In addition to parading MCDP-1, the Marines need introductory guidance for their ethics and maneuver warfare concepts. While these rules are simple, they are elegant and accessible “cliff notes” for entry-level maneuver warfare. In training recruits, Marines were to be indoctrinated in the three rules in addition to the eleven general orders of a guard post. The eleven general orders are an introduction to the basic tasks of the Home Guard. New recruits also deserve an introduction to the spirit of our philosophy of warfare. New events at our basic training facilities can test Marines to apply these rules to combat simulations. An early introduction to the three rules requires legions of Marines to move across the battlefield like Sun Tzu`s water. Modern infantry tactics are direct descendants of the assault troop tactics of World War I.3 During World War I, the German army developed three rules (see Figure 1) for directing violent and disorderly operations to break through enemy defenses.4 Although they date back nearly a century, these tactics have changed little and are at the heart of modern firearms. Although a shooter is supposed to perform many different tasks, the main purpose of a shooter is to destroy enemy forces as part of an offensive or defensive tactical system. This system is a stormtrooper tactic. In March 1967, Company B, 9th Marines in Khe Sahn attacked the 18th Regiment of the 325C Division of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). The company assigned to Khe Sahn prematurely launched a division-sized operation through its patrol efforts to capture the U.S. combat base.1 How could a rifle company defend a runway and project combat power over about fifty-four square kilometers to spoil a division-sized attack? The answer is: they weren`t.
A mix of naval mechanics, gunners and engineers and Seabees did much of the defence work and local security patrols to allow B Company to project its combat power into the hills overlooking the base. The Marine Corps` ethos of “every Marine, one rifleman” paid off, allowing the relatively small detachment to repel an NVA attack until the 3rd Marine Regiment finally reinforced the position and held it during the so-called mountain battles of Khe Sahn. The three rules of a marine rifleman are a tool for realizing command and control concepts in maneuver warfare. They provide the framework for the “implicit communication” and “harmonious initiative” that Marine Corps doctrine requires of Marines.5 Modern science sheds light on the existence of simple rules that guide implicit and harmonious behavior in the animal kingdom. Scientist Craig Reynolds` experiments with simulations of artificial life have shown that complex systems “can result from the interaction of individual agents that adhere to a set of simple rules.” 6 Reynolds developed a computer program with only three simple rules for his boids (bird-like objects) that produced complex swarm behavior. Without these simple rules, the Boids would have been a ridiculous waste; However, only three simple rules brought these objects together to move as a group with concentration. Reynolds` experiments helped the scientific community understand complex animal behavior. Marines, which are complex animals, need their own simple rules to focus their behavior in a chaotic environment. Marines who internalize the three rules of a Marine rifleman can implicitly capture their team`s movements. Gathered in groups, the Marines achieved a harmonious initiative when they broke through a defense system. Marines prepared with the three rules will make it easier for small unit leaders and, more importantly, open up opportunities for use.
Infantry can benefit from simple rules that clarify modern infantry tactics and provide a way to command and control in accordance with Marine Corps doctrine. These rules have value beyond their usefulness to infantry. The three rules of a marine rifleman, derived from the tactical rules of the Bundeswehr stormtroopers, are functional for the infantryman as they promote understanding of modern infantry tactics. Today, Marines who come to their first infantry unit are not prepared to understand modern infantry tactics. The young infantrymen shout: “2`s rush!” 2 is an indicator that the very essence of fire and basic movement may be lost in the current teaching of our infantry schools. Marines need a more effective but simpler tool to understand their tactics. They can be found in the way Marines fight on the battlefield and how we behave in peacetime. They guide us to seek out those to our left and right as we fight or serve in our communities.
They strengthen our resolve and shape our mindset – and they are an asset our entire nation can count on. It is these unshakable standards that characterize everything we stand for and oppose against. The three rules are a tool for exposing Marines to the doctrine of maneuver warfare at the individual level. Our organization believes that “initiative and responsibility are paramount.” 7 Marines can apply the spirit of these rules to surpass and achieve their combat objectives in their respective areas of expertise. Conceptually, they challenge Marines to accomplish the unit`s mission in adversity, a condition common to every Marine, through individual initiative and responsibility. Imagine any Marine equipped with rules that exude initiative, personal responsibility, and focus on the enemy, whether they are involved in an emergency action exercise during an ad hoc unit security patrol or turning a wrench on a large set of equipment. Each rule, viewed through the lens of our war doctrine, offers universal themes for all Marines. 4. These rules were compiled by Dr. Bradley Meyer: Rules 1 and 3 are taken from the Manual of Position Warfare for All Arms, Part 14 (Provisional) The attack in position Warfare 1-1, 1918 with amendments dated 26-1-18 and 27-7-18, GHQ (General Headquarters) October 11, 1918. Rule 2 comes from Waldmer Pfeiffer, Draft Exercise Regulations for the Infantry, (Berlin: R. Eisenschmidt, 1921), 175-176.
Army rules for shootings 1. Select a new beret you want to wear 2. Sew the combat patch on the right shoulder 3. Reconsider the color of the beret you choose 4. Send in the Marines Today, there is an element of the Marine Corps that is separated from the battlefield both physically and psychologically. Marines repeat “Every Marine a Sagittarius” like a mantra, struggling to interpret its meaning and how it applies to it. The ethos risks being a hollow and stunted bromide, covered with a shadow of undeserved insignificance. At an annual rifle qualification, a Marine may rediscover a glimmer of its true meaning, but our philosophy, a vehicle for communicating the mindset of someone who locates, closes and destroys the enemy, has depth beyond marksmanship. Why is this important? “Every Marine a gunner” when adopted gives flexibility to the Marine Corps.
This frees up infantry to focus more combat power at crucial points. Some members of the infantry community, seeing non-infantry Marines usurping and thus diluting the hard-earned title of rifleman, tried to downplay ethics. Ironically, infantrymen would be the main beneficiaries of an entire institution willing to maneuver and employ modern infantry tactics. Just like at Khe Sahn, the Marines were tasked with carrying out infantry missions, if necessary, freeing infantrymen to fight elsewhere. It is a multiplier to combat it and our institution should take steps to strengthen it. The Marine Corps should enact rules for a Marine Rifleman not only to improve the capabilities of the infantry, but also to strengthen its ethics to increase its effectiveness as a war organization. In summary, the Three Rules of a Marine Rifleman is a way to transform our philosophy into a ship that teaches all Marines both modern infantry tactics and maneuver warfare in a simple way. Functionally, the rules provide infantrymen with a way to understand modern infantry tactics and their leaders a way to command and control them. This results in an improvement in infantry capability. Conceptually, the rules provide an easy way to condition all Marines in our maneuver warfare philosophy.
Instead of abandoning our philosophy, the Marine Corps should recognize an opportunity to combine its traditions with its doctrine. Nearly 50 years have passed since the Khe Sahn Marines showed the tactical advantages of any Marine who believed and acted like a rifleman. Our philosophy remains a remedy for the challenges of the modern battlefield, but our institution should go further to put meat on its bones and unleash its potential. They left out a small sub-branch: Devil Docs 1. Rafistoler the victorious Marines after all the battles of the E-Club with the personnel of the Navy. Fill in the toe marks for the other two branches. LOL 2. Follow all naval rules 3. Give your life to save a Marine.
If the stormtrooper tactic is the system in which the shooter exists, then ideally every shooter is a basic practitioner of stormtrooper tactics. Marines need a simple conceptual structure to understand the tactical system they live in.