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Philippine Marine Corps

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philippine Marine Corps
Hukbong Kawal Pandagat ng Pilipinas
Seal of the Philippine Marine Corps.svg
Seal of the Philippine Marine Corps
FoundedNovember 7, 1950; 70 years ago (1950-11-07)
Country Philippines
TypeMarines, Naval infantry
RoleAmphibious and expeditionary warfare
Size12,500 (2021)
Part of Armed Forces of the Philippines under the command of Philippine Navy
Garrison/HQFort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines
Motto(s)Karangalan, Katungkulan, Kabayanihan
("Honor, Duty, Valor") or
("Honor, Deber, Valor")
ColorsScarlet, Gold and Blue
Anniversaries7 November
Commander-in-Chief President Rodrigo Duterte
Secretary of National Defense
Department of National Defense - DND (Philippines).svg
Delfin Lorenzana
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen.  Jose C. Faustino Jr., PA
Chief of the NavyVADM Adeluis Bordado, PN
Commandant of the Philippine Marine CorpsMaj. Gen. Ariel Reyes Caculitan, PN(M)
Flag of the Philippine Marine Corps.svg
Battledress identification patch
PM battledress patch.svg
PMC Emblem.svg

The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) (Filipino: Hukbong Kawal Pandagat ng Pilipinas) is the marine corps of the Philippines, a naval infantry force under the command of the Philippine Navy. The PMC conducts amphibious, expeditionary, and special operations missions.


Philippine marines in 1992
Philippine marines in 1992

"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[citation needed]

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 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, several of these officers being veterans of the Second World War.

Their hard work 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, as well as overseas deployments to Korea, 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 LCDR Lim in charge, was finally complete. (November 7, the date of the 1955 formal raising of the 1st Marine Battalion, is the official date of the Corps Birthday to this very day.)

Further marine companies and a weapons company would later be formed to augment 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 against the Corazon Aquino administration, all ending in failure. It also saw Rodolfo Biazon becoming the first and only Marine Corps general to head the Armed Forces as Chief of Staff after a fruitful term as Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, the first and only Marine Corps general officer to occupy the office so far in PMA history.[1]

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

The Marines are also seen in action in the 2013 Battle of Zamboanga city providing amphibious assault and fire-support for the Infantry forces. During the 2017 battle of Marawi they are also seen fighting against the Islamic state militants as their Vehicles like LAV-300s and V-150s are modified with Wooden planks to protect them against IEDs and RPGs.

On 2018, Filipino lawmakers were proposing a law to make the Marines as an independent branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but the ties with the Navy would still remain.[2] Defense Secretary Lorenzana has opposed this proposal.[3]


Philippine Marines 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team, push forward after splashing ashore in an amphibious assault vehicle during an amphibious assault training exercise
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 four maneuver brigades, a Combat Service and Support Brigade (CSSB), the Coastal Defense Regiment (CDR) and independent units such as the Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG) and the Marine Security and Escort Group (MSEG). The four 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.[4]

In addition, a number of Reserve Brigades are under the control of the Naval Reserve Command.


  • Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps- Major General Ariel R. Caculitan (incumbent since 20 December 2020)[5]

Marine Brigades

  • 1st Marine Brigade
  • 2nd Marine Brigade
  • 3rd Marine Brigade
  • 4th Marine Brigade

Marine Rifle Battalions

The Philippine Marine Corps has twelve regular Marine Battalions.[6] 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 the southern Philippines.[7]

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 form the core of a Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT). A combat engineer unit from the Naval Combat Engineer Brigade (NCEBde) or Seabees can be attached for construction, survivability, mobility and countermobility support. Elements from the Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG) can also be attached for reconnaissance and unconventional warfare support to make it Special Operations Capable (SOC).[7]

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.
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.
A marine UAV operator with the MAG Super Swiper II UAV, which is part of the Marine Forces Imaging & Targeting Support System (MITSS) of the Philippine Marines.
A marine UAV operator with the MAG Super Swiper II UAV, which is part of the Marine Forces Imaging & Targeting Support System (MITSS) of the Philippine Marines.

Marine Reserve Units

The 7th Marine Brigade (Reserve) was activated as a provisional unit of the Philippine Navy on October 22, 1996, pursuant to Section I General Order No. 229 ONA dated October 21, 1996 during the term of Vice Admiral Pio Carranza AFP as FOIC. PN. It was assigned to the Naval Reserve Command and placed under the operational control of the Commandant, Philippine Marine Corps.[8] The 7th Marine Brigade (NCR) is the Main Active Reserve Force of the Philippine Marine Corps with 3 operational Marine Battalions 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). (Motto: Always Faithful, Always Ready, Nickname: 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 the M101A1 howitzer, the OTO Melara Model 56/14 pack howitzer and the Soltam M71A1 155 howitzer. The unit also provides a limited air-defense capability through a token number of Bofors 40 mm L/60 guns, Oerlikon 20mm guns and M2 Browning guns, either in truck-mounted or towed configuration.

Assault Armor Battalion

A LAV-300 vehicle of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC)
A LAV-300 vehicle of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC)

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, AAV7A1. 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 Special Operations Group

A Philippine marine rushes up a small ditch while a U.S. Marine provides communication during the Balikatan Exercise
A Philippine marine rushes up a small ditch while a U.S. Marine provides communication during the Balikatan Exercise

The Marine Special Operations Group, formerly the Marine Force Recon Battalion, was first activated on August 19, 1972[9]

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 Operations 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

Philippine Marines guarding the Rizal Monument.
Philippine Marines guarding the Rizal Monument.

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, and mounts the honor guard at the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park, Manila.

Marine Drum and Bugle Team

Balikatan 2019 - Marines participate in Combined-Arms Live Fire at CERAB
Balikatan 2019 - Marines participate in Combined-Arms Live Fire at CERAB

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.

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 7.62 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, 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.

Coastal Defense Regiment

The Coastal Defense Regiment is a newly formed unit of the Philippine Marine Corps, founded on August 7, 2020. The unit is part of the Philippine Navy's Defense Capability Program, and also serves as a part of thr Philippine Navy's Active Archipelagic Defense Strategy, which aims to improve and increase sea control capabilities based on anti-access and area denial operations, while maintaining overall territorial integrity, asserting the country's sovereignty in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf, and protect Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs). The unit also plans to acquire Shore Based Anti Ship Missile Systems, and has expressed plans to acquire the BrahMos Missile System, in order to increase the units capabilities on defending coastlines, deterring enemy littoral ships and amphibious forces, and support overall naval operations and littoral capabilities . The unit is expected to be fully functional within 2026.[10] [11]


A display of Philippine Navy and Philippine Marine Corps individual weapons during ADAS 2014
A display of Philippine Navy and Philippine Marine Corps individual weapons during ADAS 2014

Infantry weapons

Picture Model Origin Type Caliber Version In service Notes
M1911 A1 pistol.jpg
M1911 pistol  United States
Semi-automatic pistol .45 ACP M1911 unknown Standard issue sidearm, mostly issued to officers. Majority are former EDA US Army stocks made by Colt, Springfield Armory, and Remington. Being replaced by TAC Ultra FS HC and Glock 17 Gen 4 as standard sidearm of the Philippine Army. Some pistols refurbished and upgraded by Government Arsenal.
Rock Island Armory 1911 series  Philippines Semi-automatic pistol .45 ACP TAC Ultra FS HC 45 ACP unknown (+5,000) 3,000 acquired by Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2017, for issue to all service branches. Majority went to the Philippine Army.[12] AFP ordered 60,000 units under AFP 0.45 caliber Hammer Fired Pistol acquisition project, around 5,000 units expected to go to Philippine Marines.[13]
Glock 20.jpg
Glock 21  United States Semi-automatic pistol .45 ACP G21 SF 200+ Provided as a US government grant for MARSOG, delivery by June 2017.[14]
ARMS & Hunting 2012 exhibition (474-23).jpg
Glock 17  Austria Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum Glock 17 Gen 4 – (+5,000) Contract awarded to Glock Asia Pacific in September 2017 to supply 5,000 units to be issued to the Philippine Marines.[15]
Submachine gun
Heckler & Koch MP5  Germany Submachine gun 9×19mm MP5A3
unknown Issued to Force Reconnaissance Battalion.[16]
Assault rifle
PH Government arsenal M-16.jpg
M16 rifle  United States
Assault rifle 5.56×45mm A1
A1 (enhanced)
A1 Dissipator
unknown Standard issue rifle, either made by Colt USA or Elisco Tool Philippines. Government Arsenal refurbishing M16A1-standard rifles to M16A1 (enhanced). Being replaced by the Remington R4A3 as standard issue rifle.
ArmaLite AR-15 SPAR 3240 DEC. 17. 2004.png
PVAR rifle  Philippines Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO PVAR Unknown A variant of the Armalite AR-15 and M16 rifle, using a Pneumatic Valve and Rod system. Used by the Special Operations Command.
Night Fighting Weapon System rifle with NVS scope.png
Night Fighting Weapons System  Philippines Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NFWS unknown Introduced in 2004, developed by the PMC based on M16A1 rifle after experiences in the MSSR. Used by MARSOG.[17]
M4A1 ACOG.jpg
M4 carbine  United States Carbine 5.56×45mm Colt M4 & M4A1
Remington R4A3
Remington R4A3 to replace the M16A1 as the PMC's standard rifle. 6,443 units were ordered for the PMC by the AFP.[18] More expected from additional orders made by AFP. 969 more units from residual orders. Colt M4s are used by MARSOG.
US Navy 100714-N-4965F-174 Chief Mass Communication Specialist Paula Ludwick, assigned to Fleet Combat Camera Group Pacific, shoots at a target during a Navy Rifle Qualification Course.jpg
LMT Mk.18 CQBR  United States Carbine 5.56×45mm Mk.18 Mod.0 unknown Granted by the US government, delivered in June 2017. Used by MARSOG.[14][19]
L129A1 Sharpshooter rifle MOD 45162216.jpg
LMT CQB  United States Carbine 5.56×45mm CQB14.5 5.56 300 Granted by the US government, delivered in June 2017. Used by MARSOG.[14][19] Similar to New Zealand Defence Force's MARS-L rifle.
Heckler & Koch HK416  Germany Carbine 5.56×45mm D10RS
unknown Used by MARSOG.[20]
AR-15 Sporter SP1 Carbine.JPG
CAR-15  United States Carbine 5.56×45mm M653
unknown Used by MARSOG.
M14 rifle - USA - 7,62x51mm - Armémuseum.jpg
M14 rifle  United States Battle rifle / designated marksman rifle 7.62×51mm M14 unknown Standard battle rifle, several were installed with optics and used as designated marksman rifles.
M1 Garand  United States Semi-automatic rifle .30-06 Springfield M1 unknown Used for ceremonial purposes. Others distributed to ROTC units armed and trained by the Philippine Marine Corps.
Sniper rifle
Sniper Rifles M40 XM21.jpg
M21 Sniper Weapon System  United States Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm M21 unknown
MSSR rifle camo paint.jpg
Marine Scout Sniper Rifle  Philippines Sniper rifle 5.56×45mm MSSR 1st Gen
MSSR 2nd Gen
MSSR 3rd Gen
MSSR 4th Gen
MSSR 5th Gen
unknown Introduced in 1996, developed by the PMC based on M16A1 rifle.[17] Primary sniper rifle of PMC Scout Snipers.
Remington Model 700.JPG
Remington Model 700  United States Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm M40A3
Introduced the M700P in 2004, modified by the PMC to M40A3 standard to suit their requirements.[17][21] 148 units of M40A5 ordered by the Philippine Navy in 2016, 85 were delivered in February 2017,[22] the rest were delivered before end of 2017. Marines received majority of the sniper rifles.
Barrett M95SP.jpg
Barrett M95  United States Anti-material rifle .50 BMG M95 unknown Used by Marine Scout Snipers.[17]
Sniper Zastava M93.jpg
Zastava M93 Black Arrow  Serbia Anti-material rifle .50 BMG M93 unknown Donated to the PMC by a private entity, in limited numbers.[23]
Machine gun
FN Minimi  Belgium Light machine gun 5.56×45mm Minimi 76 In limited service.[24]
Mk43 LMG.jpg
M60 machine gun  United States General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm M60E3
Standard general purpose machine gun. 230 new M60E4 (Mk. 43) delivered in 2014. Several older M60E3 were refurbished to M60E4 standards by Government Arsenal. US provided several units of new M60E6 delivered in June 2017 for MARSOG.[14]
Browning M1919a.png
M1919 Browning machine gun  United States Medium machine gun .30-06 Springfield M1919A4
unknown Used for static/base defense, mounted on vehicles, including gun trucks, and training of auxiliary and reserve units.[25][26]
Machine gun M2 1.jpg
M2 Browning  United States Heavy machine gun .50 BMG M2
unknown Standard heavy machine gun. Either on tripod or vehicle mounted. Several more units received in 2021.
US Navy 070825-N-9769P-317 A Special Warfare Combatant-craft crewman (SWCC) mans his GAU-17 minigun during live-fire patrol training along the Salt River in northern Kentucky.jpg
M134 Minigun  United States Rotary machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO M134D 4 Delivered in June 2017.[14]
Grenade Launcher
M203 1.jpg
M203 grenade launcher  United States Grenade launcher 40mm M203
M203s are attached with M16A1 rifles, while M203A1 are attached with M4 rifles. 720 units of M203EXPIC grenade launchers acquired in 2015, and are attached with the Remington R4A3 rifles. 100 LMT LMP300L3260 grenade launchers donated by the US government and delivered to MARSOG in June 2017, and attached to LMT CQB 5.56mm rifles.[14][19]
PEO M320 Grenade Launcher.jpg
M320 Grenade Launcher Module  Germany Grenade launcher 40mm M320
M320 stand-alone
unknown Attached to HK416 carbine. Several units are in stand-alone system.
M79 afmil.jpg
M79 grenade launcher  United States Grenade launcher 40mm M79 unknown
M-32 Grenade Launcher.jpg
Milkor MGL  United States Grenade launcher 40mm M32A1 unknown In limited numbers.[27][28]
STK 40 AGL  Singapore Automatic grenade launcher 40mm Standard 0 (+8) 8 ordered in 2014.[29]

Anti-tank and Assault Weapons

Picture Model Origin Type Caliber Version In Service Notes
RPG-7 detached.jpg
RPG-7  Bulgaria Rocket-propelled grenade launcher 40mm Arsenal ATGL-L 702 702 units ordered from Bulgaria's Arsenal JSCo. after winning tender in December 2019, all delivered on 14 April 2021. Weapons to undergo testing, while Marine units will undergo training and familiarization before distribution to Marine squads.[30]
Armbrust rocket launcher photo Iraq OIG.jpg
Armbrust  Germany/ Singapore Anti-tank Weapon 67mm Armbrust AT unknown Sourced from Singapore, in limited numbers as an alternative to recoilless rifles.[31]
M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (7414626756).jpg
M72 LAW  United States Anti-tank Weapon 66mm unknown unknown In limited service with the Force Reconnaissance Battalion.
M40  United States Recoilless rifle 105mm M40 unknown Vehicle mounted, mostly on M151 or MMPV vehicles.
M67 recoilless rifle 01.jpg
M67  United States Recoilless rifle 90mm M67 unknown Standard shoulder-mounted assault and anti-tank weapon.

Night Vision Equipment

Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
Land Warrior PVS-14 Night Vision Device.jpg
AN/PVS-14  United States Monocular Night Vision Device M914A unknown
AN PVS-7 Cyclops.JPG
AN/PVS-7  United States Binocular Night Vision Device unknown
Night Optics Argus D-740  United States Night Vision Weapons Sight D-740 unknown used on Night Fighting Weapon System Rifles[32]
Night Optics Gladius D-760  United States Night Vision Weapons Sight D-740 unknown used on Night Fighting Weapon System Rifles[32]
Litton M845  United States Night Vision Weapons Sight M845 Mk.II unknown used on Night Fighting Weapon System Rifles[32]
AN/PEQ-2  United States Target Pointer/Illuminator/Aiming Light unknown

Communication equipment

Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
Harris RF-5800H-MP Radio @ PA 122nd Anniversary Caravan.jpg
AN/PRC-150 Falcon II  United States Manpack Combat Radio RF-5800H-MP unknown Introduced in 2004. 15 units received in 2005, more units delivered in 2008[33][34] and 2011.[35]
Harris RF-7800V-HH Radio @ PA 122nd Anniversary Caravan.jpg
AN/PRC-152 Falcon III  United States Handheld Combat Radio RF-5800V-HH unknown Introduced in 2004. 103 units received in 2005, More units delivered in 2008[33][34] and 2011.[35]

Armored vehicles

Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
PMC KAAV-7A1 DAGIT-PA 03-19.jpg
AAV7A1  South Korea
 United States
Amphibious Assault Vehicle KAAV7A1 8 All 8 in active service as of September 23, 2019, plans to acquire up to 16 units more are being considered.[36]
LVTH-6 AAC.jpg
LVT-5  United States Amphibious Fire Support Vehicle LVTH-6 4 Previously out of service, refurbished and recommissioned in 2006 with armor upgrades.
V-150 with Turret B @ SAF 36th Anniversary Exhibit.jpg
Commando  United States Armoured personnel carrier V-150 18 Delivery starting 1975,[37] at least 18 known in service[38] and 12 refurbished in 2007.[39]
LAV-300 Vehicle @ 2018 Kalayaan Parade.jpg
LAV-300  United States Armored personnel carrier & Fire Support Vehicle V-300 APC
V-300 FSV
Introduced in early 90s. 23 in service as at 2012,[40] 1 FSV destroyed in enemy action.
Philippine Marines Gun Truck.jpg
M35 Armored Gun Truck  United States
Armored Gun Trucks M35 Gun Truck unknown Several M35 2+12-ton cargo trucks were converted to armored gun trucks by the PMC using armor plating from decommissioned LVT-5, acting as armored personnel carriers or armored escort vehicles.[41]

Utility vehicles

Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
060322-N-5438H-018 U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the Bravo Battery 3rd Battalion 320th Field Artillery Regiment along with Iraq Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion 1st Brigade 4th Division perform a routine patrol.jpg
AM General HMMWV  United States Light Utility Vehicle M998A1
unknown Divided into several variants and series
Philippine Army HUMVEE Ambulance.JPG
Maxi-Ambulance  United States Light Utility Vehicle M1152 4 23 delivered to AFP in November 2011,[42] PMC received 4 units.
Marine Multi-purpose Vehicle  Philippines 1/2-ton Light Utility Vehicle MMPV 8 A 4x4 prototype utility vehicle used and manufactured by the PMC. The vehicle is rumored to be a heavily refurbished Mitsubishi Pajero while having a similar concept of the HMMWV. Tests were conducted within 2005-2006. 8 units were produced, while some units are equipped with the M40 recoilless rifle.
Delta Mini Cruiser (Philippine Army).jpg
Delta Mini Cruiser  Philippines 1/4-ton Light Utility Vehicle M1777 unknown Divided into several variants and series, including short and stretched utility and armed variants, and modified variants for specialized units.
M151  United States 1/4-ton Light Utility Vehicle and Weapons Carrier Standard In Service, several carrying M40 106mm recoilless rifle.
Kia KM-450 Truck.jpg
Kia KM45 Series  South Korea 1 1/2-ton Utility Vehicle
Field Ambulance
651 purchased by AFP on 2007, 61 units shared by Navy/Marines and Air Force[43]
60 km-451 field ambulance purchased by AFP in 2012, 12 assigned to the Marines.
Freightliner M2 Business Class Crew Cab 6x4 2012.jpg
Freightliner M2  United States Utility Truck M2 106 Crew Cab 6 Hauler for Riverine Patrol Boat trailer, each with RPB trailer.[44]
M35 Truck  United States 2 1/2-ton Utility Vehicle M35 Divided into several variants and series. More delivered in 2013.
M35 6x6 Truck - Marines(A).jpg
Kia KM25 Series  South Korea 2 1/2-ton Utility Vehicle KM250 Several dozens received in multiple batches acquired by the Philippine Navy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
US Marine Corps 030224-M-XT622-034 USMC M923 (6X6) 5-ton cargo truck heads a convoy departing Camp Matilda, Kuwait crop.jpg
M939 truck  United States Heavy Utility Vehicle M923 Several delivered to AFP in 2013, several units for the Marines.[45]
Kia KM50.jpg
Kia KM50 Series  South Korea 5-ton Utility Vehicle KM500 6 155mm Artillery prime mover, 6 units delivered in 2012.
LARC V vehicle.JPEG
LARC-V  United States Amphibious Support Vehicle LARC-V 5 Most refurbished in 2006.
Philippine Marine Corps GKN Aquatrack.jpg
GKN Aquatrack  United Kingdom Amphibious Support Vehicle Aquatrack 2 Introduced in the mid 1990s. Originally owned by the Office of Civil Defense but under PMC stewardship.


Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
170514-N-FV745-0256 - Philippine soldier prepares to fire off a mortar round with U.S. Army soldiers.jpg
M75 mortar  Philippines 60mm Mortar M75 unknown Several hundred units were produced as part of the AFP Self-Reliance Defense Posture Program starting 1977, several distributed for the PMC.[46]
Mortar M29.jpg
M29 mortar  United States 81mm Mortar M29 unknown In service.[40]
Expal mortar 81-MX2-KM (1).jpg
EXPAL M-98 mortar  Spain 81mm Dismounted Mortar M-98 – (+30) Ordered as part of the RAFPMP Horizon 2 phase.[47]
Field Artillery
Soltam M-71  Israel 155mm Towed Howitzer M-71 6 First batch delivered April 2017. Second batch delivered June 2017. In service.[48]
M101  United States 105mm Towed Howitzer M101 ~23 Total 150 delivered to the AFP, majority with the Army. Delivered in 1957–1958.[37]
Mod 56  Italy 105mm Towed Howitzer Mod 56 ~20 Total 120 delivered to AFP, majority went to the Army. Delivered in 1983.[37][38]
K136  South Korea 130mm multiple rocket launcher – (+6) With a total of 4 batteries, 1 will be for the PMC and 3 for the Army.[49]


Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
Towed Anti-Aircraft Guns
Bofors 40 mm L60 Gun - Left Side View.jpg
Bofors 40mm L/60  Sweden/ United States Anti-Aircraft gun Single Naval Mk. 3
Twin Naval Mk. 16
16+ Formerly ship-mounted anti-aircraft guns, transferred to the PMC. Mounted on trailer carriages.[38][50] More being planned as the navy transfers more gun mounts to the PMC.
Oerlikon 20mm IMG 1555.jpg
Oerlikon 20mm gun   Switzerland/ United States Anti-Aircraft gun Single Naval Mk. 10 No more than 127 Units Formerly ship-mounted anti-aircraft guns, transferred to the PMC. Mounted on M35 2+12-ton trucks.[38][50]
Twin M2-Left Rear Side View.JPG
M2 Browning  United States Heavy machine gun Twin Naval Mk. 56 Formerly patrol boat-mounted guns, either mounted on a naval gun tub fitted on an M35 2+12-ton trucks that tows the Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun trailers, or on trailer mounts.[38][50]
Philippine Marines M35 SPAA.jpg
M35 SPAA Trucks  Philippines/ United States Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon M35 20mm SPAA(Equipped with an Mk 4 20mm cannon on a Mk 10 series mount)
M35 Twin 50 caliber(Equipped with an Mk 56 Mod 0 Twin .50 caliber machine gun turret)
2+[51] Constructed by the Philippine Marines based on the M35 Military Truck.[51] Only 2 were supposedly made, however, reports also surfaced for additional 2 or more units due to the many pictures surfacing from these SPAA trucks.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
A U.S. Marine, right, with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit prepares an RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial system for a demonstration flight for members of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in support of exercise 120411-M-FR139-051.jpg
AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven  United States Miniature UAV RQ-11B 1 system[52] Initial 1 system with 3 drones delivered on January 27, 2017, with possibly more to follow.
AFP Super Swiper II.jpg
MAG Aerospace Super Swiper II  United States Small UAV Super Swiper II 6 system[53] Acquired under the Marine Forces Imaging and Targeting Support System (MITSS) project. Delivered starting 2017.[54]


Picture Model Origin Type Version In Service Notes
Riverine Patrol Boat  United States Small unit riverine craft 40' x 10'8" SURC 6 Similar but larger version of the SURC used by the US Marines produced by Silver Ships Inc., purchased under FMS worth $6.5 million and introduced in September 2013[55]
Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) operations from USS Green Bay 150712-N-NI474-294.jpg
Combat Rubber Raiding Craft  United States Combat Rubber Raiding Craft CRRC >25 Similar to the CRRC used by the US Marines produced by Zodiac Marine. 25 units were handed over by the US military in June 2017[56] Prior to that several more already in service with PMC from previous acquisitions.
US Navy 070824-N-4500G-189 A Special Operations Craft Riverine (SOC-R) cruises along the Salt River during live fire training.jpg
Coastal craft  Philippines Special Operations Craft SOC – (+16) Similar, longer, but less gunned SOC-R used by the US Marines, being built locally and for delivery by 2019. For use by the Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG)[57]


  • The Philippine Navy intends to acquire 60 new Tactical Combat Vehicles for the PMC, as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.
  • 12 V-300 and 15 V-150 wheeled armored vehicles will have their turrets upgraded, and 7 V-150s will also undergo mobility upgrades as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program. Indian company Larsen & Toubro was contracted to conduct the said upgrade works.[58]
  • The Philippine Navy has ordered 702 units of ATGL-L rocket propelled grenade launchers and munitions from Bulgaria's Arsenal JSCo. for the PMC. These would replace the ageing 90mm recoilless rifles, which would in turn be mounted on light vehicles. The typical Marine squad table of organization will also be revised to include the ATGL-L RPG as part of its squad weapon. The weapons and munitions were delivered on 14 April 2021, and will be tested, while Marine units will undergo training with the new weapon.[30]
  • 7,491 new body armor and 9,528 new combat helmets were ordered from Israel's Maron Dolphin in August 2020.[59]
  • The PMC is procuring new 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm Mortars. 30 units M-98 81mm mortars expected to be delivered from Spain's EXPAL Systems SA,[47] while procurement process is still ongoing for the acquisition of 60mm and 120mm mortars.
  • The Philippine Navy announced its intention to acquire two or three batteries of shore-based anti-ship missile system, most likely the Indian-made PJ-10 BrahMos Coastal Defense Battery System, to be operated by the PMC.[11][60]
  • The Philippine Navy plans to acquire two or three batteries of shore-based air defense missile systems, to be operated by the PMC to defend naval and marine installations, and the anti-ship missile batteries.[61]

Marine Bases


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, Taguig 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.

The BRP Sierra Madre

The Sierra Madre BRP is a Philippine Navy vessel that was intentionally beached off the shoal of Ayungin (also known as the Second Thomas Shoal) in 1999. It has since been occupied by a dozen Filipino Marines, all of whom take turns for an assignment of 5 months in order to assert the rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Philippines on the island against the Chinese demands. The history of the building and its occupants was put on the spotlight on March 29, 2014, when journalists were able to take pictures of the Chinese Coast Guard attempting to block a Philippine civilian ship bringing supplies to the Sierra Madre Marines.[63]

See also


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Works consulted

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External links

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