Marine Division Recon / Battalion Recon
United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions, otherwise known as Marine Division Recon, are an elite cadre of Marines which provide reconnaissance for their assigned Marine Air-Ground Task Force Gound Combat element commander.
Marine Division Recon - Roles
Tasks carried out by Division Recon include:
- amphibious-ground reconnaissance
- underwater reconnaissance
- initial terminal guidance
- battle damage assessment
- direct action raids or ambushes
Marine Division Recon have a similar role and capability to Marine Force Recon but also differ in several ways. Division Recon typically operate closer to the main ground force of Marines, in the close to distant battle space area, while Force Recon tend to operate much further out in the deep battle space area. Division Recon has a more limited direct action capability than their Force Recon or MARSOC cousins.
Marine Division Recon - Organization
There are currently division reconnaissance battalions:
- 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (1st Recon)
assigned to the 1st Marine Division
- 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion (2nd Recon)
assigned to the 2nd Marine Division
- 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion (3rd Recon)
assigned to the 3rd Marine Division
- 4th Reconnaissance Battalion (4th Recon)
assigned to the 4th Marine Division Marine Forces Reserve
Reconnaissance Battalions are made up of a number of Companies : Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta (Force Reconnaissance) and a Headquarters and Services Company.
Recon Companies consist of a number of Recon Platoons, which themselves consist of:
- Platoon Commander: First Lieutenant or Captain
- Platoon Sergeant: Gunnery Sergeant
- Field Radio Operator: Corporal or Sergeant
- Special Equipment NCO: Sergeant
- Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC)
- Team Leader: Staff Sergeant or Sergeant
- Assistant Team Leader: Sergeant or Corporal
- Radio Operator: Sergeant or Corporal
- Assistant Radio Operator: Corporal or Lance Corporal
- Point Man: Corporal or Lance Corporal
- Scout/Driver: Corporal or Lance Corporal.
Deep Reconnaissance Platoons
In recent times, with the transfer of most Force Reconnaissance Companies to Marine Special Operations Battalions (MSOBs) under MARSOC, Division Recon Battalions were augmented with any remaining Force Recon assets. Each battalion, except 4th Recon, now includes a Force Reconnaissance Company and so is capable of carrying out deep reconnaisance operations for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force it is assigned to. In this role, the Force Reconnaissance Marines deploy as Deep Reconnaissance Platoons (DRP). Most direct action missions are now typically assigned to MSOBs although the Force Recon Companies retain the capability.
Marine Division Recon - Recent Operations
1st Recon was the tip of the spear of the ground invasion in Southern Iraq, 2003. Convoys of 1st Recon Humvees sped North towards Baghdad, engaging Iraqi forces along the way.
more info : 1st Recon - Iraq Invasion