.I want to try out for MARSOC. Am I crazy?

Brian Asbury

Verified Military
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
6
Location
Florida
#1
I am an off contract Marine (I did my eight years, five AD, three reserve) and have been considering a return to AD for a while now. I came off AD in 2005 prior to the creation of MARSOC and when I recently learned about it and did some research about it, I was really excited about. I never tried out for Recon because I never really was at a place in my AD career to do so, and it wasn't quite as exciting to me then (I learned a lot about SOF since coming off AD). I think my chances of success are much greater now as I am much more mature than I was then.

Now however, I am married with kids. My wife loves the military life (she experienced a little while I was a reservist). The Marine Corps is not currently accepting prior's back to AD except for MARSOC (critical MOS). When I told the recruiter I wanted to try out for MARSOC, he looked at me as if I were crazy and questioned me (since I have a family). From what I can tell, SOF units are close due to their size, even their families are close (to other families). I don't mind being deployed but I would not want it to be 300+ days/year. Some places I read that it is 3-7 months out and then the same time home (which isn't really much different than any other MOS) but other places I read that any SOF operator is always gone.

Am I crazy to want to try out (basically selfishly abandoning my family for my career) or is there still a credible family life for the MARSOC operator?
 

goon175

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
1,807
Location
Jedi Center of Excellence
#2
I can't speak for MARSOC specifically, but SOF in general is gone a lot, but is home more frequently. Conventional Forces may be home for a year or two in between deployments, but they will have to deploy for a lot longer, where as in most SOF units you leave on a regular basis but the duration is typically much shorter. From what I know, SF typically has the longest trips of any SOF component, sometimes lasting up to 8 months. I'm sure someone else can hop on here and vouch to the accuracy of that statement though. As for myself, over 5 years I was never gone for longer than 4 months at a time.
 

Hitman2/3

Raider
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
308
Location
East Coast
#4
Honestly its going to be a little difficult to answer your question due to the draw down in Afghanistan, which will be at a completely different point by the time you'd actually get to a team, but I'll do my best.

I've got a wife and kids and came in off of IRR, so I can sympathize with your situation. The short answer is that you will be busy. If its not deployments, which we do rather we're at war or not, its school, if its not school its team training. All three of these can vary in length and location. Some schools are internal to the command or at least near the Command so as long as your on the East coast you don't actually go anywhere. Others are in other states. Some are one week some are three months. Some of the Team training is local and you go home every night, some is out of state or even OCONUS and can go for a month.

If I had to put a number on it averaging how much time I've spent home versus deployed or training, I'd say its pretty close to half and half. keeping in mind that a lot of the home time is broken up into weeks here and there while a lot of the away time is in larger chunks. It generally looks like 4 months of schools (not gone the whole time or even in a school but likely), 6-8 months work up/team time (gone on and off, but busy most of it), 2-8 months deployed (theater and mission dependent) then repeat. Generally from day to day when your in the rear your home by 1400 or may just call in but other days you might not get home until 2000. The command tries to makes up for it with 96's that actually end up being more like 120's and almost a month on the front and back end of deployments.

If you've got a strong wife she'll be fine. None of the wives like it for sure but the ones who are properly prepped and understand what they're in for do a lot better than the ones who don't even know what their husband does for a living. There are a lot of resources available through the command to help take care of the family and it is a really small community so generally speaking families and wives tend to be pretty tight knit. There are constantly briefs and meeting for the spouses to have their voice felt and the command wants to hear them since they have a huge sway on rather guys stick around or not.

On a side note understand that its still the Marine Corps we still deal with some of the same problems as everybody else. Some less, like discipline problems, some more. Its the best place you can be IN THE MARINE CORPS. Overall its great in a lot of ways and very different from a conventional Marine unit, but we're still going through growing pains and at some point everybody feels some form of frustration. Just don't want you to think its going to be this magical place where all you do is high speed stuff and never deal with BS. We do get to do some good stuff but we also deal with a decent amount of BS and WTF's. Hope this helps, feel free to hit me up if you have any other questions that haven't already been answered.
 

Bloodline

Unverified
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
59
Location
Gulf Coast
#5
Last week the recruiter put the latest message in my hands and it read 0372 & 0211. Maybe Intel has already closed since then but it would be worth asking about. They gave me the whole "intel is a better long term career" pitch and I'll admit that it doesn't look like a bad gig.
 

Hitman2/3

Raider
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
308
Location
East Coast
#6
As I'm sure you know as prior active duty recruiters are full of shit 9 times out of 10. I know for a fact that he's not an 0372 and I highly doubt that he's a 0211, so my question to him would be how do you know 0211 is "better long term career" than 0372. The individual determines what works for them. I'm sure there are plenty of Marines that would say Admin is a better long term career, and for them maybe it is. For me I'd end up killing somebody if all I did was sit behind a desk and deal with other peoples administrative problems.

0211's aren't really too effective if their stateside, although just like everybody else there is stuff for them to do while there in CONUS, so they are gone quite a bit also. It really all come down to what you want to do, the two do mingle from time to time and can both be pretty dangerous but as far as the core job they are completely different, and I can tell you that 0211 is not at all what most people think it is. It can be cool but its a crap load of paperwork.
 

Bloodline

Unverified
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
59
Location
Gulf Coast
#7
It really all come down to what you want to do
Roger that, Hitman. I was just trying to pass along the info just in case he decides he want's something else besides CSO.

It's not the first time I've been told by a SNCO that I shouldn't pass on the "smart" jobs in the Corps. At my intial enlistment I was given the same BS, and when I lat moved to 03s I was dressed down by a Master Guns for going to be "another helmet head."
 

Brian Asbury

Verified Military
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
6
Location
Florida
#8
Last week the recruiter put the latest message in my hands and it read 0372 & 0211. Maybe Intel has already closed since then but it would be worth asking about. They gave me the whole "intel is a better long term career" pitch and I'll admit that it doesn't look like a bad gig.
Ya, I got the exact same message. I had already been seriously considering 0372, so the choice was easy.
 

Brian Asbury

Verified Military
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
6
Location
Florida
#9
Honestly its going to be a little difficult to answer your question due to the draw down in Afghanistan, which will be at a completely different point by the time you'd actually get to a team, but I'll do my best.

I've got a wife and kids and came in off of IRR, so I can sympathize with your situation. The short answer is that you will be busy. If its not deployments, which we do rather we're at war or not, its school, if its not school its team training. All three of these can vary in length and location. Some schools are internal to the command or at least near the Command so as long as your on the East coast you don't actually go anywhere. Others are in other states. Some are one week some are three months. Some of the Team training is local and you go home every night, some is out of state or even OCONUS and can go for a month.

If I had to put a number on it averaging how much time I've spent home versus deployed or training, I'd say its pretty close to half and half. keeping in mind that a lot of the home time is broken up into weeks here and there while a lot of the away time is in larger chunks. It generally looks like 4 months of schools (not gone the whole time or even in a school but likely), 6-8 months work up/team time (gone on and off, but busy most of it), 2-8 months deployed (theater and mission dependent) then repeat. Generally from day to day when your in the rear your home by 1400 or may just call in but other days you might not get home until 2000. The command tries to makes up for it with 96's that actually end up being more like 120's and almost a month on the front and back end of deployments.

If you've got a strong wife she'll be fine. None of the wives like it for sure but the ones who are properly prepped and understand what they're in for do a lot better than the ones who don't even know what their husband does for a living. There are a lot of resources available through the command to help take care of the family and it is a really small community so generally speaking families and wives tend to be pretty tight knit. There are constantly briefs and meeting for the spouses to have their voice felt and the command wants to hear them since they have a huge sway on rather guys stick around or not.

On a side note understand that its still the Marine Corps we still deal with some of the same problems as everybody else. Some less, like discipline problems, some more. Its the best place you can be IN THE Marine CORPS. Overall its great in a lot of ways and very different from a conventional Marine unit, but we're still going through growing pains and at some point everybody feels some form of frustration. Just don't want you to think its going to be this magical place where all you do is high speed stuff and never deal with BS. We do get to do some good stuff but we also deal with a decent amount of BS and WTF's. Hope this helps, feel free to hit me up if you have any other questions that haven't already been answered.
This was excelling info, thank you very much. Very helpful.
 

AKkeith

Killin It
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Messages
1,567
Location
Alaska
#11
Wow that's some good info. Really helps me solidify my decision to go thought the selections process as well. My wife's strong and I know she can handle me being gone even with us expecting here in Oct.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
14
#12
I am an off contract Marine (I did my eight years, five AD, three reserve) and have been considering a return to AD for a while now. I came off AD in 2005 prior to the creation of MARSOC and when I recently learned about it and did some research about it, I was really excited about. I never tried out for Recon because I never really was at a place in my AD career to do so, and it wasn't quite as exciting to me then (I learned a lot about SOF since coming off AD). I think my chances of success are much greater now as I am much more mature than I was then.

Now however, I am married with kids. My wife loves the military life (she experienced a little while I was a reservist). The Marine Corps is not currently accepting prior's back to AD except for MARSOC (critical MOS). When I told the recruiter I wanted to try out for MARSOC, he looked at me as if I were crazy and questioned me (since I have a family). From what I can tell, SOF units are close due to their size, even their families are close (to other families). I don't mind being deployed but I would not want it to be 300+ days/year. Some places I read that it is 3-7 months out and then the same time home (which isn't really much different than any other MOS) but other places I read that any SOF operator is always gone.

Am I crazy to want to try out (basically selfishly abandoning my family for my career) or is there still a credible family life for the MARSOC operator?

I'm an assclown, true story!
 

Hitman2/3

Raider
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
308
Location
East Coast
#14
let me just give you a true heads up. While yes teams are close, the families could not be further due to the fact everyone is divorced. there are basically three types of family operators. the married ones that are more so newly weds, the divorced ones and the smart single ones. I can tell you right now that your wife will HATE your job. even if she doesnt say so. the deployment is the easy part. its the deployed in CONUS that is hard. when you are back you are training and manytimes for weeks at a time and out of state. so it is in a way worse. go all in or stay out. honest honest opinion.
Ok, don't know who this clown is, but considering that he can't even use proper grammar, thinks that everyone is MARSOC is divorced, single, or newlyweds, has posted more bullshit in a few minutes than most do in a year, and has been banned, disregard the above and pretty much anything else he has had to say about MARSOC.

The majority of guys are married with kids. In my team there are only two single guys and one guy who hates his wife, long complicated story but its a special situation. Everybody else is doing just fine. Last team there were also two single guys and everybody else was married and doing fine. Like I said above its not easy and you got to make it work but the reality is far from what ass clown above had to say.

Jesus I don't log on for one day and look what happens, you guys go and get a MARSOC moderator BWAHAHAH. He even had the nerve to hit me up and ask if I was legit, LMFAO. Got to love it.
 

medicchick

Farking hot weather
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
926
Location
Nevada
#15
My 2 cents...

Ranger wives were closer than regular Army wives, unless you wanted to get drunk and flirt with other guys. There was more maturity and dignity with Ranger wives in public. The second work day after I moved to Georgia (not even married yet) the First Sergeants wife called me to talk, and then I was added to the phone roster and invited to events. A week later he was gone for over a month OCONUS for training. I missed that FRG compared to regular Army ones.

Out of the first 3 years of marriage, I'd say Ranger Psych was physically home half the time. Mentally, less. The closer deployment time came, the more focused on that he became. In Alaska he was a team leader so he wanted to make sure his guys were GTG. In fact, when he got out and after years of having a 2 on 2 off job it drove me nuts when he went to 9-5 home every day. This was after about 5- 6 years married. Now he's a fire fighter and people think I'm nuts that it doesn't bother me.

IF your wife is strong, able to be independent, and supports you then go for it. If she has any hesitations that she cannot voice (can't talk about what you can't say), see if there are any MARSOC wives she can talk to, or any support forums she can join to get questions answered. You will have to except the fact that you will miss events in your kids lives. I'll be honest, it can be a strain on home life, the middle of the night call outs, the not being able to make firm plans, the calls saying they won't be home until further notice, the bag always packed and ready to go...

If it is something you want, don't sugar coat it for her. There is the bad, but also the good. The FRG became a lifeline, and a sanity line. Simple things like while on a training deployment to Thailand hearing someone got hurt and getting a call from the FRG leader saying "I can't say who it was, but it wasn't RP. He'll be home on schedule". There is support set up for the familys, they just have to be used. I'd take life at 3/75 again in a heartbeat over regular Army life.
 

Hitman2/3

Raider
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
308
Location
East Coast
#17
medicchick, I couldn't agree more, after reading your post I thought my wife had hopped on here with out me knowing!
Agreed. Sounds a lot like my wife. She told me the other day that if I ever started working a nine to five we might have to slug it out.

What medicchick stated about the Army side is the same on our side. There are tons of support mechanisms in place you and your wife just have to take advantage of it. From the time you start ITC until the time you leave the command does everything it can to get information out to your wife, sometimes even when you don't want them to. In addition my wife is good friends with two of the wives from my last team and will occasionally hang out with three others. They had never meet before I got to the team. After a team has been together for a while they and USUALLY their family's get pretty tight. Just how it is.
 

Uncle Petey

Raider
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Messages
57
Location
East Coast
#18
What do you want to do? If you want to go Marsoc then go for it. If your wife is on board great. If not, well you have a problem. This is not that complicated. Some marriages work, some do not. The amount of time you can spend being away during workup is comparable to a businessman traveling. Or even a truck driver. Yes some times its a bit heavy, other times your down with plenty of time home. Nothing is set in stone. If your wife loves the military and has a good attitude, if she want's you to be happy chasing your dream than you have your answer. I know too many guys that quit something for there wife only to get divorced a few years later. Its a fucking shame.

Some of the best times I've had as an adult are going to some kids birthday party, all the dudes are there drinking beer and telling war stories, the wives are talking about us, and doing girl stuff and the kids are running around like banshee's. Its a fucking blast.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
#19
1st Force cost me my marriage. Maybe it would have gone south anyway. Not a reason not to try out for something.

Also, how did I miss the MARSOC comet? He burned so brightly on his way into the ground.
 
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