3 Tips for Marine Recon Training

marine recon training tipsCheck out these tips and insider information on what it takes to become a United States Marine Recon.

Phase 1 of Training:

4 weeks of running, high repetition PT, obstacle courses, ocean swims with fins, rucking, land navigation, helicopter rappelling and insertion, communications small arms training.

Phase 2 of Training:

3 weeks long of small unit tactics, mission planning and includes a nine-day exercise in full mission profile.

Phase 3 of Training:

2 weeks in Coronado CA learning amphibious reconnaissance, boat operations and nautical navigation.

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Check out this interview with an active duty Recon guy who has been in 18 years. His name, photo and location are withheld for OPSEC.

SGPT: What inspired you to become Marine Recon?

JC: When you join the Marines, your already joining one of the best fighting forces in America. That wasn’t good enough for me, I wanted something more and more challenging, and Marine Recon was the right fit.

SGPT: How did you train before you went into Recon?

JC: Honestly, I really didn’t have a set training schedule. Back then it was alot of run swim runs and lots of calisthenics.

SGPT: What was the hardest part of training for you?

JC: Mental, it was all mental. I knew I had it physically but preparing for this different kind of training is something you dont do on a daily basis as a civilian. Staying focused.

SGPT: What do you wish you had done in training that looking back now you would tell others to do?

JC: Swim in high school, swim often and swim alot, I was never really the greatest at swimming. I would tell others that you need to be that Decathlon type person, you need to be good in all aspects of this profession (run, swim, ruck, obstacles, strength, smart)

SGPT: If your son were going Marine Recon – what things would you tell him to get him ready?

JC: like I said, I would tell him to be an all around athlete, be fit in all aspects and not to focus on one strength but to focus on being strong physically and mentally.

SGPT: How much heavy rucking with a backpack did you do in training?

JC: I did very minimum heavy ruck training and I paid for it during the schoolhouse.

SGPT: What is the “school house”?

JC: Amphibious Reconnaissance School (ARS)

SGPT: How long are the ruck marches there?

JC: A typical ruck run would be week 1 at 5 miles 35 lbs 15 mins per mile and progress to week 12 at 18 miles 60 lbs at 15 mins per mile. Rolling hills, lots of miles on the beaches and trails

SGPT: What about the water training in the surf and the pool? What was the hardest part of that?

JC: Pool was the hardest for me, I was a little weak in the water and not confident at all. Nothing like getting beat up by some good surf passages at night with a bunch gear hanging off you.

SGPT: Are there things you can do to train for the water evolutions?

JC: Yes, most definitely. Swimming in cammie BDU long pants and gear versus slick. Practice bobs (up and down), breath holds, and get your techniques for the strokes to where you become efficient in the water.

SGPT: Thanks for the interview and tips JC!

JC: Absolutely, no problems, if I can leave you one thing before I leave: Do not let any challenges in life define you as a person but to challenge you to be better. Thanks SGPT.

Question: What is a good book about the Marine Force Recon group?

Check out the book MARSOC: U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command.

Question: Coach Brad; I am wondering the requirements for M.A.R.S.O.C?

Answer: Be able to run a 250 or higher PFT. Have great aquatic skills. Maintain a 4 mph (15 minute mile) pace with a 45 pound rucksack regardless of distance.

Question: Where can I learn more info about signing up and joining the Marines?

Answer: Check out the Marine main website here:

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