Marine Reconnaissance
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  1. #1

    Marine Reconnaissance

    The Marine Recon we know today dates back to W.W.II. Before 1944 the MR were primarily scout/sniper unit. In April 1944 a two company amphibious reconnaissance battalion were formed. They started operting with UDT (underwater Demolition Team),to conduct beach reconnaissance and hydrographic survey. The MR along with UDT reconned for the landing at Iwo Jima in 1945.

    During the war in Korea the MR and UDT did a series of raids on Korea's east coast, destroying railroads tunnels and bridges. At a time the MR and UDT operated some 200 miles behind enemy lines. In 1951 the MR made the first helicopter
    assault in the Marine Corps History.

    When the Marines landed in Vietnam in 1965, The MR were there to support their respective Units. In Vietnam the MR conducted deep and distant reconnaissance patrols. They mostly operated in seven-man teams performing the so called Stingray'
    operations. The last MR left Vietnam in 1971.

    During the 1970s--1980s the MR went through some changes. 23-man deep reconnaissance platoons were created to compensate for the seducement of the MR after the Vietnam War. The basic Recon teams were still the four-man teams. When the hostage
    recovery program was started in 1976 with federal law enforement agencies and the army Special Forces, some of the MR units were assigned to Direct Action Missions. 1977,snipers were again a part of the Marine Units.

    In October 1983 the MR took part in the invasion of Grenada and in 1989 they went into panama in Operation 'Just Cause'.In 1990 MR was deployed in the gulf. Here they scouted the front lines of the Iraqi forces. They found ways through enemy lines for the Marine invasion. Prior to the ground war the Marine Recon took 238 prisoners.

    On 2 June 2000 the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion was reactivated. A little history is in order to explain the deactivation which occurred in 1992.

    Marine Corp Order 5401.5 date August 1992 USMC Force Structure
    Implementation Plan.This plan laid out the framework for the Corps of the future.In shrinking to 159,000 by fiscal year 1997, the Marine Reconnaissance Battalions were the first to be eliminated.

    The Marine Reconnaissance Battalion was reactivated under the Command of Lt.Col. Douglas M. King at Camp Schwab. At the time of the reactivation 5th Force Company and 3rd Recon Company were combined to from the present battalion.

    It is with great pride to all of us that the unit so many of us served is once again whole.

    Thank you all for the Sacrifice and Service to our Country.

    Blinded Marine Recon 1/3 RVN 70-71

    What Reconnaissance Company were/are you with?

  2. #2

    Marine recon


    Interesting reading on evolution of recon. I was reading General Twining'
    s No Bended Knee and ran across mention of Col .William Whaling . Is this the origin of Marine Recon if not Scout/Snipers ? Interesting to wonder about Recon .

    Semper Fidelis ,


  3. #3

    The Amphibious Reconnaissance Doctrine 1906

    Major Dion Willams.USMC.Wrote the first American doctrine for amphibous reconnaissance in 1906. in it he wrote only specially talented and experienced men should be assigned to this work,listing among the requisite qualities a through technical knowlege, a quick and energetic nuture to ensure the work is accomplished without unnecessary delay, a sufficient resourcefulness to overcome unexpected obstacles, a reticence to ensure results are kept confidential and above all, exactitude of work.

    Thank you for your Sacrifice and Service to our Country

  4. #4
    All this time I thought Marine Recon derived from The Marine Raiders of WWII.
    Goes to show you ,you learn something new every day.

  5. #5

    1906 good lord !! You have obviously been doing research on this .

    The Boxer Rebellion must have have provided some impetus for that kind of creative thought . Fascinating .

    I was never recon . But I have always admired and respected recon who did a hell of a job in the Nam.

    Hope you don't mind my questions but I am interested in an elite oiutfit like recon that the Corps seems to use only when the bullits fly.A history of Marine Recon would be a worthy pursuit .

    Semper Fidelis ,


  6. #6
    Some of you guys might enjoy the books written by Bruce "Doc" Norton. He was one of our Corpsman in 69-70 in 3rd Force, and later became a Marine Officer and retired a Major. Also try, Force Recon Command by LtCol Alex Lee, one of our COs in 3rd Force.


  7. #7


    Looks good Finger thanks .

    SF ,


  8. #8
    Another I should have added was Bruce Meyers' Fortune Favors the Brave


  9. #9

    American Indians Scouts A long Tradition of Participation

    Sgthermogenesm: The birth of Reconnaissance/Scouts.
    I think they {Indians} can be made of excellent use, as Scouts and Light troops. Gen George Washington, 1778.

    American Indians have participate with distinction in the United States military actions for more than 200 years.Their courage,determination,and fighting spirit were recognized by American military leaders as early as the 18th century. May tribes were involed in the War of 1812,and Indians fought for both sides as auxiliary troops in the Civil War. Scouting the enemy was recognized as a particular skill of the Native American soldier.In 1866,the U.S.Army established its Indian Scouts to exploit this aptitude. The Scouts were active in the American West in the 1800s and early 1900s,Accompanying Gen John J Pershing's expedition to Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916. They were deactivated in 1947 when their last member retired from the army in ceremonies at Ft Huachuca, Arizona. Native Americans from Indian Territory were also recruited by Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders and saw action in Cuba in the Spanish-American War in 1898.As the military entered the 20th century,American Indians had already
    made a substantial contribution through military service and were on the brink of playing an even larger role.

    Thank you all for your Sacrifice and Service to our Country. Semper-Fi

  10. #10
    The fieldcraft of the Native Americans was used and abused by both the Brits and French in the French and Indian War (aka: Seven Years War).

    I always thought I found the first recorded recon mission was to be located in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 13.


  11. #11

    I looked Numbers up in my wife's bible .Looks to me like the first recorded .( Before Troy ?)

  12. #12
    If Troy actually existed and there is much debate, it happened between 1150 to 1300 BC. Herodotus says around 1250BC, about the same time as the Exodus. So add forty years of wandering makes it about 1210 for the Hebrews.


  13. #13
    Finger ,

    I used to think I was well read .... Very good .

    The base library at Lejuene always was excellent but I had missed Herodotus '
    Histories .



  14. #14
    Ha Ha thanks I'm a History major/nut and a fan of biblical studies. I'm retired now and have a lot of time to read and pontificate.


  15. #15
    I am a history nut myself and it is interesting to have another door opened . Thanks for sharing that knowledge.



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