Two Big Organizational Renamings In SOCOM Last Week

Even though I spent most of my career in SOF units we aren’t a “Spec Ops” blog. Still, two big things happened in USSOCOM this week that are worthy of mention.

First, MARSOC, the Marine Special Operations Command was renamed Marine Raiders to adopt the heritage of the first USMC special operations unit in WWII.

“United States Marines take great pride in our special operations and irregular warfare heritage…From this point forward, the Marines of MARSOC will be officially aligned with the Marine Raiders of World War II and are charged with maintaining the high standards and traditions that accompany such distinction,” stated Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos in a proclamation he released August 6, 2014, which calls for “the official continuation of our Corps’ special operations heritage from the Raiders of World War II to our modern day Marines.” (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Josh Higgins). Read the entire press release here.

Second, the US Army’s Military Information Support Operations units have been redesignated as PSYOPS. PSYOPS is the original name and was changed in 2010 under the direction of ADM Eric Olson, former Commander of USSOCOM.


FORT BRAGG, NC – All Military Information Support Operations Command (MISOC) units at Fort Bragg, N.C., have re-designated as Psychological Operations (PSYOP) units effective Aug.5, 2014.

The former 4th and 8th Military Information Support Groups (Airborne) are now the 4th Psychological Operations Group (POG) (Airborne) and the 8th Psychological Operations Group (POG) (Airborne), with their subordinate units being called Psychological Operations Battalions (POB). MISOC will retain its namesake for the time being.

This re-naming of PSYOP units will not affect any unit organization or operations as 4th and 8th POG continue to operate.

I’m quite pleased to see both of these changes and perhaps now those lames who think the term is “pog” and not the correct “Pogue” will take the extra time to put the “U” and “E” back where they belong.

43 Responses to “Two Big Organizational Renamings In SOCOM Last Week”

  1. FormerDirtDart says:

    Picture, or it didn’t happen

  2. Trevor Medina says:

    4th Psychological Operations Group (POG). Heh.

  3. rob k says:

    In the fourth paragraph, it should read as “PSYOP” not “PSYOPS”. And the name MISO still exists for the job activity; PSYOP Soldiers, in PSYOP Units, conduct MISO.

  4. Terry B says:

    I can understand naming the Bn level MARSOC SOTF “maneuver” or action units as numbered Marine Raider Battalions in line with the WW II heritage.

    However, renaming a MACOM, albeit small, like MARSOC itself doesn’t make as much sense.

    Maybe call the HQ itself the “Marine Raider Regiment HQ” or probably better the “Marine Raider Command”. That would be more in line with its operational – not tactical – function and still link it to the Raider linage.

    Yea, I know the USMC and the organization formerly known as MARSOC couldn’t care less what I think.

    On the other hand I am more than happen to see the return of PSYOPs and the end of the term MISO.

  5. Rogue Male says:

    Just win, baby.

  6. J C says:

    You want to refer to the non-infantry as kisses?

    • SSD says:

      Turns out, there were lots of infantrymen who were pogues when it was spelled right.

  7. Teddy says:

    cool, now we can bring back ‘cryops’

  8. CRH says:

    Interesting but not historically accurate, Raider Battalions were formed from Marine infantry Battalions to fulfill a need for amphibious raid operations. Marine infantry battalions are still organized with a “boat company” to maintain the “LEGACY” task of company size amphibious raid operations. Marine reconnaissance which is where MARSOC came from have their own separate lineage who’s history comes form the scout/ sniper companies that were organized in WWII so I’m a little confused on why MARSOC felt the need to hijack a lineage that if you read the history books doesn’t belong to them. Where does that leave all my boat company brothers that have raider tattoos prior to this nonsense? Does SOTG RAID branch have to paint over the raider crest thats on the wall of the classroom in Delmar now? MARSOC was blazing its own path through history and creating its own lineage why steal something that doesn’t belong to them?

    • JB says:

      The US Marine Raider Association apparently felt that it should belong to them.

    • Mark says:

      Note that the Regiment will be “aligned” with the Raiders.

      Raider lineage and honors still remains with the 4th Marine Regiment.

  9. 10thMountainMan says:

    I’ve avoided outing myself as a PSYOP guy thus far on this blog but in celebration of not having to have the MISO conversation anymore I’ll just go ahead a do a celebratory backflip. When Admiral Olson pulled that unilateral jackassery it did a great deal to hurt the morale of the PSYOP Regiment.

    For those of you who think names don’t matter, just sit down and be quiet. They do, even to those of us who build careers around the art of bullshit. We went from having a label which conjured up images of master manipulators, communicators, and propagandists, to one so ambiguous that anyone who could come up with a workable definition had no stomach for it.

    The mystique which surrounds unit identity is always 60% bullshit no matter what unit you are in. I’ve seen behind the curtain of most SOF organizations in our inventory so I’m not just shooting my mouth off when I say that. Having acknowledged that however, I believe that mystique is very important. Green Berets need to believe they are the Quiet Professionals. Rangers need to believe they always “Lead the way.” SEALs need to believe someone outside of Hollywood respects them (just kidding guys). It does not matter if it is always true. PSYOP Soldiers need to believe we are what we say we are. Getting our name back really helps in that regard. It is a good day.

    • seans says:

      First believing in your own mystique is fucking dangerous. When people start swallowing their own bullshit it causes problems. As for a name such as Pysops or Miso, isn’t better from your own perspective of having a name that doesn’t scream “Our job is to fuck with peoples heads”.

      • 10thMountainMan says:

        I don’t intellectually believe in my own mystique, at least not since I was a PFC. This is more of an emotional thing, and you are buying your own propaganda if you think you are above that. I don’t care what unit you are a part of, this shit matters to you too. In the Army we carry colors, wear patches, have creeds, mottoes, crests, formal balls, wear ribbons, medals, badges, tabs and every other damn thing you can think of to build up pride, esprit de corps and legacy of who we are and what we accomplish.

        As to your second point, MISO was created to make press headlines slightly less attention grabbing for policy makers. This is the same mindset that renamed the Department of War to the Department of Defense and Psychological Warfare to Psychological Operations. Funny thing about language, it’s all arbitrary. It does not matter what you label something, eventually that label will be associated correctly with the truth of what it is. USSOCOM really gained nothing with doing this. The press still called us PSYOP anyways, because they want to sell papers regardless of USSOCOM’s naming conventions.

        What it did accomplish was taking a core Special Operations CMF, and putting “support” in its name. That was a pain in the ass. We don’t have a stand alone mission where we deploy as a unified force and win our own glory, write our own history. We attach to SF, Rangers, SEALS, MARSOC(Raiders Now :-)), and enable them to do these things. That by itself causes us to have to fight for our respect regardless of the fact that everywhere these guys are winning glory, we are doing it with them.

        Every time I lead a team forward, I have to prove to some brand spanking new 18A with an ego the size of a general officer on his first SOF deployment that yes, we can run and gun just as hard as his guys, especially the fat one over there, and no, that is not why we, or he was sent here in the first place. People like that 18A are just as affected by labels as I am. It is much easier to gain credibility with him as a PSYOP professional than his Military Information Support Operations (what the hell does that mean anyways?) guy.

        • seans says:

          Its not about winning glory, writing history, its about accomplishing the mission. Unfortunately to many people forget that. I have plenty of experience with Miso or PSYOPs guys, whatever you want to call yourself. And guess what, when you guys sit their in bitch about how you guys don’t go on ops or as you said yourself are as capable as “running and gunning” as the rest of the SOF guys, you lose all your credibility and respect you community has earned. You jobs is PSYOPs for christ sakes, how do you think some brand new 18B is going to take hearing that you are just as capable as running and gunning as he is, even though that isn’t your job. Why are you worried about that guy anyway.

          • 10thMountainMan says:

            You know what, you’re totally right. In the spirit of only caring about the mission SF should ditch the green beret, long tab, silver wings, jump boots and the name special forces. It’s developed too many false connotations anyways.

            As far as the rest of what you said. We don’t agree, and are not likely too. In the interest of not turning SSD’s blog into a flame war between you and I, I will leave it there regardless of your reply. Thank you for your service.

            • COL REMF says:

              It always amuses me that the only element in DoD trained to do target audience analysis (those who are 37s) clings to the term PSYOP dispute that many, including current and former DoD and DoS secretaries, dislike the term. ADM Olsen’s actions resulted from work begun by GEN Brown before him, based on a Rumsfeld “snowflake.” First the embassy PSEs became MISTs, then years later the definition for PSYOP became he definition for MISO. But I’m happy that the high-GT score soldiers in the POGs now have one less thig to whine about. Oddly, the USAR/USACAPOC POGs never changed.

          • SSD says:

            He’s worried about the 18A and with good reason. If you don’t know the difference between an Alpha and a Bravo this conversation probably isn’t for you.

        • Y.T. says:

          ESPECIALLY the fat one over there.

        • Mike Nomad says:

          “In the Army we carry colors, wear patches, have creeds, mottoes, crests, formal balls, wear ribbons, medals, badges, tabs…”

          Any chance that something like the Vietnam-era PSYOP ribbons will come back with the name change?

          • 10thMountainMan says:

            Not likely, and in honesty, I think that’s a bit much. It is just my personal take but I think the Army has enough tabs and most of them are not MOS rewards. I think the SF tab is a bit hokey because they already have a beret but there is even less grounds for a PSYOP one as while our training certainly is physically challenging, it does not go to the level of suck you find int SFQC, Ranger, or Sapper school.

            • SSD says:

              The beret predates the SF tab by decades. Rightly so, it was an organizational headgear until around 93 when it became the only beret to denote not a type of unit, but rather an MOS.

              Prior to the SF tab ~83, SF qualified personnel wore full flashes and support personnel wore a recognition bar or candy-stripe in their Group’s flash colors. About the time of the establishment of the SF tab, everyone went to a full flash. For many years after, Soldiers could only wear one qualification tab which meant that dual Ranger and SF qualified personnel had to choose between the two.

              • Terry B. says:

                Exactly right SSD. And if you were in Group choosing the long tab was “highly encouraged” by the CSMs.

    • Lucky says:

      Way to go Grumpy Cat!

  10. Lucky says:

    That photo is actually a Civil Affairs MSG, another Civil Affairs Soldier, and a Terp, circa 2009-2010. That was the 414th CA BN, in Baghdad

  11. zach says:

    Is that dude holding an HK 33/93? G3 in Africa maybe.

    • SShink says:

      …or maybe even a FAL or Daewoo

    • Mayor Gooch says:

      Definitely a G3 pattern rifle. If the stock and handguard don’t give it away, the HK-style rotary diopter rear sight does. And the presence of that Accuracy International bolt gun also has me scratching my head. Any chance that’s a German?

    • JB says:

      It’s a picture from the Advanced Sniper Training Course near Jacksboro, Texas and was previously used as a MARSOC recruiting poster. You can find it on MARSOC’s official website.