U.S. Marines attend a role call on the flight deck of the USS Essex, a multipurpose amphibious assault ship, in November. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he wants to reduce the Marine Corps by 15,000 to 20,000 in the coming years. Ed Jones/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ed Jones/Getty Images

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Amos testifies on Capitol Hill in September. Amos, now the Marine Corps' top officer, told Congress earlier this month that "don't ask, don't tell" should remain the law of the land. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Brandon/AP