Cpl. Aaron Pickett, an anti-tank missilemen with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, fires a Javelin missile from the front of a Humvee during the Enhanced Mojave Viper training exercise at the Black Top Range Training Area on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Aug. 29, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Cpl. Reece Lodder)
It looks like a submerged version of the Thunder Dome, or a very rowdy game of water polo, but with more moto-tats. Pioneered by some of America’s most elite warfighters, it requires extreme stamina, athleticism, and confidence. And it’s gaining traction far beyond the special operations community where it began.
Seventy-five years ago, on Aug. 7, 1942, the Allied offensive against Japan began with the invasion of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The fight for the small tropical isle became a grueling half-year campaign, with the U.S. Marines locked in an unforgiving struggle against the Japanese troops. But a newly formed American unit was there to meet them: the Marine Raiders. Here’s how the elite force persevered, as told by one of its last surviving members.
Over the past two years, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command has matured from merely being known as U.S. Special Operations Command’s youngest and smallest component, to a full-fledged integral player in SOCOM’s global operations.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Provost
Marine Raiders, past and present, look back on their legacy in a video celebrating the 10th anniversary of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, or MARSOC. Marine Raiders operate as small teams, far behind enemy lines, with little help or support beyond the men to their left and right.