The making of a recon marine is a process that entails years of training and experience.
The selection, Academics and physical training are some of the most rigorous in the military today.
The basic reconnaissance course teaches not only to be an amphibious warrior but also an unrivaled leader and critical thinker.
These men at the end of their training will be highly skilled and motivated shadow warriors.
The selection process of these candidates begin promptly at 4a.m., First with extended calisthenics and a physical fitness test.
Then a 1500 meter open ocean swim and concludes with an unknown distance forced march.
After completion of the physical portion comes the oral board and record review.
The oral board’s consist of various questions on general knowledge from senior enlisted marines and team leadership.
Record examination is when marines are scored on awards, marksmanship, general aptitude score and proficiency / conduct marks.
The marines will not know if they are selected until all of the evolutions are complete.
The initial portion of training begins with the “ropers” going into the training platoon.
The term “ropers” is borrowed from the Reconnaissance Indoctrination Platoon (indoc platoon) which dissolved in 2004.
The candidates will be called this until graduation from the basic reconnaissance course.
The second phase of training for the candidates is the basic recon course.
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This 65 day course is mentally and physically demanding.
The days are long and hard, usually starting at 4 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m.
A typical day at the course, is 3 hours of physical training, 6 hours of class and 3 more hours of physical exercise or patrolling.
The failure rate for this course is close to 85%!
The follow on courses after completion of the basic recon course are Basic parachutists course, combat diver course and joint terminal air controller course..
Upon successful completion of all of the courses, the marines will be assigned to a platoon and further to their respective teams.
Joining the team is a pivotal moment in the process.
It is where the marines use the basic skills they have learned and hone them into a craft.
The marines are taught to train as they fight.
All that is done in a training evolution is done as if they were in an actual combat situation.
The marines eat, sleep, shoot and suffer together.
This builds camaraderie and esprit de corp two key elements of the marine Corps.
In conclusion, the recon marine is an highly skilled, highly trained warrior.
He is loved by his commander, feared by the enemy and the envied by all who are not his equal.
The recon marine is a master at field-craft and must be able to work in all climates and excel in all situations.
He is a volunteer a quiet professional and a warrior.
He must be both mentally and physically exceptional because not only does his life, but the lives of his brothers depend on it.
A code that we live by is ” he who sheds blood with me will forever be called my brother”. We are a brotherhood we are MARINES.