AUGUST 23, 2016, MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina – Marines serving in the military occupational specialties of critical skills operators (0372) and special operations officers (0370), are now authorized to wear the new breast insignia.
This change will be reflected in updates to Marine Corps Orders 1200.17E and P1020.34G.
The new uniform item, now referred to as “Marine Special Operator Insignia,” will be awarded to Marines at the completion of the Individual Training Course (ITC). ITC is an extensive five-phase training program that prepares selected Marines for global special operations duties, roles and responsibilities, for 196 days before heading to more specialized curriculums. In total, these Marines complete no less than 268 days of training before joining the operating forces.
“The individual MARSOC operator must be trained and educated to think critically and function in an increasingly complex operating environment — to understand and interact in dynamic, dangerous and politically-sensitive battlefields,” said Maj. Gen. Carl E. Mundy III, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. “Our rigorous training pipeline ensures that a newly minted critical skills operator has developed the skills required for full spectrum special operations. This badge serves as a visual certification that they have trained and prepared to accept their new responsibilities.”
The center of the 2” x 2.75” insignia consists of the bald eagle, representing the United States, with outstretched wings to symbolize the global reach of the U.S. Marine Corps. A dagger clutched by the eagle reflects the emblem of Marine Raider Battalions and the Marine Special Operations School. The Southern Cross constellation superimposed on the dagger represents the historic achievements of the Marines serving during the Pacific campaign of WWII, specifically those actions on Guadalcanal. The Southern Cross remains a part of the legacy of modern-day Marine Corps Raider units.
“It’s a representation of the pride and legacy that dates back to the Marine Raiders of World War II. This badge will distinguish a SOF-qualified Marine, just as the combat crew wings distinguish an aviation crew chief or the jump wings and dive bubble distinguish a Recon Marine,” said a critical skills operator.
The Latin phrase “Spiritus Invictus” is inscribed on the scroll above the eagle’s head, translating to, “Unconquerable Spirit.” Marines must demonstrate that spirit during their arduous curriculum in order to attain the MOS and be awarded the Marine Special Operator Insignia.
For questions regarding the new insignia please contact 1st Lt. Danielle Phillips, the Plans, Policies and Operations Public Affairs Officer, at (703) 614-4309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions regarding Marine Special Operations Command or the history and lineage of the unit, please contact Capt. Nicholas Mannweiler, MARSOC PAO, at Nicholas.Mannweiler@socom.mil.