Intel or Recon?
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  1. #1

    Question Intel or Recon?

    Hello Marines,

    This is my first time posting to this glorious forum, although I've read a good deal of threads. I have just made an account to hopefully get some light shed onto my particular situation - one that is unique and I have yet to find any info/advice on.

    A little bit about me - From the Midwest, "dropped out" of Business School at a Big10 University to enlist after 2 years, 97 ASVAB, life long athlete striving for a 300 PFT in Bootcamp, grew up with a single mother and 3 little sisters, failed color vision at MEPS (Dots and FALANT - I can see colors, stop lights have never been an issue etc.), a Constitutional enthusiast, long term career plans to represent the people in Washington D.C. some day...taking it one step at a time.

    I lost my sense of purpose in college. It wasn't important enough for me. I don't care about making money, I'd rather make a real difference. So I went to a recruiters office. The first thing I wanted to do when I was about 6 was be a SEAL. From 10-18 I wanted to be an attorney. From 18-20 I wanted to be a businessman. Throughout my life I've always tried to do the right thing and help as many people as I could. I first went to the National Guard of my state last summer but that wasn't my style. The following summer (2016) I went to an Air Force recruiter determined to be a PJ - my color vision had other plans for me. I researched intel jobs in the Armed Forces and ruled out Army 35F and a few others and then I found it..0211 in the United States Marine Corps. I am sure this is what I was meant to do. My father is a medically discharged Marine turned Naval Officer, his brother a medically discharged Marine, I have family relations to a Green Beret, Army Ranger..the list goes on. Not to ride on their coat tail, but to show that I have been raised in a Military manor and have some discipline and sense of civic virtue.

    Moving on...

    I realize you have to Lat move into 0211 and that will come whenever it does - with my long term goals in mind I had convinced myself to enlist as an Intelligence Specialist - 0231. I take the DLAB tomorrow and am confident I will kill it like the ASVAB.

    My situation...

    Last week at our Poolee PT my GySgt said that the Intel field is getting smaller, among other things like needing more people to sign up for stand-by and what not. There are three of us in my pool that are hoping to go into the Intel field. I am sure that I am the most competitive of the three to get an Intel job, but he said that myself and one fellow pool member qualify for a Recon contract and that we should start thinking about that instead. I hadn't given Recon any thought until then, namely because that isn't what I had intended from the start and because I don't think a poolee has any business thinking about Recon, but I understand it is a possibility these days. I am not fearful of the challenge and know that I will give 120% no matter what and that the most important thing is earning the title first and filling the needs of the Corps. With that, I am still naturally thinking about my career and looking out for myself in the beginning stages of this life change.

    What are your thoughts, Marines?

    You know my story, hopefully you see my motivation, hopefully I haven't come off as an arrogant POS -
    Do I keep on with Intel? Do I take a chance with Recon? Do I go Infantry? The 0211 MOS is really what I'm after here. Is Recon really even an option given my vision (I am 20/200 without port holes, also)? Any insight into the 0211 lifestyle?

    I am truly grateful for any words and advice that anyone has.


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  2. #2
    I don't know if your eyes will have an impact on your chance for recon or not, but do you even know what the reconnisaince man's job is? It's not even close to what you think, and even more rarely do they get used appropriately by whatever command they're attached to. To me, the bolded statement at the bottom of your post says it all. You want the Intel job. If that's what you want, and you're sure, then use that motivation and drive you're showing and pursue that goal broseph. If you're not sure, then do a bunch of research into the recon field before you decide to go that route. If laying in the bush for a week watching **** go down and whispering into a radio isn't your thing, you may not want the recon job.

  3. #3
    Thank you Sir, much appreciated.

  4. #4
    Bah. I'm not a sir. I work for a living. The recon community is pretty misunderstood by the general populace. Everyone seems to think of them as something akin to SEAL team 6, and to be sure there's a ton of straight badasses in the recon field, but their mission usually isn't direct action as much as it is being sneaky bastards and reporting back what they see.

  5. #5
    Aye Aye, just trying to be respectful. I agree, there is only so much info on the internet about everything I listed and I'm trying to sift through the misconceptions and what not. Thank you for your take - I'm already that much more knowledgeable now and hope to get some more of the real truth, not the 'YouTube truth'.

  6. #6
    Just a couple thoughts.

    Remember. When your GySgt (or any other recruiter) says something like "the intel field is getting smaller", among other things, and maybe you need to think about a RECON contract, there is a method to their madness. Meaning, they get their marching orders from their district commander. If their district CO says he needs more aviation mechanics then the message will change to "maybe you need to look at aviation mechanic instead of intel". Like you said, needs of the Corps.

    Some intel MOS's are considered "critical MOS's" meaning they are short-handed so the part about the intel field getting smaller is likely true. In order to get more Marines to stay in these MOS's, the USMC is offering reenlistment bonuses in the following amounts:

    0211 Counterintelligence/human intel specialist $56K

    0241 Imagery analysis specialist $20,500

    0261 Geographic intel specialist $15K

    Not intel, but 0321 RECON man also has a bonus of $51K

    Some others that may interest you:

    0372 Critical skills operator (MARSOC): $56K

    In the interest of thinking about your career and taking care of yourself. Any job in cyber security (civilian or military) is highly sought after and lucrative. Our commandant has made it clear, cyber security is one of his priorities. In that regard, it's reenlistment bonuses have been bumped up to:

    0689 Cyber security technician $56K

    0651 Cyber network operator: $30,750

    There are more in the aviation field.

    Your statement "I realize you have to latmove into 0211 and that will come whenever it does" is erroneous. Nobody can count on a latmove. There are a lot of rules and the stars must align just right for it to happen. I was a Battalion Career Planner for awhile and processed all the latmove requests for our battalion. Latmoves are normally used in conjunction with reenlistment, as an incentive to stay in and not get out. They're also used as a tool to level out MOS populations. Meaning, if you're already in an underpopulated MOS, there is no way they'll allow you to leave, as that will just make it even more underpopulated. You don't even know what your MOS will be at this point, let alone if it'll be overpopulated, underpopulated, or just right 4 years from now. Your recruiter can explain how latmoves work. Bottom line however, it's not anything you can plan on. Again, needs of the Corps.

    Note: there are no linguists MOS's that rate a reenlistment bonus (so not considered critical).

  7. #7
    I'm not POSITIVE, but I think if you're Recon and drop out of BRC, you will be reclassed at the needs of the Corps. I'm Motor T and had some Recon guys in my training. I was told a lot are sent to be Motor T Operators and Field Radio Operators.

    I'm looking at 0211 myself. I still have time left in my current contract. I'm a reservist in your town, DC.

  8. #8
    ^^^you are correct. BRC drops are reassigned MOS's based on the needs of the Marine Corps (not necessarily 03XX). It's a gamble one takes. Nothing is guaranteed. Be careful what you ask for.

  9. #9
    Thank you Tennessee Top and Capitolfire1822. I took the DLAB and scored 116 so I think I am the most competitive in my pool for an intel job and will hopefully be assigned one of those jobs. Everyone's insight has affirmed my original stance that I think Intel is best for me at the moment. God bless.

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