View Full Version : USMC Creating SOF
02-21-2003, 08:35 PM
I've heard about and read a little that the Marine Corps is trying to find their 'niche' within SOCOM. As many of you may or may not know, when SOCOM was created in 1987, the Marine Corps opted not to fall under this unified command. Thus it does not have any 'true' speciial operations forces. I'm sure some of you will argue that Force Recon is a SOF, but in reality their main mission is just special reconnaissance.
Anyways, back to my original question, if anyone has any information on what sort of operations such a force would conduct. I'm also looking for information on size and outfitting of such an outfit. From what I hear this type of unit will be a white SOF, so most of it won't be real TS type of stuff. Thanks.
December 17, 2002
Marine Corps to activate special operations force
By Christian Lowe
Times staff writer
A highly anticipated Marine Corps special operations force has been established and will join the elite world of U.S. Special Operations Command in October after a fast-paced training cycle expected to begin this summer, Marine Corps Times has learned.
The 86-man unit of hand-picked Marines and sailors from the Force Reconnaissance, intelligence and fire-support communities will begin training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in June before transferring to nearby Coronado Naval Base for six months of training with Navy SEAL commandos. Once that training is complete in April 2004, the unit will be ready for real-world operations.
Dubbed the "Marine Corps SOCOM Detachment," the unit will lead a two-year test meant to demonstrate to Special Operations Command that the Corps can be an effective partner in fighting the covert battles that are the command's stock in trade, said Lt. Col. Giles Kyser, head of the Marine Air Ground Task Force special operations section of the plans, policies and operations branch at Marine Corps headquarters.
"The SOCOM force draws its foundation from units and capabilities existing in the Marine Corps today that are most special operations-like," Kyser said Dec. 12. "The intent is to provide a viable capability that is uniquely Marine quickly, and demonstrate that the Marine Corps in fact is making an institutional commitment to improving its relationship with SOCOM and making a long-term commitment towards assisting SOCOM in its responsibilities."
According to official Marine documents, obtained by Marine Corps Times, that outline plans for the new force, the unit will be trained to conduct special reconnaissance missions as well as rapid ,direct action, strikes to seize, recover or destroy designated personnel or materiel.
The unit also will be trained to conduct long-term foreign internal defense missions to help foreign governments prevent subversion, lawlessness and insurgency. It also will conduct short-term missions to help friendly government forces carry out individual operations, according to the documents.
This new unit is the most visible result of the closer relationship between the Corps and Special Operations Command that has developed in the 13 months since Marine Commandant Gen. James Jones and the commander of Special Operations Command, Air Force Gen. Charles Holland, signed an agreement meant to improve ties between the two organizations. When the new force joins Special Operations Command in October, it will mark the first time the Marine Corps has contributed forces to the command, which was established in 1986.
The detachment, to be led by a lieutenant colonel, will be composed of three elements , a Force Reconnaissance element, an intelligence element and a headquarters element , as well as an eight-man fire-support team. Five Navy corpsmen will provide medical support.
The Force Recon element will be consist of four six-man teams headed by a staff sergeant, and a four-man headquarters cell led by a captain.
Commanded by a major, the 26-man intelligence element will consist of a signals intelligence support team, a human intelligence exploitation team, a radio reconnaissance team and an all-source fusion team. This fusion team will assemble information from various sources, analyze it and distribute it to those who need it.
In response to the renewed importance of precision close-air support and the need to integrate U.S. units with coalition forces such as the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, an eight-man supporting arms liaison team will also be part of the Marine Corps SOCOM force. The detachment will be made up of three Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company Marines, three radio operators and a forward air controller and will be commanded by a major specializing in field artillery.
"There are costs to the Marine Corps in standing up this unit," Kyser said. "But the gain is we expand both the experience and capabilities for these specialists. The Marines who serve with SOCOM will come back with not only a different degree of training but also a different perspective of how things work."
02-21-2003, 10:10 PM
Force does alot more than recon. Do your homework.
02-21-2003, 10:30 PM
Sorry, you are right. They do conduct other operations besides recon. They do not however conduct unconventional warfare or foreign internal defence. Both of which have been very important in the war against terror.
02-21-2003, 10:31 PM
Marines/SEALs travel on the same "boat" i.e. carrier do they not? Marines/SEALs are both under US NAVY right? If so, why do the marines need their own SF? Seems to me like the Navy SEALs shouldve been under Marines to begin with
02-21-2003, 10:36 PM
Like I said, the Marine Corps chose not to fall under USSOCOM which commands all SOF for the US. The SEALs fall under NAVSPECWARCOM which is part of USSOCOM. Although USMC typically falls under the Department of te Navy, NAVSPECWARCOM is the exception to the rule. So Marine forces do not call under that command.
02-21-2003, 10:37 PM
I'm sure a team guy would love to here you say that.
02-21-2003, 10:50 PM
Its nothing but the truth. Look at the SOCOM information yourself. They are not part of the orgainzational structure there. Who cares what he thinks, its the truth. Force recon is a specialized force, like LRRPs in the Army or EOD.
02-21-2003, 10:55 PM
I didn't mean you USMA_SCUBA, I was referring to adambalhatchet's post. Sorry 'bout the mix up.
02-21-2003, 11:17 PM
you talk to a marine recruiter and they'll say that all marines are "elite" and **** like, "marines do ranger training for ****s and giggles" (actual quote). i guess now they'll say that the marine sof are the most elite of the elite or something stupid like that. jackass recruiters or stalkers as i like to call them..
02-22-2003, 12:47 AM
Yeah I liked the Marine recruiter at my school, then he started dissing the SEALs. So I called him a jarhead and then ran away... :D True story.
02-22-2003, 01:13 AM
i had a navy recruiter come to my school to talk to us and he said that he was a navy SEAL that was being a recruiter because he got his back hurt jumping from a helicopter into a moving pirate speed boat. he was talking about the navy's nuclear program and we would ask him questions about it and he would be like " i dunno, i just kill people...umm.." i'm not sure i believe he was a navy seal, he didn't seem all that special and one of my friends said he was missing a SEAL badge or summtin
:) Well the Army's Best Ranger competition from this year or last year was won by a Marine, not a Ranger. It was on the Discovery channel a little while ago.
02-22-2003, 07:25 AM
Not to call you out or anything Hood, but the winners of the Best Ranger Competition for 2002 were members of the 75th Ranger RGT. And its not just one person who wins, its a buddy team. I found this qoute on the website for the event:
"Congratulations to Best Ranger Competition 2002 winners,
Captain Patin and Staff Sergeant Jenkins. "
In the picture, they are both wearing tan berets, something only members of the 75th are authorized. But Marines who have earned a Ranger tab a the ARMY Ranger school can participate in the event if they wish.
02-22-2003, 10:25 AM
David, you dont seem to like the marines very much, you should check this out:
All marines are "elite" in the aspect of conventional warfare but some have much more extensive training than others unconventionally such as Force Recon etc. Rangers are a very good outfit and the guys do some impressive stuff, but I think infantry Marines can be just as effective in most missions.
Its interesting that Marines can be Rangers... I've never talked to a Marine before that has desired to be a SEAL much less a Ranger. Not to knock anybody Im just saying most Marines end up wanting to be Force Recon if anything. If anybody could clarify how you go about doing this and the requirements I would like to know. (being a Ranger in USMC)
I think the main thing that would be awesome about a USMC SOCOM unit would be all the new toys they get to play with as well as the training. Force Recon already trains extensively with the SEALs and I think that a USMC SOCOM unit would work perfectly with SEAL teams.
02-22-2003, 11:03 AM
Semperfi -- Marines do see themselves as an 'elite' unit. If by elite you mean on the same plane as an SOF unit, then I would disagree with you. But if you mean smaller and thus able to turn on a time then i would agree with you.
On the part about the Rangers. They preform two different missions. In fact, memebers of the 75th Ranger RGT had to sieze Kandahar Airport (one of the Ranger specialties) before it was handed off to the Marines to establish Camp Rhino.
And lastly, you see a good number of former Marines in Special Forces Teams. A friend of mine had 3 former Marines in his ODA. Thats obviously not the norm, but it demonstrates the large number that exit the Marines and enter a different service to participate in a more specialized force.
By the elite comment, I said that Marines are "elite" in the aspect of conventional warfare which doesnt imply that they are on the same level as SOF. But I will say that the MEUs are able to carry out special operations missions because of the differant components within the MEU such as FR, MSPF etc. and I do believe that Force Recon are a very respectable unit within the Spec Ops community. I also said that I believed infantry Marines could carry out most missions just as good as Rangers... this excludes the specialties such as the airfield raids and such. I go to Parris Island July 16th soon after I graduate highschool this year and I will be assigned to the Air Wing once I get out of my schooling at Pensacola NAS. I have given thought to trying out for Recon since pretty much any Marine is allowed to but Im not sure yet. If I were getting out of the Marines and was going to join another service I would probably go into the Navy and attempt at being a SEAL in hopes of being on DEVGRU eventually.
02-22-2003, 02:12 PM
The reason you see so many Marines join SF or the Teams or Air Force Special Tactics is because Marine special operations type forces, ie battalion recon and force recon are not career fields. You serve a tour in a force recon company and move on to your next assignment. Special Forces, SEALs, PJs, CCTs, and so forth are careers. My shift sergeant was in battalion recon before he got out of the Corps. He got out because he thought going back to an infantry battalion or taking a post as an embassy guard would be a retrograde from what he was currently doing.
02-22-2003, 04:37 PM
Here we go with the inter-service rivalry again. Yes we Marines consider ourselves an elite unit, not SOF, there is a difference. I Have the utmost respect for Rangers, who like us are elite not SOF. Ive worked with, and known Rangers and would say with the exeption of Airborne capabilities, we are pretty much on par. The rest of the Army however is completely nasty, I would put a Marine cook up against an Army grunt anyday, and be surprised if the cook lost. When it comes down to it though we are all on the same side, and compared to other countries armed forces we are the still the ****. Also if you havn't been there, on either side dont be talking smack.
Oh and by the way, it was a Marine/Army team that won the Ranger Challenge 2001, Gysgt Keith Oakes(USMC) and SFC William Patterson(5thRTB).
02-22-2003, 05:15 PM
i don't have a problem with marines, my brother is one, i just don't like recruiters.
02-22-2003, 05:58 PM
"I would put a Marine cook up against an Army grunt anyday"
Thats not right. Define "army grunt". What kind of fight is this? If they fought against who can cook up the best tasting meal.. Why, the cook would win. If they fought against who can kill each other on the field, the "Army Grunt" would win. If your definition of an army grunt is an infantry soldier, then you are including INFANTRY units such as 75th, 82nd, 101st, 10th, etc.
Lets see what a Marine cook learned in basic training:
Lets see what an INFANTRY SOLDIER learned in basic and AIT:
cook against Army Infantry Soldier? Gotta be kidding me
02-22-2003, 06:23 PM
Adam, ever heard of sarcasm? You are quite resourcefull when it comes to posting links, but untill you have served in the millitary(I know you said you were worried about getting injured) dont reply to my posts again little boy.
With the exception of Delta, Green Berets and the likes, Marines are just as capable as Rangers and would use the Airbornes parachutes as souvaniers(sp). We are definately all on the same side and work together but if you have to compare Marines are much more capable especially than the normal Army soldier. "All Marines are riflemen" isnt something made up... look at the boot camps, Marines qualify out to 500 yards, Army does what like 300? Now a USMC cook against Airborne or Ranger might be pushing it but my point is if you want to compare infantry vs infantry there is no comparison. With the exception of the Delta, Green Berets etc I think that any less than a Ranger cant compete. Although its going to happen anyways, I am not trying to help start some whos the best fight but facts are facts.
just a lil true story: early on in the vietnam conflict, force recon marines wouldnt do joint missions with the SEALS because they felt that the SEALs weren't up to their level. now i'm army, but its my opinion that force recon is just plain awesome. The few FR marines i've met measured up to anyone i have met in the army, whether they be rangers, SF, pathfinders, etc
Also, since someone mentioned it, Army Ranger school is open to members of all services of the Military. on average 20% of any ranger class is made up of non-army personnel. if youre interested in this, i would suggest talking to your COC and look into it. Army rules include getting a waiver depending on paygrade, so do some digging and you could well be in the deep georgia swamp this summer
02-22-2003, 08:48 PM
i might be biased here as well, but I would tend to agree with Semperfi based on the Army men and Marines I know. I would rate your average USMC infantryman equal to a US Army Ranger...although the Rangers do specialize in other things. IE- siezing an airfield vs. frontal beach assault. Besides units like Rangers, Berets, 101st, 1st and 3rd Inf. Div. and 82nd second, the majority of the army ground forces seem to follow the doctrine used during WWII. Ie. they knew a panther tank could take out 5 shermans easily. So...the army sent six. ;)
also...I would agree that Force Recon is equal to SEALs and/or Berets- although, again, specializing in different things.
Where as Delta/ CAG and DEVGRU are simply just this side of being Hercules :)
02-22-2003, 09:26 PM
Since the Marine infantry is equal to the Ranger RGT why aren't they conducting OPS in Afganistan? Why do they ask the Rangers to complete a mission before they ask the Marines? The answer? Because 75th Ranger RGT is a Special Operations Force. Just look at the SOCOM force structure. Although the 26th MEU is "Special Missions Capable" they have yet to prove themselves in a true special operations situation. Even the non"special missions capable" 101st, 10th, and 82nd are running operations in Afganistan. If every marine is the equal of a Ranger, why aren't they taking the lead?
The answer is that the Marines is a second tier Branch. They are pretty good at a variety of things but not subject matter experts at anything. This is not to say that I have anything against the Marines. Anyone with a rifle and an American Flag on their sleves is a friend of mine. Just trying to set the record straight.
Oh be the way, the saying is "Every marine a rifleman." Try getting it right if you are joining up.
02-22-2003, 10:41 PM
USMA....theres also alot of politics that goes into the planning of these ops. Just because one unit is in SOCOM and one isn't does not make them them any less capable. You said it yourself, MEU is capable...but it's not in SOCOM- a minor management decision that effects it. And although the 82nd and 101st aren't technically "capable", I view them equally as good as any Ranger or Marine. Also, since the Army is about 3 times the size of the Marine Corps...of course they will have more specialized units...they can afford it in numbers.
You also got to realize the Marines often havedone more with less-than-perfect equipment to work with compared to the Army in many respects.
And the Marines ARE a second tier branch, in the grand scheme of things, because it falls under the Navy just like the Merchant Marine (times of war) and the Coast Guard (upon DoD request to the Pres.) That's also why the highest rank in the corps is a four-star general, not a five star like Army, Navy and Air Force.
but like you said...they are all good men. So, no bad feelings here :)
USMA, dude with the quote regarding Rifleman, you know what I meant so dont imply I dont know what it is, I was stating it within a point. Also, Rangers are a Special Operations Force and their biggest thing they do that Marines dont really do is the parachuting and airfield raids. Marines were the first large conventional American force in Afghanistan as they are in every other conflict so naturally who do you think will go in first, Spec ops or them? And as I recall how many Marines did we lose to enemy fire in Afghanistan? Rangers are an excellent outfit and like I have said before do amazing things but dont hate on Marines because they are conventional and pretty much rival the Rangers SOF in most areas. And as for your comments about the 26th MEU SOC... how do you know what they have and havnt done? Do you know where Force Recon and MSPFs operate and the specifics of their missions? If so, I think everybody on here would love for you to enlighten us. And also as for the subject matter experts, that is a totally false statement.. the Marines have many units with various specialties, not like your famous Rangers or Green Berets, there are other less known but highly effective units within the Marines. You should do your homework.
Although the 26th MEU is "Special Missions Capable" they have yet to prove themselves in a true special operations situation.
How about the rescue of Scott O'Grady?
02-24-2003, 03:46 PM
My daddy can beat up your daddy. :cantbeli:
03-12-2003, 07:19 PM
In the years before 1987 say the 20's - 50's small wars or counterinsurgency was the stable of the Corps. Small units employing maneuvering tactics defined the Corps at that time. In the early years the Marines did the job of Special Forces and SeALs review the history of the Banana Wars. Furthermore, President Kennedy tasked the UDTs, instead of FR for counterinsurgency. No doubt a bias from his sailor days, since the Marines already had that billet filled.
Fast forward and bring together General Westmoreland, Vietnam War and his attrition or static strategy and you have a demoralized Marine Corps until President Regean's election. Fast forward again with the creation of SOCCOM, the other services created another branch of the military with the same capabilities of the the old Corps. Thereby cutting the Marines from future Banana Wars.
Conversely, today we see the Army sliding more and more into the faster and lighter infantry units, where the Marine Corps once reigned.
My point is the Marine Corps cut itself out of the SOCCOM for reasons I dont understand. But I know this the Army is moving towards the Marineness, our ethos, tradition, and culture. If USMA is really on the Hudson you know this to be true. 1/8 the Army of the Second World War with half the number of generals. DAMN THE BLACK KNIGHTS OF THE HUDSON.
03-13-2003, 08:58 PM
Does anyone know what the SOF will be called?
03-15-2003, 03:57 PM
I believe it will be called simply "Det. 1", goto this site globalspecops.com/msd.html also good info on many other SOF.
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