I joined the Marines - more questions about jobs


March 11, 2004, 02:36 PM
I enlisted yesterday but don't go for boot camp until Sept. 13th. I'm 100% convinced that they get you up so early and rush you through MEPS so that you have no idea what you are signing up for when it's all said and done. I have an open contract and they say I can still pick my MOS (from what I was able to read on the papers that they didn't want me reading though it looks like there's a good chance I'll get 0300, which I don't mind)... but, thinking in the long term here if I decided not to reenlist after 4 years and they really do let me pick my job, I'm wondering if Data/Communications would be a good field for the job world after the Marines. Do you think "28 - Data/Communications Maintenance" would ever get to see much combat?

I'm still open to all suggestions on jobs that would get to see plenty of combat but still give you great experience for a career if you ever get out of the Marines.

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March 11, 2004, 02:59 PM
It depends on the kind of after-Marines job you want. Are you aware that the FBI/DIA/Secret Service hold a job fair at Camp Pendleton every year for Marines interested in a career in Federal law enforcement? They interview more than just MP's.

March 11, 2004, 03:04 PM
It depends on the kind of after-Marines job you want.Good question. I really don't know what I would want to do, but just having some experience in something would be a plus. I was talking to some people that were in Infrantry and they were saying after they got out they didn't have any skills that people wanted for decent paying jobs. One guy was a bouncer for awhile and yeah that is a job skill you can learn in infrantry, but I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of things that would be good for a career that you could still be doing when you're 60 years old.

March 11, 2004, 03:05 PM
Reading the classifieds today in the Washington Times and there appears to be shortage of aircraft mechanics. The ad said that they were willing to train. So, maybe aircraft mechanic might be good bet.

March 11, 2004, 03:14 PM
Open contract was a bad idea. Think "needs of the Marine Corps" when debating what job you're gonna get. Every single Marine I knew who went in on an open contract ended up in Motor Transport. I don't know how much things have changed in the last ten years, but they certainly didn't get to "pick their job". If you've already signed, it's too late. As soon as you hit Recruit Training you'd better pay a visit to your Senior DI and make it very clear to him that you want 0300. He might be able to help you out after he gets done quarterdecking you for daring to speak up. Otherwise, the manpower division will assign you to whatever MOS is going to be shorthanded roughly six months after your pay entry base date. That could be anything from a mess cook to an avionics technician...and everything in between.

You should have taken me up on the offer I made earlier. :(

Hope it works out for the best.

Open Contract Scoop (https://web.mcrc.usmc.mil/Section/Future_Ops/FY04%20Natioinal%20Commanders%20Conference/Discussion%20Topics/Info%20Papers/opencontract.doc)

Edit to add: You might not be able to enter the 0300 field at all if you are open contract. I'm calling a recruiter friend of mine to inquire for you.

March 11, 2004, 03:33 PM
As soon as you hit Recruit Training you'd better pay a visit to your Senior DI and make it very clear to him that you want 0300. I'd love to be there for that conversation! :what: :D

Open contract is just that, "...needs of the Corps" being the operative phrase here.

Good luck.

March 11, 2004, 03:43 PM
Ok. I talked to my buddy. He said that he has absolutely no idea where open contracts are going at the moment. Last year, he put in 8 guys on open contracts. 7 ended up in the air wing in one shape or form. One ended up in the legal field. He did say that the career fields open to you on an open contract are limited based on your date of graduation from boot camp. If SOI is forming a company 10-18 days after you graduate, you can get infantry. Otherwise you'll go to MCT and the school slot availability clock starts ticking again. He said he has absolutely no idea how it works from there. He did say that you will know what field you are entering upon graduation from boot camp (IE 6000 = Aviation maint), but you will not know any specifics (IE 6111 = Aviation Mechanic, Helicopter) until you leave MCT. He mentioned that if you have a GT of better than 100, you will most likely end up in Aviation Maintenence based on what he's seen with his recruits. Either way, you'll be a Marine...and that's good enough.

March 11, 2004, 04:02 PM
I hope you see the error of your decision to go open contract. You will be put where the Marines want you not where you want to go. Don't listen to the BS about "lat moves" and getting in any job you want, most of the time it don't happen. You still have one more swear in before you ship off and between now and then it would behoove you to get a job IN WRITING that you want.

You stated before that you wanted to get in the mud and get some, well its hard to do that in Motor T turning wrenches and fixing all the hummers the Grunts break.

March 11, 2004, 04:21 PM
When you get to boot camp, definitely try to do well on all of the aptitude tests. The Corps pays attention to that. They're looking for guys with "smarts". Somebody has to tell the officers which way is up. Even in early '69 in Parris Island, you could tell that it was the case. Interestingly, in my platoon there were 4 "expert" shooters. None of us were eventually 0300s. My MOS was 3042 (supply), but I ended up in special ops and division HQ ops (CG Inspection team).

You make your own way in the Corps.

Semper Fi:D

March 11, 2004, 04:30 PM

Please check on this, but if I'm not mistaken, you're not obligated to report to boot camp. Go tell your recruiter that you're not gonna go to boot on an open contract. Period. Tell him that you're more than willing to go with a guaranteed contract for some rating.

PM me if you have any questions and I'll give you my phone number to discuss this in detail.

March 11, 2004, 04:48 PM
Okay, so now I know open contract was a bad idea. Oh well, I'll live with it. My recruiter still seems anxious for me to pick a MOS though.

Are there other aptitude tests you take besides the ASVAB? I scored a 90 on it.

March 11, 2004, 05:03 PM
Are you in Ogden UT? We need several THR members in your area, who are also Marine vets, to link up with you, and go visit the recruiter at once, and talk him into getting your stuff IN WRITING. NOW.

Dude, the Big Green Machine will screw you if you give it a chance. Use your resources here, and pay attention...

March 11, 2004, 05:11 PM
Are there other aptitude tests you take besides the ASVAB? I scored a 90 on it.

90 is a good score. Ask your recruiter for a complete breakdown of the individual scores, particularly GT. If you're over 100 on GT, you're good to go.

Oh well, I'll live with it.

On one hand, that's the right attitude to take. You'll need that to be a good Marine. On the other hand, if you get stuck in a job that you detest...you'll really need that attitude to be a good Marine. You should probably take ojibweindian up on his offer and see what he has to say. Just remember to tread lightly with the recruiter when making your complaint. He is already a Marine, and as a Future Marine you are obligated to treat him with the proper amount of respect...even though that may be difficult should you find out that he screwed you to make quota. Bogie's idea of having a Marine talk to the recruiter for you is also a very good one. PM me if you hit a wall at any point and I'll see if my buddy can do anything. They are in different districts, but for all I know...the two could have gone to recruiter's school together. Also, if you're comfortable with the idea, you can PM me with the name of the recruiter. There's a fair chance I may know him as most of my former peers are at the point in their service where they've been assigned to a B-Billet like recruiting duty.

March 11, 2004, 05:42 PM
A few points.

First, congratulations on joining the finest fighting force in the world. You cannot go wrong being a United States Marine.

Second, be sure what you want to do. Don't be a Marine to be a cook. Marines are just that; MARINES. Be a member of the fighting force. The ones who hit the beach, the ones who get to do all the fun training. Nothing worse then a REMF telling you what to do.

Finally, nothing wrong with being a grunt (I was). Grunts are looked down upon, frowned on. Until, the SHTF, then its "you were there?" Yeah, I was there, not you. I WAS THERE. You were sitting behind your typewriter, while I had the trigger time. I was the one climbing through the mud, getting shot at, rocketed, and bombed.

Now, if that doesn't suit your fancy and/or tweak your interest, join the Air Force or the Navy.

2/6 1981-1985

March 11, 2004, 07:36 PM
I wasn't a marine, but I know a lot of really great guys who were. My college ornithology professor was a former mortarman, my employer's financial director was a former rifleman, an engineer I know was a former rotary wing pilot, a friend who owns a heavy construction company was a rifleman, et cetera.

What they did for their military duty had less influence on their future careers than how the military shaped their characters and their work ethic. My 2 cents.

March 11, 2004, 09:22 PM
I was in the Marines also.

It will be the hardest thing you ever do in your entire life. It was for me but it was well worth it. Learn the words "quarter deck" and "sand pit" because your going to get REAL friendly with the both of them!
Listen to your PMI's on the range. They will teach you the correct way to shoot. No matter what happens during boot, never quit! Hang in there and tough it out.

How's your 20 pull-ups, 3-mile run in 18 minutes, and 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes doing?




March 11, 2004, 09:31 PM
What they did for their military duty had less influence on their future careers than how the military shaped their characters and their work ethic. My 2 cents.

In my limited experience, the above is very true.

Either way good luck, I wish I could join you

March 11, 2004, 11:51 PM
Don't worry about having an open contract, unless you arrive at bootcamp with one. I had to enlist as open contract because I took the ASVAB the same day I enlisted, which sounds like what you did. It had something to do with they had to get an offical score back before I could choose my MOS, even though they knew my score as soon as I was done.

It sounds like your recruiter is already trying to help you out by having you choose an MOS. Then you fill out another form and you will have a guarnteed MOS. Exactly how I did it. Just beware that if you choose one that doesn't have any open school slots that correspond with your bootcamp grad date, your bootcamp slot might get pushed back.

March 12, 2004, 12:04 AM
With an ASVAB score of 90, you should pretty much have your pick of specialties. Mine was 92 and they were pushing me hard for nuke school (navy), which I really didn't want.

I'm glad others have already told you that Open Contract was a bad idea. The Open Contract Marines with whom I was stationed (I was a HM), were forced into specialties they really didn't want. Namely the good Corporal was a cook instead of the grunt he'd dreamed of being.

Actually, I did get a good job out of the Navy based on my experience. I went to work for the world's larges bio-tech company, largely on the basis that I knew quite a bit about sterile fields, cross contamination, etc, which were all things I'd learned in Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Mistakes, IL.

March 12, 2004, 12:04 AM
A word to the wise. If you go Military Police, make sure you are guaranteed MP, and not corrections!!! Working in the Brig is not very entertaining! Trust Me!!!

March 12, 2004, 02:49 PM
I talked with my recruiter again today and there are no Infantry jobs available right now. If one comes up, they say I can change my contract again but for now I went with "DB - Command and Control / Electrician". They can't guarantee a specific MOS just the general field and that will be either 0600 or 1100. It's not infantry, but from what my recruiter was saying alot of people in 0600 are out with them. 1100 doesn't sound too great though but I decided this option was better than having no say at all on where they put me.

March 12, 2004, 04:04 PM
"28 - Data/Communications Maintenance" would ever get to see much combat?" Not much call for electronics techs in the bush.
In any military, rule number one is keep your mouth shut and pay attention to what they're teaching you. It won't keep you from getting yelled at, but you'll learn faster with your mouth shut and your ears open. In any case, they'll send you where they need you. Needs of the Service outweigh personal wants. Lots of CF married types get posted to different places. They try to keep 'em together, but the CF's needs are
Destructo6, nobody in their right mind messes with a cook. Cooks can get even.

March 12, 2004, 04:05 PM
28 - Data/Communications Maintenance" would ever get to see much combat

That's what I'm doing now (sysop), and NO. (I'm no longer an armourer).

March 12, 2004, 09:56 PM
The truth is that since you went in open contract they'll very well put you where they want. That is what an open contract is. You should have gotten the job you wanted guaranteed in writing before you signed anything.

03 or combat arms is a big possibility but that doesn't mean you won't end up a cook or handing out gear in supply.

Whatever job you want when and if you do re-enlist for you'll have to be qualified to have. Your testing scores will count big here. If you didn't score high enough for a certain field you may get the chance at taking certain tests again such as the ASVAB or whatever they call it. Keep out of trouble because it could end up costing you the jobs you want.

March 12, 2004, 11:16 PM
The truth is that since you went in open contract they'll very well put you where they want. That is what an open contract is. You should have gotten the job you wanted guaranteed in writing before you signed anything.I think I'll be fine. They have another form I have to fill out "Statement of Understanding" that has the program code on it that I decide to choose. I'm going with Command and Control / Electrician. Something about there being an Annex B attached to my current contract allows me to do it.

J Jones
March 12, 2004, 11:24 PM
Perhaps you should KNOW you're going to be fine before signing anything else, since it seems that you could've asked everything you needed to know from all the veterans, particularly Marine vets, who are on this board and could've steered you straight to begin with.

Get it nailed down here first and take up the offers to help you already given, since it's only your future you're talking about here. Being a grunt or cook isn't going to have the same impact as getting a strong technical specialty that will pay the bills when you leave the Corps.

March 13, 2004, 01:41 AM
Going open contract is never a good way to go. However, you've got quite a while before you report for boot camp. I'd strongly suggest that you firmly decide on what MOS you want and use the time to work your recruiter for your desired MOS. If your recruiter stalls, don't be shy about talking to the SgtMaj of the MEPPS station. The officers may technically be in charge of the MEPPS station and recruiting offices but its the station SgtMaj that has REAL pull and gets things done. All MOS's are important, but I just can't imagine spending 4 years in the pot-shack simply because some recruiter led me to believe that "you can pick an MOS later."

March 14, 2004, 05:25 AM
well, TheOTherOne, a couple threads leading up to this, and you blew off all the advice and went 'Open Contract'???
Now you get to learn what USMC really stands for -
Signed a

Even more lame, in that you've gone delayed / deferred enlistment, 6 MONTHS from now, and you STILL went 'Open'?? With that kind of lead time in your ship date, you could have picked ANY MOS you wanted, and held out for it.

Hope you can fix this situation before it is too late.

March 14, 2004, 08:01 AM
Congratulations on joining the service... we all appreciate the service you will give our country.

Being a marine isn't bad... if you can't be a Ranger.... ;)

One free piece of advice: "No matter how rough things seem at the time, keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get to the end."

Rangers Lead the Way!



Lee F
March 14, 2004, 08:25 AM
Here's the straight scoop on your first question. I was a 2841. Spent 1.5 years in school learning a skill that still pays my bills today. Once you leave school your duty station will determine what you do with your education. I was with both the2nd and 3rd Marine Division's and by the time I got out could run patrols, ambushes, etc as good as any 0311 period. Your MOS is important but which type of unit you are attached to is every bit as critical. A 2800 could be anywhere from the airwing, FSSG, or a real unit. Good luck.

March 14, 2004, 11:51 PM
Good advice here.

One more thing to consider.

You're going in in Sept. I did that too.

The fiscal year ends in October. Oct 1, to be exact.

So, they have to get rid of any extra money by Oct 1, or else the .gov, in all their wisdom, will reduce their budget the next year by however much is left over.


Try to get an enlistment bonus.

When I went in, I wanted to be infantry. At the MEPS station, there was a problem with the computer or something. At first, they couldnt get me ANY MOS, let alone the one I wanted. Then the computer came back up, and not only did they get me infantry, I got a $1000 bonus for going infantry. Which was paid after completeion of SOI. After taxes I got like $700, which is still about a month take-home pay for a private.

March 16, 2004, 03:26 PM
TheOtherOne -

Thank you for your service to our country, and to us. You are going to become that which bears honor above almost any other title you can achieve -- "U.S. Marine"


March 16, 2004, 03:51 PM

You should check out the list of MOS jobs available for the Marines, and cross reference that with your ASVAB score, then list the ones you are interested in, and mull things over as to the peacetime applications of those jobs.

If I had to do my stint in the service again, I would probably go Navy with the Nuclear Propulsion School (http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/blnukeschool.htm) :D

March 17, 2004, 12:33 AM
Frohickey, funny you should mention nuclear propulsion....

When I came back from USMC boot camp, my mom handed me a letter and said it came a couple weeks after I left. I opened it, it was from the Navy offering me a slot in nuclear propulsion, automatic E-5 after the school, AND an $85K signing bonus. I was a little mad, to say the least. Yes, I really wanted to be a Marine, but 85K is a LOT of money, and I could always have gone to the Corps after getting out of the Navy.

That was my first experience with the Navy always being a day late and a dollar short (to be fair, though, I guess I was the one a dollar short....more like eighty-five thousand dollars short :( )

March 17, 2004, 12:45 AM
G1FAL, that E5 and $85k wasn't a sure thing. I served with quite a few Nuke program washouts. None of them were stupid, by any stretch of the imagination, but the program was/is designed to whittle. About as many Sailors cash in on that program as cash in on the DiveFarer program: very few.

March 17, 2004, 01:05 AM
Right now I've got DB - Command and Control / Electrician, which could be any one of these jobs:

0612 Field Wireman
0613 Construction Wireman
0614 Unit Level Circuit Switch (ULCS) Operator/Maintainer
0621 Field Radio Operator
0622 Mobile Multichannel Equipment Operator
0624 High Frequency Communication Central Operator
0626 Fleet SATCOM Terminal Operator
0627 Ground Mobile Forces SATCOM Operator
1141 Electrician
1142 Electrical Equipment Repair Specialist

My recruiter said that alot of those end up being out in the field with the Infantry and I was told that 0612 and 0621 definitely are. There are no Infantry jobs available but my recruiter said if any open up and I want one then I can always change my contract.

March 17, 2004, 01:15 AM
No infantry jobs available? Are you sure that you were talking to the Marine recruiter, and not the air farce guy playing a prank on you by borrowing the Marine's uniform?

Try telling him to move your ship date back a week and try again on getting you a job in the 03 field. Or, move it up a week. If one week wont do it, then try two. SOI (school of infantry) picks up a new class about every 2-3 weeks, so moving your ship date back or forward that amount of time should get you the slot you want.

March 17, 2004, 01:27 AM
No infantry jobs available? Are you sure that you were talking to the Marine recruiter, and not the air farce guy playing a prank on you by borrowing the Marine's uniform?Yep. None available. He showed me the paper with all the different jobs that were available from now until September. There was the one that I chose and then a few other things that didn't seem to appealing to me like cook, maintenance, etc. I guess the reason no Infantry is available is partly due to the same reason that they can't even get me to boot camp until September. But that works out okay for me anyways.

March 17, 2004, 02:22 AM
if you want to do grunt stuff and can't get 0300, try to go 1371, combat engineer. i'm one and we do almost as much grunt stuff as the grunts, plus we blow stuff up and lot of other things. the only drawback to being an active duty engineer is that you won't find out what kind of engineer you will be until you get almost through MOS school. the corps has division, air wing, and service support engineers. the division engineers do a lot of grunt stuff and engineer recon (similar to what recon units do, but engineer related; slightly different in nature but close enough for gov't work) and a little bit of demo with very little construction. service support and air wing engineers do a lot of construction, a mediocre amount of demo and a little bit of grunt stuff.

also, when i went through MCT, they were offering non-grunts the chance to go to SOI if they wanted. it was kind of a last chance thing. they might or might not do that when you go.

good luck and semper fi.

March 17, 2004, 03:35 PM
Too bad the Navy has an age limit on the Nuclear program.

If I was younger, and my job disappeared, I could go in it.
Should be easy to go through the Nuclear program if you already have a BSEE. :D

Plus, imagine what you can do with access to the PTO off a nuclear reactor, I bet you can run a few CNC milling machines and churn out 1911s. Would have to ask the captain first though. :uhoh:

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