first published on February 18, 2018 by Josh
Force Reconnaissance teams are one of the most storied groups in the history of the United States Marine Corps. They draw roots all the way back to World War Two where they were known as the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion. Here, they were used to reconnoiter beach heads to give commanders the best possible options to kick off amphibious assaults. They reported directly to the landing force commanders, and were used specifically by that individual to get the best possible picture of the situation on the ground before an amphibious attack was mounted on islands in the Pacific Ocean.
It is said that these early Force Reconnaissance teams, along with the Navy’s Naval Combat Demolition Units (predecessor to the early UDTs) are some of the first men to launch full-scale operations from submerged submarines. Their mission set specifically tasked them with reconnoitering possible beachheads for amphibious invasions and clearing possible obstacles, before moving inland to keep a watch out for possible enemy activity in the areas that the landing force may come into direct contact with. They would do all of this deep reconnaissance days in advance of the landing force, and would generally remain far behind enemy lines unsupported the entire time they were on-shore.
In 2006, Force Reconnaissance was split up into two different units. The first unit would remain as Force Reconnaissance, and the second unit would become Marine Special Operations Teams, (MSOT) also known as MARSOC, or the Marine Raiders. This split allowed Force Reconnaissance teams that were being used for direct action missions in areas of operations like Afghanistan and Iraq to focus back on their primary mission-sets of intelligence gathering and visit, board, search, and seize (VBSS) operations. While they are still capable of conducting the same duties as MARSOC, and MARSOC capable of conducting the same mission-sets as Force Recon, this overlap allowed the Marine Corps much more flexibility in combat operations around the world.
The motto of a Force Reconnaissance Marine is as follows:
Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me.
Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—The title of Recon Marine is my honor.
Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.
On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.
Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart. A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.
Swift, Silent, Deadly.