Talk:United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance/Archive 1

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Response to Issue of Plagiarism, representing the original authors and all who have contributed to the success of both this article and to Wikipedia, "Interesting...", Mar 28, 2005

EDIT: If the work done earlier has been forever lost to, then that is the price we pay for devoting our time to Wikipedia and our respect to members of the Force Recon community.

However, I do truly appreciate the focus the community here has on quality work. Not only was this article written, rewritten, edited, corrected and added upon by this community, but we were also first ones to recognize the apparent plagiarism and took necessary steps to initiate the clearing-up process (props goto Fox1 and Joseph). I would not be so greatly influenced by this dispute if the topic was less difficult to find information about, or if this Wikipedia article had not grown so much so fast.

We are operating in a grey area here in terms of work ownership, but I must take this furthur to protect the honor of the Wikipedia community, specifically the very specialized section who deal with, passionately, military-related articles.

Here are the contents of my email:


SUBJ: An issue regarding your site


Dear Sir,

Concerning the article on your website dealing with Marine Corps Force Recon:

It has recently come to my attention that some of the content on your article is exactly the same as on the Wikipedia article linked here:

The Wikipedia article has since (9 Mar 2005) been changed to account for this coincidence, under the presumption that the collaborated article at Wikipedia was a plagiarism of your site.

However, I am almost certain as one of the original authors of that article, that those words were in fact first found on Wikipedia.

It is perfectly fine for you to use Wikipedia's words on your website, even without acknowledging the fact that it was taken from Wikipedia. However, it would be of great importance to the Wikipedia community if you could confirm whether or not your article was completely original, or partially taken from Wikipedia’s article.

Please be reminded that it is perfectly fine for you to keep your article just the way it is, however, I believe it is appropriate if the article on Wikipedia return to its original, more complete form. Wikipedia is very serious about copyright violations, and this particular case makes it impossible for the original Wikipedia article to appear on Wikipedia. Please, you will be doing a great service to the continued quest of knowledge which Wikipedia has come to represent. I simply need your confirmation that some of the words on your article may have come from the Wikipedia article linked above.

Thank you for all of your help,

Simon Lu

28 March 2005

I'm sorry I havn't been more keen on this. As one of the original authors, I would bear full responsibility if this was purely plagiarized.

However, it is not. I feel as if the website in question,, may have in fact used some of the words here (I am in fact a little insulted). I am a little rusty in terms of the creation of the article (it happened over a year ago, as I remember), but this entire portion here was DEFINITELY written by me, compiled from various articles on Force Recon:

"United States Marine Corps (USMC) Force Reconnaissance (Force Recon) can be considered to be the USMC equivalent of units such as the Navy SEALs or U.S. Army Special Forces (though their missions do differ by some margin). Although they are not under the wing of U.S. Special Operations Command, their training and deployment agenda may appear to suggest otherwise (Though some Force Recon Marines have been assigned to a special unit, 'MAR DET 1', in an attempt to start integration with USSOCOM). Marine Force Recon operators perform highly specialized, small scale, high-risk operations, such as: Amphibious and deep ground surveillance. Assist in specialized technical missions {Weapons of mass destruction(NBC), Radio, sensors and beacons, etc.} Assist in ordnance delivery (i.e., designating targets for laser-guided bomb units, ground artillery and naval artillery). Conduct 'limited scale raids,' including offshore gas and oil platform (GOPLATS) raids, Military Interdiction Operations (MIOs) and the capture of specific personnel or sensitve materials. Hostage/Prisoner of war rescue Marine Force Recon detachments operate within Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) {MEU(SOC)}."

The use of the "}" for secondary bracketting is what I remember the most clearly. Though I simply cannot remember the other parts, I know for certain those were MY words. Now, there is nothing for sure, but I will attempt to contact the webmaster of and enquire as to when his article was written.

EDIT: The more I read their article, the more I am certain they copied off of the article here. Please, please, wait for furthur confirmation before proceeding with cleanup. I have just sent their webmaster an e-mail detailing the situation.

This entire section was not written by me:

"Highlights of early Force Reconnaissance training included initial terminal guidance during amphibious operations and helicopter assault pathfinder training. The Company also sustained obstacle clearing and landing zone preparation essential tasks in support of early-Marine Corps helicopter borne operations, built on the development and testing foundations pioneered by Marine Corps Test Unit #1, and refined other development functions for amphibious reconnaissance, parachute insertion, and pathfinder support, both specific to the Marine Corps but for other US Service operations also In addition to static line and military freefall parachute insertion techniques, the Company developed and refined submarine insertion/extraction techniques, to include the initial “blow and go” techniques, refined SCUBA capabilities and procedures, and developed the initial deep reconnaissance capability within the Department of Defense. During 1958, approximately half of the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company was reassigned and transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to form the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. In 1964 1st Force Reconnaissance Company made its first incursion into Vietnam and continued in operations which carvedits battle history until 1970 when the last platoons returned from Combat duty. In late 1974 the Company was deactivated. A limited deep reconnaissance capability was retained as members of 1st Platoon were reassigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. 1st Force Reconnaissance Company was reactivated on 26 September 1986. The Company deployed a platoon with Contingency MAGTF 1-88 in the Persian Gulf in 1988, participating in Gas Oil Platform operations and other security operations in that Theater. During September 1990, the Company (-) deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM. Following the Gulf War, Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) Direct Action Platoons from 1st Force Reconnaissance Company participated in ground and amphibious reconnaissance in support of Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia, participated in security operations in East Timor and in ground reconnaissance and combat operations in support of Task Force 58 in Afghanistan. 1st Force Reconnaissance Company deployed to Kuwait in January 2003 and participated in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The Company was reinforced with platoons from 2d and 4th Force Reconnaissance Companies and was in direct support of I MEF, Task Force TARAWA, and the 1st Marine Division. The Company (-) redeployed during May 2003 and Detachment, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, attached to Task Force SCORPION, redeployed during September 2003. The Company deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom-2 during February 2004 with attachments from 3d Force Reconnaissance Company, serving in Direct Support of Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division (REIN). 1st Force Reconnaissance Company is currently at full strength with six reconnaissance platoons supporting 11th, 13th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units, the emerging Expeditionary Warfare Groups, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. The company retains a full command control, military freefall, combatant diver, mounted and dismounted reconnaissance capabilities, as well as a Company level Direct Action capability. The command is also a force provider to emerging Marine Corps Special Operations initiatives with HQMC/USSOCOM. The Prospective 1st Force Reconnaissance Company cadre member follows a process that takes six to seven years to achieve… often greater during the present wartime conditions. A volunteer the Marine must have prereqs from his prior commands and possess the physical quals to be eligible just to attend the full day of tailored screening, before 1st Force training cadre offers him a training slot. If selected for training the Force Recon Marine candidate has attended Basic Recon School( BRC) on the East Coast at NAB Little Creek or NAB Coronado and Camp Pendelton on the west coast where he learns amphibious recon, amphibious raiding, Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRC) operations, Basic Scout swimming, Maritime Navigation, Water Survival and Small boat raiding operations over a nine and one half weeks period. During this period, The Force Recon candidate gains a basic knowledge of reconnaissance doctrine, concepts, and techniques with emphasis on Scout Swimmer operations, amphibious entry, extraction, beach reconnaissance, Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRC) operator skills and patrolling. The course combines lecture, demonstration, and practical application in communications, land navigation, supporting arms, rough terrain skills, patrolling, intelligence reporting, demolitions, nautical navigation, coxswain skills, scout swimmer physical training; executing beach and urban swimmer reconnaissance in support of small boat operations; dangerous marine life, scout swimmer equipment, surf observations/reports, mission planning, extensive practical application of beach and urban scout swimmer techniques on different beach and urban sites; maritime navigation skills necessary to navigate in small craft over long distances of open water using dead reckoning and piloting skills; instruction on navigational publications and equipment, nautical charts, aids to navigation, dead reckoning, nautical compass, piloting, current sailing, tides, currents and planning maritime navigation operations; (CRRC), responsibilities of the boat team, small boat transit, clandestine landing and withdrawal, and launch and recovery procedures. Training culminates with two full mission profile raid exercises conducted on targets in the local areas. Scores less than 80% on an evaluation will constitute failure and may result in termination from the course. After successfully completeing BRC the Force Recon Candidate attends SERE school for two weeks. Basic Army Airborne at Fort Benning Georgia, for three weeks. Marine Combatant Diver Course in Panama City Florida for eight weeks. The Marine returns for his next workup phase: the platoon assignment. This begins with an 18month course work up, The first six months are a schooling akin to 1st force duties: Jump master, Military free-fall, sniper, High speeds driving, demolition or crossovers in Ranger or Special Forces The 2nd six month phase of a platoon work upis via the Marine Corps Special Operations Training Group (SOTG). During a 180-day cycle, SOTG personnel instruct the Force Recon Marine platoon in subject matter ranging from vertical and urban assault; special shooting skills; breaching techniques; close quarters battle; urban reconnaissance and human intelligence collection techniques; small craft operations; company raids; maritime interdiction operations; and non-lethal tactics, techniques and procedures as well as direct action and small unit assaults, raids and operations. The 3rd six month phase is devoted to precision shooting skills and mainitaining a high level of PFT. A Platoon will then deploy 6 to 9 months before returning to repeat the 18 months again with the same or different platoon based on strength requirements. Although a Force Recon Marine is administratively qualified Force Recon after Airborne and the Combative Diver Course he is not fully qualified until after until he has achieved all the parallel schooling options that the Marine can take – one at a time- at each 1st six month phase of the 18 month platoon work up….Our approximately six to seven years. "

As I could not find such detailed information pertaining to training. However, the sections prior to and after this middle chunk (minus a few tidbits at the end) I am sure was orignally composed on Wikipedia.

Please, allow this article to remain as of the latest revision UNTIL things are CLEARED UP. I wish I had more time to deal with this. I guess it is appropriate to give credit to external websites above Wikipedia writers.

Tin soldier 03:58, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I hope I didn't rush things along, this was my first experience with a (possible) copyvio. I was unable to obtain a response from anyone familiar with origination of the text for about a week, as well as not receiving any response from Because of this, and because I actually wanted to rewrite a large portion of the text anyway, I just decided to do a rewrite based on the questionable text.
I'm very interested to see a response from the website, so I hope you have better luck in getting one.
Fox1 08:39, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Update Ok, hopefully I've followed the copyvio procedures adequately, but as of March 19 I believe I've taken care of any violations and the issue should be resolved. I'm sure my submissions could be improved, but I was primarily concerned with getting the article back in usable format quickly (quickly by my standards, anyway). Fox1 13:00, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Large portions of this text appear to have been directly cut and pasted from the following page at [1]. The sections involved include the introduction, the description of unit structure, and possibly others. This article has been listed on Wikipedia:Copyright_problems, if you have any information that might help clear this up, please hop on in and help out. Fox1 16:14, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Can you copy the text that is copied from there? You see, we have an older version of this article without that text. Is it a verbatim copy? Joseph | Talk 02:31, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

Text Comparison, verbatim duped text in bold

United States Marine Corps (USMC) Force Reconnaissance (Force Recon) can be considered to be the USMC equivalent of units such as the Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, or U.S. Army Special Forces (though their missions do differ by some margin). Although they are not under the wing of U.S. Special Operations Command]], their training and deployment agenda may appear to suggest otherwise (Though some Force Recon Marines have been assigned to a special unit, 'MCSOCOM Detachment One', in an attempt to start integration with USSOCOM). Marine Force Recon operators perform highly specialized, small scale, high-risk operations, such as:

  • Amphibious and deep ground surveillance.
  • Assist in specialized technical missions {Weapons of mass destruction(NBC), Radio, sensors and beacons, etc.}
  • Assist in ordnance delivery (i.e., designating targets for laser-guided bomb units, ground artillery and naval artillery).
  • Conduct 'limited scale raids,' including gas and oil platform (GOPLATS) raids, Military Interdiction Operations (MIOs) and the capture of specific personnel or sensitve materials.
  • Hostage/Prisoner of war rescue

Marine Force Recon detachments operate within Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) {MEU(SOC)}. They are not to be confused with Marine Reconnaissance, as Force operators are much more experienced in deep recon and are at times assigned duties other than reconnaissance (which are not assigned to Recon Marines).

History and Organization


Marine Corps. Force Reconnaissance was first conceived in 1954, at Marine Base Camp Pendleton, outside of San Diego, California, when an experimental recon team was formed. Three years later, that team merged with an existing amphibious reconnaissance company to form the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company.

In 1958, half the Marines in 1st Force were removed from the Company and hauled over to the Eastern seaboard, forming the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. 1st Force supplemented Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPac), while 2nd, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic (FMFLant).

Force Reconnaissance received their baptism by fire during the Vietnam War, arriving first in 1965 and staying for five years. Forty-four Marines of 1st Force were killed or missing in action through the course of the war.

After US withdrawal from Vietnam, 1st Force and 2nd Force were both deactivated in 1974, and the existing Force Marines were rolled into the non-Force 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion in order to maintain Marine Corps deep recon capabilities. However, the roll-in was never completed to a satisfactory condition, and 1st Force Reconnaissance was reactivated as an individual unit in 1986, and was later deployed in the Gulf War.

Many Force Recon Companies are in existence today, and have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.


In order to understand Marine Force Reconnaissance unit organization, Marine unit organization in general should be explained first.

The United States Marine Corps is divided into two zones of operation: Marine Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) and Marine Forces Atlantic (MARFORLANT) and three Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs): MEF I WestPac (MARFORPAC), based on the West Coast; MEF II MedFloat (MARFORLANT), based on the East Coast and MEF III (MARFORPAC), based in Japan. Each MEF consists of a Marine Division, a Marine Air Wing, and a Support Group. Forward deployed Marines make up a smaller unit, known as the Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable {MEU(SOC)}, made up of no more than 2,500 men. Much like the MEFs, MEU(SOC)s are composed of an infantry element, the Battalion Landing Teams (BLT) (which includes the non-Force Division Reconnaissance), an air element, the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadrons with a control detachment, and a support element, the MEU Service Support Groups (MSSG). Tying these three elements together is the Command Element (CE). Force Reconnaissance platoons are attached to and are a part of the Command Element, and their position in the MEU(SOC) is not tied to the Battalion Landing Team.

There are currently seven MEU(SOC)s in the Corp. In MEF I WestPac, there are three MEUs: the 11th, 13th and 15th. They responsible for the Middle-East and the Persian Gulf region. In MEF II MedFloat, there are also three MEUs: the 22nd, 24th and 26th. They focus on countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The last MEF, MEF III, has only one MEU(SOC), based in Okinawa, Japan: the 31st MEU.

MEU(SOC)s are deployed onboard Amphibious Ready Groups, a group of several ships usually centered upon an amphibious assault helicopter carrier (designations for these ships range between LHA, LPH, LHD). As many as three such groups, each carrying its own MEU(SOC), can be deployed around the world at any given time. Because of this constant mobility, a MEU(SOC) can reach any shore in the world within six hours of an order being given.

As of 2004, there are currently four active Marine Force Reconnaissance companies: 1st Force Reconnaissance, based at Camp Pendleton, CA; 2nd Force Reconnaissance, based at Camp Lejeune, NC; 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, based in Mobile, AL and 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, based in Honolulu, HI. 5th Force Reconnaissance was folded into non-Force 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion as Deep Reconnaissance Company, and is based with 31st MEU(SOC) at Okinawa.

As for unit structure, Force Recon companies operates more like a battalion. Taking 1st Force as an example, there is a Commanding Officer (CO, Lt. Col.), Executive Officer (XO, Major) and a Sergeant Major. Other components include S1, S2, S3, S4 and S6 (Administrative, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics, Communications). Beyond that, the Company is divided into six operational platoons, each with a Platoon Commander (Captain) and a Platoon NCO (Sergeant, E-6 SSgt or higher). One of these platoons is a scout/sniper unit retained from the MEU BLT. Navy medical corpsmen are also active in Force Recon units, endure the exact same training as Force Recon members and are very much respected by the Force Marines.


Greenside Operations

The term 'Greenside Operations' refers to operations that do not necessarily require direct force-on-force contact, or is not an open assault or breach. In terms of Force Reconnaissance, this almost always means deep recon patrols. Force Recon Marines operated in six-man teams, and rely on stealth, evasion and training to survive, as they are usually too far ahead of the main force to expect artillery support or quick helicopter extractions. Generally, an operator's kit would include:


Blackside Operations

Blackside, or Direct Action (DA) operations include Tactical Recovery of Aircraft Personnel (TRAP), Gas/Oil Platform (GOPLAT) raids, Vessel/Board/Search/Seizures (VBSS) and other missions involving close quarter battle. Just recently, In-Extremis Hostage Rescue (IHR) was also assigned to Force units to a slight degree in order to supplement the roles of USSOCOM CAG and DEVGRU with a more forward deployed unit.

During blackside ops, a Platoon acts as one and brings along special operators as per mission specifications (i.e., explosive ordnance disposal personnel, electronic warfare specialists, etc.). Force Marines can be inserted into the combat zone in a variety of ways: on land, using the IFAV, by sea, and by air {High Altitude High Opening (HAHO), High Altitude Low Opening (HALO), helicopter fast rope, etc.} A common operational kit includes:

As you can see, most of the article outside the equipment descriptions is identical, except for wikification, a few punctuation changes, and maybe one place where a sentence was moved from one paragraph to another. Now that I've had the time to pick out all the dupes, I'm going to go ahead and remove them form the article, as per the copyvio policy, until this is cleared up. Fox1 14:11, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)