survival curriculum that scout snipers must undergo. Marine Corps snipers are rulers of camouflage, able to seamlessly blend in with their surroundings, striking without notice from near or afar.

While the approval was made to increase unit size, plans for expanding are merely ideas on paper unless changes are made and a fair 2017 fiscal-military spending budget set in place. Trump’s proposed $54 billion increase in military expenditures is not nearly enough only sitting 3 points higher than the Obama Administration’s defense budget.

This same budget has left our military underfunded, underdeveloped, and undersized. Unfortunately, a 3 percent increase will hardly make a difference to the current functions and operations of the military and will mainly go unnoticed.

The Marine Corps is striving to grow in both air dominance and amphibious warfare, as well as special concentrations in the scout sniper program. They aim to naturally expand the force with the controlled balance to maintain superior tactical strategies.

Once the spending budget has been decided on, the USMC will be able to determine what direction it will begin its growth. Over the last two decades, there has been an increase in the demand for Marine deployment, allowing very little time in between for service men to rest and spend time with family. This strain is taking its toll on an already thinned force.

Plans are being drawn up as spending budget reports released, and debates are finalized. Every branch of service will be looking for an increase in their spending budget to accommodate the approved force increase from November 2016.

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