O Recondo Distractum
February 9, 2006 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Recondo! In 1966, the MACV Recondo School was established to train Special Forces Units in long-range recon tactics and commando operations. Graduates were called "Recondos" and could infiltrate enemy-controlled territory for long periods of time without being resupplied. The school was well known enough to spawn a cheezy GI Joe character. Apparently you can easily infiltrate Hollywood as well with allegedly false Recondo credentials.
posted by Smedleyman (12 comments total)
Some serious cheese in the Green Beret Magazine.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:40 PM on February 9, 2006

When Arabs do it it's called a "sleeper cell".
posted by clevershark at 3:42 PM on February 9, 2006

Recondo wasn't all that cheesy. Guys like Quick-Kick just plain hurt to look at.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:34 PM on February 9, 2006

Just the writing and tone, scaryblackdeath. Reminds me of pretty much all the expositive/narrative stuff from the mid to late 60s.
(the Woodstock documentary f'rexample had that 'port-o-san' bit).
I dunno, it's kinda cute in it's naivety, ironic that it's such a serious topic.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:38 PM on February 9, 2006

There were a number of these fakes floating around the movie business. Anybody remember the infamous Frank Dux? Of "Bloodsport" fame.

I went some cheesy-ass Martial Arts seminar years back where he was billed as a former Special Forces operative and 'Nam vet. However, he would have been the words youngest SF guy at 14 years old when he said he was there. He dug himself in deeper by claiming he was in 7th Special Forces... of which my father was a Lt. Col during the time Dux claimed to have served. No WAY he would not have known that.
posted by tkchrist at 6:31 PM on February 9, 2006

In Michael Herr's Dispatches, they were called LURPS.

Or is a LURP slightly different to a Recondo?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:22 PM on February 9, 2006

Long Range Reconnaisance Patrol. Some of them went to RECONDO.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:23 AM on February 10, 2006

I worked with a guy who insisted he'd been a SEAL but "couldn't remember" his BUD/S class number -- and claimed he'd gotten out of SERE school by beating up the instructors! I asked about him in the appropriate web site and sure enough, I got several replies from people who said they'd been SEALs when this guy claimed he'd served and they'd never heard of him.
posted by alumshubby at 5:21 AM on February 10, 2006

Cheers Smedleyman - have you read anything about CCC teams in Laos and Cambodia at all? If not I'd recommend the (fictional) book Blackfoot Is Missing (Amazon UK Link) by William F. Owen. He's a very decent chap who I know from elsewhere and he spent many many hours interviewing many of the RT team members involved in recon. Good operational details and background.

It's quite tragic how many people out there will try the "I'm ex-SAS" line or similar but it's usually pretty easy to tell. We used to have a bloke come into a pub I worked in many moons ago who claimed to have served in the 24th SAS Regiment, at least until I pointed out that the 24th Regiment doesn't actually exist.
posted by longbaugh at 6:08 AM on February 10, 2006

Interesting stuff longbaugh thanks
posted by Smedleyman at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2006

Recondo was not cheesy, though his Tiger Force transfer to piloting a helicopter made no sense.
posted by drezdn at 9:26 AM on February 10, 2006

From tkchrist's link on Frank Dux: There is no evidence of the Ninja teacher, Senzo Tanaka, sometimes referred to as Takizo Tanaka, or the two nephews of Tanaka which Frank Dux says he trained with.

Well of course, there wouldn't be any evidence left lying around if they were ninjas. Unless they flipped out and killed someone.

But alumshubby's comment reminds me of a similar incident I had a couple of years ago. I was placed in charge of training a new security officer, who was basically some young punk with a larger mouth than a brain. He spent an hour or so on the first day bragging about how he was kicked out of Army basic training a couple of years earlier because he was too tough, regaling me with stories about how he beat up one drill sergeant during combatives training, how another drill sergeant ordered him to drive a Humvee through a minefield, and tons of other obvious bullshit. I listened quietly and bemusedly to his tall tales... it wasn't until later on in the day after he retold all this to a couple of others in the office that I called him on it - him not knowing (of course) while the others in my office did, that I had until recently been in the Army and left with the NCO rank of staff sergeant, and that my final assignment had been to a drill sergeant unit. [Needless to say, he didn't last very long at the job with his penchant for fakery.]
posted by SenshiNeko at 1:56 AM on February 11, 2006

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