MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N. C. -- Another moment in military history was written Friday as the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion activated and 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company deactivated during a ceremony at Ellis Field here.
For the Marines of the new unit, it was bittersweet as they saw their former colors cased, but also witnessed the evolution of Force Recon into a key element of the special operations community.
“I compare this to when the cavalry gave up their horses,” said a senior member of Charlie Stack, Company “G”, 2nd MSOB. “I believe that we must adapt and change with the times, and in the long run, this will be the best for everybody.”
Second MSOB is the second unit activated in Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
The Foreign Military Training Unit, activated last year.
Plans call for five companies in 2nd MSOB on the East Coast and four companies under 1st MSOB on the West Coast when it activates.
“I’m excited for the chance to work for SOCOM and so are my Marines,” said a senior member of Delta Stack, Company “G”, 2nd MSOB. “It’s great for the Marine Corps, those who are a part of this and for those who will be after we leave.”
Marines have been involved with United States Special Operations Command since 1987 when it was established, but never officially became a part of the organization until this year.
In February 2006, when MARSOC activated, the wheels of change began moving to include Force Recon in this new unit.
“This is just part of a good idea coming together,” the senior member of C-Stack said. “We never thought we would be left out. Including us is the only realistic answer.”
“The Corps is used to accomplishing a lot with very little,” said the C-stack senior member. “Now with all the SOCOM assets and training, we will excel to the next level and we’re tackling it with great enthusiasm.”
The Marines receive training from Special Mission Training Branch tailored to what a mission will be like in the future. Second MSOB has every bit of confidence in their learning abilities and instructors.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get newer training as well as deployments,” said the senior member of D-Stack. “Besides that, it’s going to be business as usual.”
Some might view this as an end of an important chapter in Marine Corps history, but 2nd MSOB Marines see this as the newest page in the book.
“Since most of us come from Force Recon and are currently becoming MSOB, our standards and our traditions will continue to be passed down to the next generation,” the D-Stack, senior member said. “We continue to serve in the image set for us and they will never be forgotten.”
Teams from 2nd MSOB continue to train and prepare until their first SOCOM deployment this winter.