All too often I hear people telling future Marines that it does not matter what job they choose because in the Marines you are all rifleman first, especially during a time of war. Well that statement could not be more wrong, or should I say misleading, or should i dare say comical!
You need to understand that the Marine Corps is made up of dozens of jobs and every Marine does not hold the job of rifleman despite what the Corps may say or suggest. Many who enlist into the Marines do so because they think that no matter what job they pick, they’ll eventually end up on the front lines and or will train in infantry/rifleman tactics often. This just doesn’t happen and is a classic example of how you maybe are being misled. This phrase is also why many civilians have a distorted view of what the Marines are actually all about.
In a very general sense, you can say that every Marine is "trained" in very basic rifleman skills and I mean very freakin basic. The problem with this is that non-infantry Marines will receive this very basic rifleman training right after boot camp while at MCT and most will never do this type of training again while in the Corps.
It is an insult to the actual 0311 Marines who are actually trained as Marine Corps rifleman to suggest that every Marine is just like them. It is very important to not misinterpret the phrase of "Every Marine a Rifleman." Yes, every Marine is trained in very basic infantry tactics, but this does not mean every Marine will work as a rifleman during his or her enlistment, especially when deployed or in a combat zone.
It doesn't mean every Marine holds the actual job/MOS of rifleman.
It doesn't mean every Marine attends infantry training battalion (ITB).
It doesn't mean every Marine can operate like a rifleman Marine at a moments notice.
It doesn't mean every Marine when deployed to a combat zone will be an infantryman/rifleman.
It doesn't mean you are an infantryman/rifleman first, and your job second.