The Marines (海軍, Kaigun) are the Government's military sea force. They are present in all the seas around the world, although they maintain only a slight military presence in the four Blues by establishing branch offices. The focus of the plurality of their assets is on the far more dangerous Grand Line, as their main headquarters is located there. The Marine HQ was located at Marineford, but after Sakazuki became the fleet admiral, the main headquarters were relocated to the New World.
The duty of the Marines is to maintain a law and order throughout the world and impose the will and might of the World Government. They are therefore considered the key strategic development force in the World Government and are expected to obey its orders at will. Sometimes these orders are questionable, however they are expected to carry them out regardless of opinion. Amongst their duties is awarding bounty hunters the bounties on the heads of a criminal. They tolerate bounty hunters as a method of making their job easier but are known to go out bounty huntingthemselves. Apprehended criminals who are brought in alive are handed over to be made an example of, the Marines are left to ensuring the exportation of these criminals to prison and/or to their execution.
Marines often work in pairs with one superior officer and a second in command or subordinate who is of slightly low rank. These partnerships may remain even during promotions with both pairs advancing in rank together. In the pair the higher ranked officer will give the orders to the men under their command, while the other acts an adviser or information gatherer while ensuring their partners command is undertaken by the men.
Higher ranked Marines (admirals and the fleet admiral) are expected to be on call to lead the Marine forces into war. This may take form of apprehending many criminals at once, protecting the Nobles or calling a Buster Call to tackle a situation. Vice admirals are the ones who serve on the ships that the admirals call out and are tasked with carrying out the admirals orders exactly.
The main purpose of the Marines remain footed in the idea of bringing justice to any criminal. They use justice as their constituted policy to manage a world that is made entirely of one ocean much easier. However, the main problem within the Marines is the approach to Justice. They are generally divided between those who support Moral Justice and those who support Absolute Justice with the latter being the code of conduct for the Marines as a central doctrine. Nevertheless, there is little worry from the higher ranked Marines as to how the Justice is carried out so long as it is, leading those who truly support absolute justice to make questionable actions in carrying out their duties.
The Marines are also aided by the Shichibukai in terms of maintaining the "Three Great Powers", and as such, are expected to cooperate when necessary. Despite this, several Marines, such as Aokiji, Akainu, Smoker, Sengoku, and Kizaru think of the Shichibukai as no more than pirates. In turn, the Shichibukai have no obligations to obey the Marines unless under the direct orders of the World Government itself.
One of the most questionable parts of their "Justice" is when it comes to Slavery. Despite the practice supposedly being abolished years before, it is often shown that they just look the other way. Especially when it comes to the World Nobles' slaves, where it is even seen as a crime to free said slaves even if the person is merely a child. Often they are tasked to find and retrieve the person to be a slave once again.
- Main article: Marine Ranks
The system of military rank in place for the Marines is fairly straightforward, where each rank is clearly delineated.
Officers and recruits present at Marine Headquarters are considered "Super-elites". All ranks present from "Lieutenant" above are usually trained here, exceptions being those in command of other Marine bases which includes Axe-Hand Morgan and Nezumi.
The Marines do not have a system of rank insignia per se. There is significant variation in the kind of uniform worn by officers, with many opting to wear a variety of dress showcasing their own eccentric style. Marines are also allowed to wield whatever weapon they are most comfortable with, no matter how unusual it is. They are even free to fight bare-handed. However, as a general rule set down by the author, uniform guidelines are as follows:
- Upon first entering the Marines, new recruits are given the standard uniform, consisting of a white short-sleeved shirt emblazoned with the Marine emblem, a simplified seagull with "MARINE" underneath it, on the back; a blue neckerchief; dark blue trousers; and a baseball cap with "MARINE" across the front. All officers at the rank of Seaman (一等兵 Ittōhei?) and below wear this. The quasi-rank of "Zatsuyō" (雑用 Zatsuyō?) adds the kanji 雑 Zatsu ("various" or "odds and ends") to the sleeves, and to the Marine emblem on the back.
- Once an officer has reached the rank of Petty Officer (伍長 Gochō?), he or she can choose from a number of different uniforms, including his or her personal clothes. Only those who really want to appear "sailor-like" will stay with a more traditional uniform. This uniform is generally the standard sailor outfit with red and blue epaulets.
- Sailors at the rank of Ensign (少尉 Shōi?) and above are allowed to wear the coat with "Justice" (正義 Seigi?) on the back. This coat tends to be worn like a cape, draped over the shoulders with the arms not in the sleeves. It should be noted that the sleeves of these coats are often much longer than the wearers' arms.
- For the rank of Lieutenant-Commander (少佐 Shōsa?) and above, a suit worn underneath the "Justice" coat is the preferred attire.
There are, of course, exceptions: Jango and Fullbody wear their own clothes with the "MARINE" hat, despite holding the rank of "Seaman Recruit" (三等兵 Santōhei?). This may have something to do with the exceptional circumstances by which both of these men were brought into their present situation, the lenience on the part of their Captain, Hina, or just the fact that the rule is not strictly enforced. Also, G-5 low-rank subordinates do not wear the full uniform due to their disregard of the rules, to the point of wearing slacks and a bucket for a hat.
When a powerfull or high rank marine (as Fleet Admiral, Admiral or Vice Admiral) wants to resign, he's generally invited to become an Instructor or General Inspector.
Commissioned Marine OfficersEdit
- Fleet Admiral (元帥 Gensui?)
- Admiral (大将 Taishō?)
- Vice Admiral (中将 Chūjō?)
- Rear Admiral (少将 Shōshō?)
- Commodore (准将 Junshō?)
- Captain (大佐 Taisa?)
- Commander (中佐 Chūsa?)
- Lieutenant Commander (少佐 Shōsa?)
- Lieutenant (大尉 Taii?)
- Lieutenant Junior Grade (中尉 Chūi?)
- Ensign (少尉 Shōi?)
Infantry and Sailor DivisionEdit
- Warrant Officer (准尉 Jun'i?)
- Master Chief Petty Officer (曹長 Sōchō?)
- Chief Petty Officer (軍曹 Gunsō?)
- Petty Officer (伍長 Gochō?)
- Seaman First Class (一等兵 Ittōhei?)
- Seaman Apprentice (二等兵 Nitōhei?)
- Seaman Recruit (三等兵 Santōhei?) or Recruit (新兵 Shinpei?)
- Chore Boy (雑用 Zatsuyō?, not an official rank)
Exactly how long the Marines have been around for is unknown, so is how they were created.
The oldest known date of their existence is 1472 AOS when Oimo and Kashi were captured by the Marines and tricked into guarding Enies Lobby, hoping to free Dorry and Brogy, whom they thought had been arrested. This is around the time in which Brook received his bounty, another proof of the existence of the Marines fifty years ago.
In 1500 AOS, Garp was known as the legendary Marine who cornered Gol D. Roger many times. After Roger's execution, the Marines and the Marine Judges went to Water 7 to judge and later execute Tom for supporting him in his pirate ventures by constructing Roger's ship, the Oro Jackson.
In 1502 AOS, a platoon of Marines, including five vice admirals, were sent to Ohara to execute a Buster Call regarding the research of lost history and annihilated the island. Three of the most notable vice admirals who took part included future admirals Kuzan and Sakazuki as well as Jaguar D. Saul, who sacrificed his life to protect the island.
After Marshall D. Teach had captured the second division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, Portgas D. Ace to become a Shichibukai, with Ace's execution being announced, the Marines are preparing to have an all out war against the Whitebeard Pirates, which took place at Marineford. Alongside the Whitebeard Pirates came Monkey D. Luffy and a motley crew of Impel Down breakout convicts, and the battle had escalated to its final phase after an hour and a half.
Upon Ace and Whitebeard's deaths, Shanks arrived to stop the war, and Sengoku agrees. With that, the world who despises pirates celebrated the Marines for their victory. However, Sengoku then finds out that several Level 6 prisoners from Impel Down escaped thanks to Blackbeard, and is even more furious when the World Government declares the second mass escape must be suppressed from the general public.
Shortly after the end of the war, Sengoku resigned from his postion as fleet admiral, three weeks after Garp did. The position was replaced after a great ten day battle to the death between Aokiji and Akainu at some point in the two years following the war. The victor was Sakazuki who became the new fleet admiral, and though Kuzan lived, he refused to work under Akainu and thus left the Marines. Aokiji's resignation was a great loss to the Marines although they have become much stronger under the command of their new fleet admiral.