Recon Reserve Question

ScubaAnon

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#1
Hello everyone,

I hope that I am not overstepping my bounds or posting in the wrong area. I am a new member here (already did an intro per the rules) and I am wanting to join the USMCR with a UZ contract. From my understanding, this gives me a guaranteed chance to go to BRC and attempt the challenge of earning Recon; assuming I meet and maintain all requirements. I am also aware that it is not a guarantee at being 0321.

I would love to go active but I am finishing up school and if I take a six-year break right now and try and finish school when I get out - I'll be a dinosaur. So my questions are pertaining to the 3rd Force Recon Company out of Mobile, AL.

I have already started working with a recruiter out of Mobile, but I wanted to see if I could get some information other than basic. Does anyone know someone who is or was at 3rd FORECON that I could reach out to and ask them some questions about the unit, life tempo, etc? I would also be okay talking to someone out at 4th Force Recon Company out of Alameda, CA. Thank you!
 

The Hate Ape

MARSOC
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586
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West Coast
#2
There are a handful of members on this forum from the Reconnaissance community, one of whom remains a long respected and well known name in my own hallway.

In short, odds are slim that any of those members would be willing to link you with a contact outside of the forum when you have yet to attend boot camp.

Once you have earned your title and figured out a little of what its like to be a Marine first - THEN said members may go out of their way to entertain your request.

Thats a big maybe, because odds are you dont even know enough about Reconnaissance let alone being a Marine to ask anything of genuine value that couldnt be answered right here by one of the members or your Marine Recruiter out of Mobile.

Its not that we’re all snobs with sticks up our assess, but youre basically under the impression that it would be reasonable to call a buddy out on another part of the country whos with his family, his platoon, his company, his mistress, whatever and be like;

“hey fellow Reconnaissance Marine, can you talk to this poolee and tell him what its like to be a Reconnaissance Marine?”

I want you to understand the absurdity to that and see how confused a friend/buddy would be to hear this on the phone.

I barely have any friends at all - but if I did that to one of mine Id probably get asked if I was drunk and needed a ride home.

What are your questions?
 
Last edited:

Teufel

Force Recon
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#3
Email the link in my signature line and see what they have to say. 3rd Force does the general reserve thing: one weekend a month and two weeks a year. They deploy occasionally to short periods to South America and Africa. There are also lots of opportunities to attend Recon schools. It’s not active duty but it’s still a great deal. I would knock out some schools and training while you’re going through school and get a commission when you graduate.
 

ScubaAnon

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Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
15
Location
New York, NY
#5
There are a handful of members on this forum from the Reconnaissance community, one of whom remains a long respected and well known name in my own hallway.

In short, odds are slim that any of those members would be willing to link you with a contact outside of the forum when you have yet to attend boot camp.

Once you have earned your title and figured out a little of what its like to be a Marine first - THEN said members may go out of their way to entertain your request.

Thats a big maybe, because odds are you dont even know enough about Reconnaissance let alone being a Marine to ask anything of genuine value that couldnt be answered right here by one of the members or your Marine Recruiter out of Mobile.

Its not that we’re all snobs with sticks up our assess, but youre basically under the impression that it would be reasonable to call a buddy out on another part of the country whos with his family, his platoon, his company, his mistress, whatever and be like;

“hey fellow Reconnaissance Marine, can you talk to this poolee and tell him what its like to be a Reconnaissance Marine?”

I want you to understand the absurdity to that and see how confused a friend/buddy would be to hear this on the phone.

I barely have any friends at all - but if I did that to one of mine Id probably get asked if I was drunk and needed a ride home.

What are your questions?
I completely understand your points and I thank you for taking the time to respond to me! I will post my questions here.


1. I have heard mixed things as far as the Reserve Recon Marine's training progression goes - specifically for people who enlist under the IIADT program. Seems that I am to go to MCRD, Parris Island, then on to SOI where I will attend ITB, then on to BRCP and then on to BRC. After that all the additional schools come up whenever there is a slot and I am eligible to fill it.
- So with the IIADT program in mind, do I go to MCRD, SOI, & BRC essentially over 3 summers? Can I do 2 of the schools back to back (more of a 'normal' progression)?​
- Since training is broken up, that means that I will have gaps where I have drill. How does one drill with a Recon unit when you have not earned the 0321 MOS? I've read a post from Butler that says the hopefuls at 4th FORECON drill st 4th Recon Bn; does that also apply to 3rd FORECON?​
- What determine's when you go to BRC? Is it when you're deemed ready and there is a class starting? Or is it more than that?​
2. Teufel originally posted a Reserve Recon FAQ thread, where he uploaded a image of a Recon Reserve Information Packet for the 4th Recon Battalion.
- Does this apply to 3rd and/or 4th FORECON?​
3. How "active is the Reserve Recon community? Is there ample opportunity to really be able to fill SMCR and IMA billets to go active? How likely are deployments during the six year contract time?


4. Are the follow on schools a reality or is it a major competition to get to them? I suppose I am really asking, are follow school slots (jump, dive, etc.) very limited to Recon Reservist? From my understanding this can vary depending on the unit.

I have some other questions but I know this was long. Thank you for taking the time to read it!
 

ScubaAnon

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Messages
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#6
Email the link in my signature line and see what they have to say. 3rd Force does the general reserve thing: one weekend a month and two weeks a year. They deploy occasionally to short periods to South America and Africa. There are also lots of opportunities to attend Recon schools. It’s not active duty but it’s still a great deal. I would knock out some schools and training while you’re going through school and get a commission when you graduate.
Thank you very much for the response! I was told by the recruiter that drill is every other month and is four days instead of the usual two. Is that not accurate? I am making the compromise by not going active, but want to take advantage of taking every school that I can and volunteering for every deployment that I can. So I really find your statement about deployments and schools to be very interesting. I just hope that remains constant!

Email sent - just waiting for a reply!
 

Teufel

Force Recon
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Messages
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#8
I completely understand your points and I thank you for taking the time to respond to me! I will post my questions here.


1. I have heard mixed things as far as the Reserve Recon Marine's training progression goes - specifically for people who enlist under the IIADT program. Seems that I am to go to MCRD, Parris Island, then on to SOI where I will attend ITB, then on to BRCP and then on to BRC. After that all the additional schools come up whenever there is a slot and I am eligible to fill it.
- So with the IIADT program in mind, do I go to MCRD, SOI, & BRC essentially over 3 summers? Can I do 2 of the schools back to back (more of a 'normal' progression)?​
- Since training is broken up, that means that I will have gaps where I have drill. How does one drill with a Recon unit when you have not earned the 0321 MOS? I've read a post from Butler that says the hopefuls at 4th FORECON drill st 4th Recon Bn; does that also apply to 3rd FORECON?​
- What determine's when you go to BRC? Is it when you're deemed ready and there is a class starting? Or is it more than that?​
2. Teufel originally posted a Reserve Recon FAQ thread, where he uploaded a image of a Recon Reserve Information Packet for the 4th Recon Battalion.
- Does this apply to 3rd and/or 4th FORECON?​
3. How "active is the Reserve Recon community? Is there ample opportunity to really be able to fill SMCR and IMA billets to go active? How likely are deployments during the six year contract time?


4. Are the follow on schools a reality or is it a major competition to get to them? I suppose I am really asking, are follow school slots (jump, dive, etc.) very limited to Recon Reservist? From my understanding this can vary depending on the unit.

I have some other questions but I know this was long. Thank you for taking the time to read it!
Those are good questions. I imagine it all comes down to timing. I imagine you could knock out boot camp on the first block and MART/BRC on the second. You attend an abbreviated SOI on a recon contract.

You can potentially fill an IMA with any unit. They are always looking for volunteers.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
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Messages
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#9
Thank you very much for the response! I was told by the recruiter that drill is every other month and is four days instead of the usual two. Is that not accurate? I am making the compromise by not going active, but want to take advantage of taking every school that I can and volunteering for every deployment that I can. So I really find your statement about deployments and schools to be very interesting. I just hope that remains constant!

Email sent - just waiting for a reply!
Depends on the unit.
 

butler

Recon H&S
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Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
10
#10
1. I have heard mixed things as far as the Reserve Recon Marine's training progression goes - specifically for people who enlist under the IIADT program. Seems that I am to go to MCRD, Parris Island, then on to SOI where I will attend ITB, then on to BRCP and then on to BRC. After that all the additional schools come up whenever there is a slot and I am eligible to fill it.
Disclaimer: I am with Headquarters and Service (H&S); I am not a Reconnaissance Marine. But yes, from what I've gathered, that seems correct.

So with the IIADT program in mind, do I go to MCRD, SOI, & BRC essentially over 3 summers? Can I do 2 of the schools back to back (more of a 'normal' progression)?
See disclaimer above.

That being said, most Reserve Marines complete recruit training, do their time at the School of Infantry (SOI), and finish their respective military occupational specialty (MOS) schools all in one go *before* reporting to their Reserve unit. From what I've gathered, the Basic Reconnaissance Course (BRC) seems to be the exception (I know our unit has 0311 infantrymen who are training for BRC). Beyond that, I do not know.

Since training is broken up, that means that I will have gaps where I have drill. How does one drill with a Recon unit when you have not earned the 0321 MOS? I've read a post from Butler that says the hopefuls at 4th FORECON drill st 4th Recon Bn; does that also apply to 3rd FORECON?
See disclaimer above. I don't know about 3rd Force. The "split I" program to which I previously referred is also going through some changes, so my information may not be current.

What determine's when you go to BRC? Is it when you're deemed ready and there is a class starting? Or is it more than that?
See disclaimer above. I do not know.

2. Teufel originally posted a Reserve Recon FAQ thread, where he uploaded a image of a Recon Reserve Information Packet for the 4th Recon Battalion. Does this apply to 3rd and/or 4th FORECON?
Unlike active duty -- where few go directly to Force Reconnaissance units without first proving themselves in a Reconnaissance battalion -- the reserves is different. One can directly join 3rd or 4th Force Reconnaissance Companies without prior experience in the reconnaissance community.

Thus, the recruiting process is generally the same for all three reserve recon units.

3. How "active is the Reserve Recon community? Is there ample opportunity to really be able to fill SMCR and IMA billets to go active? How likely are deployments during the six year contract time?
Marines from our unit have deployed in the past few years. There are definitely overseas opportunities for 0321s; less so for support Marines in H&S.

4. Are the follow on schools a reality or is it a major competition to get to them? I suppose I am really asking, are follow school slots (jump, dive, etc.) very limited to Recon Reservist? From my understanding this can vary depending on the unit.
It depends on a host of factors, to include funding, timing, and of course, needs of the Marine Corps. From what I've gleaned sitting in on meetings, however, our reserve Reconnaissance Marines generally get sent to the schools they need to go to. Beyond that, I do not know.

Thank you for posting - that is awesome! To avoid cluttering this thread up, may I send you a PM? If that is okay with you, of course.
Happy to help.
 

ScubaAnon

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#11
Those are good questions. I imagine it all comes down to timing. I imagine you could knock out boot camp on the first block and MART/BRC on the second. You attend an abbreviated SOI on a recon contract.

You can potentially fill an IMA with any unit. They are always looking for volunteers.
Very interesting; thank you for all the quick replies and good information! I am headed down to Mobile to work with the Recruiting Station next week. Hopefully, I can get some new information and at the very least give everyone an update.

I've heard that before about attending an abbreviated SOI on a recon contract. If I understood correctly, during infantry training there comes a point where the different infantry where the different MOS's split up and focus on their specific tracks. Not sure if Recon contracts do something or just go home or to MART (depending on if active or not). Either way no concern to me - I'll do whatever the Crops asks of me.

Do you know if it is possible to go active at your home unit? For example, there might be a school semester where I am not taking any classes and in this case, I would like to go AR. I saw that as a 'benefit,' on the 4th Recon Bn information image you posted. However, I tend to take recruiting material with a grain of salt.
 

Devildoc

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#12
@ScubaAnon , I was not with Recon, so my comments are about the reserve in general and drills. How you get paid for schools is out of a different bucket than your straight reserve pay/obligations. You get paid for 'n' number of drills per fiscal year; one 4-hour block on a given weekend is 1 'drill day.' So, one weekend = 4 drills. Each unit can distribute them differently. For example, when I was with a reserve infantry unit we'd go to Stone Bay every August for qualifications, we'd be gone from Wednesday-Sunday. We would also go to the field for two or three 3/4-day weekends a year. Consequently, there would be months where we'd drill one full day (highly unusual), or for a day and a half. But every unit is a little different in how they schedule their drills. In skill- and resource-intensive units like Recon where they have to do a lot of for-real training, you still need drill time to do your admin and medical BS, safety stand-downs, etc., so I would not be surprised that their drill 'weekends' are four days long every other month.
 

ScubaAnon

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#13
@ScubaAnon , I was not with Recon, so my comments are about the reserve in general and drills. How you get paid for schools is out of a different bucket than your straight reserve pay/obligations. You get paid for 'n' number of drills per fiscal year; one 4-hour block on a given weekend is 1 'drill day.' So, one weekend = 4 drills. Each unit can distribute them differently. For example, when I was with a reserve infantry unit we'd go to Stone Bay every August for qualifications, we'd be gone from Wednesday-Sunday. We would also go to the field for two or three 3/4-day weekends a year. Consequently, there would be months where we'd drill one full day (highly unusual), or for a day and a half. But every unit is a little different in how they schedule their drills. In skill- and resource-intensive units like Recon where they have to do a lot of for-real training, you still need drill time to do your admin and medical BS, safety stand-downs, etc., so I would not be surprised that their drill 'weekends' are four days long every other month.
Thank you for the response! That would make sense to me also. What surprises me is adding it all up, looks like its the same amount of drill time per year as any other reserve MOS.
 

Devildoc

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#14
Thank you for the response! That would make sense to me also. What surprises me is adding it all up, looks like its the same amount of drill time per year as any other reserve MOS.
It is. Right now money is tight because we aren't fighting a multi-front war, so most units are capped at max drills per FY. But I imagine that as undermanned as Recon is, you could easily pick up additional time, it just isn't considered "drill time," and paid out of a different bucket. Example: after 9/11 and before the conventional military adventure in Afghanistan, I got them to pay for several medical/trauma classes, extra days at the reserve center putting together med bags and refining med training curriculum, etc. Money flowed like water then.
 

Teufel

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#16
Recon contracts do an abbreviated SOI course. I don’t know how that works with your program though.


Very interesting; thank you for all the quick replies and good information! I am headed down to Mobile to work with the Recruiting Station next week. Hopefully, I can get some new information and at the very least give everyone an update.

I've heard that before about attending an abbreviated SOI on a recon contract. If I understood correctly, during infantry training there comes a point where the different infantry where the different MOS's split up and focus on their specific tracks. Not sure if Recon contracts do something or just go home or to MART (depending on if active or not). Either way no concern to me - I'll do whatever the Crops asks of me.

Do you know if it is possible to go active at your home unit? For example, there might be a school semester where I am not taking any classes and in this case, I would like to go AR. I saw that as a 'benefit,' on the 4th Recon Bn information image you posted. However, I tend to take recruiting material with a grain of salt.
 
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