Harm goes undercover as a Marine gunnery sergeant, in order to help Mac investigate a Marine captain with questionable training methods suspected of having unnecessarily put his troops at risk in an area with live artillery shells hitting the ground during a training exercise that injured two of his men.
While undercover, Harm learns that the tough-as-nails officer in charge of Marine Force Recon training, Capt. Koonan (played by Phil Morris), introduces unexpected problems into the training missions as a means of teaching the men to react quickly to surprises during combat.
"Force Recon" contains examples of the following tropes:
- Badass Boast: After the Bar Brawl, Harm is asked why none of the Rangers were sent to the brig with the Marines. Harm proudly explains that they were all sent to the hospital instead.
- Boot Camp Episode: Before Harm goes undercover as a Marine Gunnery Sergeant in, he gets his share of training by Master Sergrant Sauer.
- Funny Background Event: Harm gets quick-and-harsh training so he can go undercover as a Marine. This training takes place in his trainer's yard, and in the background throughout you can see the neighbors looking over the fence and reacting incredulously.
- Interservice Rivalry: Harm got into a Bar Brawl with Army Rangers while working undercover as a Marine (It Makes Sense in Context).
- Military Salute: Mac smirks when Harm (undercover as a Gunnery Sergeant) forgets to salute her.
- Simulated Urban Combat Area: The season 2 episode "Force Recon", filmed on location at Camp Pendelton, California.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Captain Coonan.
- Training "Accident": Unknowingly invoked by Captain Coonan - he smudged a line on a map which caused his Marines to accidentally cross into an artillary strike, and later replaces the team's radio with a malfunctioning unit. In both cases, he was trying to simulate things that could happen in a combat zone without taking additional precautions.
- Training from Hell: Coonan's training is harsh, and the question Harm and Mac have to deal with is whether it crosses the line into dangerous and unsafe.
As you were...