Marine Special Operations Regiment

Marine Special Operations Regiment (United States)

The Marine Special Operations Regiment (MSOR) is a special operations unit of the United States Marine Corps and the principal combat component of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command. The Regiment’s organization was finalized in 2007 and contains three battalions, the First, Second and Third Special Operations Battalions.

In February 2006 Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was created at Camp Lejeune North Carolina. The 1st and 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalions were created along with the Marine Special Operations Advisor Group (MSOAG, the predecessor of the MSOR). The majority of the combat personnel assigned to the two battalions were drawn from the Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance community and the MSOAG personnel from the conventional infantry units. In April 2009 the MSOAG was redesignated the Marine Special Operations Regiment which then built in a new level of bureaucracy by making 1st and 2nd MSOB subordinate and redesignated MSOAG’s operational Marines the 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion. Each battalion consists of 4 companies which, in turn, consists of 4 fourteen man teams.

The Marine’s pilot program consisted of Det One deploying to Iraq with Navy SEALs from Naval Special Warfare Group 1 in 2004. Det One formed into the Marine Special Operations Battalions and deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. This deployment was marked with controversy when elements from 2nd Battalion were ambushed. The Marines were relieved from their operational charter in the country by an Army General in the US Special Operations Command after claims were made that the Marines reacted inappropriately and caused excessive civilian casualties. In September 2009 the 1st Battalion returned to Afghanistan, this time in command of a joint special operations task force in the northwest of the country.