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Monday, January 09, 2006

SOCOM Marines

Interesting post on Blackfive about the new SOCOM (Special Operations Command) Marine unit here.
This has been quite an interesting topic for a number of years within the Special Operations community. Until now, there has never been a Marine unit actually assigned to SOCOM. As expressed in the article, in the past (and still, to some degree), the belief in the Marine Corp. command has been that all Marines are "special", and therefore no unit within the Corp. should receive preferential treatment.
Let me just say this - there is a problem that exists throughout the military, but it is exemplified here. And that is that so many commanders are so attached to tradition that they cannot see the benefits of change. Having worked with a few Marines, I can tell you that they are no different than any other branch in that there are good ones, and there are bad ones. Not all of them are cut out to do the same job, and to imply that they are is complete nonsense. This seems to be something that the Marine Corp. has a harder time accepting than any other branch of the service. Their commanders have for years maintained that all of their beloved Corp. is capable of special operations. As a result, their men that are a cut above the rest (e.g. Force Recon), have suffered due to a lack of funding that would be theirs for the taking if they were a part of Special Operations Command out of Tampa, Florida.
As the article states, this was also a problem in the Army for years. Commanders didn't want anything to do with Special Forces because they were "different", and they felt that good ol' fashioned, charge up the battlefield infantry was all any army would ever need. To say otherwise was nearly blasphemous. Thankfully, the Army has come around and not only seen the need for special operations troops, but embraced it and now uses them as a virtual spearhead for the War on Terror. Here's to hoping that the Marines can come around, as they are a much needed asset in what we do.

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