MSOB: A Day in the Life
Life at MSOB, just like any of the Marine Recon units is defined by a lot of training. Below is a breakdown of some of the training and phases of life at MARSOC.
The initial training cycle after making it through Assessment and Selection is the Individual Training Course, ITC, which is an intense 7 months. This is the course that prepares Marines to operate as a Critical Skills Operator. Listed below are the phases of ITC broken down from the MARSOC website.
- Phase 1 – (Basic Skills) 10 Weeks: Phase 1 trains and evaluates students in the basic skill sets required of all special operators. Physical fitness, swimming and hand-to-hand combat are stressed in a PT program designed around endurance, functional fitness and amphibious training. This physical training program will continue throughout the course and has been designed to prepare the student for the unique demands of special operations. Field skills including: navigation, patrolling, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE), Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Mission planning, Fire support training and Communications round out the first phase.
- Phase 2 – (Small Unit Tactics) 8 Weeks: Phase 2 builds upon the foundation of Phase 1, training the student in small boat and scout swimmer operations, crew served weapons, demolitions, photography and information collection and reporting. Students will be evaluated in two Full Mission Profile exercises “Operation Raider Spirit”, a 2 week exercise focused on patrolling and combat operations, and “Operation Stingray Fury” focused on urban and rural reconnaissance. |
- Phase 3 – (Close Quarters Battle) 5 Weeks: Student will be trained in rifle and pistol combat marksmanship and will then learn the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to serve as a member of a Marine Special Operations Team during assault operations. This Phase culminates in a series of full mission profile precision raids on rural and urban objectives during “Operation Guile Strike”.
- Phase 4 – (Irregular Warfare) 7 Weeks: In the final phase, students will receive instruction on Irregular Warfare operations. The course culminates with “Operation Derna Bridge”. Derna Bridge will require the student to use all of the skills mastered throughout the course while training, advising and operating with a Partner Nation / Irregular force. Newly graduated MARSOF CSOs will be assigned to one of the three Marine Special Operations Battalions.
Once Marines are qualified as CSO’s, they have the opportunity to attend almost any DoD and many private sector tactical schools available. Selected operators also receive foreign language training. Listed below are just some of the schools available for operators.
- Airborne Course
- Military FreeFall
- Marine Combatant Dive Course
- Explosive Breacher Course
- Marine Scout Sniper
- Marine Advanced Sniper
Work Ups and Deployments
Work ups are pre-deployment training cycles that further prepare an MSOB for a combat deployment. The work ups last about 6 months and include evaluations to ensure that the Marines are prepared for real-world operations. Once the MSOB has completed its work ups, they’ll deploy where needed for operations. These deployments can last from 6 months to a year long.
With the current situation of the world, MSOBs have a very aggressive OpTempo and are constantly swapping between work ups and deployments.
All in all, life at MARSOC is very similar to life in a traditional recon unit … intense training, a lot of deployments and working with phenomenal operators.