MarSOC: The Effect On The Rifle Squad

Mac_NZ

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Slim was a dick that got his knickers in a twist because Wavell broke up one of his precious divisions for the Chindits. Quoting him doesn't add much to the argument.

I can see some of the authors points but I detect an undertone of butthurtedness about something, possibly personal.
 

Marauder06

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IIRC, there was enormous resistance within the Marine brass for the establishment of MARSOC. I only skimmed the article but it reminded me of some of the historical arguments against standing up SF and making it its own branch.
 

TJT0321

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I don't know who this guy thinks he's kidding imagining that these guys would stick around the grunts after 4 years. Being treated like a 5 year old can only be tolerated for so long.

The Marine Corps Infantry does a lot of things very well, but advocating career retention and job satisfaction are not on the list. Recon may not be as awesome as it sounded in the recruiting video, but it's a hell of a step up from the grunts in a lot of respects, and MARSOC is just another place for the most talented Marines to go and hone their skills. A lot of whom would have just gotten out after 4 years and joined SF anyway.
 

Cochise

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I agree with all the previouis comments. The Marine Corps is notorious for its infantry missions of the past and has built an impressive history from the earliest days of the Battle for Tripoli to more current environments including Fallujah and Marjah (though SOF also played a large role in both of those environments, also). I believe the largest issue with retention in the infantry is a lack of responsibility passed down to those junior enlisted ranks and junior NCOs. Marines whom wish to learn and possibly move into SOF elements wish to make more decisions and have more responsibility thrust upon them in order to establish they're ability to think under fire. I believe a larger emphasis on decision making and the passing on of responsibility from SNCOs and Officers to the junior ranks may encourage younger Marines to remain in the "Big Marine Corps". Thanks to all the gentlemen who have commented already on this important issue.
 

Mac_NZ

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Is the ISLC mandatory to command a squad in Corps or is there a fair bit of OTJT?

They way he worded some of it made it sound like young blokes were getting thrown squads without being prepared for it by the system. I know a lot of guys from here that have been put in that situation, some came through and some crashed and burned when they might have pulled it off given a bit of help.

Saying that I had 4 guys fail on my section commanders course, showing up back at the unit with "disgrace to the Infantry" and "never to command troops in training or operations" written on your report tends to kill your career pretty quickly.
 

Teufel

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You don't have to be an ISLC graduate to command a squad. The primary means of learning how to be a squad leader is OJT. We try to get guys to their PME but it can be hard with the war going on.
 

Mac_NZ

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Interesting, are you finding that the ISLC trained commanders are performing better?
Also what is the normal task org for tasks with the current op tempo, Squad or Platoon?
 

Cochise

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The organization, granted this is from my experience when I was still with the grunts in '07, is all about the man power of the Platoons in question. Unfortunately for some experienced Marines, if there Wpns section, for example, is full up on experienced Cpls or Sgts they are unable to really show potential because of the pecking order or seniority. On the other hand, if a platoon is undermanned by Senior NCOs, sometimes unexperienced junior enlisted LCpls are tasked with a big responsibility of leading a rifle squad. Sometimes they're ready and sometimes they're not. The importance of this situation is it give the lower ranking Marine an opportunity to really excel and THAT is the only way to really improve your structure and ensure retention in the "Big Infantry". Let me know if you agree or disagree. Thanks.
 

Mac_NZ

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I think its all about developing the leadership potential of senior Ptes and LCpls. The problem I sometimes see is they get set up for failure, you don't give a bloke a car with no tool box and say change the spark plugs.

The problem with OJT in my experience is the motivation of the Pl Comd and Sgt varies greatly to develop their troops. I've had some LTs that used to allocate tasks from "What now Lieutenant" and give us 15mins to come up with a mission analysis, then I've had others that used to log onto their computer and then piss off for the rest of the day to swan around the O's quarters.
 

Cochise

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Freefalling...Generally it is expected to be a Sgt as a rifle squad leader. Commonly, however, Cpls are squad leaders while a platoon Sgt is either a SSgt or Sgt, depending on manpower.
 

Teufel

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A GySgt isn't the platoon sergeant?

No, platoon sergeant is a SSgt billet. You usually have one GySgt per company, the Company Gunnery Sergeant. Sometimes you will have a GySgt in the weapons platoon. Squad leader is a sgt billet that is usally filled by a Cpl.
 

AWP

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No, platoon sergeant is a SSgt billet. You usually have one GySgt per company, the Company Gunnery Sergeant. Sometimes you will have a GySgt in the weapons platoon. Squad leader is a sgt billet that is usally filled by a Cpl.

Thank you for the explanation. Not being a Marine and the Army being a little different, I was trying to put the pieces together.
 

Hitman2/3

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I have to agree that this guy has his head way up his ass. I always find it funny how the people who have not walked in both worlds have so much to say about the world they know nothing about. From his article I can say that he has zero experience in Recon and obviously negative experience in MARSOC. I can understand his argument, meaning that I see how he sees it but his conclusions are all jacked up.
First and foremost almost every 03xx NCO/SNCO I know that came over to Recon or MARSOC, including myself, say that if they had not been given the opportunity to come over they probably would have either gotten out or at a minimum tried to get MSG. While they might have loved the actual job the day to day BS was unacceptable. There are a few that only wanted more of a challenge and may have just re-enlisted in the grunts for another 4 but they are very few. It's pretty much either you love the grunts and that’s where you want to be or you want something more. This guy acts like the Marine Corps is making these guys leave and go to Recon or MARSOC.
Secondly the ranks he discusse are barely an issue. The few Corporals that came over to Recon were extremely senior and tired of not getting promoted in their MOS despite having a billet that was a rank above them. Most of the Sergeants were either senior or already selected for SSgt. In their case these same Sgt's could have easily gotten sent to recruiting or DI duty in which case the infantry losses them anyway. Within MARSOC there are very few Corporals and the ones that are here are once again mostly extremely senior. Not to mention a good chunk of MARSOC recruits are Recon babies, meaning they've been with Recon since they came in. Beyond all of that both Recon and MARSOC recruit from all over the Marine Corps. This guy acts like all of the operators are coming straight from the grunts and we're just sucking the life blood out of the infantry.
As someone pointed out earlier the grunts don't have a ton of Cpl's or Sgt's because most of them get out. After getting crapped on for four to eight years you don't really feel like asking for four more. He talks about the lack of numbers in these ranks but conveniently overlook that little nugget of knowledge.
Finally the mission. I'm proud to be a Marine, when I was younger I believed all the hype that I was the best there is and I could do anything, hind sight is 20/20. While he might think that a squad of grunts can execute a precision hard hit as well as a SOF team specifically Force or MARSOC can he's high as hell. I remember the extent of my CQB training with my M16 A2 and it wasn't pretty. "Good job you hit the target" not "what the hell it took you over two minutes to clear that house" The standard from planning to execution is night and day both in training and real world. Collateral damage? I'm guessing that if a Task Force got called in to hit a target its not because nice people lived there. Love my grunts but they are the last people that should be talking about collateral damage, hell that’s one of the things they do best. Bottom line this guys a joke.
 

Hitman2/3

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Alright apparently my computer is possesed. Disregard the second addition of the same post.:D
 
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