Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 9.58.30 AM.jpg

cso / soo

becoming a critical skills operator or special operations officer


First Step

The first step is to become a Marine.

The prerequisites for CSOs and SOOs are:

  • Have a minimum GT score of 105 for enlisted, or GTC of 110 for officers.

  • Have a minimum PFT of 235.

  • Be able to pass the MARSOC swim assessment.

  • Meet the MARSOC medical screening criteria.

  • Be eligible to obtain and maintain a secret clearance.

  • Be willing and able, upon selection, to make a lateral move to the critical skills operator MOS.


Next Steps

  1. Check the Screening Team Visit Schedule

  2. Contact a Recruiter or Career Planner

  3. Complete the Report of Medical History DD FORM 2807-1, and Report of Medical Examination DD FORM 2808 (538 KB, PDF)


Resources and Preparation

Selection and Training

Assessment and Selection (A&S)
Phase 1

The three-week A&S Phase 1 course executes a program that identifies and recommends Marines who demonstrate the physical and mental capability of achieving success during Phase 2.

Aside from the physical training, which includes running, swimming and hiking, the course incorporates a mix of classroom instruction and practical application of basic Marine Corps knowledge and MARSOC and Special Operations Forces fundamentals. 

A&S Phase 1 completion does not guarantee selection.

For those of you preparing for Assessment and Selection, download a 10-week training guide and log (2.8 mb PDF) to help you prepare for the physical fitness aspects of the assessment and selection process. 

Also check out the training videos focusing on proper technique for the Breast Stroke and Side Stroke. Additional aquatic preparation guidance can be found on page 23 of the 10-week training guide and log (5.3 mb PDF).

Assessment & Selection (A&S)
Phase 2 

A&S Phase 2 is a mentally and physically challenging evaluation that enables MARSOC to identify Marines that have attributes compatible with special operations missions and the MARSOC way of life. A&S is highly competitive.

Individual Training Course (ITC) 

Marines selected for assignment as CSOs or SOOs attend ITC, a nine-month program that builds multidimensional operators capable of operating across the full spectrum of special operations, and aware of the strategic context in which they operate.

Officers attend MARSOC Team Commander’s Course (MTCC), which coincides with ITC.

ITC amphibious training.