Before Special Operations was even a term, the Marine Corps tried to cultivate the capability. The Marine Raider Battalions and Amphibious Reconnaissance Companies of WWII formed the basis of all of the Marine Corps’ capabilities in the field of SOF ever since.
Today, the Marine Corps Special Operations Capable forces are divided between the Recon Battalions, the Force Recon Companies, and the Marine Special Operations Battalions. The Recon Battalions are the eyes and ears of the three Marine Divisions, while the Force Companies, generally composed of more experienced Recon Marines, work for the Marine Expeditionary Forces, at a higher strategic tier. The Marine Special Operations Battalions, originally stood up in 2006 from the deactivated Force Recon Companies, work directly for SOCOM. In 2008, due to the fact that the MSOBs get their orders from SOCOM and not from the Marine Corps, it was decided to reactivate the Force Recon Companies, though they are presently administratively controlled by the Recon Battalions.
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