Comparing Marine Corps Elite Forces

Good day Hard-Chargers!!

So today we’re comparing elite forces within the Marine Corps. When doing so it comes down to the command which they fall under. Also the assignments and missions that are given.

When Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions, deploy they report to Ground Combat Element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF).

Recon Marines

So they’ll support operations being conducted by the GCE, which consists of conventional infantry Marines and their support assets.  

Example: Colonel wants to send a rifle company into a village in order to search for a High Value Target.

Prior to these events a Marine Recon team will get eyes on the target and identify landing zones.

From there Marine line company sweep the area and secure.

Force Recon

Force Recon is a bit different.

Force Reconnaissance are organic to the command element of Marine Expeditionary Force. So rather than working with line companies, they conduct deep reconnaissance to aid MEF in larger scale operations.

Force Recon is also direct action capability. Meaning they can serve as an in-extremis force for the MAGTF Commander.

Maritime Raid Force is responsible for high-speed, special operations such as snatch and grabs, global most wanted’s that sort of thing.

Force Battalion Recon

Due to the diverse responsibilities these Marines are required to hold a few more qualifications than their Battalion Recon brothers.

Qualifications such as airborne, CQB training and an extreme amount of amphibious operations.

MARSOC (Marine Raiders) they belong to the Marine Corps, however, they’re also component command of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Who also have authority over the Navy’s SEAL Teams, Army’s Special Forces Groups and the 75th Ranger Regiment.


Recon and Force Reconnaissance support Marine operations. While MARSOC on the other hand supports operations given to them by USSOCOM or the theater commander.

ExampleRaider Battalion is deployed to Africa as a Joint Special Operations Task Force (J-SOTF). From there the battalion is at the disposal of the Combatant Commander for AFRICOM.


They run any form of special operations missions. This is from Direct Action to Special Reconnaissance. It all depends on the needs of the Combatant Commander.


Recon Battalions require an MOS of 0321 this is obtained through Basic Reconnaissance Course.

Force Recon requires 0326 SCUBA and Parachute Qualified. Schools include BRC, Army Airborne, Marine Corps Combatant Diver Course and a TON of other courses.


Mountain Warfare, Scout Sniper, High Altitude Parachuting. I mean the training these guys endure can be a post of its own.


Respect to those who have what it takes to make it elite forces.

Isaac J. Hall II



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