Here is the new breakdown to clear up any confusion with
the changes in USMC RECON and the new structure of
RECON still exists! They have simply rearranged the
Force RECON teams into MARSOC and the Battalion RECON missions have been
largely unchanged. See the details at
Camp Pendleton’s Basic RECON Course. But in a nutshell, all future RECON
students must attend BRC – BASIC RECON COURSE. You can still do this as a new
Marine but you must first qualify after Boot camp and School of Infantry (SOI).
The link above will describe the standards that a RECON applicant must adhere
to before joining the Marine Occupational Specialty 0321 (RECON Marine).
RECON Battalions remained as part of the USMC Divisions and continue to
perform missions for the deployed USMC commander. BRC is open to Marines and
Navy Hospital Corpsman.
Here is a brief history of USMC RECON and MarSOC:
recent history(1990s-2005), Recon Battalions were Division assets
and focused primarily on Amphibious/Ground Reconnaissance and
Surveillance missions. This included both green side and urban R&S.
Then you had the Force Recon Company, which was a completely separate
unit that was a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) asset. They were
primarily the Close Quarter Batlle (CQB) platoon and had a deep
reconnaissance mission set. In reality, as much as no one really wanted
to say it, Force was the senior unit. Guys would start off in Bn Recon
and then move over to Force (Not always, but that's the way it generally
Now enter MARSOC. In 2006, both 1st and 2nd Force Recon Companies
became MARSOC. MARSOC was built on the backs of the RECON community and
took many of the RECON operators. Since then, the attitude at MARSOC
(At the senior Officer/Enlisted level) has become one of animosity
towards 0321's. So the Force Companies went away and weren't stood back
up, in name, until like the 2009/2010 timeframe. There was a lot of
transition and name changing during that time.
So here's what we have right now as of 2012:
There are three Recon Battalions.
- 1st Batt is out at Camp Pendleton, CA.
- 2nd Batt is out of Camp Lejeune, NC.
- 3rd Batt which is out at Camp Schwab, Okinawa.
The Battalion is broken down into three Companies (A, B, C) the Force
Recon Company, and a Headquarters and Support Company (H&S ). Recon
Battalion is controlled by their respective Marine Division and support
the Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU) with a Recon Plt. Additionally,
the Battalion had been doing deployments for the Division directly to
support OEF and any other taskings from the Marine Division.
The Force Recon Company supports the MEU's and is Operationally
Controlled by the Marine Expeditionary Force (The Parent Command of the
Division). However, Force is still administratively controlled by the
Recon Battalion and pretty much still gets tasked by the Division.
Recruiting Programs for Enlisting into RECON:
There is still the 0321 enlistment program. Here's what it will look
- Bootcamp-13 weeks
- Infantry Training Battalion, Basic Rifleman Course-12 weeks, either at
SOI-East or SOI-West
- Report to Marine's Awaiting Reconnaissance Training Platoon (MART
Plt) - This is the new RIP (RECON Indoc Program).
It's a semi-formalized course that is taught at the BRC Schoolhouse at
Camp Pendleton. Students will be in MART for anywhere from 4-8+ weeks.
A lot depends on the student, how many seats are open in the next BRC
class, etc. This is a prep course (Similar to BUD/S Prep Course) and
also a place for guys that get rolled back to go and wait for the next
course to start.
- Basic RECON Course - BRC - Twelve weeks of advanced training
that is challenging both physically and mentally. The course is located
at Camp Pendleton with the exception of a two week Amphibious Phase in
Coronado on the bay side of the Naval Amphibious Base.
There is also a pipeline that is setup so the RECON candidates will go
to BRC, then to Airborne, SERE and Marine Combatant Diver Course in
The RECON PFT is more involved and in-depth. Here's what the new
Reconnaissance Physical Assessment Test (conducted Annually):
It will be broken down into 2 separate tests. The first test is the
RPAT and the second test is the SOCOM Dive Screener (Aquatics
The RECON candidates start off with the standard Marine Corps PFT and
RECON Physical Assessment Test (RPAT) - 500 yd swim,
pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run in boots / pants, 12 mile 50 #
ruck, and two USMC obstacle courses.
RECON Aquatics Competency Test (RACT) - This is a variety of
skills required of any Special Operator. To prepare practice
swimming underwater 25m, treading water with no hands, floating,
bobbing, tying knots underwater (bowline, clove hitch, square knot,
right angle knot, figure 8 knot,
feet / hands tied, standard Navy drownproofing
entering water from height, inflating blouse / trousers to float for 10
minutes, and entering water with full load of gear and remove gear after
RECON MISSION: The mission of Force RECON is to
“conduct amphibious reconnaissance, deep ground reconnaissance, surveillance,
battle space shaping, and limited scale raids in support of the Marine
Expeditionary Force (MEF), other Marine air-ground task forces, or a joint
All future RECON students must attend BRC –
BASIC RECON COURSE taught at the School of Infantry (SOI) West RECON Training
Company in Camp Pendleton, CA. The Basic RECON Course consists of three
Phase 1 is four weeks long and focuses on Marine individual
physical skills such as running, high repetition PT, obstacle courses, ocean
swims with fins, rucking, land navigation, helicopter rope suspension
training, communications and supporting arms.
Phase 2 is three weeks long and
concentrates on small unit tactics, mission planning and includes a nine-day
exercise in full mission profiles.
Phase 3 is two weeks and
focuses on the maritime mission. Held in Coronado, CA, the Marine will
conduct amphibious reconnaissance, boat operations and nautical navigation.
You can still try out for RECON as a new Marine recruit,
but you must first qualify after Boot camp and School of Infantry (SOI). The
RECON applicant must adhere to the following standards before joining the
Marine Occupational Specialty 0321 (RECON Marine):
US Citizen, score 105 or higher on the General Technical portion of the ASVAB
Completed Infantry Training Battalion (enlisted Marines)
3rd Class Swimmer Qualification
Score at least 225 on your PFT by Phase 1
No color vision deficiencies
At least 20/200 vision
RECON Battalions remained as part of the
USMC Divisions and continue to perform missions for the deployed USMC
commander. BRC is open to Marines and Navy Hospital Corpsman.
information see the RECON Websites listed in this article.
"This is a commercial
site and not affiliated in any way with the Federal Government - The use of
the words USMC or MARSOC does not imply nor infer any endorsement, either
explicit or implicit, by the Federal Government or any military unit"
Download the E book
NOW at the link:
USMC RECON Twelve Week Workout
TESTIMONIAL: First of all
I want to thank you for the fitness information you provide for all
walks of life. I've been in the Marine Corps coming up on 8 years now
and I have found myself in phase 2 at the
Basic Reconnaissance Course. I've been
trying to get into this community since I was a boot in the fleet and
the last couple years I have totally dedicated myself to obtaining the
title Recon Marine. I purchased your Recon Prep a while back and I can't
preach about it enough. I tell all of my Marines about the program, the
design of the program is amazing and by following the program it has
allowed me to push myself beyond my old limitations and I now find
myself beating the younger Marines in almost all events to include the
pool and long rucks (with bad knees) So again thank you! As I mentioned
above I'm in phase 2 of BRC which is our Amphib phase down at NAB
Stew Smith, CSCS, former Navy SEAL and fitness writer is certified by the
National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and
Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). You can find more information about his
training methods at