top of page
  • Writer's pictureForce Recon Association

Black Diamond

Author: Master Gunnery Sergeant Brian Yarolem, USMC (Ret.) to 1st Recon Bn during the presentation of its deployment in 2010 to Afghanistan.

I have one exceptional quote from Higher Headquarters:

"In the middle days of the Sangin Operations General Mattis visited RC SW. He had a meeting with Gen Osterman and the MEF CG. They briefed the Campaign and stats to General Mattis. Gen Osterman was making rounds later up in Sangin and he visited Recons shabby Jump CP at FOB Jackson. He stated that Gen Mattis had said, In relation to Recon, "This is the deadliest Battalion I have seen in Afghanistan. I don't know what they did before they got here but I want every other Battalion deploying to Afghanistan to do the same." This is a paraphrase that was relayed in a third person quote.

Additionally, as I am sure has always been quoted, there is the "Black Diamond" nickname. It was 1st Recon that earned that name for the community in Afghanistan. I am positive of that because of a personal story told by Maj Revoir (now LtCol Revoir): When he left Sangin DC on 22 Nov 2010, he was sitting on the flight line at night, smoking a cigarette, at some intermediate air FOB trying to get back to Leatherneck. His ruck was sitting next to him with his helmet sitting on top, the Black NOROTOS mount clearly visible. The Other Government Agency (OGA) guy with a beard and your typical 511 gear walked over, out of the dark, and asked where he could get a helmet like his. Sarcastically, he told him to join Recon. He then explained that the "Black Diamond" on the front was one of the main topics his Afghanistan "sources" talked about when he was in the Trek Nawa, Marjah, and Sangin areas. He said it was a symbol to the Taliban and they called the Recon Marines they saw with this helmet the "Black Diamonds." He said He asked his "source" what that meant. The OGA Guy told Revoir that the Afghani he was talking to stated that fighting a Marine with the black diamond meant death.

I know the Black Diamond story is dated and has been told perhaps many times before. But the above story is how I first heard about it; unsolicited, on a flight line at night to our Ops O, from some guy that wasn’t a Marine, looking for a helmet so he would have an edge. I guess that’s what gets me about the story. With all the bombs, drones, rockets and stuff we have in our arsenal this guy wanted a helmet to get an edge up in combat. Personally, that says more about the guys wearing the Helmets than any nickname like "Black Diamonds." This guy felt he would live longer with the Helmet because when the enemy saw it they would walk the other way.

Another Nickname given to 1st Recon (earned by Bravo Company) from the enemy, was "Sons Of Satan." It was enemy radio chatter after a particularly tough fight. The Taliban that described us as the "Sons of Satan" was trying to explain to his Higher Headquarters why he didn't want to go back and fight. When asked why he wouldn't he stated: " Because they are the Sons of Satan."

3,512 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page