Advice and Info About Enlisting Into the Marine Corps

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This following info does not apply to those who are choosing the infantry/03xx MOS field.

Marine Corps MOS's can be very misleading and you need to clearly understand that certain jobs may land you in a type of unit that you may not want to serve in. Two identical Marines with the exact same MOS serving in different unit types can experience two very different Marine Corps'. How can that be you ask?

Well it all depends on what type of unit you are assigned to. As an example, a Field Radio Operator can be sent to any type of unit from infantry to artillery, radiomen man the radios. From tanks to amphibious vehicles, radiomen are needed to ensure communication gear is installed and operated properly. Engineer, air wing and artillery are other examples of unit types that radio operators can end up in. These same unit types will also contain several other common MOS's such as admin, supply, motor t and several others. So if you are trying to avoid the field and deployments by picking a job like admin, just understand you can end up in a unit that deploys and goes to the field such as an infantry battalion.

A radio operator who is in a grunt battalion will experience a much different Marine Corps then say a radio operator who is attached to an air wing unit. A radio operator in a larger headquarter type communications unit will experience a different Corps than a Marine radio man who is attached to an artillery unit. With some jobs such as admin, despite being in different types of units, your job is still the same since your job doesn't deal directly with training like the radio operator MOS. It's just your environment, deployments and standards that might differ from unit type to unit type. This is why you need to remember that experiences will vary from Marine to Marine.

Each unit type is assigned with specific missions, so how they train and where they train are going to be different in most cases. Serving in an infantry battalion under any MOS is going to be a different experience to some degree. Plain and simple; it's just a different environment and the opportunity to experience different things may present itself from time to time and the overall standards might be a bit higher then in other units.

So understand you can end up in an infantry battalion and not be an infantryman. Your main job will be what you went to school for, and you shouldn't be thinking you will be doing infantry type stuff just because you end up in an infantry battalion as a non-infantry Marine. In some cases there may be the opportunity to do infantry type training and you will be deploying as a grunt battalion to wherever they are deploying to. Non-infantry jobs in a grunt unit are there to support the infantry and this is why you wont always get to take part in their training. Like I said, it varies as to who gets to take part in different types of training. So when choosing your MOS be well aware that even though it might not be "infantry-03XX", you can very well get assigned to an infantry unit.


  • All entry level infantry MOS's
  • Communications (wireman, techs/data, field radio operators)
  • Supply/logistics
  • Cooks
  • Legal
  • Admin.
  • NBC (gas man)
  • Sniper
  • Corpsman (Navy)
  • Chaplain (Navy)
  • Intel
  • Motor transport (Motor T)
  • Armor 
Just because you choose one of these MOS's does not mean you will end up in a infantry unit. You do not choose what type of unit you are assigned to in most cases. The Marine Corps will assign you your unit and you will like it.  Just be aware that the unit you get assigned to will dictate things such as deployments, PT, free time, and overall quality of life. If you are assigned to an infantry unit, you are guaranteed at least two deployments during your first enlistment which last between 6-7 months. The specifics of any deployment will not be known until you are in your unit and are subject to change at any time.
While in an infantry unit you might deploy on a MEU or a regular deployment, you might conduct jungle training, cold weather training, and other forms of training. Whether you are allowed or made to do this training is a different story. Remember, non-infantry jobs have the mission to support and not always to train as infantrymen. It might happen, it might not. You might also do more PT and more hikes while in an infantry unit then you would in a different type of unit. And don't worry, you wont be doing PT runs with the grunt companies. You PT with your own company or with your own section/platoon. Some hikes are done as a battalion which means all of you including grunts will do the hike together.
If you deploy into a combat zone with a combat unit such as tanks, artillery or grunts, this doesn't mean you are going to be on the "front lines." You will deploy to combat to perform your job whether it be cook, admin, comm, etc etc as a unit. In some cases additional duties may come up, but no one out here can tell you what will happen to you since experiences vary from Marine to Marine.
Here are some of the larger MOS's that are not infantry but will have you spending time in the field.
  • Tanks
  • Artillery
  • Engineers
  • AAV's

Larger MOS's not in an infantry battalion: Here are some of the larger MOS's not found in an infantry unit. During operations/combat/deployments any MOS may get attached to an infantry unit as needed and your role will always be what your MOS is and you are not converted into an infantryman.

  • Engineers
  • Military Police
  • Recon
  • Most  aviation MOS's
  • Artillery
  • Tanks
  • AAV's


  • It is very important that we are all on the same page here, so I will repeat myself once again: Just because you end up in an infantry battalion in a non-infantry job, this does not mean you are an infantryman, or that when deployed you will be made to fight in combat. Please understand this. Your chances to see combat are obviously higher since you are in an infantry unit, but you wont be killing anyone unless you volunteer or are forced to do a job that is not one you went to school for. 
  • All jobs suck and all jobs are the best ones equally in the USMC, so don't try to find that perfect job. You will have many days you like, and just as many that you hate. There are no bad jobs in the USMC, only bad Marines who fill them.
  • When choosing your job, clearly understand what type of unit you might get set to, and clearly understand that the unit type you serve in can have you experiencing a very different Marine Corps than others with the same MOS. For some odd reason, job satisfaction seems to be much higher in non-infantry units, so think about that.
  • Always be proud of your job and don't worry about not being a grunt. The USMC is made up of Marines and these Marines will perform a wide range of jobs, so be happy and enjoy the experience.