In 1949, with war looming on the horizon, the Republic of Korea Marine Corps was founded. Its initial strength was only 380 men. They were patterned heavily on the US Marine Corps and were armed using surplus weapons from WWII. When we say surplus, we mean JAPANESE surplus. That is the kind of life they started with as they started a long fight against the communists. These operations would lead directly into the Korean War where they fought alongside the United Nations forces (United States, United Kingdom, etc.) After the long and bloody war was fought to a stalemate the ROK Marines were not done.
In the 1960s when the United States found itself embroiled into a similar conflict in Vietnam, South Korea was asked to provide support. They answered with three divisions and were deployed in the southern part of the country alongside the US Marines. In return for their involvement, the US reimbursed the South Korean government almost a billion dollars.
Today with an estimated strength of about 29,000 men the ROK Marines not only carry out operations against their northern cousins (when needed) but they are an integral part of the ongoing War on Terror.
The uniform above is from the Korean War era and it is easy to see the American influence in the design.
Want to know about them? Click Here. Of course, the page is in Korean, so brush up quick!