“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.”
Becoming a MARSOC Operator isn’t easy; the MARSOC Assessment and Selection is just the beginning. Candidates who have been successfully selected will be assigned to an Individual Training Course (ITC) class. The ITC is a physically and mentally challenging 7-month course designed to produce MARSOC Critical Skills Operators (CSOs) who can operate across the spectrum of special operations in small teams under spartan conditions. ITC uses a building block approach; the training rigor will systematically increase to mimic the complexity and stresses of combat. During ITC students are under constant observation from the instructor cadre as well as their peers. ITC is broken down into four training phases:
Phase 1 – (Basic Skills) 10 Weeks: Phase 1 trains and evaluates students in the basic skill sets required of all special operators. Physical fitness, swimming and hand-to-hand combat are stressed in a PT program designed around endurance, functional fitness and amphibious training. This physical training program will continue throughout the course and has been designed to prepare the student for the unique demands of special operations. Field skills including: navigation, patrolling, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE), Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). Mission planning, Fire support training and Communications round out the first phase.
Phase 2 – (Small Unit Tactics) 8 Weeks: 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 Profile exercises “Operation Raider Spirit”, a 2 week exercise focused on patrolling and combat operations, and “Operation Stingray Fury” focused on urban and rural reconnaissance.
Phase 3 – (Close Quarters Battle) 5 Weeks: Student 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 during “Operation Guile Strike”.
Phase 4 – (Irregular Warfare) 7 Weeks: In the final phase, students will receive instruction on Irregular Warfare operations. The course culminates with “Operation Derna Bridge”. Derna Bridge will require the student to use all of the skills mastered throughout the course while training, advising and operating with a Partner Nation / Irregular force. Newly graduated MARSOF CSO’s will be assigned to one of the three Marine Special Operations Battalions.