Marine Corps Special Forces (MARSOC) Training

Marines, airmen train at Marine Special Operations School
U.S. Marines and airmen fire Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles during a foreign-weapons familiarization class at Marine Special Operations School’s Individual Training Course, April 10, 2017, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Senior Airman Ryan Conroy/U.S. Air Force)

Marine Corps Special Forces (MARSOC) Training

The Marine Special Operations School mission is to assess and select personnel for assignment for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC). The school also trains and educates designated personnel in individual, basic and advanced special operations in order to meet MARSOC's requirement to provide capable personnel to conduct special operations.

Becoming a MARSOC Marine Raider

In addition to being a Marine for three years, a MARSOC Raider candidate will be required to attend the Marine Special Operations Individual Course (ITC) at the Marine Special Operations School in Camp Lejeune, N.C. The nine-month course centers on the skills necessary to develop a highly capable Marine special operator, which include direct action, close quarters battle, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, fire support, tactical casualty care, irregular warfare, survival evasion resistance and escape, and infantry weapons and tactics. Officers also will attend a four-week Team Commanders Course (TCC) after successful completion of ITC.

Assessment & Selection: Phase 1

A three-week Assessment and Selection Preparatory and Orientation Course (ASPOC) proceeds the main selection phase. The Marine Raiders candidates will be challenged mentally and physically in this phase. You will learn about the requirements of being a MARSOC Raider and personally assess your desire to continue. The attrition rate is comparatively low, because seasoned Marines enter the course. However, surviving ASPOC does not ensure your selection to attend the next phases.

Assessment & Selection: Phase 2

A&S2 is a three-week evaluation that is mentally and physically challenging and enables MARSOC to identify Marines who have certain attributes and personalities compatible with special operations missions.

Individual Training Course (ITC)

The ITC training occurs in four phases:

Phase 1 -- Basic skills

Phase 1 trains and evaluates students in the basic skills of operating from land navigation and patrolling to mission planning. The physical training will continue throughout the course. Special operational skills include survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE), tactical combat casualty care (TCCC), fire support training and communications.

Phase 2 -- Small unit tactics

Phase 2 builds upon the foundation of Phase 1, training the student in small boat and scout swimmer operations, crew served weapons, demolitions, photography, and information collection and reporting. Students will be evaluated in two full-mission profiles focused on patrolling and combat operations, and urban and rural reconnaissance.

Phase 3 -- Close quarters battle

Students will be trained in rifle and pistol combat marksmanship and then will learn the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to serve as a member of a Marine Special Operations Team during assault operations. This phase culminates in a series of full-mission profile precision raids on rural and urban objectives.

Phase 4 -- Irregular warfare

In the final phase, students will receive instruction on irregular warfare (asymmetric warfare) operations. The course requires the student to use all of the skills mastered throughout the course while training, advising and operating with a partner nation and irregular force. Newly graduated MARSOC CSO's will be assigned to one of the three Marine Raider Battalions.

The ITC Motto - "Vis gregis est lupus" means: "The strength of the pack is the wolf." Graduates of ITC will have demonstrated the mental, physical and leadership skills necessary to serve as a source of strength to their Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT) where they will learn, as Rudyard Kipling said, that, "The strength of the wolf is the pack."

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