Strategic Defense Initiative Starfighter Starship Space
3 Space Marines Tactics
4. The Space Marines of Aliens
Space marines are
soldiers that operate in outer space. They are usually
specifically trained for infantry attacks on a planet
from an interplanetary ship (thus parallelling true
Marines, who are trained to attack land from a
Space marines typically wear power armor and are equipped
with weapons such as bolters, multi meltas, plasma
cannons, plasma guns, plasma pistols, melta guns, missile
launchers, and heavy bolters.
The United States Colonial
Marines (USCM) are a group of fictional space marines
first introduced in the movie Aliens. They have taken a
prominent role in the successive games, comics, and
novels set in the Aliens series.
The actual details of the force are not expressly
revealed in the movies. An associated book Aliens:
Colonial Marines Technical Manual by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
was published by Boxtree in 1995.
The USCM force was created in 2101 as the United
Americas Outer Rim Defense which was later succeeded by
the force under its present name after the Torin Prime
Civil War against J'Har Rebels.
Long after the first wars with the Xenomorphs in which
they suffered many casualties, they were later succeeded
by the United Systems Military.
The USCM are part of the United Americas Allied
Command. The force has roughly 165,000 marines divided
into four divisions, four aerospace wings, and numerous
support groups. There is also a reserve division and
aerospace wing. In the movie, the marines were based upon
The fighting groups are organized into three Marine Space
ForcesSol (two divisions), Eridani (one division),
and Herculis (one division). Each has primary
responsibility for security in their areas.
The Colonial Space Marines are likely best known
for their use of the M41A pulse rifle, a futuristic
assault rifle with an underslung grenade launcher, and
for the M56 smart gun, a large machine gun which is
actually worn by the user using a sophisticated harness
mechanism. Featured in the movie Aliens are also the M240
flamethrower and the M4A3 pistol.
Tactics (Weapons of the Colonial Space Marines):
This powerful 9 mm pistol is the standard
sidearm of the USCM Space Marines.
M41A Pulse Rifle
The most prominent weapon used by the USCM. It
functions as the standard assault rifle with an
underslung grenade launcher.
A lightweight carbine flamethrower, the M240 is
used primarily to clear small areas like rooms or
bunkers. It is also particularly useful against the
Aliens as it can harm them without spilling their
notoriously corossive blood.
M56 Smart Gun
A machine gun used by the USCM, this weapon is
not so much carried as it is worn. It comes complete with
an operating harness which can be used to help distribute
its weight, compensate for recoil and increase the speed
with which it can be maneuvered. The M56 has a built in
infra-red scanner which it can use to auto-track targets.
M42 Scope Rifle
This weapon comes with a 20x scope, and an IR
scanner to help detect movement.
The Shoulder-launched Active-homing Disposable
Antitank Rocket is designed to allow a marine the ability
to take on heavily armoured targets like tanks. Like the
smart gun, it uses infra-red to track its target.
A reloadable 60 mm rocket propelled grenade
launcher, the M5 is an unguided light anti-tank weapon
for Space Marines.
The Phased-plasma Infantry Gun is a man-portable
shoulder mounted gun and power backpack. It is very
powerful, but has a slow rate of fire.
The Space Marines
In the 1986 film Aliens, the Space Marines were
prominent characters. There were a total of thirteen
featured Space Marines if Bishop the android is to be
included. They are listed here by rank, with their
service number and names of each actor in parentheses:
Lieutenant S. Gorman A09/TQ4.0.56124E3 (William Hope)
ECA Bishop (Lance Henriksen)
Space Marine Sergeant First Class A. Apone
A19/TQ4.0.32751E8 (Al Matthews)
Corporal Dwayne Hicks A27/TQ4.0.48215E9 (Michael Biehn)
Space Marine Corporal C. Ferro A71/TQ9.0.09428E1 (Colette
Corporal C. Dietrich A41/TQ8.0.81120E2 (Cynthia Scott)
PFC W. Hudson A08/TQ1.0.41776E3 (Bill Paxton)
PFC D. Spunkmeyer A23/TQ6.0.92810E7 (Daniel Kash)
PFC J. Vasquez A03/TQ7.0.15618E4 (Jenette Goldstein)
Space Marine Private M. Drake A23/TQ2.0.47619E7 (Mark
Space Marine Private R. Frost A17/TQ4.0.61247E5 (Rico
Space Marine Private T. Crowe A46/TQ1.0.98712E6 (Tip
Space Marine Private T. Wierzbowski A14/TQ8.0.20034E7
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
All but two of these Marines were killed during the
encounters with the xenomorphs on the planet LV-426. It
should be noted that although some were slain outright
during the combat (Frost, Crowe, Ferro, Goreman, Vasquez,
and possibly Drake and Spunkmeyer), others, such as
Dietrich, Apone, and apparently Wiezbowski and Hudson,
were captured alive by the aliens and likely served as
unwilling hosts for the facehuggers.
The two Marine survivors were written off in the sequel,
Alien 3. Hicks died at the start of this film, and Bishop
made a brief cameo appearance but asked Ripley to
permanently shut him down.
Space marines have
been featured in the following films, games, novels, and
Aliens (The USCM)
Star Trek: Enterprise
The Honor Harrington series of novels