Malik Mullino: Retired Sergeant Major Sheds Light on Marine Reconnaissance

Retired Sergeant Major Malik Mullino takes us on a riveting journey into the secretive world of Marine Reconnaissance, shedding light on their exceptional training, missions, and the unique role they play within the Marine Corps. From their legendary exploits in the canals and cornfields of Trek Nawa to the challenges they face today, Malik offers an inside look into the elite force known as Marine Recon.

The Black Diamonds:

In the summer of 2010, Marines from 1st Recon Battalion ventured into the heart of southern Afghanistan to hunt the Taliban. Their distinct diamond-shaped night vision mounts marked them as anything but ordinary grunts. A Taliban commander warned his fighters not to mess with the “Black Diamonds” – the formidable 1st Recon Battalion.

What Sets Recon Marines Apart:

Marine Reconnaissance is a highly secretive and exceptionally trained branch of the Marine Corps. They are better equipped and better trained than standard infantrymen but are not classified as special operations forces. This unique classification stems from their allegiance to the Fleet Marine Force rather than the United States Special Operations Command.

Special Operations Capable:

Despite not falling under SOCOM, Recon Marines are considered “special operations capable.” They undergo rigorous training, including Army Airborne School, the Marine Combatant Diver Course, and SERE School. Some even pursue advanced courses like the Scout Sniper Course and Army Ranger School.

Understanding Force Recon:

Marine Recon is divided into two elements: Division Recon and Force Recon. Division Recon supports their respective Marine divisions with division-level intelligence and reconnaissance. Force Recon operates under the Marine Expeditionary Force, specializing in deep reconnaissance far behind enemy lines.

Green vs. Black Operations:

Recon missions are categorized as green or black. Green operations focus on reconnaissance and intelligence gathering while avoiding enemy detection. Black operations involve direct action, such as engaging the enemy or capturing high-value targets.

Legacy of Excellence:

Recon Marines earned the moniker “super grunts” during the Vietnam War for their exceptional training and daring missions. Today, they continue to prove their mettle on the battlefields of the War on Terror, reaffirming their status as one of the Marine Corps’ deadliest assets.

Malik Mullino’s insights provide a captivating glimpse into the world of Marine Reconnaissance, honoring their legacy of excellence and unwavering commitment to their nation and the Corps.

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