Photo Information

Marines stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., speak with Marine Special Operations Command Recruiting and Screening team members Marines Oct. 15, 2014. The Marines gathered for a brief that was part of a screening process for Marines interested in becoming a critical skills operator with MARSOC.

Photo by Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics

MARSOC recruiters screen 2nd MAW, Cherry Point Marines

23 Oct 2014 | Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Marines with Marine Corps Special Operations Command and Special Operations Screening Team conducted an informational brief for more than 200 Marines and Sailors at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Oct. 15.

During the brief, service members had the opportunity to meet with career planners and MARSOC representatives to discuss information and possible future duty assignments with the Corps’ special operations unit.

“We are here to screen qualified applicants for a possible transition into the MARSOC program,” said Master Sgt. Paul Madsen, a recruiter-screener for MARSOC. “MARSOC is a volunteer assignment and our mission set is special and exclusive. We are only looking for the most qualified and capable Marines.”

Some of MARSOC’s standard responsibilities include counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and security forces assistance. Its core tasks also include foreign international defense, direct action and special reconnaissance.

According to Madsen, Marines interested in a career in MARSOC have a basic list of criteria they must meet before beginning the screening process. Applicants must be male volunteers; have a minimum general technical score of at least 105; score a minimum of 225 on the physical fitness test; be able to pass a swim assessment; meet a specific medical screening criteria; obtain a secret clearance; and be willing and able to make a lateral move to the critical skills operator military occupational specialty.

In addition to the basic requirements, there are additional categories they must fall under to be considered for further screening. First-term Marines must be either a corporal or lower rank, with some exceptions for junior sergeants who have less than two years’ time in grade.

According to the MARSOC mission statement, the units objective is to train and provide a fully-capable Marine Special Operation Force for worldwide deployments to accomplish assigned missions. MARSOC units are task-organized to be flexible and responsive to deploy from the sea and from within the United States.

“We encourage Marines to ask about screenings and special duty assignments even if they would just like to learn more information about it,” said Staff Sgt. Antoinette Reyna, a career planner with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “Some programs such as MARSOC only take volunteers, so those who are even slightly interested in becoming involved need to go to their career planner on their own to start the process.”

Although there are many who have the opportunity to apply, not everyone will make it past the initial screening process, explained Reyna.  

“It is the career planner’s job to facilitate the screening process and direct and assist Marines who show an interest or are qualified basically,” said Reyna.

For more information about becoming a critical skills operator, visit or contact a career planner.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point