Requirements to Become a Marine Recon

by Monty Dayton

There are many different jobs within the United States Marine Corps (USMC), and one of the elite branches of the Marines is the Force Recon branch. Marines who are interested in serving as part of Recon must pass a vigorous series of requirements above and beyond what is expected for even the average Marine. Recon forces are expected to be very adaptable and work in conjunction with special forces from other branches of the armed forces during an operation. As of 2010, only male applicants are allowed, due to the Marines' rules on women serving in combat positions.

Basic Requirements

Basic requirements for getting into the Marine Recon include a General Technical (GT) test score of 105 or higher, perfect 20/20 vision or vision that can be corrected to 20/20, and no moral or drug waivers on record. If a moral or drug waiver was required for the recruit to become a Marine, then he is automatically disqualified from becoming a Marine Recon. A candidate cannot be color blind, and also must not have any problem on record that results in him being unable to acquire secret clearance.

Additional Minimum Requirements

Beyond meeting the standard basic requirements, there are several other minimum requirements that all Marines applying for Marine Recon positions must pass. The applicant must pass Marine Boot Camp (Basic) training and at least score in the 1st Class of the Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Applicants must also have successfully tested out as an expert marksman in rifle. If a Marine fails to meet any of these three qualifications, then he cannot qualify for Recon, even if he meets all other requirements.

Specialized Training

Marine Recon applicants are put through a wide variety of specialized training, and Marines must pass every single test in order to graduate to the Recon force. After completing regular recruit training and the school of infantry, students start with a Basic Recon Course (BRC). After passing the BRC, Marines report to their units for active duty and receive further training in Marine Schools for airborne, jump master, pathfinder, ranger, scout-sniper, SCUBA, mountain warfare, jungle warfare, urban warfare, hand-to-hand combat and demolitions, among many others. This wide variety of skills allows Marine Recon units to be self sufficient and extremely adaptable when working with other branches of the Armed Forces during active combat operations.

About the Author

Monty Dayton is a professional freelance writer who has worked for the ACLU, Touchstone Publishing LLC, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and many other employers. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska and loves writing about travel, the outdoors and health topics.

Photo Credits

  • Marine Corp Memorial image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com