The U.S. Marine Corps are expanding their Force Recon strength, and are seeking 150 Marines and 20 Navy medics (corpsmen) for a commando type unit within their Force Recon organization. Most of these men will be selected from current Recon and Force Recon troops. Any Marine in an infantry unit can apply for the division Recon battalion, which is a good way to develop experience for later applying to get into Force Recon. Marine candidates for Force Recon must be at least an infantry sergeant or very senior corporal. Technical specialists can try out if they are at least a lance corporal. Candidates that pass the strenuous physical and psychological tests are then sent to a RIP (Recon Indoctrination Platoon), where they are tested with typical Force Recon tasks (patrols, long marches, swimming and not much sleep). After several weeks of this, the ones that are still there, and appear to have the right attitude, are sent on to Jump School (for parachute training) and further Force Recon training. This includes sniper, scuba and other specialized skills. The marines are interested in making their Force Recon part of SOCOM, which is why the new commando force is being put together.
Force Recon units were established in 1957 to provide exceptionally skilled reconnaissance troops, as well as men capable to commando type operations. Note that the Navy SEALs were not established until the early 1960s. Force Recon companies have six platoons, each with one officer and 14 troops. There is also a Service platoon with one officer and 35 troops and a headquarters section with five officers and 26 troops. There are three companies in the Force Recon battalion. One company is largely for training, the other two companies are for recon operations, with one company having the most experienced marines, for the most difficult missions.
The principal missions of Force Recon are; Collect information on enemy, engage enemy by supporting arms when so directed or authorized, implant sensors (electronic devices that listen for sound, or electronic transmissions), capture selected prisoners, conduct specialized terrain reconnaissance, conduct initial terminal guidance operations (provide targets for smart bombs and missiles.)
The Navy SEALs recruit from Recon and Force Recon units, as does, unofficially, the Army Delta Force.