The auditorium of the Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) Headquarters at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was standing room only as Marine Raiders gathered to celebrate the 14th anniversary ceremony of the organization, Feb. 21.
The commander and command senior enlisted leader for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Gen. Richard D. Clarke and Command Chief Master Sgt. Gregory A. Smith, attended the ceremony that also recognized Marines from throughout the component for excellence in their respective fields.
“As we look forward into a future riddled with uncertainty and ever evolving threats, MARSOC will remain an essential part of SOCOM,” said Clarke. “You make a difference wherever you are. Time and time again, Raiders have turned the tide on the frontier in faraway places and all but unknown to most people.”
The ceremony included the rededication of the organizational battle colors, with the addition of the Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Streamer, and a Bronze Star, in lieu of second award for the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
“It is all about honoring the customs and traditions of our Corps and our military,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, MARSOC commander. “I am thankful for all that you do, day-in and day-out, to support our warfighters, uphold our Marine Raider legacy, and forge our path of providing the nation and Geographic Combatant Commanders a Marine Special Operations Force capable of dynamically adjusting to meet the complex demands of the future operating environment. I am incredibly proud of your accomplishments. At times the ultimate sacrifice was made, and we will continue to honor and remember those that have given their lives in support of this great nation. They, and their loved ones, will forever be part of our Marine Raider family.”
Yoo also expressed his vision for the future of MARSOC.
“Throughout 2019, MARSOC made significant advancements in combat development. In the years ahead, we will pursue consolidation, experimentation, testing, and evaluation of future operating concepts and near-peer offset capabilities, and shape the component for continued innovation in support of MARSOC 2030 and the Joint Force.”
In 2019, Marine Raiders worked with Headquarters Marine Corps to transition optics and enhanced thermal imager as a service-common item. The component is also working to identify a system to better integrate and manage the holistic power requirement of an individual operator.
“You have a clear and unambiguous vision of the character required to represent our country. The Marine Corps, perhaps better than any other service, has articulated the values that we must hold dear, both day in and day out,” Clarke said. “You have blended the martial pride and prowess of Sparta, with the brains of Athens, and the spirit and values of this great American experiment that we all hold so dear.”