U.S. Navy SEALs are an elite unit, more exclusive and harder to be admitted to than the U.S. Marines.

The United States Marine Corps (also known as USMC or Marines) is one of the 5 branches of the U.S. military under the Department of Defense. It was created in 1775 as a special service. Although it is part of the U.S. Navy, it has its own special structure. Navy SEALs on the other hand are the U.S. Navy's main special operations force. They're part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) and are the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). "SEAL" is derived from their capacity to operate at SEa, in the Air, and on Land – but it's their ability to work underwater that separates SEALs from most other military units in the world.

Comparison chart

Marines versus Navy SEALs comparison chart
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Introduction (from Wikipedia) The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[7] using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. The United States Navy SEa, Air and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC).
Type Amphibious and expeditionary Navy Special Operations Force, Sea, Air, Land
Size 202,779 active (as of October 2010); 40,000 reserve (as of 2010) ~2,400
Part of Department of Defense, Department of the Navy United States Navy, United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSOC), United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
Country United States of America United States of America
Motto Semper Fidelis "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday", "It Pays to be a Winner"
Branch Marine Corps United States Navy
Garrison/HQ Headquarters Marine Corps Coronado, California, Little Creek, Virginia
Engagements American Revolutionary War, Quasi-War, Barbary Wars, Seminole Wars, Mexican–American War, American Civil War, Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War, Boxer Rebellion, Banana Wars, World Wars I & II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War World War II, Vietnam War, Multinational Force in Lebanon, Operation Urgent Fury, Achille Lauro hijacking, Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Restore Hope, Battle of Mogadishu, Operation United Shield, Operation Enduring Freedom
Role Ground and amphibious force Primary tasks: Maritime Special Operations, Special reconnaissance, Direct action, Counter-terrorism. Other roles: Counter-drug operations, Personnel recovery.
Nickname The Few, The Proud; Devil Dogs; Leatherneck Frogmen, The Teams, Greenfaces
Insignia Eagle, globe and anchor Eagle, anchor, trident & cocked flintlock pistol
Women allowed Yes Yes

Recruitment and Initial Training

Eligibility and Screening

SEAL candidates must be male, US citizens in the Navy or Coastguard between 18 and 28 years old. All applicants must have the equivalent of a high school education, score a minimum of 220 on the ASVAB and be proficient in English. To qualify, they must also have at least 20/75 vision, correctable to 20/20, be able to pass the SEAL Physical Screening Test and have no recent history of drug abuse. Lastly applicants must have "good moral character" as determined by his history of criminal convictions and civil citations.

Men and women between the ages of 17 and 29 who are working toward, or have earned, a high school diploma may qualify to enlist. For the officer commissioning programs, you must have college coursework toward a Bachelor's degree underway or completed before applying . Those still in college become part of the Platoon Leaders Class, and those who have a college degree undergo the Officer Candidate Course.

Initial Training

Marine boot camp training is more challenging - both mentally and physically - than the basic training programs of any of the other military services. At 13 weeks, it is also longer than the Army's 10 weeks or the Navy's 9 weeks. Training is open to both men and women. Every year roughly 35-40,000 recruits undergo training to become Marines. All recruits must pass a fitness test to start training; those who fail receive individualized attention and training until the minimum standards are reached.

Training to become a SEAL is an order of magnitude more difficult than the Marine bootcamp. The drop out rate for SEAL classes is usually around 80 percent. Officers and enlisted men train side-by-side. However, this program is not open to women. The average Navy SEAL spends over a year in a series of formal training environments. This includes a 24-week training course known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school and then the 28-week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) program.

Notable Missions

The Marines have been involved in many conflicts, and had important roles in key battles such as Tripoli, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, and Inchon Bay. Notable Navy SEAL operations in recent memory include the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and the rescue of the freighter ship Maersk Alabama in April 2009.


The Marine Corps insignia is the Eagle, globe and anchor. It traces its roots in the designs and ornaments of the early Continental Marines as well as the British Royal Marines. The globe signifies continuing historical service in any part of the world and the anchor acknowledges the naval tradition of the Marines. There is a ribbon clasped in the eagle's beak, bearing the Latin motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful). There are some differences between the uniform ornaments for enlisted Marines and officers. The enlisted Marines ornament is a single piece of gold-colored metal. The officers ornament is slightly larger, and is of silver with gold additions.

Navy SEALs Insignia (the "Budweiser")
Navy SEALs Insignia (the "Budweiser")

The Navy SEALs insignia is officially called Special Warfare insignia, and is also known as the “SEAL Trident”, or "The Budweiser". It was created in the 1960s. It recognizes those service members who have completed the Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, completed SEAL Qualification Training and have been designated as U.S. Navy SEALs. The Special Warfare insignia was initially issued in two grades, being a gold badge for officers and silver for enlisted. In the 1970s, the Silver SEAL badge was abolished and the Special Warfare Badge was issued thereafter in a single grade.


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