United States Special Operations Capable Forces- Force Recon Marines

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What is Force Recon Marines?

“Swift, Silent, Deadly.” – Motto of the FORECON Marines

Force Reconnaissance Marines (FORECON) is a special operations unit under the command of the US Marine Corps (USMC). Their primary role is to gather intelligence in support of all the other USMC operations. Put simply, they’re the eyes and ears of the USMC.

Operating deep behind enemy lines, this crucial unit of soldiers are trained in the art of infiltration, especially in Airborne Infiltration & Sea Infiltration. That’s why all the members of FORECON are excellent swimmers and divers. Their mission’s success depends heavily on their ability to penetrate through the enemy’s traditional land defense system.

And once they’re inside the enemy’s territory, the intel-foraging operation will begin. No other special forces can gather intel as effectively and efficiently as the FORECON Marines does.

How Do You Train as a Force Recon Marines?

Force Recon Marines

FORECON Marines train as they expect to fight.

That means training terrain and conditions are made such that it mimics extreme real-combat conditions. Remember, reconnaissance missions are always dangerous. Therefore, in order to reduce unnecessary casualties, the units executing such missions must be highly capable. That’s why the training program is extremely rigorous and detailed. All future FORECON Soldiers undergo a two-year cycle training program called Mission Training Plan (MTP).

The 5 phases of MTP are as follows:

  1. Phase 1: Individual Training 
  2. Phase 2: Unit Training 
  3. Phase 3: Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) Training
  4. Phase 4: Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) Deployment
  5. Phase 5: Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) Post Deployment

Click here to learn more about Advanced FORECON Training Program

What is the Selection Process of the Force Recon Marines?

Force Recon Members

Here’s a list of some basic requirements anyone must fulfill in order to join the FORECON Marines:

  1. Minimum ASVAB Score of 105 or higher – Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge. These are basic intelligence tests designed to filter out all the unqualified candidates from becoming FORECON Marines. Remember, reconnaissance missions are highly complicated. Unexpected problems will likely occur on the mission. That’s why logical intelligence is required to make sure of soldier’s ability to problem-solve on demand
  2. 1st class Swimmer Qualification –  All FORECON Marine Soldiers are expert swimmers and divers. It’s crucially important to be able to swim swiftly and effectively as a FORECON Soldier
  3. First-class score on Physical Fitness Test – Executing combat missions require you to stay in fit physical conditions no matter what. If you can’t even handle your body in times of training, you won’t have the capability to push your body to the limit in actual combat arena
  4. 20/200 near visual acuity with a completed PRK eye surgery – This one’s obvious enough. You need to have perfect eye vision in order to properly execute Special Reconnaissance missions and deliver correct Intel (such as sketches, observation, calculating distances, etc.)
  5. Graduate from the Marine Special Operations School – This ensures you’ll have sufficient combat capabilities to excel as a FORECON Marine Soldiers

Click here to learn more about the full requirements to join the FORECON Marines

What Missions Do Force Recon Marines Soldiers Undertake?

Force Recon Marines

FORECON Marine Soldiers execute two types of mission; Green Operations (deep reconnaissance) and Black Operations (direct action).

  • Deep reconnaissance is the act of penetrating enemy’s territory to gather all the necessary Intelligence required to execute a combat strategy. In every recon mission, stealth is of paramount importance. That’s why Recon units are lightly equipped (for maximum mobility) and are always ready with an evasive/backup plan should the need to avoid enemy contact arise. The goal is ALWAYS to avoid contact with the enemy, at all costs. That way, we’ll be able to reduce unnecessary casualties while still retaining the needed Intelligence.
  • Direct Action (DA), however, is an entirely different beast. These are the missions you’ll likely see in breaking news of combat. It’s essentially a full-blown attack from the FORECON Marines to the enemies of the US. Needless to say, Direct Action units will be fully armed and supported by air/naval gunfire support if available. In any type of DA mission, the goal is to inflict as much damage as possible in the least amount of time. That’s why strategizing the DA mission is crucially important in order to locate the enemy’s greatest weakness and exploit them thoroughly.

Click here to learn more about FORECON Marines Missions and History


As you can clearly see, FORECON Marine members are a crucial part of the US Marine Corps. Even though all their missions are tough and risky, their existence is irreplaceable in gathering the right Intel in order for the USMC to win their battles. Without their honorable sacrifices, the USMC would never be able to achieve such height and prowess in its military capabilities.

“Salute to FORECON Marine Soldiers!”