United States Army Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course

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United States Army Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (formerly Long Range Surveillance Leaders Course, or LRSLC) is an 29 day (four weeks and one day) school offered by the 3d Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment's Department of Reconnaissance and Security. The course was formerly hosted by the 4th Ranger Training Battalion prior to unit reorganizations at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia. The school is open to Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen to train them to expert levels in reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, battle damage assessment, communications, planning, foreign vehicle identification, and other skills. The school was originally created to serve leaders from Long Range Surveillance units (LRSU's), but now provides the specific reconnaissance training needed to ensure the effectiveness of small unit reconnaissance elements (Teams and Squads) for the U.S. Army and Joint force. Given the training focus and difficulty of the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC), the school is still commonly attended by Soldiers from U.S. Army Special Forces, 75th Ranger Regiment's Regimental Reconnaissance Company, Navy SEALs, and Marine Recon; today student populations are comprised primarily of Soldiers from conventional Infantry, Stryker and Armored Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). Following the US Army decision to disband US Army LRS Companies, the reconnaissance fundamentals taught in the course also provides U.S. Military commanders the ability to preserve key LRS skills and abilities within the conventional force.


Given the importance of timely, accurate and relevant battlefield information, U.S. Military commanders require reconnaissance professionals be well-trained, highly skilled and disciplined, and capable of operating forward of Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). The course curriculum is primarily designed to train small unit leaders assigned to reconnaissance formations to include Infantry, Stryker and Armored BCT Cavalry Squadrons; Infantry, Stryker, and Combined Arms Battalion (CAB) Scout Platoons; and SOF personnel. The Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC) Program of Instruction is continuously assessed and refined to ensure it meets these needs, the needs of reconnaissance units, and those of a U.S. Joint force at war.


The Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC) is designed to provide instruction to students through resident instruction at Fort Benning, Georgia. Located on Camp Cornett at Fort Benning's Harmony Church cantonment area, the RSLC Program of Instruction (POI) is tailored to train and test the fundamentals of reconnaissance operations for Soldiers and leaders assigned to reconnaissance Teams and Squads. Therefore, priority for training is to Team Leaders (U.S. Army Specialists to Sergeants), Squad Leaders (U.S. Army Staff Sergeants), and leaders (U.S. Sergeants First Class / Lieutenants) assigned oversight of small unit reconnaissance operations without prior reconnaissance training and experience. In addition to resident course instruction, the RSLC POI provides opportunities to deliver menu-based training through Mobile Training Teams (MTT) at a requesting unit's home station location. Menu-based training enables unit commanders to meet specific reconnaissance focused training priorities without sacrificing other training needs in support of a unit's operational mission requirements. While resident course instruction has priority over menu-based MTT instruction, the RSLC Cadre will work to meet every unit's training needs.

Course intent[edit]

To produce highly skilled, technically competent, and confident reconnaissance leaders capable of leading and training any small reconnaissance unit (Teams and Squads) to win the information fight against hybrid threats in today's complex operational environment. The Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC) provides commanders with a trusted cadre of reconnaissance leaders capable of collecting timely, accurate and relevant information forward of their formations by requiring student mastery of reconnaissance technical and operational skills to include urban and woodland reconnaissance and surveillance, small unit tactics, insertion and extraction techniques, evasion and recovery, communications, target acquisition, fires, planning and reporting.

Course mission[edit]

Conduct the 29-day Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC) to further develop the combat arms related functional skills of officer and non-commissioned officer volunteers eligible for assignments to those units whose primary mission is to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition, and combat assessment operations.

Course history[edit]

The Long Range Surveillance Leaders Course was developed in 1986 to fill a void that existed in Ranger training when Long-Range Surveillance Units (LRSUs) were reactivated that same year. To fulfill this requirement, the course was initially designed to emphasize the mission essential tasks drawn from lessons learned from previous long range reconnaissance patrol operations in the jungles of Southeast Asia conducted by Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) units that the LRSUs find their lineage. The course layout also used some of the successful Recondo School formats taught by the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam created by General William Westmoreland.

In July 2002, the Long Range Surveillance Leaders Course was renamed the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader Course. Today, its mission is to further develop the combat arms related functional skills of officer and non-commissioned officer volunteers eligible for assignments to those units whose primary mission is to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition and combat assessment operations.

The cadre is currently playing a very important role in the development of the future Airborne, Air Assault, Light, and Special Reconnaissance Force. The course continues to evolve in order to meet the Force’s ever-changing reconnaissance and collection requirements.

This is accomplished by focusing on basic skills that include: reporting procedures, high frequency radio communications, acquiring a target, discrimination of vehicle, weapons, and equipment identification features, and small unit infiltration and exfiltration. The course also teaches operational techniques, tactics and procedures that enhance team battle drills, hide and surveillance site selection and construction, urban reconnaissance, tactical survival, evasion & recovery, detailed mission planning, airborne operations, and FRIES and SPIES methods of insertion and extraction.

The Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader Course (RSLC) produces leaders who are highly skilled, adaptive, and competent. They are able to train and lead their units, enhancing their unit capabilities and ultimately developing a force multiplier on the battlefield. Upon successful completion of the RSLC training, graduates are authorized the SIX BRAVO (6B) additional skill identifier.[1]


  1. ^ http://www.benning.army.mil/armor/316thCav/RSLC/index.html [Official website of the US Army Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course]