MARSOC Approves Special Operations Officer Primary MOS

ShadowSpear

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CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Higgins) – Marine officers graduating U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s Individual Training Course will be assigned a new Primary Military Occupational Specialty, clearing the way for retention and promotion in a professional career path.
Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos approved development of the new PMOS 0370 and Major Gen. Mark A. Clark, the MARSOC commander, made the announcement to members of the unit July 25 during an officer’s call at the Paradise Point Officer’s Club here.
Previously, only enlisted Marines designated as Critical Skills Operators were awarded a PMOS of 0372, while Special Operations Officers were awarded an Additional Military Occupational Specialty of 0370.
The decision now allows Marine Special Operations Officers (SOOs) to hold 0370 as a PMOS, and be managed with a development strategy that facilitates talent management of Special Operations Forces skills, standardized training, retention, promotions, command, professional military education and career progression, according to Maj. Gen Clark, the MARSOC commander.
“Approval of the PMOS allows the Marine Corps the ability to develop Marine Special Operations Officers (SOOs), over a course of a career, as both fully proficient special operations professionals and well-rounded Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force officers,” said Clark.
Implementation of the billet will end the five-year rotation limit for SOOs assigned to MARSOC. Once designated with the PMOS, SOOs will predominantly fill billets within MARSOC, but will also serve in billets throughout the Marine Corps and across the Special Operations enterprise.
“By developing a defined career path, the Marine Corps will be better able to retain and sustain the operational experience and capability necessary to meet operational requirements and reinvest special operations talent and experience where it is needed most,” said Clark.
The decision is a welcome one for most SOOs who might otherwise have pursued lucrative civilian-equivalent jobs or faced returning to a MOS with less career-building potential for SOOs.
“To be honest, I was considering transitioning out of the Marine Corps,” said one SOO assigned to MARSOC. “The decision to establish 0370 as a Primary MOS provides my family and I the stability we needed to plan out our family’s growth and future knowing there is now a clear and long-term career path for me as a (SOO) within the Marine Corps. Ultimately, this decision allows me to keep doing what I love, and that is leading Marines as a SOO.”


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Teufel

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I don't know. I'm not sure that the MARSOC community is large enough to support a primary MOS for officers. This could be a great thing and it can also become a disaster. Right now MARSOC officers can get a company command within MARSOC or in the infantry. If they close loop the MARSOC MOS 16 team leaders or so will be battling for four company commands at each MSOB. The timing won't work out for 60-75% of their company grade officers to do this. It's not perfect math and company grade officers will leave their battalions and return for company command but you get the idea. It's a numbers game. Skipping company command is one way to ensure you will never get battalion command and will also make it much more difficult to get promoted to Major and Lieutenant Colonel. My understanding is that the Army promotes within each branch. I may be wrong. The Marine Corps boards all MOSes with a representation across the service. This is to say that non SOF officers will determine who gets promoted and by which metric they are evaluated. I think that MARSOC may find that they will not have the officer retention to fill all their field grade MARSOC billets (i.e. OPSO, XO, TSOC etc) especially when they are unable to fill SOCOM staff billets with non-MARSOC officers. Giving MARSOC officers a primary MOS is a great move at first glance but I am afraid that this may have been an emotionally based decision that wasn't properly researched. We looked at giving recon officers a primary MOS but decided against it because it wasn't supportable in the long term. I know everyone thinks that this will help create MARSOC Generals but remember there are only two MOSes for Colonels.....ground and air. Generals only have one MOS. Maybe I'm just pessimistic but I don't think that mother Marine Corps would do something that would box HQMC into a corner. I've been around long enough to be suspicious when decisions happen this quickly.
 
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Gunz

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A blessing or a curse? A couple of years ago Big MC wanted to rotate CSOs/SOOs back into the fleet so some of that expensive training would rub off on the rifle companies. That was a point of contention, and understandable from MARSOCs point of view. Why spend all that motivation reaching that goal and have to give it up after, what, 3 years or 5 years? Big MC has always resisted elite within elite. They killed Raiders and parachute units after only a few years...maybe that mindset still lingers. I was very surprised when Det One was formed. But now they're in it (SOF) and it ain't going away, so I guess they will have to bend with it. Only their bending might be half-assed.
 

0699

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I've been around long enough to be suspicious when decisions happen this quickly.

Exactly.

A blessing or a curse? A couple of years ago Big MC wanted to rotate CSOs/SOOs back into the fleet so some of that expensive training would rub off on the rifle companies. That was a point of contention, and understandable from MARSOCs point of view. Why spend all that motivation reaching that goal and have to give it up after, what, 3 years or 5 years? Big MC has always resisted elite within elite. They killed Raiders and parachute units after only a few years...maybe that mindset still lingers. I was very surprised when Det One was formed. But now they're in it (SOF) and it ain't going away, so I guess they will have to bend with it. Only their bending might be half-assed.

Lot more CSOs in the community than there are officers.
 

Teufel

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It's also kind of messed up for General Amos to drop this right as he's leaving. It was nice of him to give MARSOC the raider lineage but I don't think HQMC put a lot of though into the second and third order effects of a primary MOS for officers. The other SOF communities with primary officer MOSes are much larger. To give you a sense of scale there are seven Special Forces Groups (don't kill me if I got the number wrong) which are basically regiments. There are five Naval Special Warfare Groups. There are nine Marine Corps infantry regiments. There is one MARSOC regiment. There is another SOF community that is a similar size....the 75th Ranger Regiment and their officers do not hold a primary SOF MOS. The Marine Corps is huge on two things for promotion. Company command and resident PME. Neither is a requirement per se but it's already hard enough to get promoted past Captain in the Marine Corps without giving the board a reason not to do so. HQMC policy is that only 20% of any primary MOS will be sent to resident PME. This will have huge ramifications for the 0370 Majors and LtCols looking to get promoted and screened for command.
 

LogDog0402

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I think that in order to have a better understanding of how it will work for the O's in MARSOC you'll have to look to another MOS that serves a small community like the 1802s (Tank Officers). There are only two active duty Tank Battalions and the 1802s are always rotating in and out to get their command time. Not knowing how MARSOC works I can only take a shot in the dark that command time would be limited to one year or one deployment for company CO's. After that they get to be staff weenies in MARSOC, SOCOM, TBS, or OCS to name a few.
 
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