Space Marines
Tactics, Organization, Weapons

Space Marines
See Also:
SDI Strategic Defense Initiative Starfighter Starship Space Marines
1 History
2 Organization
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 water-bound vessel).

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.

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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 Sulaco.

The fighting groups are organized into three Marine Space Forces—Sol (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.

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Space Maines Tactics (Weapons of the Colonial Space Marines):

M4A3 Pistol
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.
M240 Incinerator
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 of Aliens
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 Hiller)
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 Rolston)
Space Marine Private R. Frost A17/TQ4.0.61247E5 (Rico Ross)
Space Marine Private T. Crowe A46/TQ1.0.98712E6 (Tip Tipping)
Space Marine Private T. Wierzbowski A14/TQ8.0.20034E7 (Trevor Steedman)
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 television shows:

Aliens (The USCM)
Starship Troopers
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Wars
The Honor Harrington series of novels

Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License  

Space Marines