Behind the Cover: MARSOC expands


It has been more than six years since Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command was established, giving the the Corps its own component in the special operations world. Its development has not been without its headaches, but it continues in earnest.

This week’s Marine Corps Times breaks down what’s next for MARSOC and its Marines. A variety of changes have occurred in recruitment and training, and the command continues to add new teams of special operators as it expands. The desired steady state: A mature force that includes all of the enablers needed, plus experienced operators who know how to use intelligence to hammer at the heart of whatever problem they face.

The story is built largely on the strength of an interview with Maj. Gen. Paul Lefebvre, a former college football player who led MARSOC from November 2009 until last week, when he yielded to Maj. Gen. Mark Clark and retired. Earlier this month, Lefebvre graciously gave me more than an hour of time during an interview at MARSOC headquarters, weighing in on the evolution of the force, what it still needs and how it goes about finding the right Marines.

This week’s issue also includes a long-form look at what Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Corps’ assistant commandant, would bring to the table if selected to replace Gen. John Allen as the next top commander in Afghanistan. A variety of well-known leaders in both the active-duty and retired force weigh in on the recent speculation, including Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the retired 16th sergeant major of the Marine Corps.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

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