MARSOC is mainly specialized in direct actions

USMC Raider - Critical Skills Operator (CSO) 2021 - US military career

In 2011, the MarSOC Marine Occupational Specialty (MOS) was created for the Critical Skills Operator (CSO) as an option for those Marines who choose to remain in the Marine Special Operations Command for the remainder of their careers.

The Critical Skills Operator is a Marine who has checked positive for the Marine Corps Special Operations Command. Once part of the MarSOC command, the Navy also takes on the title "Raider".

The CSO is a specialist in the following special combat missions:

Foreign central defense (FID), direct action (DA), special reconnaissance (SR) and counter-terrorism (CT), the secondary core task of information missions (IO) and tasks in support of unconventional warfare (UW) as part of the Marine Corps component to SOCOM. MarSOC Marines (Raiders) are able to quickly integrate into joint special operations or conventional armed forces.

CSOs are intensively trained as subject matter experts in advanced communication, engineering, special weapons, intelligence, advanced special operations and language skills, depending on their assignment in the Marine Special Operations Team.

Requirements for the Critical Skills Operator within MarSOC:

All Marines, regardless of MOS, must successfully complete the MarSOC Assessment & Selection (A&S), the Individual Training Course (ITC) and apply for and receive a move to the 0372 MOS. COMMARFORSOC is the registry for the primary MOS 0372.

Requirements for CSO

  • Must be a US citizen.
  • Must have a GT score of 105 or higher.
  • Must have a current minimum USMC PFT score of 225 (regardless of age).
  • Must be a volunteer in NCO's class through Staff Sergeant in a MOS.
  • Must be in operation for at least 2 years and must not be in operation for more than 17 years.
  • No deviating information within the last 12 months.
  • No NJPs in the last 12 months and no more than two NJPs during the current contract.
  • No NJPs as SNCO.
  • No courts-martial.
  • No incidents of drug use or possession while operating.
  • No negative fitness reports in the last 12 months.
  • Preliminary secret security clearance based on National Agency Check, Law Enforcement and Credit Check (NACLC).

MarSOC is a component of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), a joint group consisting of the Navy Special Warfare Command (SEAL / SWCC), the Army Special Operations Command (special forces, 75th Rangers, Aviation Special Operations) and the Air Force Special Operations Command and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

What is the difference between Marine RECON and MarSOC?

There are two Special Operations Capable Groups from Marine RECON at the USMC: Battalion and Force. RECON has been the Marine Corps' special unit for generations. Shortly after September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense / SOCOM requested the Marines to prepare a special order to become part of the joint special order with experienced operators who are well trained to carry out special orders around the world.

There is also a difference between the two RECON units. The main difference is who works for whom. The RECON Battalion's response to the Marine Division Commander (usually a Colonel in the USMC). The Force RECON Marines respond to the Air-Ground Marine Task Force commander, who is usually a major general. Both conduct battlefield operations, but Force can be tasked with "beyond the battlefield" operations behind enemy lines that lead the fight to the enemy. Essentially, the Marine RECON units work for the Marine Corps, although they may conduct joint operations with other military branches in major conflicts.

MarSOC works for Special Operations Command, which also includes component commands such as Naval Special Warfare Command, Army Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and Joint Special Operations Command. All work together or independently, as needed and depending on the demands of the war climate, to carry out a variety of missions that include direct action, internal foreign defense, counterinsurgency, reconnaissance, special reconnaissance and much more depending on SOCOM operational orders.

The official MarSOC mission

The MARSOC mission is to recruit, train, support and deploy scalable expeditionary forces worldwide to complete special operations missions assigned by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). To achieve this, MARSOC equips and trains Marines to be successful in harsh conditions against a wide variety of opponents.