As the Marine Corps Plan, Trains, and Equips, the New Commandant Evaluates the Situation
The responsibility of Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger is to operationalize the remarks of his predecessor, General Robert Neller. Neller said that the Corps was no longer “structured, trained, or equipped” to battle a peer or near-peer adversary. Berger’s detractors want the Corps to remain a leaner, more compact version of the United States Army. A former three-star officer is “devastated beyond comprehension” that the Marine Corps will not soon be “the ready combined-arms force.”
Berger’s concept was inspired by former commandant General Alexander Vandegrift’s 1947 “No Bowed Knee” address to the Senate Armed Services Committee. During the 1933–1934 academic year, an analogous decision led to the formation of the Corps’ present identity. Since 1950, the Marine Corps has not executed a combat amphibious forced-entry mission. Since the Korean War, Marines have fought indistinguishable from that the Army. Berger’s initiatives intend to restore the Corps to its historic marine character and purpose. According to Berger, the action “will assure the Marine Corps’ viability for the next 500 years,” according to Berger.