MARSOC’s first company commanding officer, Major Fred Galvin (USMC retired), recently toured the Marine Raider Museum in Quantico, Virginia. In the video below, he covers the origins and history of the original Marine Raiders of World War II along with some of the artifacts on display in the museum.
At the request of President Franklin D Roosevelt, Raider battalions were formed in 1942. They saw extensive combat in the Pacific during their two-year existence before they were disbanded in 1944 since Marine Corps leadership decided they did not want to have an “elite force within an elite force.” By 2002, Donald Rumsfeld observed frequent complaints from SOCOM about not having enough resources in support of early stages in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), and he realized that Force Recon was SOF-like, but was not being employed as such. Rumsfeld was specifically tired of hearing the complaints about not having enough “SOF guys” to do special reconnaissance (SR), which Force Reconnaissance excels at. Rumsfeld also knew Force Recon could do SR and direct action (DA) for SOCOM.
By 2006, Marines had been pulled from the Reconnaissance community into the first MARSOC company, giving the Marine Corps a seat at the table within SOCOM. MARSOC has fought with distinction in the War on Terror on multiple continents since their inception. They have since earned the official title of Marine Raiders. Major Galvin was an integral part in the creation of MARSOC, and he explains the traditions and lineage of the WWII predecessors in this video.