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Philippine Marine Corps
Hukbong Kawal Pandagat ng Pilipinas
Seal of the PMC
Active November 2, 1950 – present
Country  Republic of the Philippines
Branch Philippine Navy
Type Conventional-Special Warfare, Internal-External Defense

Direct Actions,

Naval Combat & Support
Size 30,000
Part of Armed Forces of the Philippines
Garrison/HQ Fort Bonifacio, Makati City, Philippines
Nickname(s) PMC, Philippine Marines. "The Few The Proud The Marines" The Best In Soldiery.
Motto(s) Karangalan' Katungkulan, Kabayanihan
"Honor, Duty, Valor"
"Honor, Deber, Valor"
Engagements Communist Insurgencies
Islamic Insurgencies, Counter Insurgencies-Terrorism, Civilian Military Operations, International Peace Support and Humanitarian Relief Operations, UN Operation.
Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps US-O8 insignia.svg Maj. Gen. Ariel R. Caculitan, AFP

The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) (Filipino: Hukbong Kawal Pandagat ng Pilipinas) is the marine corps of the Philippines, and it's a Naval infantry branch of the Philippine Navy.


"The task of training these young men into Marines is vested upon us. Today, as we start training them, we will be striking the first hammer blow in forging the "cutting edge" of the Armed Forces."

— LTSG Manuel Gomez's mission on the formation of the Philippine Marine Corps in 1950

On orders from President Elpidio Quirino and Ramon Magsaysay, then Secretary of National Defense, the Corps was organized on November 7, 1950, as A Company of the Philippine Fleet's 1st Marine Battalion and then headquartered in Cavite City, in Naval Base Cavite. Personnel from the United States Army and United States Marine Corps helped train the very first Philippine Marines in combat and amphibious duties in Fort Bonifacio in Makati City and in various other locations. Lieutenant (senior grade) Manuel Gomez was its first commandant, with then Lieutenant (junior grade) Gregorio Lim assisting him, with six other officers (4 seconded from the Navy and two from the Philippine Army) joining them.

Their hardwork and training would pay off as the Marine Company conducted its first amphibious landing on April 19, 1951 in Umiray, Quezon, and took part in battle for the first time on June 4 of the same year in Nueva Ecija against communist rebels. These and other notable battles in various parts of the country led to the Navy's decision to complete the 1st Marine Battalion with the raising of B Company in 1955 and the Headquarters and Service Company also in the same year, thus the marine battalion of one HQ company and two marine rifle companies, with now LTCDR Lim in charge (then the Philippine Navy Marines) was finally complete.

Further marine companies and a weapons company would later be formed to argument the expansion of the force in the 1960s, and the abilities even expanded to VIP protection, and would also see the raising of its very own drum and bugle corps. The Marines would see themselves in action in securing the Spratly Islands in 1971 and in combating Muslim separatist forces and a strong New People's Army in the following years as the force became the Philippine Marine Brigade with the formation of the 2nd and 3rd Marine Battalions, the Headquarters Service Group, the 1st Provisional Tactical Battalion which saw action in Mindanao against Islamic separatists, and the Marine Training Group, later the Philippine Marines Training Group.

To highlight these changes the force was, in 1976, renamed as the Philippine Marines.

As the 1980s arrived, the force expansion was accompanied by battles against both communists and armed Islamist rebels all over the country, and in 1986 even took part in the successful People Power Revolution. The latter years would also see them in action as one coup d'état after another was launched, all ending in failure.

The 1990s would see further expansion as the force, as part of the Philippine Navy, became the Philippine Marine Corps of today in 1995 as the force turned 45 years. The early 2000s would see the Marine Corps once more facing not just communists and Islamic militants but also terrorist groups as well.


Philippine Marines 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team, push forward after splashing ashore in an amphibious assault vehicle during an amphibious assault training exercise

The Philippine Marine Corps is organized into three maneuver brigades, a Combat Service and Support Brigade (CSSB), a Headquarters for 7th Marine Brigade(R)NCR, and independent units such as the Force Recon Battalion (FRBn) and the Marine Security and Escort Group (MSEG). The three maneuver brigades provide administrative and logistical support to the units assigned to them, while the CSSB acts as a training and administrative command for the Field Artillery (FABN) and Assault Armor (AABN) battalions.[1]

Marine Battalions

The Philippine Marine Corps has twelve regular Marine Battalions.[2] Three battalions are assigned to each of the three maneuver brigades and a single battalion is rotated back to the Marine headquarters for refit and retraining for at least six months up to one year before redeployment to operational areas in Southern Philippines.[3]

Each of the twelve battalions is organized into three rifle companies and a headquarters and service company. The battalions are augmented with elements of other units, such as artillery, armored vehicles or watercraft, for specific tasks. These units, when supported with assets from the CSSB and the Philippine Navy form the core of a Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT).[3]

A Philippine Marine Corps instructor teaches the U.S. Marines a style of Philippine Martial Arts known as Pekiti-Tirsia Kali during a combat training exercise.

7th Marine Brigade (NCR) is the Main Active Reserve Force of the Philippine Marine Corps with 3 operational Battalion Composed of active men & women from different backgrounds & experiences, that are integrated to the regular & special units of the Corps. Given the same (MOS) training that enable the 7th MBde personnel to have interoperability with the rest of the Corps. Administrative control rest on the Naval Reserve Command (NCR), Philippine Navy while Operational is with the Philippine Marine Corps (MC9).(Always Faithful, Always Ready,Shadow Warriors)

Field Artillery Battalion

The Field Artillery Battalion (FABN) is currently organized into a Headquarters and Service Company and several howitzer batteries which are attached to the maneuver brigades to support their operations. It is equipped with both the M101A1 howitzer and the OTO Melara Model 56/14 pack howitzer. The unit also provides a limited air-defense capability through a token number of Bofors 40 mm L/60 guns.

Assault Armor Battalion

The Assault Armor Battalion (AABN) contains a Headquarters and Service Company, an Armor Maintenance Company (Armor Mnt Co), an Assault Amphibian Company (AAV Co), and a Light Armor Vehicle Company (LAV Co). It is tasked with providing the maneuver brigades with armored assets to support their operations. The unit's inventory consists of LAV-150s, LAV-300s, LVTP-5s and LVTH-6s. None of the LVTP-5s are currently in service but the Marines have been able to recondition four of the LVTH-6s for their use.

Marine Force Reconnaissance Battalion

Philippine Marine rushes up a small ditch while the unit of USMC provides communication during the Balikatan Exercise

The Force Recon Battalion (FRBn) is organized into a Headquarters, Service and Training Company and four Recon Companies, numbered 61st, 62nd, 63rd,and 64th. Each of these companies is attached to a Marine Brigade to serve as quick maneuvering force. It specialises in sea, air and land operations, like its counterpart in the Naval Special Warfare Group of the Philippine Navy, ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support to the overall naval operations.(Swift Silent Deadly)

Marine Security and Escort Group

The Marine Security and Escort Group (MSEG) is responsible for security on naval facilities, vital government installations and protection of VIPs. The unit also fills most of the PMC's ceremonial duties.

Marine Drum and Bugle Team

The Marine Drum and Bugle Team (MDBT) is the prime musical unit of the Philippine Marine Corps and the only Drum and Bugle Corps in the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines that provides marching band and musical services in support of the ceremonial and morale activities of the Corps. This is patterned along the lines of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and is stationed at Marine Barracks R. Brown in Makati City.

Marine Scout Snipers

The Marine Scout Snipers (MSS) is the very first unit in the Armed Forces of the Philippines dedicated exclusively to sniping and marksmanship. The Scout Snipers are notable for being able to effectively hit and neutralize targets at 800 metres (2,600 ft) using only 5.56 mm rounds.[citation needed] The Marine Scout Snipers are renowned for the development and manufacture of their own weapon, the Colt M16A1 based Marine Scout Sniper Rifle.

Philippine Marine Corps Marine Silent Drill Platoon

Also headquartered in Makati City, this is the premier military drill team of the Corps and one of 4 such units in the AFP, patterned after the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. Like its US counterpart it does a unique silent precision exhibition drill using the M1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets demonstrating the Corps's professionalism and discipline in all events where it is a part of.

Major Equipment

Armored Vehicles Type Notes
United States LAV-300 Fire Support Vehicle 23 in service as at 2012[4]
United States V-150 Armored Personnel Carrier At least 18 in service,[5]

At least 12 units refurbished as of 2007[6]

United States LVTH-6 Amphibious Fire Support Vehicle 4 in service as at 2012[5]
Artillery Type Notes
United States M101 howitzer Howitzer 23 in service as at 2012[4]
Italy OTO Melara Mod.56[5] Pack Howitzer
United States M-30 mortar Heavy mortar[4]
Support Vehicles Type Notes
United States GKN Aquatrack Amphibious Transporter 2[5]
United States LARC-V Amphibious Vehicle 2[5]
Watercraft Type Notes
United States Silver Ships Riverine Patrol Boat Small Unit Riverine Craft 6 [7]


  • As of September 2013, DND invited bidders for Amphibious Assault Vehicles Acquisition Project of 8 brand-new units of amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) with Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) for the Philippine Navy amounted to Php2.5B. Delivery is required for 850 days from the opening of the letter of credit. This acquisition is part of the PN's MRV/SSV or "Mother Ship" Project which will serve as platform for insertion of troops in beaches in an event of military siege.[8][9]
  • The Philippine Marine Corps has a joint purchase with the Philippine Army is for around 44,080 new body armor or force protection equipment,[10] additional 50,000 new rifles based on M16/M4/M4A1/AR-15 platform and 5,500 close combat optics is underway, to replace the older M16A1 still in service on both armed forces branches.[11] composed of basic vest, plate inserts and soft-ballistic panel and weighing between 5.8 kilograms to 6.8 kg.[12][13]

Marine Bases

  • Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown (Marine Base Manila), Fort Bonifacio, Makati City, Metro Manila
  • Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim (Marine Base Ternate), Ternate, Cavite
  • Marine Barracks Arturo Asuncion (Marine Base Zamboanga), Zamboanga City
  • Marine Barracks Domingo Deluana (Marine Base Tawi-Tawi), Tawi-Tawi
  • Camp Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, Jolo, Sulu


The Philippine Marines share the traditions of both the US and Spanish marine units especially in the uniform and rank system. But the Corps has its own traditions as well.

Official traditions and customs

Core Values and Motto

Karangalan, Katungkulan, Kabayanihan (Honor, Duty, Valor) are not just the Marine Corps motto but also the main Core Values of the Philippine Marines of today, emphasizing the kind of values that service personnel of the PMC will always live on everyday.

PMC Seal

The seal incorporates the sun with its eight rays from the Flag of the Philippines, the anchor symbolizing the naval heritage and bond of the Corps as it is a part of the Philippine Navy, the closed loop rope (different from the rope in the USMC arms) symbolizing the links of Marines to one another and to show that a Philippine Marine once will be a Philippine Marine always, and the scroll showing the Marine Corps motto and Core Values: Karangalan, Katungkulan, Kabayanihan (Honor, Duty, Valor). As with the USMC, blue represents the naval heritage while the official Marine Corps colors of scarlet and gold are also present, forming the base of Marine Corps guidons, and all three form the basis for the battle color as opposed to the latter two which is the USMC color basis.

Battle Color of the Philippine Marine Corps

The battle color, maintained by Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City, Metro Manila, is in navy blue with two golden scrolls, one indicating the name of the corps at the top and the other, surrounding the anchor and the sun, indicating the Marine Corps motto and core values, all in red lettering. The battle color incorporates both the anchor and the sun with eight rays from the seal, but also includes the three stars of the national flag symbolizing the Philippines's three major island groups above the anchor. The color is similar to the one used by the USMC during the First World War.

See also


  1. "Philippine Marine Corps (official website)". Retrieved 2006-06-25. [dead link]
  2. IISS (2012), p. 276
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Philippine Marine Battalions". The Philippine Marine Corps. Retrieved 30 July 2010. [dead link]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 IISS (2012), p. 277
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Philippine Marine Corps Equipment List
  6. Textron Marine & Land Systems Textron Marine & Land Delivers First Six Re-powered V-150 Combat Vehicles to Philippine Marine Corps
  7. US donates 6 'SURC' to Philippine Marine Corps
  8. "Amphibious Assault vehicle Acquisition Project". Department of National Defense, Philippines. 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  9. "DND invites bidders for 8 Amphibious Assault Vehicles". 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  10. "Force Protection Equipment Acquisition Project for the Philippine Army and Philippine Marines Corps".,%202013%29.pdf. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  11. "DND to purchase P1.7-B worth of body armors". ABS-CBN News. 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
  12. "DND wants US testing for soldiers’ protection kits". Business Mirror. 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
  13. "Invitation to Bid- Assault Rifles & Close Combat Optics". PhilGEPS Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System. 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
Works consulted
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. 

External links

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