The first established U.S. Special Operations organization – the Marine Raiders – has been reborn with a new insignia. Unit cohesion is a cornerstone of team building and that starts with having a common symbol to represent that organization. The special operations’ community has done that for decades with the SEAL Trident, the Green Beret, the Ranger tab, The maroon beret of airborne troops as well as the WWII Marine Corps “Scouts and Raiders” patch proudly wore by the Marines who were arguably the first U.S. special operations unit ever established who turned the tide of the war with their raids and fierce fighting resulting in bright spots of success during the early dismal days of the war in the Pacific.
The WWII Marine Corps “Scouts and Raiders” were responsible for first carrying the war to the Japanese and did much to debunk the perceived invincibility of the Imperial Japanese Army. The Marine “Scouts and Raiders” were used throughout the war but starting in 1944 were blended into conventional units, with Michael Strank one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima in the iconic Rosenthal photo and immortalized in the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, being an ex-Raider. Sergeant Strank was one of the three who raised the second flag who later were killed in action on Iwo Jima.
In 2014, the Marine Special Operations Regiment, serving under the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), was redesignated as the Marine Raider Regiment. To re-link the modern Marine special operations forces back to the World War II Raiders, individual Marines of the Marine Raider Regiment are once again called Marine Raiders and will now proudly wear the new insignia.
The badge was selected from over forty proposals and includes an eagle facing left, the Southern Cross and a dagger. To wear the badge, Marines have to go through long, difficult and exhaustive training similar to U.S. Navy BUD/S that emphasizes their dedication to their link to the sea.