View Full Version : changing you MOS??

05-27-03, 07:59 AM
My son is currently set to leave for PI on Oct, 6, with an MOS of intel. But he has been told by a few Marines that it is a desk job and he does not want to be behind a desk all day. He wants to talk to the recruiter about maybe changing his MOS . Can this be done now? He had great ASVAB scores, any suggestions on any other MOS's that he could look into if he can change, He also said that maybe he could leave earlier if he changed his MOS, I hope he is not thinking about changing just so he can go sooner or he might get talked into anything. Any insight from anyone here would be great. Brenda

05-27-03, 10:12 AM

Sixguns will be by to answer your question regarding changing MOS's. Common sense tells me that the intelligience field has two main catagories, gatherers and analysts, and they both work out of the same "office".

Since this is a Poolee Forum, I want to expound on a few things, both for you and for them. Naturally, I will focus on the Marine Corps, but the same truths hold for all military services.

The military exists for one reason, to fight. But in the 228 years of the Marine Corps existence, how many years have we actually spent fighting? What were we doing the rest of the time?

There are many MOS's whose sole function is to fight. Infantry, Armor, Artillery, come first to mind. When not in combat, they are training, but there is much in-between time. Some of the in-between time is boring, some is an adventure. It's all part of the job.

Most MOS's exist independent of combat. Admininstration, Motor Transport, Supply, drivers, mechanics, repairers, cooks, bakers, etc. etc. etc. have a full days "work" to do, every day, in or out of combat.

Some "work" is sitting behind a desk, some is getting hands dirty, some is in the field, some is exciting, some is boring, ALL is important.

When I was Recruiting, I used to tell this story:

The Marine Corps is NOT a union shop. My father worked for a union shop. If he needed to move some wood debris, he had to wait for a carpenter to show up. If it was discarded wire, he had to wait for an electrician. There were days he got absolutely nothing done, waiting for the various union tradesman to come back and clean up after themselves.

The Marine Corps is NOT a union shop. I have never seen an instance where someone would come up to a peer group member and say, "let me help you with that" and be turned away.

What do you want to know? What do you want to learn? If someone knows how and is doing it, you can help (and learn).

I was Radio Chief, 1st Bn, 8th Marines providing radio communications to the four infantry companies. I heard a strange voice on one of my radios sent out with one of the companies. I questioned my operator. One of the infantrymen offered to carry the radio.

A short while later, I noticed a strange face in classes I was giving to my platoon, and working to clean gear returning from the field. Same infantryman. I talked to his CO and he was transferred to my radio platoon. Some time later, I was approached by the message center chief. Same kid, helping (and learning) in message center. O.K. transfer to message center. They sent him off to school. Long story short, last I heard from him, he was working for IBM in computers. (That was 1965. He MAY own the company by now.)

Thank God for a non-union shop. I'll admit I took advantage of the opportunities for 20 years. Shortly after I retired, I saw a long list of jobs and job descriptions. From that list, there were 203 jobs that I had a familarity with, and MANY that I could have applied for, if I had the right credentials. (If I had wanted one, I would have asked if they wanted someone with the job experience or the paper experience.)

I don't think that's too bad for a punk kid thrown out of four high schools because of my superior intelligence. At least I think that's what they meant when they told me to hit the road because I was too much of a wiseass.
Bottom line. If all you are doing is looking for a chance to kill people, you are going to be "unemployed" for a long, long time regardless of your MOS.

(Vietnam was an exception, which I doubt (and hope) will ever be repeated.)

To paraphrase Shakespeare (As You Like It) ; Combat is but an unfortunate interruption of an otherwise peaceful existence.

The more you train in peacetime, the less you bleed in war.

And some of the training is classroom instruction (sitting behind a desk).

That said, there are very few (because I can't think of ANY) "civilian" jobs that cannot be found in the military. Compare a military base of 20,000 people with a civilian town of 20,000 people. What services does the town require that the base does not?

This rambling will probably paint a picture that was not considered before. Therefore, it is more accurate than anything you have considered before.

Any questions?

05-27-03, 10:50 AM
Would agree with the FirstSgt, Sixguns would be your best answer regarding changing MOS's. However, if I may add to what has already been posted. My MOS was as an Air Support Operations Operator, what I essentially did was coordinate air support for the infantry. While an exciting job while deployed, we had no mission in garrison, which meant that anytime the unit needed a working party guess who they called? So having an MOS that didn't require actually being deployed might not be all that bad. Additionally, while intell may primarily be a desk job, I think that how much time is actually spent behind a desk would depend on what unit your son is assigned to, plus there are several specialties underneath the Intell occupational field.

05-27-03, 12:49 PM
One more bit o' ramblin'. My MOS had to do with Hydraulics on CH-46's. I ended up with two MOS's and spent a year working in a third! I also spent a lot of time working in several other MOS's.

I would say that a change in yer son's MOS shouldn't be an extreme difficulty at this point, depending on what the Marine Corps needs. He needs to talk to his recruiter as soon as possible. That said, the Intel MOS offers a lot of opportunities later on in his life.

As the First Sergeant has said, he will work in other MOS's during his enlistment and have the opportunity to add MOS's to his 'resume'. Some Marines I met carried several 'official' MOS's. We all ended up working in or with other occupational specialties. In any case, whatever he does, the experience that he gains is invaluable in his life after his service in the Marine Corps. In a four year enlistment, he can expect to have responsibilities that civilians twice or three times his age will never know. That can mean a lot to his civilian career later on, but during his time in the Corps, he will be a Marine.

05-27-03, 06:37 PM
An enlistment option/guarantee can be changed anytime up to the date of shipping. The further in advance to ship day the change is made, the more likely programs will be available. First come, first served is the practice on enlistment guarantees. Be sure your son has the opportunity to learn more about another MOS before he makes his final decision. A recruiter is a great source of info, but challenge him to seek ou others who have worked in the intended MOS for a "second opinion." All Marines have the opportunity to change their jobs in the future. This usually happens in conjunction with a visit to the career planner (every unit has one and is usually a check in requirement to see this Marine). A writte request, known as an AA (administrative action) Form can start the process of requesting a Lateral Move to a new MOS. lease let your son know that his career choice/MOS is an important decision that he must make, not others. I would be more than happy to correspond with him here in this forum or offline. Please let me know if I can be of assistance.



05-27-03, 06:40 PM
Intel is not a desk job!! It all depends on the unit and the type of intel work he will be doing as has been stated above. Is he being told this to discourage him from the job? Is the job available or not? Brenda, I'd like to help your son as much as possible. I hope he and I can talk.


05-28-03, 06:38 AM
Thanks for your replys, I have this book marked for my son to read when he gets home and hopefully he will get on here and ask some of his ?s. He has read some of the things that people have wrote about intel and I think he has decided to stick with it. He wals talking to two Marines last week at the movies and they were the ones that told him he would be behind a desk and that got him thinking. I also know that he is so ready to go to boot camp that I almost think he might be thinking of changing he MOS so he can leave earlier than Oct. He has been a different child since he make the decision to join the Corps. He said that he feels he has a purpose now. He does pushups twice a day, crunches, and bought running shoes, He has not ran much yet. I was very upset set about him wanting to join the Marines, but after watching him over the last month or so, I feel too that he has make the right decision. Thanks again, Brenda

05-28-03, 08:44 PM
Brenda, your support is the most important thing he can take to training with him. If he knows that Mom is counting on him to make it and that she is pleased with his career decision, he will succeed. Keep him pumped up and send letters as often as you can, even though his may be fewer and farther between. The first month will be hectic for him. He should be confident with his MOS selection. In case you haven't noticed, military intelligence professionals are in demand when they leave service. Dept. of Homeland Security is a big one! There are even colleges now offering Counter intelligence, intelligence gathering and homeland security degrees. It is no secret that folks in that MOS have to have a high degree of mental ability. I wish him great success.