4th Force Hawaii


Recon Marine
Verified SOF
Jan 12, 2009
I was wondering if anyone here is currently serving with 4th Force out of Hawaii. I’m looking for some info on that unit because I would like to potentially join that outfit.

Semper Fi,
Are you an 0321? 4th Force is based out of Alameida Californina with a Det in Hawaii. I know the incoming I&I ops chief. What do you want to know?
I'm not a 0321 I'm lat moving to 0351, I'm just waiting on my prior service recruiter to finish my paper work and submit it to Head Quarters Marine Corps so I can go to SOI. Then I want to switch to the detachment in Hawaii and go through BRC. Right now, I'm just looking at how to make all of this possible. I'm joining the reserve unit out of Anchorage, Alaska (to get my foot in the door) but my ultimate goal is to get into recon through the reserves. Specifically I was curious if they allow block drills or if they would be any I&I spots opening up with the unit. I need a break from grad school and I really want to get into recon, I should have just done the indoc while I was in.

Thanks for your help sir,
Just something to be aware of...I don't know what rank you'll be coming back in as, but last I heard you have to be E-5 and below to go to BRC. That came from I&I 1st Sgt at 3rd Force. Unless of course you're a 0.
I'm still a Sergeant but I will probably be close to picking up staff once I do my lateral move. I'm definitely worried about picking up Staff Sergeant because I want to get into recon. If I pick up Staff Sergeant before making it to BRC I will probably transition to the O side.
No not yet. I'm waiting on my recruiters RI to approve my request which is proving to be a bitch before it gets sent off. According to my recruiter my paper work should be getting submitted this week, but I'm not holding my breath since it has taken me over two years to get back in.
Have you already talked with your career jammer? They usually won't let you lat move if you are too senior. If you are selected there is no chance, especially if you are not an 03 yet. I take it you are lat moving from a non infantry MOS? BRC can be a tough school to go through as a NCO from a non infantry background. We had two guys in my BRC class who passed all the physical stuff but were performance dropped from patrol week because they didn't perform to the level expected of an NCO. Now before everyone gets on my case, some of the best Recon Marines I have worked with were former computer techs, admin Marines and Motor T operators etc but they moved over when they were relatively junior and are all around incredible individuals.

You have to understand that there are no billets for SSgts at Recon Battalion other than platoon sergeants and sometimes gear NCOs. You wouldn't have enough time to gain the MOS knowledge, credibility and insert schools necessary to become a team leader if you are almost a SSgt. Nothing is worse than getting a inexperienced SSgt in your platoon and I have seen a lot of these guys get pushed over to the company HQ or the armory etc. I don't want to discourage you but I want you to know how it is at the Recon Battalions or Force Companies. Now I have always been active duty and I don't know what it is really like in the reserves besides what I have heard from my friends who came back from I&I.
I have not had a chance to speak with a career planner because I’m still trying to get back in on the reserve side. I’m lat moving from 1171 to 0351 and according to my prior service recruiter I should be close to staff, but he is not sure because I have broken time so I hope he is wrong. I really want to get into the reconnaissance field and I’m will to do whatever it takes. I should have just done it when my WO was pushing me to take the indoc before I got out. I wouldn’t have any problem listening to people who out rank me especially since they would be the resident experts. Maybe I will just have to ask to come back as a corporal or a boot sergeant, either one wouldn’t bother me the least bit. If the damn prior service recruiters and their chain of command didn’t take so stinking long to get me back in I wouldn’t be having this problem. I might just have to look into SF; however, I love the Corps so it would be hard to switch branches.
Thanks for your response,
If you have broken time you should come in as a buck Sgt or you may lose rank depending on how much broken time you have. Here is the problem, you won't have to listen to people who you out rank, because that's not how the Marine Corps works. As a Sgt you would be okay, but as a SSgt they are not going to make you a slack man in a team with a Sgt TL if you understand what I'm saying. You would just get put somewhere else like HQ. Things were different at Force where it wasn't uncommon to see GySgt Team Leaders. If I were you I would try to go to Infantry Squad Leaders course before BRC to get an infantry foundation, otherwise you might find yourself struggling a little bit at BRC. At the very least you would get a land nav refresher; you don't want to get dropped during nav phase.
My recruiter said I would be coming back in as a Sgt. The unit I’m joining has school seats for Squad Leaders Course so I’m definitely going to go to that school. I don’t want to get dropped from BRC at all. I’m going to call my prior service recruiter tomorrow to see what the deal with my rank is going to be because I don’t want to come back as a senior Sgt. I just can’t wait to get back in.
I don't know about Hawaii but I talked to a friend of mine and Almeida does the 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year bit. They do about 4 months predeployment if they get activated.
Hey man, don't worry too much about it. A buddy of mine lat moved straight into Recon from the Marine Corps band as a sergeant, and my unit sent him to SOI and Recon school without too much trouble. He's picked up SSgt since then, and he's operating as a TL in my platoon. He's not what I'd call experienced in recon, but he's a good staff NCO, so it balances out.

As for your promotion, since you're broken service like me they won't have much of a history on you as a sergeant and therefore won't have much of a fitrep to report. Your chances of a fast promotion are slim. You've got plenty of time.

On a side note, I don't understand why you'd waste the time going through a lat move to 0351 and then having to go to school back to become an 0321. Why not just lat move straight to 0321? It's gotta be easier to do on paper. Just get in touch with the Hawaii Det. or the guys in Alameda. They can get your package started.

Just a side note though, I hear that they just got back from a really fucked up deployment and most everyone worth a damn has left the unit. That leaves a lot of openings for you to fill, but doesn't say much for the commanders out there.
Thanks for the good information! I asked my prior service recruiter if I could just go straight into recon but since I have broken time he said it would be easiest if I just joined a unit and then switched once I got my foot in the door. However, I will speak with him again about trying to go straight into recon, which is what I would prefer. That is not good news about the unit, there is nothing worse than a unit full of jacked up commanders. I was with the wing for my first four so I know what it is like to have a horrible chain of command. The reason I wanted to lat move to 0351 was so I could get some grunt experience before I tried out for recon. But I will most definitely get in touch with someone out there because I don’t really want to mess around with a unit that I don’t plan on drilling with for very long.
I wonder if he means that it's easier for him...

Just saying...

You are most likely correct. I called my prior service recruiter today and he said he would call out to 4th force to see what they can do for me.
On a side note, I don't understand why you'd waste the time going through a lat move to 0351 and then having to go to school back to become an 0321. Why not just lat move straight to 0321? It's gotta be easier to do on paper. Just get in touch with the Hawaii Det. or the guys in Alameda. They can get your package started.

You can't lat move directly to 0321 anymore; all fleet moves have to be to 03xx in case you fail out of BRC you have something to fall back on. That being said, that just means you to SOI for 03xx and then to BRC
I just spoke with my recruiter and he conveyed to me that even if the unit in Hawaii wanted me, Head Quarters Marine Corps wouldn't approve my re-enlistment paper work for 4th Force. The RI, who is a Master Sergeant, told my recruiter to not even call out there. Can anyone shed some light on why this would be because my recruiter and I were both stumped. I told my recruiter that makes no sense and doesn't help the Marine Corps fill its ranks in any way plus it isn’t what I want. In my opinion, this whole process is nothing but a cluster fuck. I almost need some O power to get the ball moving on this. On a side note, thanks for the good info Teufel!
Maybe because you are too senior or because you are not already an 0321? Sometimes the reserves want you to join up with a unit near your home.
Alright Ritter, it sounds like you're in a bit of a fucked up situation but I have a plan. I actually did my 4 years active, 4 inactive and got my discharge in the mail before I decided to reenlist. The broken service caused them to change my pay entry base date to cover the gap. No big deal really. My prior service recruiter reenlisted me for one year of non-obligational service at my current unit to give me a chance to see if I liked it, and it worked out great.

I recommend doing the shortest reenlistment possible just to get the school slots you need, then once you've got SOI and squad leader's course knocked out you can jump over to a recon unit. If you don't want to pick up Staff Sergeant, then don't put anything on your fitreps. Simple as that. I'm pretty sure that they have to pass you over 3 times before they kick you out of the corps, so you'll have some time.

Other than that, there's always the officer route. There's almost no guarantee that you'll get to a recon unit that way, but there's a chance. Unfortunately you'll never operate in a team as an officer except in BRC, so it's kind of a waste. You'd have to go to MARSOC to get any real action as an Officer.