Light-Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Officer
2ndLt - LtCol
Camp Pendleton, CA
Bottom Line, Up Front:
These infantry officers are assigned to LAR Battalions, leading the tactical operations of LAR units in training and combat. They engage with the enemy and collect reconnaissance in force for commanders.
MOS Description and Mission
The 0303 Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Officer MOS is a secondary MOS for 0302 Infantry Officers who will spend their careers in the Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions. LAR Officers are the commanders or their assistants in the Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalions or Supporting Establishment designated billets.
LAR Officers plan, direct and assist in the tactical employment and deployment of LAR units. To fulfill these responsibilities, they collect information requirements; evaluate intelligence; estimate the operational situation; and formulate, coordinate and execute appropriate plans for armored reconnaissance and surveillance, armored security in support of maneuver, offensive and defensive actions, fire support, raids, communications, operational logistics and maintenance. LAR Officers are also responsible for the discipline, morale and welfare of their units' Marines.
LAR Battalions, are fast and mobilized armored terrestrial reconnaissance units that conduct reconnaissance-in-force (RIF) ahead of the battalion landing teams or division infantry forces. They mainly provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and the Marine Expeditionary Unit commanders vital intelligence of the enemy. They perform their methods as special motorized, infantry-based reconnaissance units as they are equipped with LAV-25s to quickly penetrate enemy lines and locate and/or harass any enemy forces to determine their size, strengths, location, and any other pertinent information requested of the Marine commanders.
LAR differs from regular infantry, as their is an emphasis on reconnaissance. The LAR [Light Armored Reconnaissance] battalion performs combined arms reconnaissance and security missions in support of the Ground Combat Element. Its mission is to conduct reconnaissance, security and economy of force operations, and, within its capabilities, limited offensive or defensive operations that exploit the unit's mobility and firepower. LAR is not mechanized infantry and LAR scouts are not employed the same way as infantry or mechanized infantry. Operations requiring large numbers of infantry favor employing mechanized infantry units due to their higher troop density. LAR units are not equipped with either an armored personnel carrier or an infantry fighting vehicle, which a designation as either armored or mechanized infantry would require, and the LAV should not be viewed as an infantry fighting vehicle or as an armored personnel carrier. This vehicle is an armored reconnaissance vehicle that lacks sufficient armor protection and troop density to perform missions normally assigned to a mechanized infantry unit.