Portraits of Marines Before, During, and After War: The Impact of Combat on Individuals


The Marines are known for their bravery, honor, and selfless service to their country. However, the reality of combat can profoundly impact the individuals who serve in the Marine Corps. In this article, we will explore portraits of Marines before, during, and after the war, examining the impact of combat on their lives and identities.

Before War

Before the war, Marines are often young and full of hope and idealism. They join the military to serve their country, to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and to make a difference in the world. They undergo rigorous physical and mental training to prepare themselves for the challenges they will face in combat.

Many Marines come from military families and have a strong sense of tradition and duty. They often have a deep sense of pride in their service and country and view their time in the Marine Corps as an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

During War

During the war, Marines are faced with the harsh realities of combat. They are forced to confront violence, death, and destruction on a daily basis. They must rely on their training and fellow Marines to survive and complete their missions.

The stress and trauma of combat can significantly impact Marines’ mental and emotional health. Many Marines struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Some Marines may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with their experiences, and some may even contemplate suicide.

Despite these challenges, Marines often bond strongly with their fellow service members. They form a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood that can last a lifetime.

After War

After the war, Marines must adjust to civilian life. For some, this transition can be difficult. They may struggle with finding employment or reconnecting with family and friends. Many Marines continue to deal with the effects of PTSD and other mental health issues.

However, some Marines are able to use their military experience to create positive change in their communities. They may become advocates for veterans’ rights or work to support other veterans struggling with mental health issues.

Even though the War on Terror continues in the Middle East, the War in Iraq has formally ended. Only the brave men who risk their lives to fight in a war can fully understand the toll it takes on the troops stationed abroad. After her oldest son enlisted as a marine, photographer Claire Felicie started the Marked project in 2009 to try and capture the effects fighting in Afghanistan has on a person. The series, which runs from 2009 to 2010, shows 20 young troops as they serve in the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps’ 1st Battalion, 13th infantry company.

Portraits of each marine are shown in Felicie’s triptychs in black and white before, during, and after their mission. The facial expressions of the young men, who vary in age from 18 to 26, follow a distinct pattern. The first photograph, taken five months before being stationed in Afghanistan, usually exudes a youthful vitality, with some people sporting a slight smirk.

Remon, 21
Remon, 21, img src: mymodernmet

During their six-month service, Felicie traveled to the Middle East and got their second portrait there. Due to the sun’s intense heat, they all have a clear tan, and any expressions of hope or excitement have been completely erased from their features. The features look more aged, weathered, and sullen in the final photos, which were taken two months after they had returned from their services. Maturity can be seen emanating from their irises. Felicie points out that despite never wanting to elaborate on their individual experiences, these men insisted that the conflict had not changed them.

Sjoerd, 22

Sjoerd, 22, img src: mymodernmet

Pascal, 23
Pascal, 23, img src: mymodernmet
Arnold, 21
Arnold, 21 img src: mymodernmet


Nicky, 22
Nicky, 22, img src: mymodernmet

Marines Combat Instruction(MCT)

Marines without an infantry MOS will receive extra training at MCT East and MCT West. The following is the mission of Marine Combat Training:

Marine Combat Training Battalion trains Marines to be basic combat rifleman in order to prepare them for world wide deployment in the operating forces.”

Marines with a non-infantry MOS will learn common combat skills during the 29-day MCT training. Every Marine, regardless of MOS, undergoes rifleman training to get them ready for deployment in the operating forces all over the globe.

Marines will typically labour six or more days a week, from 0500 to 2100, during MCT (5am to 9pm). Marines will have a 48-hour in-the-field exercise called Basic Skills Retention Exercise towards the end of MCT training where all of the skills they have acquired will be put to use. During this exercise, Marines will fire at targets while practising efficient communication within the Fleet Marine Force while using an M16-A4. The confidence of the Marines will be bolstered by this exercise.

Marines who successfully complete their training continue on to their MOS school for further instruction after graduating. The following lists the training sites for MOSs other than infantry.

USMC MOS Schools

School/MOS School Location
Ammo Spec Tech- 2311 Redstone Arsenal, AL
Asslt Amphib Crewman- 1833   Assault Amphib Veh Mech- 2141 Camp Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, CA
Aircraft Maint- 6114 NAMTRA MARUNIT, Camp Pendleton, CA
Elec/Comm- 2800, 2822, 2831, 2844, 2846, 2847, 2881, 2887
Command & Control Systems- 0612, 0613, 0614, 0621, 0651, 0656Data Systems- 4067Elec Maintenance- 5912, 5937, 5942, 5962, 5963Air Cmnd & Control- 7234, 7242
29 Palms, CA
Cryptologic Linguist- 2671, 2673, 2674, 2676 Monterey, CA
Signals and Ground Elect Warfare- 2631, 2651 Corry Station, FL
Electronics Maint- 5900, 6000, 6100, 6200, 6300, 6400, 6500, 7011, 7200, 7300, 9972 Pensacola, FL
Avionics- 6494   Aviation Logistics- 6694 Athens, GA
Para Riggers- 0451 Ft. Benning, GA
Ground Mobile SATCOM- 0627 Ft.Gordon, GA
Tank Crewman- 1812   Tank Mechanic- 2146 Ft. Knox, KY
Utilities- 1161   Metal Worker- 1316 Ordnance- 2111, 2131, 47, 61, 71 Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD
Public Affairs- 4341   Cmbt Photo- 4611, 41, 71 Combat Lithographer- 4612 Ft. Meade, MD
Test Meas & Diag Equip Tech-2871   Aviation Meteorological Equip- 6493 Weather Observer- 6821 Keesler AFB, MS
Aircraft Maint- 6042, 6046   Aviation Oper Specialist – 7041 Meridian, MS
Eng Equip Mech/Oper- 1341, 1345, 1361   Motor T- 3531, 3533, 3536 NBC- 5711 MP & Corrections- 5811 Ft.Leonard Wood, MO
Pers & Admin- 0121, 0151   Logistics- 0411, 0431, 0481 Financial Management- 3432, 3451 Legal Clerk- 4421 Motor T- 3521. 3522 Supply- 3043, 3051, 3052 Traffic Management- 3112 Camp Lejeune,(Camp Johnson),NC
Utilities- 1141, 1142, 1171   Combat Engineer- 1371 Camp Lejeune, NC
Cryogenics Equip Oper- 6074 Cherry Point, NC
Aircraft Maintenance- 6112, 6113, 6115, 6116, 6132 New River, NC
Artillery- 0811, 0844, 0847, 0861 Ft. Sill, OK
Legal Services Clerk- 4421 Newport, RI
Postal Clerk- 0161 Ft.Jackson, SC
LAAD Gunner- 7212 Ft. Bliss, TX
Imagery Analysis Spec- 0241   Airfield Svc- 7051 Goodfellow AFB, TX
Correctional Spec- 5831 Lackland AFB, TX
Intel Spec- 0231 Dam Neck, VA
Intel- 0261 Ft. Belvoir, VA
Food Service Specialist- 3381   Bulk Fuel Specialist- 1391 Ft. Lee, VA
Musicians- 55XX NAB Little Creek, VA
MAGTF Planning Spec- 0511 NAB Little Creek,VA

MCT Mail

Throughout the 29 days of MCT, most training will occur in the field, so Marines won’t always have access to their phones. During this training, letters are still a welcome method of communication with family and friends.

nicole utt mail
image src: sandboxx
Alex Hoffman-Ellis is a nerd who love technology and computers. He has been building computers for over 5 years now, and have always loved the challenge of learning how to make them faster, better, and more efficient. He's here to share his insights on these as a journalist, a designer and a technologist with love for writing and tech stuff. Words from Alex Hoffman: “Technology is best when it brings people together.”