MARSOC – component command of the US SOCOM

MARSOC is a component command of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). MARSOC is abbreviation for  United States Marine Corps Special Operations Command. MARSOC comprises the Marine Corps’ contribution to SOCOM.

Their core capabilities are direct action, special reconnaissance and foreign internal defense. They has also been directed to conduct counter-terrorism, information operations, and unconventional warfare.

Pictures of MARSOC

History of MARSOC

MARSOC is created on 1 November 2005 and that was announced by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, following a meeting between him, the USSOCOM commander General Bryan D. Brown, and the Marine Corps Commandant General Michael Hagee on 28 October 2005. MARSOC was officially activated on 24 February 2006 with ceremonies at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Marine Corps participation in SOCOM has been controversial since SOCOM was formed in 1986. At the time, Marine Corps leaders felt that their Force Reconnaissance units were best kept in the Marine Corps’ MAGTF command structure, and that the detachment of an “elite” Marine Special Operations unit from the Marine Corps would be to the detriment of the Marine Corps as a whole. Following the 11 September attacks and the War on Terrorism, they made a re-evaluation, along with new policy established by Secretary Rumsfeld and then-Commandant Gen. James L. Jones at The Pentagon, caused the Marine Corps to work towards integration with SOCOM.

The establishment of MARSOC represented the most significant step towards that goal, and followed the establishment of MCSOCOM Detachment One (DET1), a small Marine Corps detachment formed as a pilot program to test Marine Corps integration into SOCOM. It was made up of mostly Force Recon Marines from 1st and 2nd Force Reconnaissance Companies along with other hand picked support men and served with Navy SEALs under Naval Special Warfare Group One. Detachment 1 conducted a multitude of special operations in Iraq alongside their Special Operations brothers of the sister services. SOCOM conducted a study of the unit’s deployment, which clearly indicated success and strong performance. Detachment 1 was disbanded in 2006 soon after the creation of MARSOC.

The first Marine Special Operations Individual Training Course began at Camp Lejeune on 6 October 2008. MARSOC’s stated end-goal is 850 CSOs.

Organization of MARSOC

MARSOC have around 2,500 Marines and sailors, and their current commander is Major General Paul E. Lefebvre. MARSOC’s organization was finalized in 2007. The base unit of MARSOC is the fifteen-man Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT), which is commanded by a Captain (O-3), and has three fireteams, a Navy Hospital Corpsman and a radio operator. MARSOC is based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and is split into three subordinate commands.

Videos of MARSOC

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