1st Recon Bn. Association
Fall/Winter 2012
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Robert G. “Doc” Buehl

Charles Kershaw

Gary Maxam

Curtis Gruetzmacher

Bob Morris

David “Doc” Snider

Fred Arthur
Ken BenckwItz
John C. Clary
Bill Laber

Dave Backer

Larry Feldman

Gilbert Perez

Contact Information:

Many Patrol Report mailouts and emails are undelivered and returned to the Association due to incorrect or out of date addresses. Help the Association maintain contact; if you are not receiving the Patrol Report, email Bob Morris or Charlie Kershaw and correct or update our records.


Message from the President
Some forty-nine men of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association came to Portland in August to reunite with friends and team-mates. The Oregon/Columbia River Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association did a superb job planning and conducting reunion activities and showcasing Portland and the Columbia River area. Reunions succeed due to the voluntary efforts of many members. My thanks and appreciation to: John & Cindy Clary and Dave & Shan Backer for their pre-reunion site recon; the Association Directors at the reunion for doing whatever was needed; Dave & Shan Backer for hosting a dinner for members and families; “Howdy” Howdyshell, Ed & Pat Rowland and Rod Kicklighter for their efforts conducting our auction and Gene Lashley for his leadership and management of the hospitality suite.
Congratulations to newly elected Associate Director John Clary and Battalion Unit Director Gil Perez, re-elected Membership Director Bob Morris and Chaplain Dave Backer. Our thanks and appreciation for the dedication and work of Phillip Peters and Charles “Howdy” Howdyshell who leave the Board of Directors after three years of service.
Association members attending the Reunion General Membership Meeting approved revised Association Bylaws; the new Bylaws may be found on our website
Keep the Marines and Corpsmen of 1st Recon Battalion, especially those deployed in harms way, in your thoughts and prayers.
Happy 237th Birthday Marines! God bless America! God bless the United States Marine Corps! God bless 1st Reconnaissance Battalion!
Semper Fidelis,
Charlie Kershaw


    Currently, thirty-nine commemorative bricks line the pathway in front of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Memorial; an additional twenty-four bricks are placed in the concrete pad surrounding the Memorial. There is space for many more bricks. Commemorative bricks, to honor a reconnaissance Marine or Corpsman, living or deceased, may be ordered through the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association with a donation of $215.00. Each brick inscription may have three lines; each line is not more than 20 characters in length (this includes all letters, punctuation and spaces); each line must end with a complete word or name (words and names will not be hyphenated or continued on the next line). Here are two examples of 1st Recon’s commemorative bricks:

    Send your contact information, brick inscription and check or money order to: 1st Recon Battalion Association, c/o C. Kershaw, 2527 Unicornio Street, Carlsbad, CA 92009. Call/email Charlie Kershaw with brick questions at: 760 438-8638 or 


1st Reconnaissance Battalion

1st Reconnaissance Battalion, less elements supporting MEU (SOC) deployments, is at Camp Pendleton, California. The Battalion is currently composed of A, B, C Companies, 1st Force Company (formerly D Company) and Headquarters and Service Company.

Raider Report, the battalion’s newsletter, is available on line at 1st Recon Battalion’s official website: The Raider Report is also posted at our Recon Rendezvous web site: Report. 1st Recon Battalion’s website is comprehensive and very informative. To stay informed about the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, visit their website.

Team Leader of the Year
  • Staff Sergeant Nicholas A. Duncan was selected as the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Team Leader of the Year 2011. In a battalion ceremony at Camp Pendleton, SSgt Duncan was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. In recognition of his selection, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association presented SSgt Duncan with a plaque and combat knife in memory of Ron Graebel, Vietnam recon Marine, Association Vice President and charter member.

    SSgt Duncan has had a distinguished career. Following Boot Camp and School of the Infantry, then Pfc Duncan was assigned to Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington DC. Progressing through the ranks at 8th & I, Corporal Duncan re-enlisted and successfully completed the Force Reconnaissance screening and reported to 1st Force Reconnaissance Company as a radio operator. He was Honor Graduate of the US Army Basic Airborne and the Reconnaissance
    Surveillance Leaders Courses. In addition, SSgt Duncan is a qualified Military Freefall Parachutist and Diver . He has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and on MEU (SOC) floats. SSgt Duncan was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his actions on 9 September 2010 with the 15th MEU Maritime Raid Force participating in the historic capture of the pirated motor vessel Magellan Star. Subsequently, SSgt Duncan was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his actions in Afghanistan while deployed as an Element Leader with the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. SSgt Duncan is currently assigned as a Platoon Sergeant with Company C, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Congratulations to Staff Sergeant Duncan for consistently demonstrating exceptional leadership and reconnaissance skills resulting in his selection as the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Team Leader of the Year and best wishes for his continued success.

Change of Command

In a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California on 21 June 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Brian L. Gilman relinquished command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion to Major Brian J. Von Herbulis. Lt Col Gilman assumed command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in January 2011 and deployed the battalion to Afghanistan. He was reassigned as a student at the Naval War College, Newport Rhode Island. Major Von Herbulis joins 1st Reconnaissance Battalion from the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), where he served as the Battalion Operations Officer, Commanding Officer of Companies C and D, and Acting Battalion Commander.

Our thanks and appreciation to both to Lieutenant Colonel Gilman and Major Von Herbulis for their outstanding leadership and professionalism and best wishes for continued success.

Team Leader of the Year


1st Recon Commanding Officer, Major Brian von Herbulis (left), and SSgt Duncan (right) are
shown holding the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion 2011 Team Leader of the Year plaque.



New Members




A Company, RVN 1970-71

B Company, 1961-63, 1965-67

B Company, RVN 1965-66

B Company, RVN 1970

D Company, RVN 1966-67

B Company, RVN 1968-69







To all of our members that were unable to make the 2012 reunion in Portland, Oregon, you missed a great time! As hard as it is for me to believe, it marked the 20th time since 1993 we have met as an Association.

When my wife Linda and I set about planning the first get together in Columbus, Ohio on August 27-29, 1993 it was just mostly thought to be a one-time reunion. Our auto was so loaded down with stuff the bumper was nearly dragging on the highway. We were truly rookies and no thoughts were given about any problems of bringing beer and booze into the hospitality suite. There was no structure or rules to follow, it was just have it and they will come. Well they sure did come and we had a great time after two plus decades of not seeing most of our comrades. What did develop was two things key to what we have today. We voted to form an association and we also voted to align ourselves with the much larger 1st Marine Division Association. We learned a lot as we developed over the past twenty years and there was plenty of adjustments (Adapt,Improvise,Overcome).

We have been blessed with two outstanding leaders in Bill “Doc” White and Charlie Kershaw, both who have kept us on course over these many years. We owe them and all the others that have stepped forward to be officers a great debt of gratitude. Not to be forgotten are the many others spending their time and money to make this association continue to be a reality. It has been a labor of love because it is truly a brotherhood forged under special circumstances like no other.

My purpose for writing this article is to remind everyone that we cannot expect just a small group of members to carry the financial burden. We have never asked anyone to pay annual dues because you earned your right to be a member by your service to our beloved battalion. What I ask of each of you is if you can from time to time when you are blessed, send a donation to our Association to help cover our ongoing administration costs. Trust me, we get by on a shoe string budget and every penny is carefully accounted for at each annual meeting.

I will close by telling you all how proud you should be as members of this great Association for having completed the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Memorial project at the National Museum of The Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. If you have not seen it, please make every effort to visit the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park and see what has been done to honor our teammates and fallen heroes. This could never have happened if we had not come together in 1993 and, more importantly, stayed together.

Semper Fidelis,

Bob “Doc” Buehl

PS: God willing, see you next year in Milwaukee.