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Special Operations: May 3, 2005
Despite problems with recruiting, and retention (hanging on to the people theyve got), SOCOM plans to expand the force by 2,300 troops over the next four years. This will include bringing in about a hundred additional SEALs, 500 more Special Forces, with the remainder being Civil Affairs, Psychological Warfare, and support (air and naval) troops. Higher bonuses and more fringe benefits are being offered to keep people in SOCOM. Recruiting has become more aggressive, and has benefited from the large number of army and marine infantry who now have combat experience, and feel more confident about trying out for SOCOM jobs. Such men are also easier to train. Combat experience is an enormous asset for SOCOM operators, as it gives candidates for those jobs a realistic sense of what they are getting into, and how well they will probably do.