This year marks the 15th anniversary of Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC).
Created on February 24, 2006, MARSOC is the Marine Corps’ component of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and is composed of the Marine Raider Regiment, Marine Raider Support Group, and Marine Raider Training Center.
Marine Raiders, who trace their roots to World War II, primarily focus on direct action, such as ambushes and raids, as well as special reconnaissance and foreign internal defense — the training and advising of partner forces. Yet, they can also conduct unconventional warfare (which primarily means supporting proxy forces) and counterterrorism operations, all with a varying degree of effectiveness.
MARSOC was created to fill what the Pentagon prudently saw as a future gap in special operations forces. From the start, the U.S. military effort in the Global War on Terror indicated that it would heavily rely on special operations units.
The frantic insurgency in Iraq, the complicated fight in Afghanistan, and the various hotspots worldwide proved correct those who called for more commandos.
But disputes around MARSOC’s creation linger for the command and could endanger its future.