MARSOC name to change back to Raiders

| August 6, 2014

marsoc 26 jan 06.psd

The Marine Corps Times reports that the Marine Corps’ Special Operations Command will change their name back to the distinction that was born in the Pacific during World War II;

During MARSOC’s change of command ceremony at its headquarters in Sneads Ferry, N.C., Gen. Jim Amos said all units within the parent command would undergo a name change: 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion would become 1st Marine Raider Battalion, and so forth.

The move is a significant reversal for Amos, who has been careful to maintain official distance between the eight-year-old legacy of MARSOC and that of the Raiders, who many people consider the first elite Marine operators. In 2011, Amos rejected a proposal to rename MARSOC for the Raiders during a gathering of general officers in New Orleans, saying, according to one general in attendance, ‘your allegiance, your loyalty … is to the Marine Corps, based on the title you have on your uniform.’”

I wonder why they didn’t do this sooner, actually. I always thought that “Raiders” had more cachet than “MARSOC”. But it’s a big year full of win for Marines – this name change and you get to roll your sleeves up. Watch out, al Qaeda.

Thanks to Andy for the link.

Category: Marine Corps

Comments (63)

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    I wonder if they’ll get to wear berets next? 😀 😀

  2. Dave Hardin says:

    What’s next? 20 years from now they are going to be calling people out for wearing the wrong Tiara. I just wish there was a patch for Special Purpose Moron Marines.

  3. LanceCooley says:


  4. LFR says:

    Rah! Though, I was just getting used to the whole MARSOC nomenclature. When I got out we just called them Recon or Force Recon, the only SOC was for the MEUs.

    • Dave Hardin says:

      Shhhh……That has always been on a need to know basis. I can neither confirm or deny your statement.

  5. USMCE8Ret says:

    It has been a fairly decent year for the Corps, best I can tell. Gen Amos is leaving, and Gen Dunford is taking over – which is excellent news IMO.

  6. JacktheJarhead says:

    About time! Raiders sounds more badass than Recon, Force Recon or MARSOC.

    Semper Fi!

  7. ConcernedCitizen says:

    Cue valor thieves calling themselves

  8. COB6 says:

    Not sure about this one.

    Google “MARSOC tossed from theater”

    The USMC Raider legacy deserves better than the rather bumpy start this outfit has had.

    Maybe in time but seems a little soon to me.

  9. Gravel says:

    My best friend is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel. I used to raid his garage beer-fridge all the time.

    Therefore I am a Marine-Raider.

  10. Wompwomp says:

    Raiders sounds like my 2 year old son Ned them… Everyone knows if you want respect in SOF you need to hold on to a name and run with it man.

  11. Gravel says:

    True story, but I was being sarcastic … just in case anyone missed it.

  12. Atkron says:

    I guess they were getting tired of being confused with a love sock.

  13. nbcguy54 says:

    This is General Amos’ way of making up for when the Sergeant Major told Congress that lower pay would improve discipline within the Corps.

  14. Hondo says:

    Not having a USMC background, I have no (proverbial) “dog in this fight”. But to this outsider, this change seems just as meaningful as issuing a new hat to everyone in hopes that it will make them better.

    It’s not the name (or headgear) that makes the difference. It’s the quality of people, leaders, and training that’s critical.

    Just my opinion.

    • Isnala says:

      And how much is now going to be blown on new flags, stationary, bussiness cards, patches, and coins?
      While I applaud getting back to ones roots and reviving heritage, can’t help but wonder if the money couldn’t be better spent.

  15. FatCircles0311 says:

    “and that of the Raiders, who many people consider the first elite Marine operators”

    Oh, please.

    US Marines were hookin’ and jabbin’ Muslim terrorists well over a century earlier with William Eaton and were the real first A-Team before the Green Berets were even a theory.

    Everybody knows why the Raider name came back and it’s because the US Marines wanted to wear all of those fancy raider insignia officially again….

  16. Martinjmpr says:

    I had thought that the Marine philosophy was against forming specific elite units within the Marine Corps on the grounds that ALL Marines are “elite?”

    • andy says:

      Yea but if you want to protect your bit of the budget pie you gotta have something special to sell to congress and that whole amphib thing has kinda been on the back burner for the last13 years.

    • Just an Old Dog says:

      That was one the reasons behind abandoning the Raider designation in WW2.
      Its a good call in my opinion. The lineage can be traced back to Force Recon and the original Raiders.
      To me “MARSOC” is just to awkward to say in casual conversation. For the non-USMC types who wonder why the term “Force” was used, it was a unit designation. Whem Marines deploy they send a ground, support and air Element. If the 1st Marine Disivion, 1st Field Service Support Group and 1st Marine Air Wing deploy they become the 1st Marine Amphibiuos Force.

      • Dave Hardin says:

        There was a unit in the Field Service Support Group (FSSG or fumble stumble stagger and regroup} called FAG. I have the honor of saying I was a former FAG. There were a lot of FAG’s in the Corps. First, Second, and Third FAG’s. I know some think I am making this shit up Old Dog. I was a sloppy Second FAG. I love telling that story.

        Sadly we were rehabilitated around 1979 show the error in our ways and became the Fifth Battalion of Tenth Marines. The big guns, 175’s and 8 inch. But at one time I was proudly and 8 inch sloppy second FAG. (Field Artillery Group)

        • Dave Hardin says:

          The unit was called Force Service Support Group. Even I typed it wrong. Force RECON gets the Force form being in that unit. There was also Division Recon. Second Force Recon was at French Creek and Division Recon was at Onslow Beach.

          • Just an Old Dog says:

            I vaguely remember having both Force and Divison recon on float with us. The difference was that the Division Recon was a BLT asset and Force was under the ARG/MAU command structure.

            • Dave Hardin says:

              That how I remember it. The funniest thing to me about these RECON posers is what the primary mission was. If a RECON mission was successful their went in gathered intel and got out without anyone knowing they were even there. If they had to fire one round the mission compromised and someone had fucked up.
              They confuse RECON with SEAL missions.

              I went to BCS in 77 when Kilo was part of 1/10 and we had pigs. Then a battalion had 3 Batteries of 05’s and one 55. Every unit was short on people we had section chief’s that were LCPL’s. We were still garnishing camo nets with burlap. Went to A 1/10 in 78 and we did two weeks training on the 4 Duce for a dog and pony show. Semper Fi, I will keep looking for the other FAG.

              • Just an Old Dog says:

                That was pretty much the same setup we had when I was in. I was in Echo 2/10 from 80-84. Did a med cruise with them, then we got pulled out of the float rotation because our Battalion was the experimental unit for the M198s. I remember there were times when batteries ony were able to take 2 guns to the field due to lack of people, Guys got sent to Okinawa individualy then also so there would be a few guys in each platoon who had orders or were just getting back.

        • Just an Old Dog says:

          I remember 2nd FAG…. they were the 175mm SP and the 8″ SP Batteries, and you are right they became 5/10. I thought they were “Field Artillery Group”
          I remember they used to stencil the unit ( Battalion) on supply gear isued out, including the all green Field Jackets.
          We’d see a guy with 2nd FAG on his jacket and ask him “where is the other one?”
          I went to Basic Cannoneer School in November 1980 when 10th Marines ran their own MOS School. It was cold as hell but none of the guys from 2nd FAG wore their field jack.ets

  17. CWO5USMC says:

    Great. Wonderful. We’ve changed MARSOC back to Raiders and we can roll our sleeves back up.

    Way to tackle the big issues in the Corps. I wonder what’s next? Deciding if we need to go back to V-neck white t-shirts?

    Waste of my f@cking time… When do we get the new Commandant? Not soon enough.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      Irrelevant when the Peoples Republic of Obama still exists.

    • Hack Stone says:

      As long as the Commandant is wrapping up those loose ends, do you suppose there is any movement on my end of tour award? I have been waiting 14 years. If I don’t hear back in the next six years, I’ll be making some calls. I expect CWO5 USMC to get right on it.

      • CLAW131 says:

        Hack, I’ve been waiting for mine now for 22+ years. I’m beginning to think the paperwork ended up being shredded and used for packing material for the Ark of the Covenant.

        • CWO5USMC says:

          Just go ahead and start wearing one, doesn’t matter what… they sell all kinds at the PX.

          You’ll never get caught, right?? LOL

  18. OLDAV8R says:

    I always thought the MARSOX was the Camp Lejeune baseball team.

  19. JarHead Pat says:

    Que valor thief’s 3….2….1…and GO!!!! There I was bro,knee deep in taliban when me and Gunny Highway got in some good kills,lololol,fuck me.We need a Jarhead Don Shipley to bust heads.

  20. This reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, “BABY BLUE MARINE”, starring Jan-Michael Vincent, and a first (?) appearance in film by a previously unknown Richard Gere.

    The scene that I’m referring to is when the inebriated 82d Airborne paratrooper challenges Marion Hedgepeth (Jan-Michael Vincent) to a fight, yelling about, “This is not between Army and Marines! This is between Raiders and Paratroopers. See, we don’t have to wear one of those (pointing at the Raider patch on Hedgepeth’s Marine uniform) ‘Ain’t I tough?’ patches!”

    Shucks, now that you all have me thinking about it, maybe I’ll watch my DVD copy of that movie.

    Oh, by the way, TODAY, Wednesday 06 August 2014, is the 69th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, and thus, until this very day, our own beloved United States of America remains the ONLY nation in the entire world to have ever successfully waged a nuclear war against a foreign power!

  21. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    A little history lesson:

    Edson’s Raiders …

    USS Edson (DD-946) …

    Great Gray Ghost of the Viet Nam Coast …

    Top Gun NGFS …

    Great Lakes Cruise …

    Now resting in Michigan …

    I am OCONUS …

    Use Google.Net and get edjumicatted …

  22. Enigma4you says:

    Gung-ho was first used by the raiders

    • Just an Old Dog says:

      When I was a boot the term had went from “gung-ho” to gungy( pronounced gun-gee). It could be used to denote someone who knew their shit or to deride someone who was a kiss-ass. I dont think I heard the term after about 1982.

  23. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Ah … Sum of yous guyz’s needs to reads da info ’bout Edson’s Raiders.

    Jus sayin’!

    As a US Navy and Marine history buff, I might suggest the importance of the “Raiders” is imbedded in their story and command archieves.

    And as a former member of the crew of the USS Edson (DD-946), I feel compelled to note the absence of the name sake of the “Raiders” in the discussion above.

    But I love you dickweeds, so I won’t mention that!

    Ta Ta!

  24. Luddite4Change says:

    As a former Recon Marine I still have to ask, what capability does Marsoc bring to the SOCOM table that wasn’t there already?

    As a good SOC associate of mine stated when working with MARSOC in Afghanistan last year, “Whole lotta MAR, not a lot of SOC.”

    • Dave Hardin says:

      Not much. It was created because the Marines refused to join the other SOC branches as a joint strike force. When Afghanistan broke out it left the Marines out of the mix in the early hours. So they put together a MEU Landing Force without a boat and called it MARSOC. Poor bastards ended up out at the rifle range. The SOC fad then started. All MEU’s were SOC but we would have laughed at any idiot that said it. We were special alright and most of the time capable.

      • FatCircles0311 says:

        Well to be honest a lot of the “special” designations and missions aren’t very special to begin with. For example back during Kosovo when Scott O’grady was shot down and rescued it was done by 3/8 weapons company Marines not high speed low drag black ops SOCOM qual pararescue men.

        The way non SOCOM units are portrayed these days as bumbling idiots unable to do anything is getting pretty out of hand.

        • O-4E says:

          “The way non SOCOM units are portrayed these days as bumbling idiots unable to do anything is getting pretty out of hand”


        • Dave Hardin says:

          I agree. If you are forward deployed in the Corps, you are ‘special’ forces if you like it or not. People don’t understand how stupid all of this sounds to FMF Marines.

  25. Devtun says:

    A well written piece about some concerns over organizational structure, and long term health of MARSOC…

    • Dave Hardin says:

      Great post thanks. The problems with this whole concept within the Corps were obvious from the beginning. 1stSgt assignments have always been problematic in units. So have MSgt assignments.
      I am amazed when talking to other veterans that they do not realize how small the combat element of the Marine Corps actually is. To my knowledge Old Dog and I have never met. However if we talk long enough we will know people that we both served with or find we deployed together at some point.

      That is very common for Marines of that era. The MEU’s were almost always 8th Marines and 3/10 with very few exceptions. Any office/SNCO that wanted on the fast track tried to get in these units. The 1stSgt we took to Beirut (Carl Layne) had never been in an artillery unit he was a grunt. We were lucky I guess he did a hell of a job. He spent months trying to figure out if he was supposed to shit or wind his watch in the field. He adapted and overcame those issues. I had a Battalion MSgt that I had pulled from the gun line during live fire because he was making an ass of himself due to a lack of knowledge.

      I served with some of the finest officers the Corps and a few that couldn’t lead a roll of shit paper to the head. This problem is not new, its the same old shit. It always will be that way. This nonsense that MARSOC is fashioned after RECON is bullshit, I don’t give a shit what any idiot writes in a book. MARSOC is the old MEU with no boat. Period.

      If they were fashioned after RECON their presence would never be known to the enemy. Exactly the opposite of what their current mission is. Posers, but mostly embellishers will always try to claim service in these units for a reason. In the Corps if you are motor transport and want to claim some SOC bullshit just say you were in 3/10 and part of a MEU. That goes for just about any MOS remotely related to combat support.

      The down side of making that claim is the combat element of the Corps is small to start with. Making that claim with a MEU means you spent 7-9 months living on the same ship. Another couple of years together in the field. If you claim to have been in any MEU while I served, not just mine, I either know you or know someone that does. We are only talking about a few thousand people not 10’s of thousands. The 82nd at Bragg would make up about half of the combat element of the entire Corps.

      This current SOC craze in the Corps is a joke to most of us. Put a special patch on your ass or prance around with some Special Forces Tiara as a Marine and I will laugh in your face. Suck it up grab a mop and clean the head like everyone else.

      • Just an Old Dog says:

        To my knowledge Old Dog and I have never met. However if we talk long enough we will know people that we both served with or find we deployed together at some point.

        VERY likely, I was in 10th Marines from Nov 80 June 1984 as an 0811 with Echo Battery. There were a few names I’ll toss out. one was Angel Roman who was a Cpl over there, the othe is Anthony Detrick who was a PFC/Lcpl in FDC in Beruit and Grenada.
        The First Sgt thing was an ongoing problem in the Corps. The good ones adjusted to their environments. As far as MSgts in Arty I think during that time we rated 1 0811 MSgt at Bn level. His job was to be on top of maintenance. We rarely saw him, and never in a field or training evironment.
        The Battery Gunnies were an interesting lot. I remember 4 different ones from my time. The first was a retread from Vietnam who was functionally illiterate and a raging drunk. He really tried but he was way over his head. We had saltly Lcpls who knew more about the gun then he did.
        Gunny Ski was pretty good but we lost him to another unit who was deploying. We got a Gunny that had been on recruiting forever. He came in Late, left early and decided to take the XOs jeep on a personal PX run during a field op in Fort Bragg.
        The last guy I remember there was a Vietnam Vet retread. He was a great guy, humble and he looked out for us. Unfortunately he looked like a dumpling in uniform and fell out of a lot of runs.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      Sounds like typical line company complaints with the attitude that command should let them be beard and flip flop qualified since all the other branches special kids get to do it.

      Looks like they thought they’d get to be in the Corps but have to not deal with the Corps’ bullshit.

  26. Dusty says:

    The only problem I see here is that a lot of people don’t know the difference between Recon Marines and MARSOC (now Raider) Marines. Recon falls under conventional Marine Corps command structure and gathers intelligence without having their presence known. Raiders are a Marine Corps version of Army SF, meaning, they live with locals and teach them how to fight. The only reason its around is because all of the other branches were getting SOF missions by falling under SOCOM, while the Corps was kind of a bastard child. I think the divide between SOF units and conventional units is way too wide nowadays. I came back from Afghanistan as a contractor recently doing intel work and can say that conventional Marine Corps units (1/9 at the time) had platoons that participated in missions normally conducted by SOF types. Not very many of them, but some given our decreasing footprint in that country. SOF just needs to be a brand name that the defense industry has a hardon for. It’s harder to find work these days because employers all want people with SOF experience, nevermind that most good workers did not have a chance to support SOF units. People watch too many damn movies.

  27. Airbone Hef says:

    I heard woman were fighting to join the Raiders. That should be interesting. Time to lower standards again.

  28. johca says:

    US Elite Marine Corp in the Second World War WW2 (Documentary)

    The Marine Raiders were elite units established by the United States Marine Corps during World War II to conduct amphibious light infantry warfare, particularly in landing in rubber boats and operating behind the lines. “Edson’s” Raiders of 1st Marine Raiders Battalion and “Carlson’s” Raiders of 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion are said to be the first United States special operations forces to form and see combat in World War II.

    However, most combat operations saw the Raiders employed as regular infantry, and combined with the resentment within the rest of the Marines that the Raiders were an “elite force within an elite force”, led to the eventual abandonment of the experiment.

    Four Raider battalions served operationally but all were disbanded on 8 January 1944 when the Corps made the doctrinal decision that the Raiders had out-lived their original mission. The changing nature of the war in the Pacific, with many large-scale amphibious assaults to come against well-defended islands, negated the requirements for small light units that could strike deep into enemy territory.

    On 1 February 1944 the 1st Raider Regiment was redesignated the 4th Marine Regiment, thus assuming the lineage of the regiment that had garrisoned Shanghai in the interwar years and fought so gallantly on Bataan and Corregidor. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Raider Battalions became respectively the 1st, 3rd, and 2nd Battalions of the 4th Marines. The 2nd Raider Battalion filled out the regimental weapons company. Personnel in the Raider Training Center transferred to the newly formed 5th Marine Division. Leavened with new men, the 4th Marines went on to earn additional distinctions in the assaults on Guam and Okinawa. At the close of the war, the regiment joined the occupation forces in Japan and participated in the release from POW compounds of the remaining members of the old 4th Marines.

  29. Sevon says:

    If they combined MARSOC Raiders and Force Recon together the Marines would have a very powerful Special Operations but I guess they don’t want us to be. Even though it would make more since to combine both together to have a bigger and stronger force hopefully this happens and the Marines Corps becomes it’s own branch not a department of the Navy.