Okinawa Marines try out for Special Ops Command
August 25, 2008
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — A Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command team Friday wrapped up its first visit to Okinawa, screening fitness and swimming abilities of 12 candidates seeking to become a part of the outfit.
The Corps was directed in 2005 to create a special operations unit for U.S. Special Operations Command. MARSOC was established in February 2006 at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and the unit expects to reach its end-strength goal of 2,500 by October, according to its Web site.
The unit is currently about 78 percent staffed and has teams already performing the mission, said Gunnery Sgt. Oscar Trujillo, 34, the command’s noncommissioned officer in charge of recruiting.
Okinawa Marines from a range of military specialties asked about joining the command, but MARSOC is currently accepting only combat arms Marines for operative positions, he said.
There are no age or rank restrictions, Trujillo said, although the selection is tougher for the senior ranks because many of those positions have been filled.
Interested Marines must have a physical fitness test score of 225 or higher and a general technical score of at least 105 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Marines with GT scores from 100 to 104 may be considered if they can get command endorsement, Trujillo said.
Applicants also must undergo command reviews of their service records and have a security clearance to be approved, he said.
Selected candidates will be sent to Camp Lejeune for a three-week assessment and final selection process, Trujillo said.
"We’re looking for determination, the never-quit attitude, a willingness of that Marine to push himself beyond his limits and an ability to adapt and overcome, because MARSOC Marines will be out there in austere conditions … unafraid, alone, and they’re it," he said.
The screening team plans to visit Okinawa twice a year. Between visits, interested Marines can contact their unit career planners or visit the MARSOC Web site at www.marsoc.usmc.mil.