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October 10, 2013

Today Was Not Different: Budget Woes Hit MARSOC

The criminally negligent decisions on Capitol Hill have spread into MARSOC like a virus.

Today was not different.

A typical year used to consist of schools, training and deployment. If  lucky, a real vacation with the family. It was a hectic schedule many had the constitution for it. Some enjoyed it in the way that a sadist enjoys pain. Afghanistan was slowly drawing to an end and we all knew things would be changing. With the regionalization of the three battalions (1st, 2d and 3rd Marine Special Ops. Battalions are dedicated to specific regions of the world, similar to Special Forces Groups), it seemed a safe bet that our predictable training objectives would change to keep pace with our new missions. We all braced for the impact of this post-Afghanistan future but nobody anticipated what’s happening now.

Good luck trying to get a school seat at one of the various training courses we all used to take for granted. And if you already reported into a school, consider yourself lucky if you don’t get recalled home for lack of funds. Before the debacle of our government shutdown, our money for training and schools dried up. I don’t pretend to understand the wizardry behind government funding and I sure as hell can’t help you navigate the Defense Travel System but this situation feels wrong. Solid guys are getting yanked out of schools, some, after they already went through the ass-pain of preparing for their course, putting together the gear list, flying half-way across the country and reporting in. According to our S-3 and S-1 (our operations and administration offices), the culprit is funding. Or lack of funding.


On any given day,  battalion headquarters would resemble a ghost town. Due to the relentless operational tempo, and the demand for CSOs and enablers to attend training schools, the parking lot at work would be empty. When I drove into battalion, last week, I was surprised to find every parking space taken.

I can only speak for myself, but the main reason I was attracted to MARSOC was the fact that I hated Fleet Marine garrison life. If I’m not in the field or on deployment, send me home. I’ve got no patience for standing in a people-box, conducting uniform inspections or lecturing a grown man on why he should take more pride in the cleanliness of his barracks room. Although, life at MARSOC hasn’t degenerated to that degree, it’s slowly getting there. If you would have told me two years ago that I would be wearing a dress uniform every week and inspecting the barracks, I don’t have a single teammate living in the barracks (it’s all junior support guys), I would’ve called you a liar. But that’s exactly what I’m doing.


We’re professionals and we’re making the most of this downtime by sharpening our skills, but there’s a limit to what we can accomplish without funds. It’s a proven fact: when Marines don’t have a mission, things get stupid. And MARSOC is not immune to this fate.

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • big_hatdance

    self correction... King Charles...   King George was a later jackass we all learned about in elementary school

  • YankeePapa

    RA, ...We got rid of most of these trolls when the site started charging admission.  Continue Mission... YP

  • raideranonymous

    spongebobsquarepants I make sure that every post is already open-source material. If the enemy is concerned with my apathy for garrison bullshit, well, then I guess I am guilty of aiding the enemy.  And if you didn't want to read about a SOF "unit, equipment, capabilities, morale, funding" then why subscribe to the Special Operations Forces Situation Report?l

  • YankeePapa

    spongebobsquarepants, "...The problem is he claims to be..." . ...I strongly suggest that if you have a complaint about someone's credentials that you take it up with Jack Murphy rather than post such a comment on the public site...  The sysop is responsible for handling such matters.   YP

  • spongebobsquarepants

    The problem is he claims to be an active duty CSO. So why would he be posting erroneous things about his unit that he shouldn't be posting and that are wrong in the first place. And yes I do have a concern. It is my opinion that he shouldn't be posting about his unit, equipment, capabilities, morale, funding or otherwise which only aids the enemy in an open forum. Additionally he is misinformed in the first place which makes it even worse.