Pros and Cons: Infantry Officer and Infantry Enlisted
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  1. #1

    Pros and Cons: Infantry Officer and Infantry Enlisted

    Those that have infantry experience, what did you like/dislike about being an officer/enlisted in the infantry?

    To phrase it another way, if you could choose to be enlisted or an officer in the infantry, which would you choose and why?

    I'm a college graduate seriously looking at infantry, but would like to hear the pros and cons of the officer/enlisted routes. I have confidence I could succeed in either, but I excel when doing what I'm most passionate about. Trying to see which side that might be for me. Many thanks for your thoughts.

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  2. #2
    josephd
    Guest Free Member
    Well first thing I should mention and that you should know is you don't get to "choose" infantry if you decide to commission. You will make a wish list of MOS choices while at TBS(the basic school) and an MOS will be chosen for you based on where you rank in your class.

    Second thing, if the "infantry experience" is what you ultimately want then I would suggest enlisting. Being an officer in the infantry is not what you probably think. You won't spending most of your time shooting, blowing stuff up, and doing anything high speed. As an officer its your job to write orders, doing risk management, and being sure the Marines in your charge are being trained.


  3. #3
    The fitness level for the The Infantry Officer's Course (IOC) has been compared to that of an ironman's competition. If that describes you, then it is something you may be able to aspire to.

    The enlisted's Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) is not as demanding physically (but you still need to be a stud to complete the course). If that more accurately describes you, then that may help you decide.

    I was not in the infantry. This is just general knowledge.

    If this means anything to you. An infantry line officer stays glued to the field radio operator (with the antenna on his back). Making one a primary target for enemy snipers.


  4. #4
    Marine Free Member djj34's Avatar
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    I had a 292 PFT and a 300 CFT and I'm very sure the Infantry Officer Course would have broken me the hell off. Had a lot of friends not make it through the first day, then again had a lot of friends surprisingly make it through the first day.



    Josephd, ran into your guy Brainerd at work today, mentioned you and he said to say what's up.


  5. #5
    Quick correction. BOTH the field radio operator and the officer by his side talking on the handset are prime targets for enemy snipers. One always tries to take out the enemy's ability to command and communicate first. Next on the target list - crew served weapons (machineguns, mortars, artillery, etc.). Last on the priority list - individual riflemen.


  6. #6
    josephd
    Guest Free Member
    Quote Originally Posted by djj34 View Post
    I had a 292 PFT and a 300 CFT and I'm very sure the Infantry Officer Course would have broken me the hell off. Had a lot of friends not make it through the first day, then again had a lot of friends surprisingly make it through the first day.



    Josephd, ran into your guy Brainerd at work today, mentioned you and he said to say what's up.
    oh cool!....good lookin out sir


  7. #7
    Another one? This is like the niagara falls of this question, does no one do any of their own research anymore?


  8. #8
    Don't enlist into the infantry as a college graduate. You'll most likely hate life very quickly. Seriously, don't do it.


  9. #9
    LCPL1341

    Thank you for the thought. If you don't mind, I'd like to hear why. I've heard a couple reasons from others, but I'm interested in what you would have to say.


  10. #10
    Reasons why:

    1) You'll be a 22 year old+ college graduate, in a grunt unit with Corporals and Lance Corporals in charge of you who are way younger than you with no college. No one will give a sh*t you went to college. and you'll be treated like just another boot same as the 17 year old PFC next to you with a HS diploma. You'll be humbled real quick. Some can handle it, some can not.

    2) No major engagements in the foreseeable future: We're not currently at war, so your days will be spent doing inane garrison BS which can get pretty retarded depending on who your squad/fire-team leader is (refer to number 1).

    3) From the outside looking in, the infantry looks very cool; but what you dont see is the grunt life when there is no war going on. The garrison BS, the f*ck f*ck games, field day multiple times a week because the training schedule may be a bit empty (depends on unit) time spent behind a computer at the LRC doing MCIs, more f*ck f*ck games, more field day, alot of time spend in the field, only to come back for a few days then go right back out, humps humps and more humps. Oh, and PT, lots of it, sometimes multiple times a day.

    Unless a war breaks out, this will be your life for 4 years with maybe a deployment here or there.

    My source: a 24 y/o LCpl and college grad whose an 0331 with a grunt unit in 29 Palms.


  11. #11
    LCPL1341 makes a lot of sense... the only thing I would offer that is different is that there is no telling when/where the next deployment/commitment will be. Chances are, it won't be until after the next presidential election.

    As an infantry officer you will primarily be responsible for the training of your unit. If your Marines live in the environment that LCPL1341 describes, then you aren't doing your job. Yes, some of that will be out of your control - but you have to be resourceful and take training seriously... finding the time and opportunities to train. Your Marines didn't enlist so that they could serve on garrison working parties.

    Your duties really fall into three areas 1) preparing your unit and yourself to fight effectively in an endless variety of circumstances and environments, 2) ensuring that your unit (and yourself) are in top physical condition - you (and your Marines) will never be in good enough shape... period, and 3) limiting the amount of "f*ck-f*ck" games described above (which directly impacts your Marines' morale).

    Yeah, there's more to it than that, but that's a quick and simple overview. It is a tremedous responsibility and burden for those who take it seriously, which is why so many lieutenants get a bad reputation - because they aren't up for bearing that burden and therefore don't take it seriously.

    And to echo a note above - as an officer, you don't get to pick your MOS - it will be assigned based upon your performance and "the needs of the Corps."

    Good luck


  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by 03Mike View Post
    It is a tremedous responsibility and burden for those who take it seriously, which is why so many lieutenants get a bad reputation - because they aren't up for bearing that burden and therefore don't take it seriously
    Brother 03Mike....hope all is well with you.

    Good G2 for the OP.
    I totally agree....a huge responsibility to take on.

    As a side note of what LCPL1341 states:
    After Nam I went to Los Flores attached to M/4/13 for about 9 months.
    Training was much of our time on the guns along with a 3 week field problem picnic at 29 Palms.

    Then in December '67 I got transferred to Marine Barracks Moffett Field.
    Now...I expected the spit/polish protocols so I had no issue with that.
    The disappointments....not enough combat/weapons training, way too many chicken shvt working parties, policing the tarmack for cigarette butts and other childish duties totally turned me off.
    Surely, CO's could come up with more relevant things to keep Marines on top of their game?
    Many of us were combat vets....you can imagine the disgust with it all.
    Of course, I was not alone on with these feelings...all felt that way.

    Granted, these were my experiences and a long time ago.
    It was like be treated as little kids and punished because the CO's didn't get laid lately.
    At that point I was totally disillusioned with USMC life based on said experiences.
    I would have rather been back in a land far, far away on a SE Asian picnic than put up with it.
    Even though they offered me almost 5K to re-up I couldn't get beyond the thought that this silly crap permeated our Corps at many levels and duty stations.
    I politely declined the generous offer.

    So...I hope your thoughtful comments are more the norm these days.

    No hijack intended....good luck OP.

    Do carry on.
    clv


  13. #13
    Woah 03 Mike havent seen you in a hot minute how is it going.


  14. #14
    <<Begin Thread Hijack>>
    Thanks Gents - you know how it goes... ups, downs, and all arounds. Hope to get back to be a little more regular here - believe I still have some relevant info to share.

    <<End Thread Hijack>>


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