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Marine Special Operations Regiment

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Marine Special Operations Regiment

Marine Special Operations Regiment

Marine Special Operations Regiment insignia
Active 2006–present
Allegiance  United States of America
Branch
Type Special operations
Role Primary tasks:
  • Direct action
  • Special reconnaissance
  • Foreign internal defense
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Unconventional warfare
Part of United States Marine Corps Special Operations Command
Garrison/HQ Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Camp Pendleton, California
Engagements Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
Col Edward M. Jeffries Jr.[1]

The Marine Special Operations Regiment (MSOR) is a special operations force of the United States Marine Corps and the principal combat component of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command. The Regiment's organization was finalized in 2007 and contains three battalions, the First, Second, and Third Special Operations Battalions.

History

Organizational

In February 2006 Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was created at Camp Lejeune North Carolina. The 1st and 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalions were created along with the Marine Special Operations Advisor Group (MSOAG, the predecessor of the MSOR). The majority of the combat personnel assigned to the two battalions were drawn from the Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance community and the MSOAG personnel from the conventional infantry units. In April 2009, the MSOAG was redesignated the Marine Special Operations Regiment which then built in a new level of bureaucracy by making 1st and 2nd MSOB subordinate, and redesignated MSOAG's operational Marines the 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion. Each battalion consists of four companies and each company consists of four fifteen-man Marine Special Operations Teams.[2]

Operational

The Marine's pilot program consisted of Det One deploying to Iraq with Navy SEALs from Naval Special Warfare Group 1 in 2004. Det One formed into the Marine Special Operations Battalions and deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. This deployment was marked with controversy when elements from 2nd Battalion was ambushed. The Marines were relieved from their operational charter in the country by an Army General from USSOCOM after claims were made that the Marines reacted inappropriately and caused excessive civilian casualties.[3] In September 2009 the 1st Battalion returned to Afghanistan, this time in command of a joint special operations task force in the northwest of the country.[4][5]

Training

Screening



Selection of the right personnel begins with a rigorous screening process designed to identify the right Marines for the right billet within MARSOC. Operational billets are open only to males. Marines wanting to serve as special operators must attend Assessment and Selection (A&S). All Marines are screened to ensure that the Marines joining MARSOC meet the established prerequisites for duty within the command. Screening takes place in three stages: record screening, physical screening, and a psychological and medical evaluation.

Assessment and Selection

Once a Marine is qualified through the MARSOC Recruiter's screening process, he will be assigned to the Assessment and Selection (A&S) Program. A&S is mentally and physically challenging. The program is conducted three times a year at an undisclosed location following the three-week Assessment and Selection Preparatory and Orientation Course.

Individual Training Course

The Individual Training Course is a physically and mentally challenging seven-month course designed to produce Critical Skills Operators who can operate across the spectrum of special operations in small teams under spartan conditions. ITC uses a building block approach; the training rigor will systematically increase to mimic the complexity and stresses of combat. During ITC students are under constant observation from the instructor cadre as well as their peers. ITC is broken down into four training phases:

Phase 1

Phase 1 trains and evaluates students in the basic skill sets required of all special operators. Physical fitness, swimming and hand-to-hand combat are stressed in a PT program designed around endurance, functional fitness and amphibious training. This physical training program will continue throughout the course and has been designed to prepare the student for the unique demands of special operations. Field skills including: navigation; patrolling; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE); and Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). Mission planning, fire support training, and communications round out the first phase.

Phase 2

Phase 2 builds upon the foundation of Phase 1, training the student in small boat and scout swimmer operations, crew served weapons, demolitions, photography, and information collection and reporting. Students will be evaluated in two Full Mission Profile exercises: “Operation Raider Spirit”, a two-week exercise focused on patrolling and combat operations, and “Operation Stingray Fury”, focused on urban and rural reconnaissance.

Phase 3

Student will be trained in rifle and pistol combat marksmanship and will then learn the tactics, techniques, and procedures need to serve as a member of a Marine Special Operations Team during assault operations. This phase culminates in a series of full mission profile precision raids on rural and urban objectives during “Operation Guile Strike”.

Phase 4

In the final phase, students will receive instruction on irregular warfare operations. The course culminates with “Operation Derna Bridge”. Derna Bridge will require the student to use all of the skills mastered throughout the course while training, advising and operating with a Partner Nation/Irregular force. Newly graduated Marine special operators will be assigned to one of the three Marine Special Operations Battalions.

Language training

All Marine special operators are required to undergo continual language training. However, based on ability, certain Marines will be selected for follow-on language training in an Advanced Linguistics Course.

Advanced training

The training of Marine special operators does not end with ITC. Marines will continue training at their assigned battalion for another 18 months. In addition, the MSOS offers advanced-level courses in a number of subject areas: Special Reconnaissance, Close Quarters Battle, Sniper, Breaching, and weapons employment. Marine special operators also attend U.S. Army Airborne School and the USMC Combatant Diver Course.

See also

References

External links

  • MARSOC Homepage
  • ShadowSpear Special Operations MSOR Page
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