MARSOC Overlooked: A Tale of Three Tribes
MrCharles13 · 6 years ago
The only militarily social redeeming factor for MARSOG and like units is that when the CA CA hits the fan, all of the want to be's quickly bail out and only the true Raiders are left standing! Sometimes, especially in world wide insurgent operations, GWOT, it is better to have some clutter around you. It makes the prairie dogs with the man jammies, stick their heads out of their holes to see what is happening in their world. But, I would also have to say that all of those support units are necessary to make it happen, even though they don't go into harms way.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Marine Corp, like all of the other US Services, have fallen into the politically correct mode, even if it bites them in the ass. The Corp needs another Chesty and if you find him, the Army needs to have him on loan for a couple of years, or at least past 2016! Universally, most of the upper commands of the various US Military Services, have a distrust and even some have a distain for SOF's. I would guess it is part of our military history where the General was in charge and by god he knew what was best for everyone and everything! Secondly; generals like to be in control and SOF Units are sand in the gears of their well oiled machines. Thirdly; Politics, Politics & Politics!
At the end of the day no one can take away what you've earned and you can rest easy on that fact!
bharrison · 6 years ago
spongebobsquarepants "There will be ups and downs and right now an identity is probably at the bottom of the list of what people need to care about."
While patches and devices obviously need to take a back seat to the mission, I'd somewhat disagree with you about the need for an identity. The thing about SOF is that in the past, the niches in which they operate have been fairly well defined.
NSW was extremely focused on direct action, maritime interdiction (VBSS) and amphibious special reconnaissance. Rangers specialized in airborne insertions, direct action, and airfield seizures. Special Forces dominated the foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare mission sets. Force Recon did direct action and special reconnaissance. That's without touching on the Special Mission Units at all.
The duration and scope of the GWOT has blurred those lines more than anything in the history of the US SOF units. Looking at the successes and failures over the last twelve years, there are definite strong and weak points to the skill sets in each of the different units--and a lot of that comes down to the training and culture of each individual SOF unit or group. There has been a lot of crosstraining, without doubt. But I'd still expect NSW to handle GOPLATS or VBSS missions over an SF ODA. And I'd expect an ODA to handle UW missions over Force Recon or Rangers. It's what they were created to do.
At the end of the day, the Marine Corps has a history of being treated like a redheaded stepchild in a lot of ways, from procurement to mission tasking by the DoD and Pentagon. Having a clear identity and mission set can play a vital role in breaking out of that history and forging ahead strongly. It's a lot easier to go to a command and say "This is the mission, and specifically, here's what we bring to the table to handle that mission" than it is to say "We can do anything and everything. Not a problem."
I don't doubt that MARSOC is forging ahead strongly in FID in Afghanistan, but only time will tell if they become a jack-of-all-trades catch-all SOF unit or if they will continue to be a tightly focused, mission-specific application force in the years ahead.
Xerxes8213 · 6 years ago
Nobody does what we do so that we can get a piece of chest candy or beret, and thats across the services. However, that device no matter what it is gives you something to strive for and something to focus on when the training kicks up into insanity. They stand as a symbol of what you are striving to become, who you are and what you have done. Earning my HOGs tooth kept me focused during Sniper school, the jump and dive insignia kept me focused during BRC, but what does an ITC student have to focus on? To this day I'll still hold my HOGs tooth in my hand with pride of knowing what it means and how I earned and continue to earn it, same with my jump and dive on my uniform. Even when the ITC student graduates what has he earned? You could say he's earned the privilege to serve within MARSOC on an MSOT, but there are support personnel that didn't have to do 10% of what he did that can say the same thing. Which is part of the problem.
Because there is no device that delineates the CSO from every other Marine in MARSOC every other Marine in MARSOC thinks there the same as the CSO. Why is this a problem you ask. Imagine a military where no one wore rank. Shouldn't be a problem right? I mean I don't see how everyone not knowing who's who could be a problem. Without that clear cut line you have admin personnel running around being complete douche bags, acting like a holes, with giant MARSOC stickers on their car, telling everyone they meet how they're MARSOC. Nobody outside the command know's any different, so they take that to mean that they are a Marine Special Operator. I ran into a former SF soldier that had such a tale. They completely forget the fact that their sole purpose in life is to support the CSO so that he can accomplish the mission. They forget this because they're "the same as us", why should they have to stay late to issue a piece of gear, or get a pay document signed that they screwed up to begin with. Never mind that CSO has been in the field for the past two weeks, deployed, or otherwise away from his family, "we're all the same" so why should that support Marine be bothered with staying a few extra minutes to do their job.
You can say that a device doesn't mean anything, but if thats the case then why do new Marines receive an EGA emblem upon completion of the crucible? Why do we adorn every inch of our base with that emblem if devices are meaningless? We give EGA's to every Marine that finishes bootcamp regardless of how morally, physically, or mentally weak they are. We do this so that they, one, have a goal to work towards, and two have a device that defines their identity. We then turn around and do the same thing for pilots, air crews, EOD techs, military parachutist, and divers. All of these individuals worked hard to earn the device that is part of their identity; however, none of these qualifications take as much sacrifice, dedication, and hard work to earn as earning the 0372 MOS. That is not hubris or chest beating it is just the reality of the course.
With that being the case why do we bulk at the idea of recognizing a tremendous achievement with a device, when so many lesser or potentially equal achievements are?
Our command spends so much time trying to tell everyone how we're still Marines and we're not special that they don't see that we could never forget that we are Marines, and that in fact the individuals that they continually try to down play are special. Physically, mentally, spiritually the men who are here are special. You can see that in the tangible figures such as PFT scores, ASVAB's, phyc eval's etc., or in the intangible such as determination, work ethic, or character. That is not to say that this quality only exist within CSO's, but by the very nature of selection, ITC, and the job itself these are the individuals, who came from the everyday Marine Corps, that make up this brotherhood. To say that every Marine is the same is insulting to every Marine, and a blatant lie. Yes at the core we are all Marines, but not all Marines stand on the same plateau. If we did then we would not recognize honor grads, Marine of the quarter, NCO of the year, range high etc.
Point being it is not MARSOC that needs an identity it is the CSO the core of MARSOC that not only needs an identity, but deserves an identity. For God sake we don't even have a somewhat official name other than Critical Skills Operator, because that really defines us. As such many of us have chosen our own name being Raider. Authorized or not it is the only identity that we have.
raideranonymous · 6 years ago
Cahill MARSOC was wise not to try and reinvent the wheel on the issue of assessment and selection. USASOC and NSW have decades of proven success with their methods for assessment, selection, indoctrination and training. My point is that the screening process for MARSOC is not very different from USASOC.
raideranonymous · 6 years ago
HM3accelerateyourlife you got! My SARC was fucking awesome and there are a lot more like him.
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