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Marine Corps Infantry Officer Life

Ever wondered what it's like to be a Marine Corps Infantry Officer (0302/0303)? Then check out the information below supplied by current Infantry Officers and the Marine MOS Handbook.

1. Introduction

Every Marine is a rifleman and every MOS exists to support the Infantry. The infantry is a challenging and exciting place for new lieutenants. You are responsible for leading Marines through rigorous training and preparing them for ground combat missions. You will be expected to plan, direct, and assist in the development of orders and tactical employment of subordinate infantry and reconnaissance units. Some tasks conducted by infantry officers are:

  • Gather and evaluate intelligence on enemy strength and position

  • Develop offensive and defensive battle plans

  • Coordinate with supporting units such as tanks, AAVs, aviation, or artillery

  • Direct the use of infantry weapons and equipment, such as mortars, machine guns, rockets, and antitank missiles

  • Develop and supervise unit training

  • Supervise the maintenance of infantry weapons and equipment

  • Direct administrative activities

Additionally, some infantry officers are assigned out of the Infantry Officer’s Course to Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) units. Here lieutenants are responsible for the deployment, tactical employment, and maintenance of LAR units. All infantry officers are responsible for the morale, discipline, and welfare of the Marines assigned to their charge.

2. What is this MOS like?

This MOS is physically demanding and mentally challenging. You will be expected to lead your Marines from the front. Often you will find yourself making time-sensitive decisions without all the information you would like. While, there is no ideal list of attributes that guarantee success as an infantry officer some helpful attributes are the ability to lead and motivate others, willingness to accept a challenge and face danger, willingness to accept responsibility, and an interest in land battle history and strategy. As an infantry officer you will be out in the field for extended periods of time, often with little sleep or rest, so it is helpful to be physically fit. It is strongly recommend that anyone interested in the infantry score at a minimum a 1st Class PFT.

3. What will I do after TBS before I get to my first billet?

All infantry officers attend the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) at Quantico, Virginia upon completion of TBS. This 10-week course prepares new infantry officers for service as company grade officers in the fleet. IOC class dates usually are aligned with TBS cycles; therefore, downtime between TBS and IOC is limited. Most classes will start within two weeks of TBS graduation, and in some instances just a few days. Upon completion of IOC all officers will receive the MOS 0302. Lieutenants will usually be allowed 30 days leave in conjunction with their orders to their first unit after IOC. Those officers headed to LAR will receive the additional MOS of 0303 (Light Armored Vehicle Officer) after completion of the LAV Leaders Course, a 6-week course taught at the School of Infantry in Camp Pendleton. In a few instances, usually due to deployment cycles, some officers may not attend the LAV leaders’ course right away but will receive the 0303 MOS after a period of on the job training at their unit. Once attached to their first unit, officers may have the opportunity to attend a variety of schools such as Mountain Leader, Ranger School, Cavalry Leader, Scout Swimmer, Mortar Platoon Leader, and MOUT instructor to just name a few.

4.What will my first tour be like?

Duty Stations: There are 24 active duty infantry battalions and 3 active duty LAR battalions in the Marine Corps. Camp Lejeune has 9 infantry battalions and 1 LAR battalion. Camp Pendleton has 8 infantry battalions and 1 LAR battalion. Twentynine Palms has 4 infantry battalions and 1 LAR Battalion. Hawaii has 3 inf