Marine Corps announces decision to establish the Scout Platoon to increase infantry battalion capabilities as part of Force Design 2030

6 Mar 2023 | Courtesy Story The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

In accordance with Force Design 2030, the Commandant of the Marine Corps has approved the establishment of a 26-Marine Scout Platoon, resident in the infantry battalion, to provide all-weather, timely information to the battalion commander.

Additionally, as part of the Force Design plan to divest most weapon-specific military occupational specialties in the infantry battalions, the Marine Corps has divested of the scout sniper platoon structure, though the service will retain the precision marksmanship capability within the infantry battalion to be employed as necessary for specific missions. The sniper weapons and designated marksmen will be sustained in the infantry companies to provide a precision shooting capability.

Scout Snipers have faithfully served the Marine Corps for decades. As the Marine Corps evolves to prepare for the future fight, we must modernize the employment of legacy capabilities. Snipers, and the capabilities they provide, are not going away. Infantry company precision marksmen, 0322 Reconnaissance Sniper Marines, and scout platoons provide increased flexibility to commanders when employing their forces. This model is more lethal and relevant while still preserving the ability to employ snipers and precision marksmen when necessary.

These changes were validated by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory during the Infantry Battalion Experimentation effort.

To be awarded the 0322 MOS, Reconnaissance Marines will attend the Reconnaissance Sniper Course to enhance the training received at the Basic Reconnaissance Course with the skills and abilities historically taught at the Basic Scout Sniper Course. Through the end of FY23, the Marine Corps will continue to train Marines at the Basic Scout Sniper Course to ensure infantry battalions retain scouting and precision marksmanship capabilities while the training and curriculum necessary to meet fleet requirements is developed, although the 0317 MOS will no longer be awarded at the end of FY23.