The Marines are a unified brotherhood of soldiers. Once a Marine, always a Marine, and they do not seem to differentiate amongst one another. However, that does not mean there are no elite groups within the Corps.
The FAST Marines are a small, highly trained group of elite soldiers within the Marine Corps known for special missions. FAST is an acronym for Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team.
FAST is a part of the Security Force Regiment and is dedicated to anti-terrorism. Their focus is guarding military bases and other important locations worldwide, like U.S embassies.
They deploy to places like Guantanamo Bay, Bahrain, Spain, and Japan and stage in order to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. They constantly train to stay ahead of the curve.
They don't just deploy worldwide, however. They also deploy in the United States as guards of nuclear submarines and ships while maintenance is being done.
FAST began in 1987 when the United States realized it needed a stronger response to terrorism. Each branch examined its capabilities on the Presidents order, and the Marines realized they had an opportunity within the Security Force.
They could not respond fast enough in the event of an attack. Their answer was FAST, a team that could double down on the Security Force's existing abilities and increase their numbers.
FAST has helped all over the world. In Panama, FAST helped secure Naval stations and assisted with Operation Just Cause in 1989.
During Desert Storm, FAST was there to keep the Naval Installations safe in Bahrain and evacuated U.S. personnel in Liberia. FAST Marines are ready to respond and assist whenever and wherever their nation needs them.
Joining this team is not as simple as signing some paperwork. Instead, it is a multi-step process that can take some time.
Those interested talk to a recruiter, then get a contract with the Security Forces and head to recruit training. After they attend training to get an infantry MOS, then Security Force School, and volunteering for FAST.
If accepted, they have 5 weeks of FAST training and another 8 weeks of Close Quarter Battle School. Special skill learning then comes into play, and FAST trainees learn bodyguard tactics, motorcade operations, helicopter training, and rope suspension.
While it's an incredible amount of training, they will use every ounce of it on their missions.