Small Wars Journal

Video: Acting Defense Secretary Visits Fort Bragg - Makes a Historic Advance for Special Operations

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 7:19pm

Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller marks another milestone in SOF history with action to implement Congress' intent in the 2017 NDAA Section 922 to improve civilian oversight and place ASD SO/LIC in the ADCON chain of command giving it service like oversight and improve advocacy for SOF by making the ASD SO/LIC report directly to the SECDEF and no longer under the purview of the USD(P). He could not have chosen a better location than on SOF hallowed ground at Fort Bragg. Chris gave a great speech (as always) and explains the importance of this action that had languished in the Pentagon for the past two SECDEFs. 

The 13 minute video can be accessed HERE.   

The transcript of the event is HERE. 


I think it could be argued that all the services have a history of organizing, training, and equipping their forces for Special Operations. Why just the Marines? What about ARSOF or NAVSPEC Warfare? Is AFSOC going to become part of the Marine Corps then? Moreover, do Marines have a DNA rich in Special Warfare or Surgical Strike? Some really difficult questions considering the stakeholders involved. IMO it would be better to transform SOCOM into its own service. 

By doing this, does this mark the beginning of SOF becoming its own service?  If we are moving in this direction, is it worth considering an adjustment of Doug MacGregor's recent comment about doing away with the Marine Corps and, instead, reorganize the Marine Corps as our primary SOF service?

The Marine have a history of organizing some of elements for "special operations" (Marine Expeditionary Unit-Special Operations Capable, or MEU-SOC), are already forward-deployed in many locations, are already designed to be light, agile, and generally independent forces.  I think it may worth considering reorganizing the Marines as our SOF service (if we are truly moving towards an independent SOF) vs. creating another new service and possibly eliminating one that has always demonstrated its worth.