United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Training Company

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Recon Training Company, SOI (West)

The United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Training Company trains Marines in the amphibious environment as a Reconnaissance Man, MOS 0321. It is under the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion (AITB) of the School of Infantry (West), Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

Scout Sniper Course

The 50-day Scout Sniper Basic Course provides the operating forces with qualified Scout Snipers with the MOS 0317, who are proficient with advanced scouting and marksmanship skills.

Marines Awaiting Reconnaissance Training

This is the platoon that all junior Marines go to while preparing for BRC. It is an intensive workout program that develops the Marines to the standards they need to be at to successfully complete BRC.

Basic Reconnaissance Course

BRC is 65 days long with an average training day of 15.5 hours and introduces the students to the amphibious reconnaissance environment. During this tenure, they gain working knowledge of the reconnaissance doctrines, concepts and techniques that emphasize ground and amphibious reconnaissance missions. Also, they learn the fundamentals of all types of weapons (air, sea, and land) that are employed in supporting arms such as calling and adjusting naval gunfire, artillery, and close air support.

The BRC was relocated in 2007 from the Amphibious Reconnaissance Schools (ARS) on Fort Story at Little Creek, Virginia and Expeditionary Warfare Training Group at Coronado, California to the School of Infantry (West) on MCB Camp Pendleton. This facilitated the reconstruction of the course's training protocol and to meet the demands of 600 more recon Marines per year.[1]

Candidates are issued a 12-foot (3.7 m) rope; at any time instructors will demand candidates tie knots of the instructor's choice. Due to that practice, the candidates are often known as "ropers". The term "ropers" was borrowed from the Reconnaissance Indoctrination Platoon (indoc platoon) which was dissolved in 2004.

Students practice day and night learning to operate behind enemy lines and how to conduct immediate action drills. Surveillance and reconnaissance skills such as photography with field and underwater cameras are taught along with field sketching and range estimations. In addition, Recon students learn insertion/extraction techniques in Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) and Helicopter Rope Suspension Training (HRST).[2]

Even though every Marine has learned to read a map and compass and to patrol beginning in boot camp, BRC training is more in depth to ensure that the candidates will operate efficiently in small 4 to 6 man recon teams. Upon graduation, Marines receive the 0321 MOS, Reconnaissance Man. Navy Corpsmen who complete the BRC receive the Fleet Marine Force Reconnaissance Corpsman, or 8427 NEC. For those Marines who are already qualified as parachutists and combatant divers, particularly recon Marines assigned to Force Reconnaissance companies, the special "B" 0326 MOS, Reconnaissance Marine, Parachutist/Combatant Diver Qualified is assigned .

The course encompasses:


  1. Pacheco, Isaac D. (December 2007). "Cream of the Corps School of Infantry-West Stands Up Advanced Infantry Training Battalion". Leatherneck. Marine Corps Association.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  2. MCO 3500.42A, 9 July 2004