In season 2, episode 7 of Black Ops, the narrator asserts that

In one year, Seal Team Six fired more rounds than the entire Marine Corps ammunition allowance.

Thats a pretty impressive statistic, but it kind of comes out of the blue and has no citations. They also don't define what exactly the ammunition allowance is (does practice fire count?) Is this true?

  • 7
    Helping whoever answers this, the Marines annual rifle training is at least 340 rounds for every single Marine on active duty. Those who are issued rifles shoot at least an additional 290, and infantrymen shoot 374 on top of that. This is just minimal training amounts.
    – cpast
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 3:33
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    So if the 194,000 active duty Marines contained no infantrymen and no one who was routinely issued a rifle, and the only time anyone fired a rifle was the minimum for annual requalification, it would be around 66 million rounds fired a year by the Marines. As the Marines do have people issued rifles, and infantrymen, and do more than the minimum annual qualification, the claim seems...unlikely, to say the least.
    – cpast
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 3:47
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    It looks like they confused Seal Team Six and Expendables 3.
    – user5341
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 16:13
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    Wikipedia attributes the ammunition quote to Richard Marcinko, first commanding officer of Seal Team Six. I haven't been able to trace it to an authoritative source, though.
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 2:05
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    Here's how I see the context as coming out - he's probably talking about active, not practice use. "in one year" does not mean "in any given year." So, if we have one year when there were the least amount of active engagements by the Marines, where almost no one would need to replenish their original carrying allowance, and there were a ton of active Seal Team six firefights, that single aberrant combination of events would meet the criterial of "in one {specific} year." Or it could be completely apocryphal. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


The quote that this show is most likely citing is from a book written by US naval officer Richard "Dick" Marcinko titled Rogue Warrior: Red Cell. In the picture section there is a caption that reads as follows.

"my ammo budget for 90 men was more that the entire U.S. Marine Corps got for training ammo."

(emphasis added)

  • 6
    Should we believe it?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 13:16
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    This is just repeating the claim with a slightly different scope. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 16:43
  • I doubt the quote is an outright falsehood but there may be something that we don't know about or understand. Also this book was published in 1992 so we are pretty far removed from what was going on before then.
    – Drew_J
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:52
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    The quote in the book talks about "budget" while the quote in the question talks about "rounds shot" which are different things. One stinger missile (which seal team 6 uses) costs ~38K$ (according to Google), and you can buy 5.56 mm rounds (m4/m16 ammunition) for less than 0.4$ on the civilian market, so you would need to fire more than 95K m4 rounds to reach the cost of one stinger missile. Can you show that the show actually used that book as the source?
    – SIMEL
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 14:21
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    I'm assuming this would be for one of the years (or all 3 combined) of 1980 to 1983 when Marcinko was in command of Seal Team Six. So we'd need ammunition budget numbers for the USMC and Seal Team Six for those years, not present day numbers.
    – TylerH
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 17:53

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