The Marine Reconnaissance community has been through a lot in the last ten years. Some of it has gone for the better. A lot of it has not.
At the beginning of the war in Iraq, 1st Recon Bn was pushed into a mechanized role it wasn’t prepared for. The men took the mission and did what they could with it, pushing ahead of 1st Marine Division on the way to Baghdad, securing important sites and looking for Iraqi forces. 1st Force, augmented by platoons from 3rd and 4th Force, was out on the flanks, supporting I MEF on the march up.
But when they redeployed, 1st Recon Bn found itself holding battlespace. Recon Marines were put in the role of regular grunts. Even after Recon stopped holding ground in 2005, we regularly found ourselves in similar situations, just not tied to a particular area. Conventional Marine commanders had no idea how to employ a Reconnaissance unit.
Some of this was due to a lack of understanding. Some of it was, and is, willful ignorance.