.4th Force Recon Questions - Non-prior Service

kbone

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Jul 7, 2017
Messages
7
Location
New Jersey
Good evening all,

I am currently a civilian living in New Jersey but I am making the move to Hawaii in two weeks. I am very interested in joining the 4th Force Recon Company in Hawaii, and have been training for this for about a year now. I have a few specific questions that I haven't been able to find the answers to. This is because I was told by recruiters here in Jersey that I need to move to Hawaii first before I can talk to recruiters about joining 4th Force. So first off, is it possible to enlist directly into the 4th Force Recon Company, or do they only take prior service Marines? I am aware that in active duty, Force Recon is only available to prior service Recon Marines, so I am wondering if this is also the case on the reserve side. Also, if it is possible to obtain a UZ contract with the company, is there first a Recon screening process to get the contract, like how it is for lat movers? Lastly, if anyone could enlighten me on what the pipeline is like it would be greatly appreciated. I have read varying answers to this question from it being about 9 months of nonstop training, to after boot camp there can be a delay upwards of 2 years till you can proceed to BRPC and BRC. Thank you in advance for the responses.

Respectfully,
Kbone
 

butler

Recon H&S
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
18
Kbone,

I am currently in 4th Force Reconnaissance Company (4th Force) in Alameda, CA.

Four caveats:

1. I am not a Reconnaissance Marine but a support Marine serving in Headquarters and Service (H&S) Platoon.
2. I started off as active duty, transitioned to the Reserves after four years, and joined 4th Force as an inter-unit transfer (IUT) three years after that, so I am not as familiar with the process of joining a reserve unit straight from the civilian world.
3. I am most familiar with operations at Alameda; I am not as familiar with the accession process for Marines with our Detachment (Det) at Kaneohe Bay, HI.
4. See #1.

So first off, is it possible to enlist directly into the 4th Force Recon Company, or do they only take prior service Marines? I am aware that in active duty, Force Recon is only available to prior service Recon Marines, so I am wondering if this is also the case on the reserve side."
It is absolutely possible to join 4th Force directly as a civilian. Now, that being said, while the majority of H&S Marines are first-term enlistees straight from the civilian world (thus, they're now PFCs, LCpls, etc...), the majority of Reconnaissance Marines have prior active service and joined 4th Force from 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (1st Recon), 2nd Recon, Marine Special Operations Battalion (MSOB)/Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), and so on (thus, they're now Sgts, SSgts...). The Reconnaissance Platoons are consequently "top-heavy" in terms of rank and experience. They do take people straight off the street, but*** (see below)....

Also, if it is possible to obtain a UZ contract with the company, is there first a Recon screening process to get the contract, like how it is for lat movers? Lastly, if anyone could enlighten me on what the pipeline is like it would be greatly appreciated. I have read varying answers to this question from it being about 9 months of nonstop training, to after boot camp there can be a delay upwards of 2 years till you can proceed to BRPC and BRC."
This is my understanding (from what I've seen here in Alameda) for those infantry Marines desiring to become Reconnaissance Marines:
1. We've had both initial entry Marines joining 4th Force as well as infantry Marines from other units IUTing into our unit. If you're an initial entry Marine, then yes, that's a solid six month commitment right up front (between Recruit Training at the Depot and the School of Infantry [SOI]).
2. These infantry Marines (both initial entry and IUTs) "drill" for a bit with 4th Reconnaissance Battalion (4th Recon) in San Antonio, TX -- not 4th Force. In other words, our Reconnaissance Platoons here in Alameda aren't "training up" Marines to get ready for the Basic Reconnaissance Course (BRC). All the 0321s here in Alameda are BRC graduates already.
3. Once the cadre at 4th Recon decides, the Marine will be accorded an opportunity to take the Reconnaissance screener.
4. If he passes that, the Marine goes to BRC.
5. If he passes that, the Marine is assigned to one of the teams within the Reconnaissance Platoons at 4th Force. Jump, dive, and other follow-on training awaits (you don't just do everything at once, however -- attendance at follow-on training depends on the drill schedule, funding, personal availability, etc.)
6. If, however, he fails at any point along the way, this infantry Marine retain his original infantry MOS and is assigned to another reserve infantry unit.

This is my understanding (from what I've seen here in Alameda) for those non-infantry Marines desiring to become Reconnaissance Marines:
1. These non-infantry (H&S) Marines perform their normal duties here at 4th Force.
2. They train on their own time to get ready for what's next.
3. If the command says he's good to go, the H&S Marine can attend one of the quarterly Reconaissance screeners.
4. If he passes that, the Marine goes to BRC. I believe he also goes back to SOI for the full infantry training package (as opposed to the Marine Combat Training [MCT] that he previously did as a non-infantry Marine), but I am unsure regarding the timeline on that.
5. If he passes BRC, the Marine changes his MOS from whatever it was before to the 0321 MOS. He eventually rejoins the unit, but he bypasses H&S Platoon and gets assigned to one of the teams within the Reconnaissance Platoons at 4th Force. Jump, dive, and other follow-on training awaits (again, depending on the drill schedule, funding, personal availability, etc.)
6. If he fails at any point along the way, this non-infantry Marine returns to H&S Platoon and resumes his normal support duties (administration, intelligence, logistics, communication, etc).

***Because of #6 -- the high failure rate -- the overwhelming majority of Reconnaissance Marines at 4th Force are prior service. Since the vetting, evaluation, and screening (namely BRC) for these 0321s is already in the books, the transition to a reserve Reconnaissance unit is a lot easier.

However -- yes, it is possible to join directly from the civilian world. Yes, there are Reconnaissance Marines at 4th Force who are not prior active duty service, but came straight from mom and dad's house. It is a long, difficult, and uncertain road, but it has been done.

If you wish, send me a private message and I'll put you in touch with someone from Hawaii.

Very Respectfully,
Butler
 
Last edited:

kbone

Unverified
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
7
Location
New Jersey
Kbone,

I am currently in 4th Force Reconnaissance Company (4th Force) in Alameda, CA.

Four caveats:

1. I am not a Reconnaissance Marine but a support Marine serving in Headquarters and Service (H&S) Platoon.
2. I started off as active duty, transitioned to the Reserves after four years, and joined 4th Force as an inter-unit transfer (IUT) three years after that, so I am not as familiar with the process of joining a reserve unit straight from the civilian world.
3. I am most familiar with operations at Alameda; I am not as familiar with the accession process for Marines with our Detachment (Det) at Kaneohe Bay, HI.
4. See #1.



It is absolutely possible to join 4th Force directly as a civilian. Now, that being said, while the majority of H&S Marines are first-term enlistees straight from the civilian world (thus, they're now PFCs, LCpls, etc...), the majority of Reconnaissance Marines have prior active service and joined 4th Force from 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (1st Recon), 2nd Recon, Marine Special Operations Battalion (MSOB)/Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), and so on (thus, they're now Sgts, SSgts...). The Reconnaissance Platoons are consequently "top-heavy" in terms of rank and experience. They do take people straight off the street, but*** (see below)....



This is my understanding (from what I've seen here in Alameda) for those infantry Marines desiring to become Reconnaissance Marines:
1. We've had both initial entry Marines joining 4th Force as well as infantry Marines from other units IUTing into our unit. If you're an initial entry Marine, then yes, that's a solid six month commitment right up front (between Recruit Training at the Depot and the School of Infantry [SOI]).
2. These infantry Marines (both initial entry and IUTs) "drill" for a bit with 4th Reconnaissance Battalion (4th Recon) in San Antonio, TX -- not 4th Force. In other words, our Reconnaissance Platoons here in Alameda aren't "training up" Marines to get ready for the Basic Reconnaissance Course (BRC). All the 0321s here in Alameda are BRC graduates already.
3. Once the cadre at 4th Recon decides, the Marine will be accorded an opportunity to take the Reconnaissance screener.
4. If he passes that, the Marine goes to BRC.
5. If he passes that, the Marine is assigned to one of the teams within the Reconnaissance Platoons at 4th Force. Jump, dive, and other follow-on training awaits (you don't just do everything at once, however -- attendance at follow-on training depends on the drill schedule, funding, personal availability, etc.)
6. If, however, he fails at any point along the way, this infantry Marine retain his original infantry MOS and is assigned to another reserve infantry unit.

This is my understanding (from what I've seen here in Alameda) for those non-infantry Marines desiring to become Reconnaissance Marines:
1. These non-infantry (H&S) Marines perform their normal duties here at 4th Force.
2. They train on their own time to get ready for what's next.
3. If the command says he's good to go, the H&S Marine can attend one of the quarterly Reconaissance screeners.
3. If he passes that, the Marine goes to BRC.
4. If he passes that, the Marine changes his MOS from whatever it was before to the 0321 MOS. He eventually rejoins the unit, but he bypasses H&S Platoon and gets assigned to one of the teams within the Reconnaissance Platoons at 4th Force. Jump, dive, and other follow-on training awaits (again, depending on the drill schedule, funding, personal availability, etc.)
6. If he fails at any point along the way, this non-infantry Marine returns to H&S Platoon and resumes his normal support duties (administration, intelligence, logistics, communication, etc).

***Because of #6 -- the high failure rate -- the overwhelming majority of Reconnaissance Marines at 4th Force are prior service. Since the vetting, evaluation, and screening (namely BRC) for these 0321s is already in the books, the transition to a reserve Reconnaissance unit is a lot easier.

However -- yes, it is possible to join directly from the civilian world. Yes, there are Reconnaissance Marines at 4th Force who are not prior active duty service, but came straight from mom and dad's house. It is a long, difficult, and uncertain road, but it has been done.

If you wish, send me a private message and I'll put you in touch with someone from Hawaii.

Very Respectfully,
Butler
Wow thank you for the response. It answered everything perfectly.
 

butler

Recon H&S
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
18
I don't know who is the I&I down in Hawaii but I do know they have a hard time finding qualified Marines to fill their billets.
Teufel,

Definitely the case here in Alameda as well. These Reconnaissance Marines are truly a cut above; you don't just mass-produce SOF.

V/R,
Butler
 

Jprez556

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Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
8
Ahh! I met the Lt. Colonel in 4th Bat Recon this summer! I forget his name but he came to the Boy Scout camp I work at and he hung out in the area I worked all week. Im sorry I cant be of any assistance to you lol.
 

CDG

Mittens
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Messages
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Off safe. One away.
SSMP
SOF Mentor
Ahh! I met the Lt. Colonel in 4th Bat Recon this summer! I forget his name but he came to the Boy Scout camp I work at and he hung out in the area I worked all week. Im sorry I cant be of any assistance to you lol.
This thread was a question posted in the USMC SOF forum about someone trying to join the USMC Reconnaisance community. We like to keep these types of threads to being posted in by people with direct knowledge and/or applicable experience that can help the OP. Not a big deal, just something to keep in mind moving forward.
 

Jprez556

Unverified
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
8
This thread was a question posted in the USMC SOF forum about someone trying to join the USMC Reconnaisance community. We like to keep these types of threads to being posted in by people with direct knowledge and/or applicable experience that can help the OP. Not a big deal, just something to keep in mind moving forward.
Aye sir, my apologies, even though I joined like back in March I'm still trying to familiarize myself with things around here. But duly noted, won't happen again.
 

kbone

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Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
7
Location
New Jersey
Just an update on my situation:

I am now in Hawaii and I just came back from speaking to a Marine Corps Recruiter. Altogether I was given basic knowledge that I’ve already googled. However he told me that the reserve Recon pipeline has changed this fiscal year. According to the recruiter, enlisted reservists with a recon contract go back home to train with his recon unit after boot camp. Once the Marine’s command is confident that the Marine is ready for BRC, he then is sent to MCT and then to BRC. He told me that the Recon Indoc basically took place during that training period between boot camp and MCT. What seems fishy though, is that the recruiter told me that during the training process between boot camp and MCT you cannot get dropped as long as you do not DOR. To me it sounds like BRPC was moved to after boot camp during the pipeline and now BRPC is not something you can fail. Could anyone confirm that this is the new process? Or should I speak to another recruiter?

Respectfully
Kbone
 

Teufel

Force Recon
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Yes you can fail BRPC. And the recon screener. It's always been that way. There is a standard and some people don't meet it. It's not complicated.
 

kbone

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Joined
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Messages
7
Location
New Jersey

Yes you can fail BRPC. And the recon screener. It's always been that way. There is a standard and some people don't meet it. It's not complicated.
Yes, that was my understanding as well. But what the recruiter told me contradicted that. I even questioned him multiple times just in case it was a miscommunication and he reiterated that you cannot be dropped during that period after Boot camp. Which is why I am asking if anyone has information on this new reserve recon pipeline that just started this fiscal year.

Kbone
 

8482farm

Pharmacy Technician
Verified Military
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
81
Yes you can fail BRPC. And the recon screener. It's always been that way. There is a standard and some people don't meet it. It's not complicated.
Not to derail OP's thread, but I just finished submitting my package for re-enlistment here in San Antonio. My NOSC is going to be in the same building as 4th Recon Battalion. The S1 who is gaining me into the command stated he could place me in that department since I expressed my interest in SARC. Would 4th Recon Battalion help prep me for BRC as well as kbone stated? Just wanted to get additional outside information before I started asking around in person.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
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Yes, that was my understanding as well. But what the recruiter told me contradicted that. I even questioned him multiple times just in case it was a miscommunication and he reiterated that you cannot be dropped during that period after Boot camp. Which is why I am asking if anyone has information on this new reserve recon pipeline that just started this fiscal year.

Kbone
What does it matter? Just go and pass.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
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Messages
5,207
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Not to derail OP's thread, but I just finished submitting my package for re-enlistment here in San Antonio. My NOSC is going to be in the same building as 4th Recon Battalion. The S1 who is gaining me into the command stated he could place me in that department since I expressed my interest in SARC. Would 4th Recon Battalion help prep me for BRC as well as kbone stated? Just wanted to get additional outside information before I started asking around in person.
They should help you prepare before shipping you out. BRC is not a complicated course. You will run, swim, ruck, and PT a lot. You should probably start doing those things now. There is only one magic recipe for success: don't quit.
 
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