Seeking Combat Support Marines for Special Ops

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – One of the five SOF Truths is quality is better than quantity. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command is putting this truth into action through its search for talented Marines to fill its critical combat support roles.

A Naval Message released Feb. 16 announced the launch of a new effort called the MARSOC Combat Support Orientation Course, or MCSOC. The course is designed to better inform Marines interested in serving a tour of duty at MARSOC as a Special Operations Capability Specialist, or SOCS.

The five-day course, scheduled to run March 20-24, is structured to introduce Marines to the career opportunities available to them at MARSOC while still remaining in their military occupational specialty. Marines will also receive in-depth instruction on strength and conditioning, advanced MOS-specific skills and other topics related to successful support to special operations activities. A series of interviews, aptitude tests, graded physical events and mental performance discussions will help MARSOC identify the best-qualified candidates to Manpower Management Enlisted Assignments for possible assignment to the command.

MARSOC’s Special Operations Capability Specialists are divided up into eight specialties: special operations fire support specialists; SOF communications specialists; SOF multipurpose canine handlers; SOF explosive ordnance disposal; SOF signals intelligence specialists; SOF geospatial intelligence specialists; SOF counterintelligence / human intelligence specialists; and SOF all-source intelligence specialists. The Naval Message gives a complete listing of the MOSs which fall under each SOCS field. Interested Marines must be at least a corporal, be free of any pending legal or administrative proceedings, must be in a full duty status, must be eligible for the security clearance appropriate to their MOS and must be eligible to execute orders per Manpower guidelines.

Marines interested in attending MCSOC are directed in the Naval Message to submit required details about themselves by email to the course organization mailbox from a .mil or .gov email account. Follow-on materials will be sent prior to course registration. Those selected to attend will be funded by MARSOC for travel expenses, billeting and messing. Marines who receive orders to MARSOC will undergo six challenging and dynamic weeks of training prior to receiving follow-on advanced technical training for their assigned SOCS field. All SOCS personnel must complete Special Operations Forces Level I Training, the Special Operations Training Course and the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Level C course. Technical training provided to SOCS is between four and 14 weeks in duration. The result is a highly qualified Marine uniquely skilled in special equipment support, intelligence and fire support who will eventually return to the Marine Corps operating forces or supporting establishment armed with unique experience and insights gained from conducting special operations.

Special Operations Capability Specialists deploy with Marine special operations companies and their teams, filling vital roles as the organic SOF fire support specialists, fused intelligence sections, the robust communications capability built into each company headquarters and as SOF multipurpose canine handlers. This combination of specialists and their capabilities is unique within the special operations community and allows the MSOC to conduct the full spectrum of special operations in a wide variety of operating environments.

“Combat support Marines should consider MCSOC an opportunity to ‘look before you leap.’ A MARSOC tour as a combat support Marine is a tough and demanding time with unique requirements and frequent deployments. MCSOC will give interested Marines the chance to learn what a tour might look like, understand the training pipeline upon assignment, and dialogue together with MARSOC senior combat support leaders and MMEA if the career and personal/family timing is right for them,” said Colonel J.D. Duke, commanding officer of the Marine Raider Support Group.

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