Marine Corps Special Forces (MARSOC) Training

Marines attending the Individual Training Course conduct patrols during the course's culminating exercise, Raider Spirit. (Marien Corps / Cpl Thomas Provost)
Marines attending the Individual Training Course conduct patrols during the course's culminating exercise, Raider Spirit. (Marien Corps / Cpl Thomas Provost)

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) and to train and educate 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 NC. The nine month course centers on all 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 will also attend a four week Team Commanders Course (TCC) after successful completion of ITC.

Assessment & Selection – Phase 1

This is a three week Assessment and Selection Preparatory and Orientation Course (ASPOC) proceeds the main selection phase. The Marine Raiders candidates will be challenged both 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 due to seasoned Marines entering the course. However, surviving Assessment does not ensure your selection to attend the next phases.

Assessment & Selection – Phase 2

A&S2 is a mentally and physically challenging three week evaluation that enables MARSOC to identify Marines that have certain attributes and personality 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, mission planning, and 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 will then learn the tactics, techniques and procedures need 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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