MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The Marine Corps is sending some of its Raiders on a new mission: developing new technologies to make MARSOC even deadlier.

Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command wants special operators to be part of the capability development process.

"As much as myself and some of my peers don't want to leave operational companies, you kind of have to put individuals into that process," said MARSOC operator Master Sgt. Justin Olson said during a briefing at the Modern Day Marine expo on Thursday.

With ever-changing technology, Olson said MARSOC will need "increasingly lethal precision and engagement." 

They're seeking Raiders with real-world experience to help advance the command's technology and improve efficiency.

"As we do that, we see ourselves getting more involved in the research and development roles," Olson added.

A key part is adapting to newer threats and technology.

"[It's] getting smaller and smaller," Olson told the crowd. "What would the enemy use? Small handheld stuff."

The focus right now is on countering small aerial drones systems designed for threats that are smaller in size. The smallest unmanned aircraft system is categorized as Group 1 and can weigh less than 20 pounds.

As MARSOC wants to integrate operators into research roles, Olson said integration is necessary on a global scale, as well.

"Not just within the services and special operations partners," he said. "But more integrated with host nation partners."

Charlsy Panzino is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times and writes features about veterans transition issues, travel and fitness.   Email her at 

Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at

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