Starting a MACO Company

When a person wants to start a new SOU, the person will contact the Deputy Director (Operations) or the MACO Commander and express a desire to become an Operative (If they are not already one) and a SOU, it is your job to point them in the proper direction. If the ship to which they belong has a MACO SOU (Only One SOU per chapter), they should attempt to join this SOU. If the ship does not have a SOU, they should be instructed in how to start a SOU if the CO of the ship is receptive to having a MACO SOU on board. If the CO does not wish to have a MACO SOU attached to the ship you should point the Operative in the direction of the nearest established Strategic Operations Unit in the area. An Operative may be a member of one ship and a member of another SOU if and only if the ship to which they belong will not allow an SOU onboard. No Operative may hold the position of Team Leader or Assistant Team Leader of a SOU on a ship on which they are not a member.

Persons who are not members of ships (unassigned members) may still form SOU’s (These SOU’s are no different then a SOU assigned to a ship and have the exact requirements and responsibilities as though they were assigned to a ship). Understand that all members of this type of SOU are either unassigned according to the SFI Database or are assigned to a chapter that does not have a SOU assigned to it.

If an Operative wishes to start a SOU, they should select a number, a nickname and motto to be submitted for approval. This request should be sent to the Quadrant Chief (if used) and the Deputy Director, Operations . MACO Operations Command must approve all SOU activation requests to insure that no duplication in SOU number and name is made. Once the information is checked by the Deputy Director, Operations, he will inform the Quadrant Chief/Sector Chief (If the positions are being used) and the appropriate Assistant Deputy Director, Intel Ops or Tac Ops of either the approval or rejection of the application. The Quadrant Chief/Sector Chief should then contact the applicant with the necessary information. If the application for number has been approved, the announcement may be made by the Quadrant Chief. No numbers may be assigned or announced without prior approval by the Deputy Director, Operations. (If the positions are not used, then these duties fall to either the Assistant Deputy Director, Intel Ops or Tac Ops).

Once the number, nickname and motto are selected and approved, the Quadrant Chief (if there is one) should introduce the SOU Team Leader to the Sector Chief (if there is one) and the Sector Chief should insure that the SOU Team Leader knows where to find and how to use the MACO web site. The new SOU Team Leader should be able to access the MACO Standard Operating Procedures Manual, understand the proper procedures for filing reports, and the use of the Chain of Command. The Sector and/or Quadrant Chiefs should insure that the SOU Team Leader is comfortable with the requirements of the MACO and answer any questions the SOU Team Leader or members of the SOU might have at this point. Be certain that the Operatives understand the use of the Chain of Command.

The Deputy Director (Operations) or his representative may contact new ships in their area to invite them to form Strategic Operations Units. Unassigned members may also be invited to become Operatives. (Follow the procedures explained above.)

A SOU Team Leader, Sector Chief or Quadrant Chief should make every effort to learn the operatives in his care. Whenever possible, personal interaction is recommended. If a SOU, Sector, or Quadrant event is being held, the Team Leader, Sector Chief or Quadrant Chief is encouraged to attend whenever possible. No Team Leader, Sector Chief or Quadrant Chief is expected to place himself in personal difficulty to do so. If the time, money or whatever, is not available it will not be held against the Team Leader, Sector Chief or Quadrant Chief if they do not attend.

However, the Sector/Quadrant Muster, generally held at the Regional Summit is the responsibility of the Sector Chief/Quadrant Chief. If you are unable to attend and oversee the event, you should appoint a representative to take your place and make sure that the entire Sector is aware of who this person is. Do not leave the muster to chance. This is your opportunity to insure that your Operatives are recognized, rewarded, and instructed in MACO policy and procedures.

Okay, Now What?
You know how the MACO is organized, who’s responsible for what, you’ve weighed the factors involved in setting up an SOU, and chosen a type of SOU and your individual branch. What next? Look up the SOU roster located on the MACO website at to check if the SOU number you wanted is not already being used. If it is being used, then you will have to choose another number that is not currently being used. Once you verify your SOU number your ready to request your SOU activation. On the MACO website, go to the SOU activation page. On this page you can request a SOU activation, deactivation or change information. The link is at

Once you filled out the required information on the Activation Request form, click submit and this will send your information to the MACO Director and the Deputy Director, Operations. Once the application is reviewed by the Deputy Director, Operations, he will notify the Assistant Deputy Director, Support who will update the MACO website with the SOU information.

The Deputy Director, Operations will also notify the appropriate Assistant Deputy Director (Tac Ops or Intel Ops) and the Sector Chief (if one is in assigned).

The new SOU Team Leader is then be contacted by the ADD (Tac Ops or Intel Ops) to welcome the SOU and review the reporting requirements and answer any further questions for the SOU Team Leader.

Now that you’re a Strategic Operations Unit, now its time for your team to earn their training certifications, because until they complete Grades 1 and 2, they may be in a Ranger, SEAL or MACO SOU etc. they are only candidates until they complete the specific branch Grade 2 certification.