Anyone familiar with the United States military branches knows of the different elite troops, including the Army’s Green Berets and the Navy’s SEALS. But The U.S. Marines elite troops are a little known group, called the Force Recon Marines, that have their origins in World War II.
The Marine Corps Force Recon started as the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion in the South Pacific during World War II. That company was joined with an experimental recon unit in 1957 and formed the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company.
The Force Recon Marines were first used in combat curing the Viet Nam conflict but were deactivated until 1986. They have seen action in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They have also been deployed to hotspots such as East Timor.
The actions of the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company are little known outside of today’s military, but their actions have saved countless lives. Two Force Recon Marines have earned the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, 15 have won the Navy Cross by their heroic actions, and seven have received the Silver Star.
After completing regular Marine Corps training, a Force Recon Marine will need to complete a seven-month course at Marine Special Operations School, which will include training in direct action, close quarters combat, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, fire support, and survival evasion resistance and escape.
Role in today's military
Force Recon operates within a larger Marine force to provide vital information concerning the area of operations, especially in those instances where direct and personal observation is the best option.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jackie