When the new United States Special Operations Command was formed in 1986, they gathered special operations components from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Those ground- and maritime combat components included the Army Special Forces, the Navy SEALs, and the Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment. But no Marines. The Marines were strongly against any Marine being made to serve under anyone other than another Marine. Then 9/11 happened. In the years that followed, Marine forces found themselves growing more agreeable to inter-branch operational command, finally forming the Marine Special Operations Command in 2006. And with the new Command, there rose the need to train Marines to be Marine Special Operators.
Always Faithful, Always Forward follows the journey of a class of Marine candidates from their recruitment, through assessment and selection, to their qualification as Marine Special Operators. The assessment, selection, and training regimes are a combination of psychological testing and intense military training as well as being a physical and professional rite of passage. MARSOC Marines must be efficient, agile, independent, and prepared to live hard in the field. They are warriors trained in the full range of military skills, as well as teachers who can train locals to defend their communities and lead them in battle. But above all, they are Marines. Their ability to leverage their numbers by embedding with the locals and to live in remote locations has, in their short history, made them a valuable force and one with great utility in remote reaches of the world. As with my previous works that document the training of SEALs, Green Berets, and Rangers, I was given unprecedented access to this new command and to the individual Marines of this exceptional special-operations unit. Always Faithful, Always Forward is the unique story of The Forging of a Special Operations Marine.
This work features a foreword by friend and former Naval Academy classmate, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North—Thanks Ollie!
Always Faithful, Always Forward is available in Trade Paperback, e-Book, and Audio Book.