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  #1  
Old 10 October 2011, 16:08
sfmike sfmike is offline
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Recondo School

In January, 1968, I attended The MACV Recondo School in Nha Trang, RVN. It was said to be the toughest school in the Army with an actual Combat Mission in the last week:

RECONDO

One of the most prestigious qualifications that could be earned by soldiers during the Vietnam War was to graduate from the Recondo School.

The inspiration for the school was the successful Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) training program provided for personnel from Detachment B-52 of the 5th Special Forces Group (Project Delta). The Project Delta course was established in May 1964 and the effectiveness of its techniques quickly led to student application requests from regular Army units. By August 1966 soldiers from conventional units accounted for 52% of each class.

Cognisant of the success of Project Delta course, General William Westmoreland1 directed that Special Forces organize and conduct a three-week course of instruction on LRRP techniques for selected personnel from U.S and FWMAF2 units. The resulting MACV Recondo3 school was opened in Nha Trang by Westmoreland in September 1966 and Major Edward Rybat was named as its Assistant Commandant and Detachment Commander of the school staff4.

Student selection was deemed to be critical to the success of the LRRP program and a result the school implemented the following stringent selection criteria:

Each student must:
• Be a volunteer
• Possess a combat arms MOS (Military Occupational Speciality)
• Be in excellent physical condition
• Have a minimum of one month in-country
• Have six months remaining in Vietnam
• Have an actual or anticipated assignment to a LRRP unit
• Be proficient in general military subjects
Having been accepted each student was required to bring to the school three sets of Jungle Fatigues, three sets of underwear, three towels, two pairs of Jungle Boots and his M-16 or CAR-15 rifle.
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  #2  
Old 14 October 2011, 14:23
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paratroop77 paratroop77 is offline
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I read in some old LRRP books that the final mission was an ambush, is this true? What about attending a Ranger course while in country? Also read that it was black and red, unlike the black and gold tab.
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  #3  
Old 14 October 2011, 18:16
Impavidus Impavidus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paratroop77 View Post
I read in some old LRRP books that the final mission was an ambush, is this true? What about attending a Ranger course while in country? Also read that it was black and red, unlike the black and gold tab.
I have never heard the 'Black and Red' before, but that would be interesting if true. I grew up on "Six Silent Men" books and ended up running into one of the team members while attending EMT-B at Tacoma Community College. Thanks for the story Mike.
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Old 16 October 2011, 20:02
sfmike sfmike is offline
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LRRP TAB

Our Tab in the LRRP varied based upon when you served:
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  #5  
Old 16 October 2011, 21:23
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As a teenager in the 80s, I was fortunate to become friends with a Vietnam vet that had attended Recondo School. He served with F/51st Infantry and ended up retiring from the National Guard as a Major. I remember him telling me that the final exercise was a combat mission. He made quite an impression on this youngster and greatly influenced my decision to serve.
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Old 17 October 2011, 09:18
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Quote:
What about attending a Ranger course while in country? Also read that it was black and red, unlike the black and gold tab.
Unit scrolls vs tabs. I've seen black on red RANGER tabs in surplus stores - never saw any issued or worn.

We issued black on red 'COMMANDO' tabs to the Liberians receiving Ranger training in Bomi Hills - bought them at one of the surplus stores on Yadkin Road.

Quote:
It was said to be the toughest school in the Army...


The projects had their own 1-0 school - first at Kham Duc and then at Long Thanh.

Richard
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Old 24 October 2011, 09:00
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Hardest 18 days of my life. Run by 5th SFG.
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  #8  
Old 24 October 2011, 15:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paratroop77 View Post
I read in some old LRRP books that the final mission was an ambush, is this true? What about attending a Ranger course while in country? Also read that it was black and red, unlike the black and gold tab.
A friend of mine was a LRRP in 1969, and was wounded pretty badly about 6 months into his tour.

In talking to him, as I understood it the exigencies of their mission were so great that the learning curve was steep, basically OJT, and it was ongoing. I don't know about whether the final exercise was an ambush, but I've heard it said that "training was a combat mission", which would seem about the same thing.
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Old 25 October 2011, 04:28
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Several of my buddies went through Recondo at Ft Carson in the summer of '89 I think it was. Always wondered what the lineage was and whether it was still considered the "real" Recondo, minus the combat mission. The guys I knew that did it said it was a cast iron bitch.
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Old 1 November 2011, 00:12
Want2b Want2b is offline
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I hope I am not intruding. Thought ya'll may find this interesting. It is a History Chanel Special on Recondo School

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMZIm...eature=related
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  #11  
Old 9 November 2011, 13:51
justanotherj justanotherj is offline
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Gents,
I'm attempting to try and track down a Recondo certificate for Thomas Newman. He was a Pararescueman that recieved the Air Force Cross in may of 1968 and went through the Recondo course in December of 1968. Shortly after that school, he returned to the states and was unable to track it down. Any help would be appreciated.
Here is a link with a picture: http://militarytimes.com/citations-m...cipientid=3593
Thanks
JAJ
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  #12  
Old 9 November 2011, 16:19
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You know, I've been racking my brains trying to remember what I had heard early on in my mil career, and what I just remembered, when I asked VN vets in the early 70's that wore that patch what " RECONDO" stood for. They said "Reconnaissance Doughboy". Anyone else heard that?
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  #13  
Old 9 November 2011, 17:43
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Less common Latin for I hide or conceal.

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  #14  
Old 11 February 2012, 12:33
sfmike sfmike is offline
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I was in Class 19-68, Graduate 1145.
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  #15  
Old 11 February 2012, 13:44
Miami Sam Miami Sam is offline
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Glad you revived this thread, Mike. Well done. If I'm not mistaken Marine Recon also had an in-country qual & cert course in Danang. Unlike Recondo, I do not believe they had a "hot" final exam.
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  #16  
Old 11 February 2012, 13:56
JSOC Marine 82 JSOC Marine 82 is offline
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When I joined 3rd Force in June '67 all new Marines and corpsman had to attend a short (about a week as I recall) indoc course. It was run by 3rd Recon Bn at Phu Bai and did not include a combat mission. The course was intended to teach you how recon operated and included a day with actual arty calls for fire. I can't speak for what 1st Recon and 1st Force did to prepare their people. I do remember reading in The Stars and Strips newspaper about the Recondo course and the final exercise being an actual combat patrol.
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  #17  
Old 11 February 2012, 17:49
sfmike sfmike is offline
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We had a USMC LT and A Gunnery SGT in my class.
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Old 12 February 2012, 07:58
Miami Sam Miami Sam is offline
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Were all Army applicants who successfully completed the course assigned to LRRP? Did some return to their old units with the qualification (and the skill set & prestige) but not necessarily the assignment? Hope these aren't dumb questions, just curious.
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  #19  
Old 12 February 2012, 13:38
sfmike sfmike is offline
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Smile

Most participants were assigned to the various LRRP Companies, but not all! In my class, we had two USMC, a team of six ROK Marines, & two SF new in-country who were going to the Greek Lettered Projects.

SFMike
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  #20  
Old 12 February 2012, 17:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdogonroad View Post
You know, I've been racking my brains trying to remember what I had heard early on in my mil career, and what I just remembered, when I asked VN vets in the early 70's that wore that patch what " RECONDO" stood for. They said "Reconnaissance Doughboy". Anyone else heard that?
Never heard that term; however it could have been used after 1967 when I left.
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