MARINE FORCE RECONNAISSANCE—Hoorah!
Marine Force Reconnaissance (Force Recon) has been around since World War II. A friendly rivalry ensued between Force Recon and the SEALs, both of whom believed that they were the better-trained warriors.
Force Recon misses out on some of the more high profile missions that the SEALs, Rangers, and Green Berets are assigned. I didn’t understand why until I learned that the US Marine Corps is not a member of the US Special Operations Command, which includes those vaulted teams mentioned above.
However, Force Recon warriors are trained to do most of what the other special operations teams can do … and some things that they cannot. Like the SEALs, Force Recon hopefuls must undergo intense training.
First, they need to have three to five years of superior performance in the Corps and must hold the rank of corporal. Most trainees wash out in trying to accomplish the first hurdle. They must pass a physical screening test, which is directly followed by a PT test. This test includes a timed three-mile run, pullups, sit-up, and completing an obstacle course. Twice.
Then they move on to the swimming pool, where, wearing their uniforms, including boots, they jump in and swim 500 yards in 17 minutes. After this, they must tread water for one minute carrying their M16s. They then hoist on 50 pound rusksacks (like giant backpacks) and go on a 2 ½ hour march.
A written exam to test their professional competence follows, and, finally, if they make it this far, they are interviewed by Force Recon veterans who have the final say in determining whether or not the candidate has the right stuff to become part of Marine Force Reconnaissance.
May God bless you and the United States of America,