Members of the armed fighting forces normally assigned to squadrons or fleets to give them a military reaction capability. Originally formed as an adjunct to naval forces, marines have developed into a full-fledged military force in their own right. Within the Imperium, this force is known as the Imperial Marines.
The Imperial Marines provide a hard-hitting, rapidly deployable strike force for offensive and defensive military operations. They deal with piracy and boarding actions in space, defend the starports and bases belonging to the Imperial Navy, and supplement other ground forces such as the local or Imperial Army.
In many places along the frontier, the Imperial Marines also serve as an interstellar police force, keeping the peace and enforcing the Imperial Rules of War. This last function has led to them being known by mercenaries as "the cops".
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