OKINAWA, Japan --
All Marines have been through basic recruit training. After recruit training, some Marines attend the School of Infantry, but only a select few Marines are allowed the opportunity to attend the Basic Reconnaissance Course to become a Recon Marine.
Recon forces are a valuable asset to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force when the Marine Expeditionary Force commander is faced with uncertainty in the battlefield. Reconnaissance provides timely intelligence to command and control for battle space shaping, allowing the MAGTF to act, and react, to changes in the battlefield.
“Our main mission is to go out and provide amphibious and ground reconnaissance wherever needed,” said Sgt. Scott A. Hulsizer, a dive team leader with Company B, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We provide information through observation and other detection methods to provide insight on enemies or potential enemies.”
The basic reconnaissance course is optional to Marines upon completion of SOI.
“This wasn’t something they were told to do,” said Capt. Carlos J. Rincon, a platoon commander with Company B, 3rd Recon Bn. “They wanted to do this, even if they had to take on extra training.”
Recon Marines need to master all their capabilities in order to provide a force of readiness that can be deployed at a moment’s notice, according to Hulsizer.
“Every one of us wanted a challenge, and we push until the mission is successful,” said Hulsizer. “There’s not one guy here I wouldn’t trust having my back.”
The Marines spend months training together as a team to build camaraderie and achieve mission accomplishment.
“Reconnaissance Marines need extensive training as a team,” said Rincon. “We are a small element. We don’t have the firepower to sustain ourselves against a large force. With that in mind, the Marines need to be able to communicate with each other without saying anything.”
They are a small group of Marines that are trained with specific mission skill-sets in the ability to operate in very adverse situations, according to Gunnery Sgt. Joshua M. Kircher, a reconnaissance man with the battalion.
“I enjoy doing reconnaissance very much,” said Kircher. “I have been in the reconnaissance community for approximately 12 years now. Having ground reconnaissance is still very practical because we can develop the situation through the observation of what is happening on the objectives.”
Even though the Marines’ training is difficult, in the end they agree it was worth it to earn the reconnaissance specialty, according to Hulsizer.
“I love my job,” said Hulsizer. “It can be very tough sometimes, but that is the point of our job. We put the needs of the Marine Corps above our own.”