USMC Force Recon conducts VBSS training

HoosierAnnie

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OK Rav, has my chatty bitch of a muse been talking to you to try to convince me to use the idea "she's" been harping on me about? Change the boat for an oil platform and this is just what I've been researching.
 

dknob

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I am so curious as to the future of Force Recon.

Type A personalities who volunteer for grueling training/selection (such as FR) sooner or later are going to realize Force Recon is not where the action is. What's to keep all these dudes from just jumping ship over to MARSOC?? How do the selection courses differ?

FR is such a peculiar unit that I still can't really understand. The reason I ask is because for so many years before MARSOC, Marines who want to be in special operations try the recon route as it is the closest thing the USMC had. But now with MARSOC in place, why do hoorahs seek out BRC which im sure is no cake walk when they can go to MARSOC?

Just want to point out that this is not a comparison similar to why Rangers 0ver SF or vice versa.
 

Teufel

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Pride and esprit de corps mostly. MARSOC has been having leadership issues at the field grade officer level that have made some individuals leave or EAS.
 

dknob

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Pride and esprit de corps mostly. MARSOC has been having leadership issues at the field grade officer level that have made some individuals leave or EAS.
That makes sense. Marine Recon has a rich history.
Growing up, Force Recon was probably the only SOF unit I've ever heard about. And reading up on them I always thought that deep reconnaissance meant either doing Close Target Recces or straight up setting up a hide site in the backyard of Mullah Omar's mansion in November of 2001 (all examples). Now, being in the community and seeing how things REALLY work - I've realized that cool-guy recce operations are solely reserved for the highest echelons.
So if DA was taken away FORECON and they were left with just the recce aspect, then what are they really doing out there in theatre? Cus sure as shit they aren't doing CTRs on potential enemy locations.

I know you have a FR upringing - when you were there, was it all you thought it was in terms of assignments/missions?
 

Hitman2/3

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That makes sense. Marine Recon has a rich history.
Growing up, Force Recon was probably the only SOF unit I've ever heard about. And reading up on them I always thought that deep reconnaissance meant either doing Close Target Recces or straight up setting up a hide site in the backyard of Mullah Omar's mansion in November of 2001 (all examples). Now, being in the community and seeing how things REALLY work - I've realized that cool-guy recce operations are solely reserved for the highest echelons.
So if DA was taken away FORECON and they were left with just the recce aspect, then what are they really doing out there in theatre? Cus sure as shit they aren't doing CTRs on potential enemy locations.

I know you have a FR upringing - when you were there, was it all you thought it was in terms of assignments/missions?

I spent all of my Recon time with Battalion, and it starts off being what you think it will be. Hard realistic training, getting a little more leway on how you conduct business, better gear, more schools, and solid guys. However, for me personaly as I got older and learned more about SOCOM and what types of missions go to who I wanted more. Now Force was doing more than we were but not by a huge margine. They were doing targeting but it was mostly on a local level as opposed to a theater or strategic level. Don't get me wrong I loved being a Recon Marine, technically still am, a lot of tradition and pride in that, but in order for me to do what I thought I would be doing with Recon I had to take it to the next level. I'm happy with the operational side of things over here. Getting to do all the "cool guy" stuff I thought I'd be doing as a Recon Marine.

Like Teufel said problems at the field grade level are there, but they appear to be getting sorted out. Things can be better, but if there is one thing I've learned over the past 11 years is that something can always be better and if you look hard enough you can find something to complain about no matter where you are.

Going back to your first question about why guys would go to Force instead of MARSOC. These days Foce is made up of younger guys at the team level vs back in the day when it was mostly older guys, minus the TL and maybe ATL so a lot of them just don't have the time in to try out for MARSOC. Or in the case of TL or PLT Sgt's they have too much time. And then there are people like a buddy of mine who think there has to be a natural progression. In his case Infantry, Sniper, Recon, Force Recon, and now even though he wants to do it and would be awesome he'll be to senior for MARSOC by the time he can take selection. That plus what Teufel said about wanting to be a part of that tradition.
 

dknob

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I spent all of my Recon time with Battalion, and it starts off being what you think it will be. Hard realistic training, getting a little more leway on how you conduct business, better gear, more schools, and solid guys. However, for me personaly as I got older and learned more about SOCOM and what types of missions go to who I wanted more. Now Force was doing more than we were but not by a huge margine. They were doing targeting but it was mostly on a local level as opposed to a theater or strategic level. Don't get me wrong I loved being a Recon Marine, technically still am, a lot of tradition and pride in that, but in order for me to do what I thought I would be doing with Recon I had to take it to the next level. I'm happy with the operational side of things over here. Getting to do all the "cool guy" stuff I thought I'd be doing as a Recon Marine.

Like Teufel said problems at the field grade level are there, but they appear to be getting sorted out. Things can be better, but if there is one thing I've learned over the past 11 years is that something can always be better and if you look hard enough you can find something to complain about no matter where you are.

Going back to your first question about why guys would go to Force instead of MARSOC. These days Foce is made up of younger guys at the team level vs back in the day when it was mostly older guys, minus the TL and maybe ATL so a lot of them just don't have the time in to try out for MARSOC. Or in the case of TL or PLT Sgt's they have too much time. And then there are people like a buddy of mine who think there has to be a natural progression. In his case Infantry, Sniper, Recon, Force Recon, and now even though he wants to do it and would be awesome he'll be to senior for MARSOC by the time he can take selection. That plus what Teufel said about wanting to be a part of that tradition.

Thank you very much for the awesome answer.

I did notice a lot of those studs in the VBSS video looking a little young.
 

Teufel

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Force Recon has its share of growing pains too. A lot more junior guys in the platoons than in the past. We'll see how everything pans out. There are a lot of things afoot at the pentagon for both MARSOC and Force.
 

DA SWO

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Force Recon has its share of growing pains too. A lot more junior guys in the platoons than in the past. We'll see how everything pans out. There are a lot of things afoot at the pentagon for both MARSOC and Force.
Hopefully budget issues won't kill those plans.
 

tigerstr

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I spent all of my Recon time with Battalion, and it starts off being what you think it will be. Hard realistic training, getting a little more leway on how you conduct business, better gear, more schools, and solid guys. However, for me personaly as I got older and learned more about SOCOM and what types of missions go to who I wanted more. Now Force was doing more than we were but not by a huge margine. They were doing targeting but it was mostly on a local level as opposed to a theater or strategic level. Don't get me wrong I loved being a Recon Marine, technically still am, a lot of tradition and pride in that, but in order for me to do what I thought I would be doing with Recon I had to take it to the next level. I'm happy with the operational side of things over here. Getting to do all the "cool guy" stuff I thought I'd be doing as a Recon Marine.

Like Teufel said problems at the field grade level are there, but they appear to be getting sorted out. Things can be better, but if there is one thing I've learned over the past 11 years is that something can always be better and if you look hard enough you can find something to complain about no matter where you are.

Going back to your first question about why guys would go to Force instead of MARSOC. These days Foce is made up of younger guys at the team level vs back in the day when it was mostly older guys, minus the TL and maybe ATL so a lot of them just don't have the time in to try out for MARSOC. Or in the case of TL or PLT Sgt's they have too much time. And then there are people like a buddy of mine who think there has to be a natural progression. In his case Infantry, Sniper, Recon, Force Recon, and now even though he wants to do it and would be awesome he'll be to senior for MARSOC by the time he can take selection. That plus what Teufel said about wanting to be a part of that tradition.

No disrespect, I am just an outsider looking in, but ( excluding the fact Rangers are a part of SOCOM) I see the same relation between Rangers and Special Forces- where the first also serve as a "feeder" for the second- evolving gradually between Recon-Force Recon and MARSOC. Even nowadays according toMARSOCs site, you can apply as a E-7 with up to 17 years of service.

You can also apply as an E-4 but I see this changing when they get their numbers up to where they want them. Even now you have to be an E-5 to get the new 0372 MOS, if I am not mistaken.

My point is that MARSOC will gradually go the Special Forces way, in the "by, through, with" sort of indirect side of the fence, with older more mature people.

So, some aggresive Recon young studs will prefer Force Recon anyway, for a while and when they get in higher grades will cross over to MARSOC ( not many places for an E-6, E-7 and E-8 on a Force Recon Platoon) in order to remain part of a small operational Team.

Some others will cross over sooner, and then some more will stay in Recon-Force Recon for their whole career.

I suspect that getting to be "dual cool" as a part of the FR pipeline, plays a role too in atrracting people from the Recon community, since its not a sure thing in MARSOC even if you are a CSO. And maybe being a part of a much smaller more "personal" community

In terms of missions you obviously know much better ( and Teufel too) but I think FR has seen its fair share of action and missions working for the Corps especially in Afghanistan.

Again this is just an outsiders opinion, I hope you bear with me.
 

dknob

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No disrespect, I am just an outsider looking in, but ( excluding the fact Rangers are a part of SOCOM) I see the same relation between Rangers and Special Forces- where the first also serve as a "feeder" for the second- evolving gradually between Recon-Force Recon and MARSOC. Even nowadays according toMARSOCs site, you can apply as a E-7 with up to 17 years of service.

You can also apply as an E-4 but I see this changing when they get their numbers up to where they want them. Even now you have to be an E-5 to get the new 0372 MOS, if I am not mistaken.

My point is that MARSOC will gradually go the Special Forces way, in the "by, through, with" sort of indirect side of the fence, with older more mature people.

So, some aggresive Recon young studs will prefer Force Recon anyway, for a while and when they get in higher grades will cross over to MARSOC ( not many places for an E-6, E-7 and E-8 on a Force Recon Platoon) in order to remain part of a small operational Team.

Some others will cross over sooner, and then some more will stay in Recon-Force Recon for their whole career.

I suspect that getting to be "dual cool" as a part of the FR pipeline, plays a role too in atrracting people from the Recon community, since its not a sure thing in MARSOC even if you are a CSO. And maybe being a part of a much smaller more "personal" community

In terms of missions you obviously know much better ( and Teufel too) but I think FR has seen its fair share of action and missions working for the Corps especially in Afghanistan.

Again this is just an outsiders opinion, I hope you bear with me.

For the September SFAS course, my good friend who I served with in the Rangers said that out of the hundreds of students attending - he was one of 5 Rangers.

Rangers isnt a feeder unit for SF. Most guys leave the military or stay in the Rangers for 20. For those that move to other units voluntarily - more end up in CAG then they do in SF. In my time with the 75th, I've known 4 people that went to SF.

I concur with goon's assessment of your comment.
 

tigerstr

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I am sorry my comment came across in such a way. My bad, for using the term "feeder".

Also, lack of SA on my part, since I do know about the friendly rivalry between Rangers and SF.

I have the utmost respect for both.

But I believe there was a time not so long ago, when solid advise for a young soldier with high aspirations, was to cut his teeth in the Rangers ( when they were more of a light infantry special operations force) get really proficient in soldiering and later on try out for Special Forces where they would also have to be teachers, learn the basics of a language and operate as a part of a small independent team, for extended periods, with other nationalities

A few years back, I believe, it was not very usual for a soldier to spend his entire 20 years with the Rangers, as he was gaining rank. I was referring to that era. And Special Forces at the time did not usually recruit from the Street.

So crossing over was not that unusual, although I did not argue Rangers were ever a majority as Special Forces candidates, as my comment may have implied.

Anyway, I was just trying to make a point about moving over from Recon-Force Recon, to MARSOC, at an older more mature age.
 

tigerstr

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Hell, I knew I did not just make it up or find it in my X-Box, as lindy kindly suggested:

“By far the most important reason for expanding Ranger force structure, however,
is the fact that it serves as a critical feeder organization for SF ODAs and SMUs. As the
Downing Commission explained to Congress:
Rangers become the prime source of candidates after 3 years or 4 years in the Rangers
to go in to regular Army Special Forces and into the Delta force. And so what it does is
it gives you a better pool to draw from, or it gives you a larger pool, so that you could
build those forces “…

This is an extract from "Special Operations Forces: Future Challengesand Opportunities" written in 2008 by Robert Martinage when he was Vice President at the Center of Strategic and Budgetary Assesments, and before he became Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities.(SO/LIC & IC)

As I stated before I am just an outsider looking in, but I am trying to have my ducks in a row, when commenting in this forum, obviously just with open source available information, and no personal experience.

Again, I ment no disrespect for the Rangers, I was trying to make a point.
 

SkrewzLoose

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Well, there you have it gents. The VP of Bean Counters Inc. knows more than you guys with those funny looking green and brown tags under your name. You should have gone somewhere to get a fancy title instead of enlisting in the military. :rolleyes:
 
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