What are "Special Services" in the US Marines?

Discussion in 'US' started by Excognito, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_E._Howard

    I note that First Sergeant Howard spent a lot of time in Special Services, which appears to be (fundamentally) an admin function. However, I'm intrigued by him following several years of Special Services by becoming an instructor in counter insurgency.
  2. Possibly organising Thai "massage" girls for marines on r&r from vietnam? :lol: :lol: :lol:
    And before anybody has a go for this post, I am aware of his outstanding courage and this is just a gentle jest!!
  3. Headquarters and Service Company is where the Battalions Recce element(Seperate from the Force Recon Companies) falls under for admin purposes.

    Along with Heavy Mortars, Machineguns, Staff Sections, Command group, Snipers, etc.
  4. That sounds more like the kind of thing that I'd expect from a Marine Morale and Entertainment section.

    "Men. We're going to throw a surprise firework party for our friends down the road - I think their morale's a little low and they need cheering up. Macgregor, you've got some Scottish ancestry - see if you can lay on a little claymore exhibition. Kowalski, I think the NVA are looking a little undernourished, maybe we can add a little phosphorous to their diet ... well, if we haven't got any wholemeal then I guess white will have to do. Meanwhile, I'll have a word with the flyboys to see if they'd like to give a little display. Now it'll be difficult for them to give the standard 'high five' greeting, so we'll just have to settle for the their famous 'Naval Aviator's Palm'"
  5. In the USMC of the time you had Force Recon Companies and division Recon Battalions.GySgt Howard was a member of one of these battalions, an acting platoon commander, during the actions for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. There was no recon platoon within the infantry battalion though I suppose a platoon from the Recon Battalion could be attached.
  6. "Just saw this. Jimmie and I served together at one time. A nice guy, inspiring leader and fierce warrior. He was no "one trick pony" in that he was awarded the Silver Star for heroism as a Corporal (quite rare in those days) in Korea.

    I think the reference to "special service" is a layman's attempt to refer to the USMC "special operations forces" that were not referred to in that way in those days but were rather referred to "recon" Marines. It is only in recent years that these units morphed into "special operations" forces per se when the USMC finally agreed (after considerable arm twisting) to participate in the US Special Operations Command.

    "Special services" in the USMC have traditionally been the "back water" assignments at bases and stations where otherwise incompetent, marginal or misfit Marines were assigned and their duties involved managing the intramural sports facilities, issuing soccer (football) balls etc.