News: MARSOC Special Operations Support Battalions re-designated, orient with Special Operation Battalions
Story by Capt. Barry Morris
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Marine Special Operations Logistics Battalion and Marine Special Operations Combat Support Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, were re-designated as 2nd Marine Special Operations Support Battalion and 3rd MSOSB during two separate re-designation ceremonies held at the MARSOC headquarters aboard Stone Bay, at Marines Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 16 and 22.
Lieutenant Col. Stephanie L. Walker, commanding officer of 2nd MSOSB, along with Sgt. Maj. Darby J. Noonan, the 2nd MSOSB sergeant major, and Lt. Col. Brian Rideout, commanding officer of 3rd MSOSB, along with 1st. Sgt. James Robertson, the acting sergeant major for 3rd MSOSB, cased the MSOLB and MSOCSB unit colors respectfully, before uncasing the newly re-designated 2nd MSOSB and 3rd MSOSB colors during each ceremony.
“Our re-designation ceremony signifies 2nd MSOSB’s commitment to deliver world-class special operations combat support and combat service support by providing highly-skilled and regionally tailored communication, intelligence, and logistics Marines Special Operations Capabilities Specialists in support of deployed Marine Special Operations Forces,” said Walker.
“This event symbolizes a significant step in MARSOC’s evolutionary progression,” said Rideout.
"It solidifies habitual relationships with our partner MSOBs and it signifies our regional alignment and commitment to the Theater Special Operations Commands. It also represents a significant commitment on the part of the Marine Corps and Special Operations Command – the same commitment that has allowed MARSOC to groom the SOF enterprise’s most capable, uniquely qualified set of professionals. These Marines are making the difference at the tip of the spade and this ceremony offers an opportunity to highlight that point, but more appropriately, to recognize the men and women who keep that point sharp,” added Rideout, during the ceremony May 22.
“These ceremonies are representative of the continued maturation of MARSOC. During the ‘Right-Size Operational Planning Team,’ it was decided by the MARSOC commander to continue the investment in MARSOC's unique contribution to Special Operations Forces,” said Col. Archibald Mclellan, commanding officer of Marine Special Operations Support Group. “It was a conscious decision to have SOF Specialists vice a bolt-on General Purpose Force augmentation.”
The re-designations are part of a series of re-designations taking place as MARSOC continues to meet the demands of the TSOCs.
“This investment comes at a cost that is borne by the service; sending us great Marines, money and time to train, and most importantly these individual Marines; these Multi-dimensional Operators who do the training and operate with some of the highest operational tempo of their peers,” explained Mclellan. “They do this not for a closed loop Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), or a new colored cover, or pin to wear on their chest. They do it simply because they are great Marines.”
“Our Marines deploy in politically sensitive and often hostile environments, must meet the needs and requirements of the TSOCs, and must be prepared to integrate with conventional forces. This means learning to speak joint, combined and special operations vernacular within each region,” explained Walker.
Lieutenant Col. Walker has commanded MSOLB/2nd MSOSB just short of 20 months and brings some unique experience to the organization. She has deployed while assigned to MARSOC in 2008, was a member of Marines Special Operations Regiment in 2011, and was the component staff G-4 operations officer.
Lieutenant Col. Rideout’s background in reconnaissance and previous deployments in support of Joint Special Operations brings the right experience and leadership to 3rd MSOSB.
“Under their tenure, we have begun to make the same strides towards developing a professional Special Operations Forces Logistics and combat service support capability as we have for Critical Skills Operators, Special Operation Officers and SOCS. I am convinced this is the right move for MARSOC’s future relevance beyond Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan,” concluded Mclellan.
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