Note: This applies to U.S. soldiers and marines. If any jarheads can read this: it's a joke, guys.

Once upon a time, a government scientist decided to find out once and for all who was tougher: soldiers or marines. His first subject was a U.S. Army Ranger who was known as the toughest guy in his unit. For the first test, the scientist had the soldier row a rubber assault boat up a jungle river. The scientist sat in the front of the boat, taking notes, while the Ranger rowed steadily, singing "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger!" After several hours of this, the scientist pulled out a machete and cut the man's left arm off. The Ranger, hardly blinking continued rowing with his one good arm, singing "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger!" The scientist was quite impressed by this, and made a note to that effect in his log. He then picked up the machete and hacked off the soldier's right leg. The Ranger again hardly seemed to notice and just kept rowing and singing "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger!" The scientist, seeing how little effect the amputations had on the man, decided to give him a little more of a challenge. Swinging the machete once again, he this time cut out half the soldier's brain. The Ranger was briefly shaken, but once again shook it off and continued rowing and singing "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger!" The scientist was truly amazed at this point. This was obviously the toughest man he had ever seen. He decided to give the guy the ultimate test, and, with a final stroke of the machete, he removed the remaining half of the Ranger's brain. The Ranger collapsed to the deck of the boat and the scientist was sure he had done him in. Then, to his amazement, the soldier slowly rose, shook his head a couple of times, then picked up the paddle and resumed rowing, singing "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli..."

If any everything users (especially gods and/or content editors) were ever in the Corps, I'm just kidding guys. Really.

I've heard this told by a couple of different people over the years, if anyone knows who the original author is, /msg me.
So a Ranger platoon was moving through a valley on ops one day, when the Lieutenant spots a single Marine on the top of a hill. The Marine is making lewd gestures at the Rangers, which the Lieutenant finds insulting ('After all, *I* went to Westpoint'). The Lieutenant instructs his Platoon Sergeant to have a Ranger go and get the Marine for a good tongue-lashing.

As the Ranger approaches the Marine, the Marine jumps back behind the hill where the Lieutenant cannot see. The Ranger follows the Marine over and there commences howling and screaming and dirt flying into the air.

When the scene quiets, the lone Marine returns to the top of the hill and continues his tirade of gestures, now involving the Lieutenant's mother as well (escalation of violence).

The lieutenant is very angry now and directs four of his men to retrieve the Marine and bring him to justice.

As the Rangers approach the Marine, the Marine once again jumps behind the hill and the Rangers follow him over. Once again, there is howling and screaming from behind the hill with more dirt and now flesh and hair as well flying into the air.

When it is quiet again, the lone Marine reappears, looking none the worse for wear.

The Lieutenant is enraged. He orders the rest of the platoon to charge the hill and 'Bring me that Marine!'

The scene is the same, and after the fighting dies down, a lone Ranger crawls back over the hill and up to the lieutenant to report:

"Sir ..." he struggles to say, "it's a trap, sir...There's two of them!"

This may seem a tad on the simplistic side, but I prefer straightforward answers to straightforward questions, such as this one. There are any number of theories about the difference between the two, but it really comes down to this simple solution:

On a related note:

Of couse, this is for the United States Military, other contries might have other conventions. This list also does not take into consideration all the little pet names members of one branch have for members of another. I won't go into them, first, because I only know a couple, and second, because a lot of them you can't use (without getting hurt) unless you're military. (Example, don't ever call a Sailor a Squid unless you're a Marine! 'Cause a squid is just a lower form of Marine life!) 2

1 Airman is also a rating(job title) in the Navy, for someone who works on Navy Aircraft. But in this case, they are Sailors first, Airmen second.

2 I was told so by a former Marine.

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