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A large detachment of the USMC under the command of Colonel Ian Taggart were folded under the command of the Blackwatch for the deployment on the quarantined of Manhattan Island. Equipped with tanks, armored personnel carriers and helicopters, they are the public face of the occupation, and are responsible for the outcome of the New York occupation, and any collateral damage and death tolls.
Blackwatch considers them disposable tools, and treat them as such. The Marines are used as cannon fodder, and are sent into engagements for the purposes of taking the brunt of the casualties and marking the targets for the Blackwatch troops. After staging the combat zone for Blackwatch, they arrive to "clean up" the weakened enemy.
Although the Marines fight alongside Blackwatch, they seem to have very little knowledge of who the Blackwatch personnel are, besides the fact that they were ordered by their marine superiors to obey orders from Blackwatch. Many Marines have no knowledge of the different Blackwatch ranks or the engagement protocols that they follow.
By the time Alex Mercer awoke at Gentek's morgue, martial law had been declared and New York City itself had been militarily occupied whilst the virus rages throughout it in an epidemic. The USMC presence in Manhattan was gradually increased and felt more throughout the course of the infection.
While suffering from high casualties including the loss of Colonel Taggart himself, the Marines, with the help of Blackwatch, eventually were able to contain the viral outbreak. What they do not realize however, was that Mercer had been secretly helping them (by attacking and consuming Elizabeth Greene, the root source of the viral madness). After Mercer thwarted Blackwatch's destruction of Manhattan, the USMC was credited by various news reports for their brave sacrifices in containing the outbreak.
With the second outbreak of the infection, Marines were once again called to assist Blackwatch in day-to-day duties, albeit to a much lesser extent as Blackwatch has taken over the vast majority of responsibilities for New York Zero. Blackwatch, however, still failed to have much concern for the USMC, with Marines frequently being assigned to patrols in the infected Red Zone that were considered suicide by most ground troops. With the death of Colonel Taggart, however, it is unknown who now leads them. As evidenced by the game's introduction cutscene, all Marine personnel still display discomfort and disgust regarding Blackwatch maverick attitude towards handling civilians.
The Marines' equipment is largely composed of the same weapons and vehicles used by Blackwatch: Assault Rifles, Machine Guns, Grenade Launchers, Missile Launcher. Their vehicle pool is completely inaccurate however, the Armored Personal Carriers, Tanks, Gunships, and Transport Helicopters in game reflect what the United States Army operates, not the Marine Corps.
- Main article: Marine
The Marines are well trained infantrymen. They are equipped with woodland patterned battle dress uniforms with tactical vests and combat webbing, a load bearing pack, a tactical helmet with a black balaclava and weapons depending on their specialty - anything ranging from the standard M4 to the destructive Javelin missile launcher. They can fight low level infected alone but will need groups to take on stronger types of the humanoid infected.
- Main article: Marine officer
Equipped in a similar way to regular Marines, Officers are distinguishable by their eight-pointed service caps, black sunglasses and rolled up sleeves. Their Rank Insignia is displayed on both sleeves, and is that of a Staff Non-Commissioned Officer. Usually, they are armed with an M4 assault rifle.
Officers are mostly seen walking about near the M35 50-Ton Trucks at the Military Bases, and follow a simple patrol pattern. There ARE however a few Officers walking about Manhattan as Web of Intrigue absorption targets, and some within consumption events early in the game.
- Main article: Pilot
Outfitted the same as their Blackwatch equivalents, pilots wear woodland camo fatigues, a kevlar vest and a pilot helmet with a shaded visor. When they are on the ground, they are armed with pistols, but if within a Military Base as an Instructor for Knowledge Absorption Target, they will pace around upon a black metal grate on one side of the room, next to their respective skill upgrade vehicle. If you engage other Marine units within the base and haven't gone for the Pilot yet, he tends to stay back with the side-arm, Pilots usually being non ground combatants.
- Many of the cutscenes from the Web of Intrigue show troops wearing the United States Army Combat Uniform instead of one of the Marine Corps' woodland or desert Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms.
- The uniforms depicted in-game are not worn by any United States Marine Corps personnel in any duty station or deployment location in the world, with the adoption of the two MARPAT-pattern uniforms completed in 2004.
- Web of Intrigue targets suggest that during the latter stages of the outbreak on Manhattan, the initial distrust Marines felt towards Blackwatch forces escalate into outright hatred after several instances of Blackwatch troopers opening fire on Marines and civilians, infected or not.
- Anti-Blackwatch sentiment continued into the Secound Outbreak and even rose, with Marines openly referring to Blackwatch as "baby-killers" and expressing disgust at the Blackwatchs clear disregard for regular troops.
- Bradleys, Blackhawks and Apaches are used by the Army instead of the Marines in real-life, whose equivalents are respectively AAV-7s/LAV-25s, UH-1 Hueys and AH-1 Cobras.