Corps Spec Ops Training, Manning Faulted

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Boondocksaint375

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Corps Spec Ops Training, Manning Faulted
By Beth Zimmerman Still | September 10, 2007

The Government Accountability Office has called on leaders from Marine Corps special operations command and top special operations officials at the commando headquarters in Tampa, Fla., to more effectively integrate Marines into the rest of the special ops community and to standardize the new unit's training. According to a GAO report released last week, government officials began a review of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in August 2006 - the same month the command, which had activated just six months earlier, first deployed Marines to the combat zone.
The report called for changes in MarSOC's force structure and personnel management following a year-long assessment of each. The report also called for U.S. Special Operations Command to establish training standards across the entire special ops community, which currently relies on service commanders to devise their own training plans.
"Since activating a Marine Corps component to USSOCOM, the Marine Corps has made considerable progress integrating into the special operations force structure," the report said.
Though GAO found the Corps has "taken an initial step to meet the unique personnel needs of its special operations command," assessors said the service "does not have complete information on all of the critical skills and additional training required of its personnel."
GAO officials discovered USSOCOM didn't provide MarSOC with "official mission guidance" until October 2006 - two months after the unit had deployed Marines overseas and almost a year after MarSOC's manning levels had been determined.
Earlier this year, while the GAO was still reviewing the fledgling command, MarSOC made headlines when the head of Central Command's special operations forces pulled a company of its Marines out of Afghanistan in March. The commander questioned the company's response to a car bomb ambush and launched an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
The incident stirred talk regarding MarSOC's interoperability within the overall special ops community. However, the Sept. 5 GAO report found that USSOCOM had never established common training standards across the services or officially evaluated whether the Corps' special ops training meets Defense Department interoperability goals.
According to the report, the lack of mission guidance meant the command's activities and resources "were not fully aligned with the Corps' mission." Instead, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld considered the Corps' existing end-strength number at the time and slotted the command 2,156 personnel - a number the unit is expected to meet by the end of fiscal year 2008.
Without specific mission guidance from USSOCOM and with a pre-set force limit established by the Pentagon, "Marine Corps planners prioritized the assignment of personnel in warfighter positions in special operations forces units over positions in support units," the report said.
This led to a lack of balance among the command's personnel, with the unit's initial force structure calling for less than one support Marine for every shooter. The command's goal is to readjust its personnel to have at least two support personnel for each door-kicker.
Meanwhile, the disproportion could affect the command's ability to organize, train and equip its members, the report said. It calls for an analysis of the critical skills required of MarSOC's members and a development of a strategic management concept for them, which the Corps is currently working on, the report said.
"In the absence of common training standards, the Marine Corps special operations command is training its newly established special operations forces units in some skills that were not previously trained in conventional Marine Corps units," the report said.
"Unless USSOCOM validates that the training currently being used to prepare Marine Corps special operations forces is effective and meets DoD's interoperability goals, it will be unable to ensure that Marine Corps special operations forces are interoperable with other special operations forces in the department, thereby potentially affecting the success of future joint operations."
The GAO called for USSOCOM's commander to establish a framework for evaluating Marine special ops training programs, and it noted that USSOCOM is currently implementing its Joint Training System and has established a team focused on "standardizing training for individual skills across USSOCOM."



http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,148617,00.html
 
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nineteen-delta

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SOTG

Corps Spec Ops Training, Manning Faulted
By Beth Zimmerman Still | September 10, 2007


"In the absence of common training standards, the Marine Corps special operations command is training its newly established special operations forces units in some skills that were not previously trained in conventional Marine Corps units," the report said.

"Usually, if a student is trying and doing what he is told, he won't be dropped. But some people can't make it and have to be dropped from the course." http://www.********.com/USMC/SOTG/Default.htm

MSOG training seems inconsistant with SPEC OPS standards..eg;
"One Hundred men will test today,
But only three win The Green Beret"

Conversly, what is the failure rate of Ranger School ? 50-60%.
In Ranger School, there is no "TRY". :)
 

Hitman2/3

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Aug 1, 2007
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Texas
I don't think you can always take a schools failure rate and use that as the bar by which it is judged. For instance BRC (Basic Recon Course). It dosen't have a huge drop rate, while BUDS does. But you have to look at why that is. For BRC there are several stages you have to get through in order to even get into the school and they all test your determination to be a Recon Marine. To quickly break it down, Marine Boot Camp, School of Infantry, Recon Screening 30-40 attempt it but only 3 to 5 make it (All 30 to 40 are usualy top canidates), Pre BRC 25 attempt it 13 make it, BRC/ARS 40 attmept it 30+ make it, hence it dosen't have a high failure rate.

Where as the process to get IN to BUDS is fairly easy. Guys who are no where near ready for BUDS make it through the screening and then get hit by a train when they actually start the course:doh:. Hence a high failure rate. Not saying that BUDS isn't hard, only that the process to get in to the course is not as riguros.

I think what they were saying when they said "trying" was that they weren't giving up, not that they were completely failing but maybe having some problems. Like a 12 mile ruck run over hill country with a 110 pound ruck weapon, 4 qrts of water, and what ever other goodies they throw in, which is something we did at BRC. Almost no body was able to run the whole thing and some people fell back but just about everybody finished. I'm sure they aren't passing people who are below the standard, and believe me the standard is high. :2c:
 

Hap4302

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Jun 18, 2007
Messages
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Jacksonville, NC
I don't think you can always take a schools failure rate and use that as the bar by which it is judged. For instance BRC (Basic Recon Course). It dosen't have a huge drop rate, while BUDS does. But you have to look at why that is. For BRC there are several stages you have to get through in order to even get into the school and they all test your determination to be a Recon Marine. To quickly break it down, Marine Boot Camp, School of Infantry, Recon Screening 30-40 attempt it but only 3 to 5 make it (All 30 to 40 are usualy top canidates), Pre BRC 25 attempt it 13 make it, BRC/ARS 40 attmept it 30+ make it, hence it dosen't have a high failure rate.

Where as the process to get IN to BUDS is fairly easy. Guys who are no where near ready for BUDS make it through the screening and then get hit by a train when they actually start the course:doh:. Hence a high failure rate. Not saying that BUDS isn't hard, only that the process to get in to the course is not as riguros.

I think what they were saying when they said "trying" was that they weren't giving up, not that they were completely failing but maybe having some problems. Like a 12 mile ruck run over hill country with a 110 pound ruck weapon, 4 qrts of water, and what ever other goodies they throw in, which is something we did at BRC. Almost no body was able to run the whole thing and some people fell back but just about everybody finished. I'm sure they aren't passing people who are below the standard, and believe me the standard is high. :2c:
Several solid points made here by Hitman. What MARSOC is looking (and planning) for is an experienced Marine, at least on his second enlistment, with operational time under his belt. While the initial personnel assigned to MARSOC came from a variety of sources -- including but not limited to Force Recon -- the process being designed to recruit, screen, assess and select personnel in the future includes an initial screening that is essentially a records check and basic fitness assessment.

Those who pass the screening process move on to the A&S (assessment and selection) phase, which was just recently formalized. As mentioned elsewhere on this forum, details of that process are close-hold. But in general it is designed to assess (hence the name) potential SOF Marines, NOT to build them into SOF Marines.

Those Marines who have what the assessment board is looking for are selected for assignment to MARSOC and will, in the near future, follow on to an Individual Training Phase designed to train/build a SOF Marine to a uniform MARSOC standard.

While I can't provide attrition numbers, I can say with confidence that the A&S process provides the board with the information they need to select qualified personnel. Many don't make it through for a variety of reasons and it is also possible that a Marine who completes the assessment program could still be declined selection based on a variety of factors.

MARSOC faces a very unique challenge: We are operating at the same time we are building a new organization from the ground up. That's the mission we were given, so that's what we are doing. But we aren't going it alone. Support from accross the components has been solid and is much appreciated.

Semper Fidelis!
Maj. Gilmore
MARSOC PAO
 
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