As many readers have recently seen, the Marine Corps has authorized Raiders (MARSOC) with the military occupational specialties (MOS) of critical skills operators (0372) and special operations officers (0370) to wear the newly released Marine Special Operator insignia after a decade of attempts to make it a reality.  However, while the informed public is applauding the decision, not all Raiders are jumping on the bandwagon just yet – if ever.

One of their biggest issues is not necessarily with the end result, but the voting process itself.  One anonymous active duty Marine Raider said, “The voting process for the insignia options were not made available to everyone in the community as it was supposed to, so there is frustration with how that was handled.  However, we are ultimately satisfied with the current selection.  It is good be recognized within the SOF community by having our own insignia.”

He added, “If anything it validates Raiders within the eyes of the Marine Corps, who have historically been resistant to accepting us.  We are part of SOF, and we are able to represent the Marine Corps with distinction.”

There are two predominant stances taken by Raiders (and Reconnaissance Marines) on the matter of the insignia.

The first and most common line of thought is that the insignia is a great way to honor the lineage of modern Raiders, while also acknowledging their personal achievement in earning the title of Marine Special Operator.  A recent quote from a Marine Corps Times article confirmed this when the source stated, “This is about the young Marines and recognizing the qualifications that they have earned.”

Those who are supportive of the idea within the Recon and Raider communities are glad to see this change, not necessarily because they care about being recognized, but because it finally puts an end to the hassle of outsiders confusing their separate communities by not being able to discern between them in uniform.  Raiders were at times even mistaken for support personnel on occasion by higher commands during deployments.

In years past, Marine Recon and MARSOC operators could typically be identified by their distinctive dive bubble and jump wings that were pinned over their heart – when earned.