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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Insignia of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and subordinate Special Operations Commands (SOCs)


[Edited on Aug. 15, 2011] Just as I planned, I have managed to end this year with a creative bang. This time it was about tackling a substantial chunk of my “Military Insignia” project – US Special Operations. This involved recreating insignias of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and all its major subordinate Special Operations Commands (SOCs). USSOCOM is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands (SOC or SOCOM) of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States armed forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense. USSOCOM is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
USSOCOM conducts several covert and clandestine missions, such as unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, psychological operations, Civil Affairs, direct action, counter-terrorism and War on Drugs operations. Each branch has a Special Operations Command that is unique and capable of running its own operations, but when the different Special Operations Forces need to work together for an operation, USSOCOM becomes the joint component command of the operation, instead of a SOC of a specific branch.
This particular stage of the project was quite time-consuming, considering the expansive structure of the USSOCOM. 

To accomplish all of the above, I have set aside roughly a month-worth of time, planning to wrap it up by the year-end. The challenge was on, and I was up to it. As with all of my previous projects, I was using my own 
Multi-Layer Enhancement & Texturing Technique (or M-LETT 3D; I discuss it in detail in this post) method  to produce quality hi-resolution insignias. Occasionally, not very often, I couldn’t help but let out the artist within, yet I would manage to stay true to the official insignia specifications and color palettes.
Well, today is the 30th of December, and I have managed to complete the last one on the list… Oh, that sweet feeling of accomplishment… They all turned out looking pretty cool (I know, what a modest thing to say, but hey - it’s true…). As usually, all the insignias will be available commercially on a limited number of selected products in my Military Insignia galleries on Zazzle here.




The United States Army Special Operations Command (Airborne) (USASOC or ARSOC) is a command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the United States Army. The command is part of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM); a larger command overseeing all the different SOF Commands of each branch of the U.S. military.



[Edited on Aug. 15, 2011]  Special Operations Command – Joint Capabilities (SOC-JC) was transferred to USSOCOM from the soon to be disestablished United States Joint Forces Command. It was formerly known as United States Special Operations Command Joint Forces Command (SOCJFCOM).

Primary Mission: SOC-JC trains conventional and SOF commanders and their staffs, supports USSOCOM international engagement training requirements, and supports implementation of capability solutions in order to improve strategic and operational warfighting readiness and joint interoperability. 




SOC-JC must also be prepared to support deployed Special Operations Joint Task Force (SOJTF) Headquarters (HQ).
As a joint sub-unified command under USSOCOM, SOC-JC’s core function is to enhance the interoperability of conventional and Special Operations Forces (SOF) commanders and staffs through robust strategic and operational level joint training. In coordination with the USSOCOM J3, J7/9 and Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), SOC-JC provides excellent training and support to the education for SOF and Conventional Forces (CF) worldwide. Additionally, SOC-JC supports the joint SOF capabilities development process while maintaining the flexibility to support emerging initiatives.








The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics. It was established in 1980 on recommendation of Col. Charlie Beckwith, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw. It is located at Pope Army Air Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, USA. The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) also commands and controls the Special Mission Units (SMU) of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). These units perform highly classified activities. So far, only three SMUs have been publicly disclosed: The Army's 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta, the Navy's Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and the Air Force's 24th Special Tactics Squadron. The Intelligence Support Activity is also under JSOC.




The Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) is one of the United States' secretive Tier One counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units. Commonly known as Delta, or Delta Force, it was formed under the designation 1st SFOD-D, and is officially referred to by the Department of Defense as Combat Applications Group (CAG). This unit is an elite Special Operations Force, and an Army Compartmented Element of the Joint Special Operations Command. Delta Force, along with its Navy counterpart DEVGRU, are the United States' primary counter-terrorism units.
The Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Combat Applications Group (CAG), Delta Force) is the first of the two primary counter-terrorist units of JSOC and SOCOM. Modeled after the British Special Operations force Special Air Service, Delta is arguably one of the best SOF in the world. This is because of Delta's stringent training and selection process. Delta recruits primarily from the most talented and highly skilled operators in the Army Special Forces and the 75th Ranger Regiment although CAG will take anyone and everyone that can pass their screening. Recruits must pass a rigid selection course before beginning training. Delta has received training from numerous U.S. government agencies and other tier one SOF and has created a curriculum based on this training and techniques that it has developed. Delta conducts clandestine and covert special operations all over the world. It specializes in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue operations. Delta Force's primary tasks are counter-terrorism, direct action, and national intervention operations, although it is an extremely versatile group capable of assuming many covert missions, including, but not limited to, rescuing hostages and raids.
Delta Force's structure is similar to the British 22 Special Air Service Regiment. There are three main operational squadrons:

A Squadron
B Squadron
C Squadron

These squadrons are based on the organization of the SAS "Sabre Squadron" and each contains 75 to 85 operators. Each sabre squadron is broken down into three troops, one Recce/Sniper troop, and two Direct Action/Assault troops, that can either operate in teams or in groups as small as four to six men.




Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) is a subordinate unified command of joint forces for the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM). It is responsible for planning special operations throughout the USCENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR), planning and conducting peacetime joint/combined special operations training exercises, and orchestrating command and control of peacetime and wartime special operations as directed.
The command is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. SOCCENT FWD, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command (CFSOCC), is located at Al Udeid in Qatar. The Command's motto is Molon labe (Greek for "Come and take them").
SOCCENT, operating with coalition partners as the CFSOCC, consists of two combined joint special operations task forces [CJSOTFs], one Combined Joint Special Operations Aviation Command, one joint psychological operations task force, one Naval Special Warfare Unit and three Special Operations command and control elements [SOCCEs]. The two CJSOTFs are CJSOTF-Arabian Peninsula, whose headquarters directs United States Army Special Forces, and CJSOTF Afghanistan. CJSOTF Afghanistan includes elements of the 7th Special Forces Group operating in southern provinces, including Kandahar, as Task Force 71.




Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) is a subordinate unified command of US European Command exercising operational control of theater Army, Navy, and Air Force Special Operation Forces (SOF).
SOCEUR is responsible to CDRUSEUCOM/SACEUR for SOF readiness, targeting, exercises, plans, joint and combined training, NATO/partnership activities, and execution of counterterrorism, peacetime and contingency operations.



Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC) is a is a sub-unified command of U.S. Southern Command and serves as the functional component for all special operation missions deployed throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America regions. SOCSOUTH is responsible for the planning and execution of all Special Operations Forces (SOF) within U.S. Southern Command's AOR to include: U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), U.S. Naval Special Warfare Units (SEALs), U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Aviation, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations forces. SOCSOUTH is a joint headquarters that commands, controls, and executes over 75 deployments per year with an average of 20 missions in 12 countries at any time. The command is composed of three permanently assigned operational units based in several locations within the southeastern United States. Typical SOCSOUTH Headquarters deployments include a rapid response for contingencies, exercises, and other missions, as directed by Commander, U.S. Southern Command.



Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) is a is a sub-unified command of U.S. Southern Command and serves as the functional component for all special operation missions deployed throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America regions. SOCSOUTH is responsible for the planning and execution of all Special Operations Forces (SOF) within U.S. Southern Command's AOR to include: U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), U.S. Naval Special Warfare Units (SEALs), U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Aviation, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations forces. SOCSOUTH is a joint headquarters that commands, controls, and executes over 75 deployments per year with an average of 20 missions in 12 countries at any time. The command is composed of three permanently assigned operational units based in several locations within the southeastern United States. Typical SOCSOUTH Headquarters deployments include a rapid response for contingencies, exercises, and other missions, as directed by Commander, U.S. Southern Command.




Special Operations Command, Korea (SOCKOR) is a United States military organization in South Korea that provides special forces to United States Forces Korea/United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command. During wartime, SOCKOR combines with the Korean Special Warfare Command to form the Combined Unconventional Warfare Task Force (CUWTF).
Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR), located at Camp Kim in Yongsan, Korea, is the theater Special Operations Command (SOC) responsible for special operations on the Korean peninsula and, when established, the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO).
Because of the unique command relationships in Korea, SOCKOR is the only theater SOC that is not a subordinate unified command. Established in 1988 as a functional component command of U.S. Forces, Korea (USFK), SOCKOR is the principal organization responsible for the integration of U.S. SOF in Korea. Its primary mission focus is simple: be ready to employ U.S. SOF and win, should war resume in Korea.





Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA) is an airborne sub-unified command within the Special Operations Forces of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). SOCAFRICA HQ is located at Kelley Barracks outside of Stuttgart, Germany.





United States Army Special Forces, also known as Green Berets, are a special operations force of the United States Army tasked with six primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, hostage rescue, and counter-terrorism. The first two emphasize language, cultural, and training skills in working with foreign troops. Other duties include combat search and rescue (CSAR), security assistance, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian demining, counter-proliferation, psychological operations, manhunts, and counter-drug operations; other components of the United States Special Operations Command or other U.S. government activities may also specialize in these secondary areas.
Their official motto is De oppresso liber (Latin: To Liberate the Oppressed), a reference to one of their primary missions, training and advising foreign indigenous forces.




The 75th Ranger Regiment (Airborne), also known as Rangers, is a Special Operations light infantry unit of the United States Army. The Regiment is headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia with battalions in Fort Benning, Hunter Army Airfield and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. It operates as a special operations force of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).
The Regiment is composed of one Special Troops Battalion and three, organizationally identical, rapidly-deployable light infantry special operations battalions with specialized skills that enable them to perform a variety of special operations missions. These missions include but are not limited to airborne, air assault, and direct action operations, raids, infiltration and exfiltration by air, land or sea in addition to airfield seizure, recovery of personnel and special equipment, and support of general purpose forces (GPF). Each of the Regiment's three line battalions rotates as the "Ranger Ready Force". This battalion is at a constant readiness to deploy and is expected to be able to respond anywhere in the world within 18 hours.



The United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), or USACAPOC(A), was founded in 1985. USACAPOC(A) is composed mostly of U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers in units throughout the United States. Its total size is approximately 10,000 Soldiers, making up about 94 percent of the DoD's Civil Affairs forces and 71 percent of the DoD's Psychological Operations forces. It is headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The current commander (2010) is Major General David N. Blackledge, who assumed command in September 2009, succeeding Major General David A. Morris who commanded the unit from 2007 to 2009.
Historically, USACAPOC(A) was one of four major subordinate commands comprising the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. In May 2006, the reserve component of USACAPOC(A) was transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve Command. The Army's active duty civil affairs and psychological operations units, along with the branches' training and doctrine, continues to fall under the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Army Reserve Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations make up 5 percent of the U.S. Army Reserve force, but account for about 20 percent of Army Reserve deployments.
Some proponents of USACAPOC(A) point to its units' success in humanitarian aid operations, and also in their ability to spread information to civilians. The command's special operators are some of the most highly trained soldiers in the U.S. Army, and bring civilian expertise not found among regular active duty Soldiers to the table. The projects they complete comprise many of the 'Good News' stories run in the American media each day about Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.




The next stages of this project will be focusing on Special Operations insignia of the US Navy, US Air Force and USMC. So far, there is no ETA on any of those. Stay Tuned.

As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle. To get to the corresponding galleries, you can just follow the direct links in the article.

As one of the rules I have established in the past, I will make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, to be used for the purpose of any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. I will also make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I have done on numerous occasions.


The above information provided in part by The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, Wikipedia and websites of certain Unified Combatant Commands


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

USMC Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) emblem


I have decided to continue my USMC Insignia series under the CafePress USMC Fan Portal program. After all, this is the only POD holding a valid USMC license, allowing their contributing artists to offer USMC designs commercially. So, my immediate plan is to recreate emblems of the major USMC commands. After those are complete, I plan to continue with USMC units, starting with divisions, and then moving to regiments and battalions. The next step would be USMC Aviation, and support units.
The first in the series was the emblem of United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC). It is a component command of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that comprises the Marine Corps' contribution to SOCOM. Its core capabilities are direct action, special reconnaissance and foreign internal defense. MARSOC has also been directed to conduct counter-terrorism, information operations, and unconventional warfare. MARSOC was officially activated on February 24, 2006 with ceremonies at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Here you can preview a smaller version of the design. As with all the other designs of my “USMC Insignia” series, this design will be available on a limited selection of products in my USMC Insignia 3D and Military Insignia 3D stores on CafePress

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

USMC Emblem – Part 3




The story of my “Military Insignia” USMC emblem was not quite over (see my previous posts). CafePress have decided that the emblem did not meet USMC guidelines for commercial use, and suspended my design from the marketplace. Of course, I was not convinced by explanations they gave me. I strongly suspected that there was certain misinterpretation of the USMC guidelines. After I have checked the CafePress marketplace, my suspicions grew stronger. The problem was that there were no USMC emblems available on the whole marketplace, none whatsoever. How could this be, that the most popular USMC design was not present on the USMC Fan Portal? The only reasonable explanation would be that guys at CafePress were mixing up the USMC Emblem with the USMC Seal, and as a result, were overly cautious by not allowing any of the circular USMC designs. (For the differences between the USMC Emblem and the USMC Seal see my previous articles on the topic).


Well, I wasn’t ready to give up at that point. I have decided to bring this up directly with USMC Trademark & Licensing Office. Long story short – my suspicions were confirmed at the highest level. I have received confirmation and approval for my design directly from USMC Trademark & Licensing. Furthermore, they volunteered to rectify the issue with CafePress. The very next day my design was re-instated on the CafePress marketplace. The CafePress team was also quite happy with the outcome. And why not? Finally, CafePress was able to offer the most popular USMC design.


To celebrate this final and exciting chapter of my USMC Emblem saga, I have come up with a couple of special edition designs, incorporating my authorized USMC Emblem design, smaller versions of which you can find on this page. It will be available on a limited selection of products on CafePress in my USMC Insignia 3D  and Military Insignia 3D stores.
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