Any enlisted or commissioned officer serving the United States Marine Corps. The Army has Soldiers, the Navy has Sailors, the Air Force has Whiners, but every member of the United States Marine Corps is a Marine.
"Marine" is a title which cannot be given, given up, abandoned, or forgotten; it is earned, realized and kept for the rest of one's life. Marines who decide to reintegrage into civilian life are referred to universally as "former marines" (as in 'formerly enlisted') rather than "ex marines" (as in 'expatriots').
During Boot Camp, there is a pivotal point, usually around week 5 or 6, a recruit's Drill Instructors loosen the reigns a little bit and let them do their job and look out for each other. during this time, most recruits realize that they've been Marines all along; boot camp is just the way to prove it.
The average Marine beings his first enlistment between the age of 18 and 20. Under normal circumstances he is considered half man, half boy; not yet old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.
He is cocky, arrogant, beligerant, reliable, irresistable, indomitable and nearly indestructable.
He can tell you which Jazz artist, Rap artist, or Rock 'n Roll artist is playing on the radio, and give a damn good guess which arty unit is doing fire exercises (you probably thought it was thunder!)
He is probably 10 or 15 pounds lighter than the last time you saw him, because now he runs 10 miles a week, he is working or fighting from before dawn until well after dusk.
He probably can't spell very well, so letter writing is difficult for him. Nobody else can write so seldom yet think of you so often.
He can recite the nomenclature of a grenade launcher, rocket launcher or machine gun and use any of them effectively if he must. He can field strip a rifle, put it back together and function check it in less than a minute.
He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.
He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and treat his own wounds. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you're hungry, his food. He may forget to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.
He is a nigh-mythical creature, found everyehwere: behind bars, in battle, in love, on leave, and in debt.
Girls love them, Mothers tolerate them, Fathers hate them, the United States supports them, and somehow they tolerate living with each other.
Marines have been around for just shy of 228 years (as of this writing). There are around 175,000 enlisted marines at any given time. The Marines are a Department of the Navy ("the men's department", as some like to say) for pay purposes only. Marines are very proud of their heritage and never skimp on a chance to show it off. If you need proof, visit Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Reno this year on November 10.
They are fighters by day,
lovers by night,
drunkards by choice,
and United States Marines by an act of God.