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The battalion is one of the finest combat units in the New California Republic Army, drawing its members from soldiers of exceptional marksmanship talents. Though transfer is voluntary, members of 1st Recon also earn better pay than regular troops as an extra incentive to join. The battalion has a distinguished combat history, with their most notable deployment being the Mojave Campaign. During the First Battle of Hoover Dam in 2277, the battalion played a vital part, as its sharpshooters together with the NCR Rangers were instrumental in destroying the cohesion of Legion forces on the rim of the Dam, allowing them to be drawn into Boulder City and routed.
However, their combat history has been blemished by the Bitter Springs Massacre a year later in 2278. 1st Recon sharpshooters were stationed on Coyote Tail ridge outside the Great Khan encampment at Bitter Springs. Ordered to cover a vital flank and kill anyone who enters their sights, 1st Recon inadvertently ended up gunning down unarmed civilians that attempted to flee the camp down the canyon passage they were ordered to watch. Though the event went unreported in the press and the military immediately attempted to repair the damage they caused, the event caused long lasting trauma among the members of the battalion and the Great Khans, in addition to souring the already strained relations between the Republic and the Khans.[Non-canon 1]
By and large, 1st Recon sharpshooters use .308 caliber hunting rifles to execute their orders. An exception is Corporal Sterling, a former NCR Ranger who uses a modified .357 caliber lever-action rifle. In addition, while most members wear standard issue NCR body armor, specialized armor exists within the unit, and almost all members are equipped with the unit's distinct red berets.
1st Recon teams operate in two-man pairs, a spotter and a shooter. The battalion's troops can be distinguished from regular soldiers by their distinctive red berets and occasionally special uniforms for survival and assault missions.
Beyond hunting down critical targets like Nephi, 1st Recon is also called in to mercy kill NCR personnel taken as prisoners of war, used by the enemy (especially Caesar's Legion in the Mojave) to demoralize NCR troops. However, mercy killing is still seen as a last resort if getting the prisoners back would prove too costly.
As of 2281, Alpha Team of 1st Recon has been stationed at Camp McCarran for six months to help with the local Fiends harassing NCR's western flanks. Should their target, Driver Nephi, be eliminated, their standing orders are to transfer to Camp Forlorn Hope and reinforce its defense against the Legion. The current roster has 10 of Spades and Betsy as one pair and Sterling with Bitter-Root as second, with Gorobets leading the entire team. Two former members of 1st Recon, Craig Boone and Manny Vargas, live in Novac and used to work as a pair.
As an extension of the New California Republic Army, 1st Recon holds contempt for the NCR's enemies, including, but not limited to, Caesar's Legion, the Great Khans and the Fiends. They also frequently buy sniper rifles from the Gun Runners.
Interactions with the player character
- Alpha Team of 1st Recon is part of the quest Three-Card Bounty and can provide the Courier assistance in hunting down Driver Nephi. The sharpshooters can die on the way if the player follows them. If enough time passes, they will simply appear at the target location without harm.
- A 1st Recon veteran, Craig Boone, is a potential companion.
- Upon completing the Driver Nephi portion of the Three-Card Bounty quest by claiming Nephi's bounty, the entire First Recon moves to Camp Forlorn Hope.
- Possible companion Craig Boone had previously served with the First Recon, where he saw action at Bitter Springs. At least one possible ending to the game has him rejoining his old unit.
- If the player escorts 1st Recon after completion of Three-Card Bounty, they will take an unorthodox route to get to Camp Forlorn Hope. They travel south of Camp McCarran, east through Allied Technologies offices, southeast just outside of Black Mountain, east through the El Dorado Dry Lake, southeast close to the cazador nest, and finally south to enter Camp Forlorn Hope from the northern entrance. Due to pathfinding issues, 1st Recon members may get stuck in the environment and will seek alternative routes. However, if the player fast-travels after the killing of Driver Nephi, they should arrive at their destination without incident.
- Originally, after traveling to Forlorn Hope, all 5 members of 1st Recon would congregate in a clearing inside the camp. This was changed in a recent patch for map optimization purposes, and now the different members can be found inside different buildings in the camp: two inside the command tent, two inside the barracks, and one inside the mess hall.
- Caesar's Legion are trying to get their howitzer operational during I Hear You Knocking specifically for the purpose of suppressing 1st Recon and Veteran Ranger snipers.
- Members of 1st Recon share idle lines with generic NCR troopers, including "Wish I had a 1st Recon guy looking after me" if Boone is a companion.
1st Recon only appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- 1st Recon may be a reference to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps.
- The majority of their dialogue was written by George Ziets.
- The motto for 1st Recon sharpshooters was coined by either Eric Fenstermaker or Roger Chang.[Non-canon 2]
- The battalion was described as being "more akin to a squad of sharpshooter skirmishers than snipers" by Joshua Sawyer.[Non-canon 3]
After arriving at Camp Forlorn Hope, the members of the 1st Recon may not realize they have moved and still speak as if they were battling the Fiends in the ruins of the city. [verified]
- The Courier: "What outfit did you serve in the military with?"
Craig Boone: "First NCR Recon. It's a sniper battalion. Sees a lot of action. They moved us around a lot. I was stationed at Camp Golf for a while. Last I heard they were at Camp McCarran."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "How did you happen to join First Recon?"
Craig Boone: "They pick you out if you do well at the firing range. Pays a little better, so I said okay."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "So what happened at Hoover Dam and Boulder City?"
Hanlon: "In big battles, Caesar deploys his legionaries in waves. Recruits up front, prime soldiers behind the recruits, old guard bringing up the rear. Opponents wear themselves out dealing with the first two waves, if they survive that long. When the veterans step up, there's not much fight left. Caesar can adapt, though, and when required, he can run any mix of legionaries as skirmishers and still retain order in the ranks. Joshua Graham, Caesar's old legate, he's wasn't so flexible. When the Legion attacked Hoover Dam, General Oliver ordered his troopers back to the middle ground just after first contact. Graham pushed all of the legionaries onto the dam, filling the east side with recruits up front and veterans in the back, by the book. But once they were in, they were stuck there. Oliver's troopers were entrenched and wouldn't give a foot. That's when we ordered the rangers and 1st recon sharpshooters to start picking off veteran legion officers from a high ridge west of the dam. That only lasted about a minute before Graham ordered the back ranks to push through to the front and rush the ridge. Caused total chaos among the younger legionaries, and Oliver's troopers fell back to the side walkways and stayed out of the veterans' way. By the time the veterans got to the ridge, we were already in Boulder City. They followed us down there, but we were out before they realized what was happening. We had packed the old city with C4 and dynamite. Crude, but it did the job. Those who didn't die in the blast were in no position to mount a defense. The ones left on the dam didn't know what to do. The troopers routed them. Graham pulled the remaining legionaries back, but the battle was over. He went south, back to the Grand Canyon, back to Caesar. And that was the last we saw or heard from Joshua Graham."
- The Courier: "Why do you think you let Betsy down?"
10 of Spades: "She's my g-g-goddamn partner. See, we work in pairs. We spot for each other. W-watch each other's backs. Nobody wanted to w-work with me. They said I was too green. But Betsy volunteered. Shit, you don't even know how big a d-d-deal that is. "
(10 of Spades' dialogue)
- Sharpshooter equipment in the game.
- Craig Boone: "Mercy killing is expected of NCR snipers. The Legion likes to torture their prisoners within sight of NCR positions. We get called on to end it. I've had my share. Some of them, you think, maybe you could've gotten them out. Maybe it's not the Legion that got them killed. Maybe it's your orders and you following them."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- Craig Boone: "Mercy killing is a last resort. Glad you recognized we had options."
(Craig Boone's dialogue) Note: This is Craig Boone's reaction to saving the NCR troopers during the quest Back in Your Own Backyard.
- The Courier: "How long have you been stationed here?"
Sterling: "Going on six months, now. But I reckon we'll be moving out, soon enough. Can't talk about the details. Til then, we'll man the towers and keep an eye on the Fiends. We've had more than our share of trouble from their direction. Whole things smells of Caesar to me. 'Course, that's just guesswork, but I'd still bet a few caps that he's stirring up the locals against us."
- Alexander: " "
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.458 Important Dates:
2278 "Following the abduction and killing of four soldiers, NCR troops assault the Great Khans' settlement at Red Rock Canyon and massacre several dozen men, women, and children. This event goes unreported in NCR press."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide/Behind the Bright Lights & Big City)
- Joshua Sawyer on Spring.me
- Joshua Sawyer on Formspring