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Marines approve new primary MOS for MARSOC officers

Jul. 28, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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A MARSOC Marine waits for a Marine Vessel-22B Osprey to land near Coloardo Springs, Colo. The Marine Corps just announce the creation of a new primary MOS for MARSOC officers. (Lance Cpl. Coleman / Marine Corps)
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The commandant of the Marine Corps has approved a new primary military occupational specialty that will allow Marine officers the opportunity to spend a career in the Corps’ special operations command.

MARSOC officials announced the creation of the 0370: Marine special operations officer MOS on Monday, calling it a chance for the command to develop talented officers over the course of a career “as both fully proficient special operations professionals and well-rounded Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force officers.”

The new MOS was approved by Commandant Gen. Jim Amos at an executive off-site meeting that took place last week, said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan.

MARSOC’s criteria for recruitment hasn’t changed — the command is still looking for seasoned junior officers at the end of their first enlistment or the beginning of their second. But now officers who make it through MARSOC’s grueling selection process won’t have to leave after they complete a five-year tour of duty.

The new MOS will also allow officials to create a dedicated career path for MARSOC officers, complete with a standardized training regimen, retention and promotion standards, professional military education and career progression markers.

“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,” MARSOC officials said in a press release.

But the 0370 MOS will not preclude MARSOC officers from serving in other B-billets around the Marine Corps, such officer selection recruiting duty, said MARSOC spokesman Capt. Barry Morris. There will also be opportunities for 0370 special operations officers to serve elsewhere in the Marine Corps and within the larger special operations community, Morris said. That could include filling slots as instructors at schoolhouses, among other opportunities, he said.

MARSOC officials have long recognized the necessity of creating an officer career path in order to retain and train valuable Marines.

During his confirmation hearing process before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, future commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford was asked when the Marines planned to meet the need for a MARSOC officer career path.

“A joint Marine Corps-[U.S. Special Operations Command] assessment is in process to develop a more effective model,” he said. “If confirmed, I will fully support that assessment and work with SOCOM to develop the most effective officer assignment policy.”

Marine officials did not immediately have information about the components of that joint assessment, but said it was likely superseded by the decision to create a dedicated MOS.

“To be honest, I was considering transitioning out of the Marine Corps,” an unnamed MARSOC officer was quoted as saying in a news release. “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.”

The Marines created an MOS for enlisted MARSOC Marines — 0372 critical skills operator — in 2011, some five years after MARSOC was first created and staffed.

For Marine officers who are already within MARSOC, Morris said a forthcoming Marine administrative message will outline the process by which they can apply to be screened and boarded for adoption of the 0370 MOS.

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