2D Recon Battalion Association Newsletter Fall 2022


Greetings Marines, Corpsmen, and Recon Families,

I hope this finds all of you doing well. It’s hard to believe that this year is soon to draw to a close. 2022 has been a big year for our Association. Offsites were held, spontaneous gatherings, the reunion, and the Battalion’s first birthday ball in three years. The Association was also able to help a Marine veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who had been wounded.

Our attendance at the reunion continues to grow. The best recruiter is you—call up your old team mates and tell them what they are missing. Membership for active duty is free—our recruiting officer, Larry Hansen signed up many Marines and Corpsmen at the reunion. The reunion will be held 22-25 June at the Sneads Ferry/Camp Lejeune area. See the reunion page for details.

Semper Fi,

Wayne Dillon

President, 2d Reconnaissance Battalion Association



 In Memoriam


In Memoriam: GySgt. Steve O’Hara USMC (Ret.)

A great Marine and a fine man, Steve O’Hara, passed away at his home in Suffolk, Virginia on 23 November after a long battle with cancer.

Steve was born in 1961 and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University and was enrolled in Navy ROTC. He passed up the opportunity to receive a commission in the Navy to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1985. During his twenty years of service, he served in several special operations units, including 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Recon Battalion, 5th Force Reconnaissance Company, and Small Craft Company, 2d Marine Division. He also served as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island and was an Amphibious Reconnaissance School instructor, as well as shooting on the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team, earning gold medals and representing the United States in the NATO matches. After his retirement from the Marine Corps in 2005, Steve worked as a defense contractor in the information technology field. Steve continued to serve, being the commander of his local Marine Corps League. He was a founding member of the 2d Recon Battalion Association, serving as the secretary. He was instrumental in raising funds for the establishment of the Association’s monument to our fallen, which was installed at Quantico, Virginia in November, 2020.

On 10 November, Steve was visited by several 2d Recon Marines: Michael J. Graham, Frank Seaman, Doogan Boyd, Tim Tuomey, and Wayne Dillon. Tim had been staying with the O’Haras for several weeks to help with Steve’s needs. Frank went back to the O’Hara residence and was with Steve until right before Steve departed. Lee Ann told us “Steve really brightened up when members of the Association came to visit. Not so much for members of other organizations.”

 Steve leaves behind his loving wife, Lee Ann, and three sons: James (former staff sergeant), Daniel, and Sean as well as two wonderful granddaughters, Cassidy (2017), and Mya (2021).








The above photos are from our reunion this summer.

  1. Group photo in front of the battalion headquarters at Courthouse Bay. We reminded the active duty Marines that some day they will look like this!
  2. Plank holder and senior Association member Vic Zwolak with Michael Moler, the son of Mike Moler, who passed away last year. His widow, Christina, attended and brought Michael. At the dinner auction, bidding was fast and fierce on a custom knife which was anonymously donated. Young Michael became upset when it appeared that he would not be able to get the knife. Being the kind gentleman that he is, Vic outbid all. He then presented the knife to a smiling Michael.
  3. Steve O’Hara’s team, Team Cowboy (bunch of damn cowboys!) 1st Platoon, Charlie Co., on a NATO deployment, Exercise NORTHERN WEDDING in 1986. Members left to right: Steve O’Hara, Steve Gasper, Alan Dichristofaro, and Michael Graham.
  4. Team Cowboy at the reunion, believed to be the only intact team to attend a reunion.


Itinerary 2023

Thurs. 22 June:

Arrive Hampton Inn Sneads Ferry/North Topsail Beach, 1248 NC Hwy. 210, Sneads Ferry, NC 28460. Check in time is 1500.

Fri. 23 June:

0700: Board Transportation

0800-1200: Interactive activities (range, boats, etc. TBD)

1200-1230: Enroute Bn. area

1230: Awards formation at 2d Recon Battalion headquarters
1300: Completion - static display/BBQ with BN members at ORP in the back of
the Bn

1430: Board transportation enroute Hampton Inn

1600: Leadership meeting in Seahawk Room

1700: Membership meeting in Seahawk Room


Sat: 24 June:

Day is open for families to enjoy the beach, local attractions, etc.

1700: Board transportation enroute Paradise Point Officers Club

1730-2030: Association Dinner and auction in the Carolina Room

2030: Board transportation enroute to Hampton Inn.


Sun. 25 June:

1100: Check out/depart

Our “base camp” is the Hampton Inn, Sneads Ferry/Topsail Beach. We have a group rate of $154 per night that is good until May 23rd. Just mention that you are with the 2d Recon Battalion Association. The telephone number is (910) 327-5555. Don’t delay!



Today’s Marines


Today’s Recon Marines certainly go through a different training pipeline that those of previous generations. In past years, the individual graduated boot camp (most, but not all 2d Recon Marines came through Parris Island), then to Infantry Training School (ITS) at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, which is now known as the School of Infantry (SOI) East. Students from any of the infantry military occupational specialties (MOSs) were given the opportunity to take the Recon indoctrination. This was usually conducted at the unit on a Saturday morning. Events may have varied over time, but consisted of such events as a three-mile pack run with a 50-pound pack, while wearing boots and utilities; a timed running of the obstacle course; a memory test consisting of memorizing ten items; and anything else the NCOs conducting the event injected. Afterwards, the applicants were taken to the swimming pool, where the “wheat was separated from the chaff.” A majority of the applicants would pass the previous events only to fail the swimming portion. Those who passed would be assigned to 2d Recon Battalion after graduation.

Once arriving at the unit, the Marines would then be assigned to the Reconnaissance Indoctrination Platoon (RIP) in Delta Company. The length of the course was generally four to six weeks, depending on school dates and operational commitments. After completing RIP, the graduates then went to Amphibious Reconnaissance School (ARS) at Fort Story, Virginia. Upon completing ARS, the Marine was then assigned to a platoon in one of the line companies (A, B, C, or D) and to an operational team under the tutelage of an experienced team leader. 

In the early 1990s, the structure of the plan for a platoon was basically (1) a forming/schools phase, (2) the evaluation phase, (3) the deployment phase, and finally (4) the dissolution phase.

During the forming/schools phase, Marines and Corpsmen attended schools such as Airborne, SCUBA, Ranger, and Coxswain Course. In the evaluation phase, the members were back from schools and had practiced the many tasks that the Mission Essential Task List (METL) required, with patrolling being the heart of this effort. After a sufficient time to prepare, the platoon was then evaluated by NCOs from other companies. With all the platoon’s gear and equipment, it was moved to a location, placed in isolation, and given missions. With the NCOs closely observing, the teams were evaluated at each step. Once passing this evaluation, the platoon was ready to “lock on” with in support of an infantry battalion and its attachments (Battalion Landing Team, or BLT) deploying to the Mediterranean with a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). This phase consisted on a six-month period called the “Blue/Green Work Up,” during which the platoon conducted various reconnaissance missions in support of the BLT. The BLT and the MEU were evaluated during this period, along with their Navy counterparts. At the end of this phase, the platoon deployed with the MEU for six months, though they were sometimes extended due to operational commitments. After the deployment, the platoon “dissolved.” The members would leave the service, reenlist, or go to other units.

Today’s Marines can enlist of a Recon Guarantee contract for five years. However, to make it to a recon unit they still have to pass the indoctrination; if not, they go to the big infantry killing machine. After completing SOI, they are assigned to Amphibious Reconnaissance Course (ARC) at Camp Pendleton, California. After ARC, the Marines attend a variety of schools such as Airborne, Free Fall Parachute, Dive, SERE, etc. before arriving at the unit.

The Marines above are products of this training pipeline. The Marine on the left is Patrick Leathers, son of David and Jeanette Leathers. They had just arrived at 2d Recon before the reunion. MGySgt. Dale has them hard at work, and also required that they shave their heads (a bit of hair envy?!) Note that they are wearing the Basic Airborne and Combat Diver insignia. In previous years, 2d Recon Marines counted themselves fortunate to get even one of these devices.

This process is a vast improvement over the previous. Today’s Marines arrive at their new unit ready to train and deploy.


Book Review

Swift, Silent, and Deadly: Marine Amphibious Reconnaissance in the Pacific, 1942-1945


Bruce Meyers, an experienced reconnaissance Marine officer, paints a colorful and accurate picture of the special recon landings that preceded every major amphibious operation in the Pacific during World War II. Credited with saving countless lives, the Marine scouting missions usually went in stealthily at night from submarines, PT boats, Catalina sea planes, and high-speed transports. Swift, silent, and deadly, they landed on more than two hundred enemy beaches from Guadalcanal to Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, collecting intelligence on potential landing sites. They measured water depths, charted coral heads, gathered soil samples, sought out enemy locations, and took photographs. In short, they obtained information vital to the success of American operations in the Pacific.
With this book World War II Marine recon landings are chronicled for the first time - only in later wars have their contributions been fully documented. Here Meyers explains the start of it all, letting readers appreciate the courage and daring of these intrepid Marines as they slipped over the sides of their rubber boats and made their way inland.

Swift, Silent, and Deadly contains a forward by Gen. James L. Jones, 32d Commandant of the Marine Corps.





Memorial Day Weekend: This get together in southwest Indiana is held Memorial Day weekend annually. Site has 131 acres of woods with a 16-acre lake, shooting ranges, fishing, cabin bunks, shower, disco ball, 8-track tape player, and world-class outhouse. If interested contact Wayne Dillon at 931-561-2575 or [email protected].

Sawmill Shootout: Held the first weekend of October at Frank Seaman’s Virtue of Defense tactical shooting facility in the beautiful western North Carolina mountains. Contact Frank at 828-442-7404 or [email protected] if interested.

Supporting our Community



Two scholarships are available to Association members and their dependents. The Larry Ashton Memorial Scholarship, administered by the Ashton family, is dedicated to supporting those who are studying to work as health professionals. The Association administers a general scholarship. The deadline for these scholarships is 15 August. For more information, contact Wayne Dillon at [email protected].

Community Support

The Association has recently been able to provide financial support to one of our own facing cancer and job loss. This support is needs-based and applicants are vetted. We recently offered assistance to a former 2d Recon Marine who had been wounded in Iraq. Our Veterans Service Officer, Michael Graham, vetted him. When I talked to him and advised him that it was a grant, and not a loan, he was very adamant that it would be a loan, and that he would pay it back. Two years ago, we had a similar situation, helping a member who had leukemia. Though it was given as a grant, he insisted on paying it back, and did! Such is the character of our Marines. We also had a request for assistance from another former 2d Recon Marine, whom I personally visited. Though he had served in 2d Recon Battalion, he had made a life of being a criminal and scammer—request denied. Your leadership does its best to be good stewards of the money you have been so generous with. 



 2d Recon Battalion Ball


The Battalion celebrated the 247th birthday of our beloved Corps on 12 November at the Sheraton Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Due to the COVID 19 restrictions, this was the first Ball since 2019. For many of the younger Marines, this was the first Ball they had the opportunity to attend. The Ball was, as to be expected, a real first-class event. The ceremony, the appearance and conduct of the Marines and guests and the facility were all excellent.

A real highlight was the appearance of the Coastal Carolina Shields. This band is composed of former law enforcement personnel, most from the New England area, who moved to coastal South Carolina after retiring. They put on an amazing performance! Much thanks to Michael Graham for coordinating this amazing show of talent.



Kevin and Melinda Dale


Master Gunnery Sergeant Kevin Dale, Battalion Operations Chief, has been a staunch supporter of the 2d Reconnaissance Battalion Association since day one of taking the reins. He has been a real pleasure to work with, especially when coordinating the reunions. His common response during planning meetings was, “What can we do to make this happen?” He is best known for his motivating “Man in the Arena” toast at the reunion dinners and the “25 and 5” challenge at the awards formation.

Kevin is retiring after 30 years of service. His retirement ceremony will be held 19 May at Onslow Beach. Details will be posted in the Spring FRAG and on social media. All Association members are invited. His successor, MGySgt. Scott Young has assumed duties as the Battalion Operations Chief, and appears to be cut from the same cloth. When I met him at the reunion, he expressed how he was looking forward to working with the Association to continue the great relationship in place.




I would like to welcome about Jerry Newland as our Membership Chairman. Connect with Jerry with any questions or issues you may have.

Email:                    [email protected]

Mail:                      2nd Recon Association
Jerry Newland

5231 Hammock Circle

St. Cloud, FL 34771