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A MAGTF Solution for MARSOC

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Master's thesis

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THESIS This study seeks to demonstrate that the strength of a Marine Corps force contribution to USSOCOM is not in the duplication of existing Special Operations Forces SOF structure and capabilities, but in the development and employment of a force that is based upon the unique strengths of time-tested applied Marine warfighting doctrine and philosophy, specifically the Marine Air-Ground Task Force MAGTF. DISCUSSION Since the successful integration and employment of the original combined-arms air-ground team concept in WWII, the Marine Corps has realized a high degree of operational success in the employment of the tactically flexible MAGTF. The MAGTF is how Marine Corps maneuver warfare doctrine translates into practical application on the battlefield. This uniquely Marine attribute complements the uniquely SOF doctrine, which is focused largely on the development of highly-skilled, trained, experienced, and thoroughly vetted personnel. Historical examples of early and recent SOF operations indicate the potential for greater degrees of success with the application of MAGTF doctrine. As a result of DOD direction to increase cooperation between the Marine Corps and USSOCOM, the Marine Corps formed Marine Forces Special Operations Command MARSOC. Despite the solid efforts by the Marines and staff of MARSOC to close the distance between the two organizations, and to produce the most competent, capable, and relevant force possible, there remains a striking void in the current MARSOC task organization the absence of a complete MAGTF. CONCLUSION MARSOC has made great strides towards the accomplishment of its assigned mission by organizing, training, equipping, and deploying Marine Special Operations Forces with organization and capabilities complimentary to SOF. To realize the full potential benefits for both USSOCOM and the Marine Corps however, the Marine Corps must add an aviation component to make MARSOC a complete MAGTF.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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