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11-12-08, 11:44 PM #1
0861 / Fire Support Man / Scout Observer
This post is for any new 0861's that had questions about their MOS schools:
First you will attend the Marine Artillery Scout Observers Course (Masoc) in Fort Sill, OK. Fort Sill is a gloomy place, the weather sucks there pretty much year round. There really isn't much to do other than drink at the impact zone. If you are underage, SAVE YOURSELF the trouble and DO NOT DRINK. I still see Pvt's coming into the fleet because they get busted down in Ft Sill. If you are an NCO you will probably get there a day or two within the start of the course, which is a good thing. Many people are awaiting training for weeks before they actually start the course.
YOU ARE HELD TO A VERY HIGH STANDARD IN MASOC!!!
There are 30 students max in each class. The course will be about 6 weeks long and will cover subjects such as; Map Reading, Land Navigation, Targeting, CFF (Call For Fire), Registrations, FSCM's (Fire Support Coordination Measures) and so on.
It is important to note that about 9 out of 30 students on average, will not pass the class. Each cycle will not graduate Marines, some will be recycled into the next class. Others will become Bulk Fuel, or 0811 Cannoneers.
Even if you regard yourself as being intelligent, I STRONGLY suggest you study! The instructors there have high expectations, and a few of them are dry, and are not experienced teachers. I had Marines in my class that were 90+ on their ASVAB's and flunked out. You will be administered a written test every week, and have 3 graded live fire missions that you will have to pass. FAILURE IN ANY 3 EVENTS, AND YOU WILL FLUNK OUT. THAT MEANS YOU WILL BE RECYCLED INTO THE NEXT CLASS, OR BE DROPPED TO A DIFFERENT MOS. If you are an NCO, I hear it is seldom you get recycled, if you fail the class, you are screwed.
Upon completion of Masoc you will attend the Fire Support Man Course, EWTGPAC (Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Pacific) in Coronado, CA.
When you get there you will have full fleet liberty, so don't lose your frickin minds!!!
YOU ARE HELD TO THE HIGHEST OF STANDARDS THERE, AND YOU WILL ABIDE BY THE RULES SET FORTH BY THE INSTRUCTORS. IF YOU MISTAKE THEIR KINDNESS FOR WEAKNESS YOUR LIFE WILL BE MISERABLE.
The instructors at this course are of the highest grade and there is no reason you should fail this course. They will offer you as much help as you need. Ssgt Peskuski stayed after class with me on several occaisions to assure I knew the material. Remember, they can't help if you don't ask. Again, STUDYING IS PARAMOUNT!
In this course you will cover several subjects including; NSFS ships and ordnance, NGF call for fire, you will also cover Close Air Support, and have a week of AFATDS (Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems). Pay attention because you will use this in the fleet.
You will have written tests, as well as graded missions on the simulator there, and 1 live fire out on San Clemente Island. If you do not properly prepare yourself for this, you will FAIL, and they aren't likely to recycle you in Coronado.
P.S. In Coronado you will be at Naval Amphibious Base, where the SEALs recruits are training, save yourself the ass kicking and let them be. Their life is miserable enough, they don't need your trash talk. Coronando was the best time I've ever had in the Marine Corps, so enjoy it. It will be over quickly. You have one of the best MOS's in the Marine Corps, so don't screw it up, study and stay motivated!
11-29-08, 06:57 PM #2
Thanks for the post, very useful information. I just got to Ft. Sill and don't think my class is picking up for a while. A little nervous though, the class seems pretty hard but I should be alrite.
11-29-08, 08:47 PM #3
3-11 - That is an excellent post.
It looks as though you are serious about your MOS.
The poolees and wannabees, among others, should heed what you say.
Now, a little background please. Profile up.
11-29-08, 10:14 PM #4
It is very rare for a new Marine to get to Ft. Sill and pick up class right away, especially MASOC. A little advice, after your done with your working parties, go to the gym and PT as much as you can on your free time. Don't bother trying to read any class materials to get ahead, as it will do more harm then good. Also, Square away any sh*tbags who are going to be in your class, it will make life easier for everyone.
12-25-09, 05:58 PM #5
How do I put in for 0861? When I signed my pre-ship paerwork last week, I signed up for my job being combat support nothing detailed about what I would do. Did i get screwed?
12-25-09, 07:38 PM #6
12-25-09, 09:40 PM #7
I was a 13F10 in the Army...Fire Support Systems Specialist...LOVED THIS MOS.
even though I enjoy being an 0369...I loved being an FO.
01-28-10, 10:33 PM #8
Hey ThreeEleven (or anyone else that may know),
This is a great thread. Best I've been able to find.
I'm considering lat moving to 0861, but wanted to try to squeeze you for a little more info if you don't mind. My only question really is what it would be like for a Sgt to lat move over to this job?
Just wondering if you've encountered any senior NCOs that have lat moved and what they are doing now as an 0861. Are they getting their hands dirty with the rest of them or are they sitting being a desk in the S-3 shop?
Thanks a lot
01-30-10, 06:13 PM #9
I'm going to level with you, because of the bonus we had, we have been flooded with NCO's, especially Sgt's and are in dire need of Pvt-Lcpl's. I have encountered several lat-movers, and at one point we had over 16 Sgt's in our shop alone, outnumbering E-4 and below by over 2 to 1.
All of the fun work as an 0861 Is from Pfc - Cpl. Once you become a senior Cpl or are a Sgt, You will become a fixture in a Battery, Battalion, or Regimental FSCC, Operating AFATDS on computer, or clearing fires that the junior Marines are calling in. The more exciting work is E-4 and below. You will not be in an S-3, but you will be in a similar setting in the Fire support Coordination Center, alot like the FDC or Fire Direction Control MOS.
Don't get me wrong, As you can see from my boot posts I love my MOS, I still do. But the prospect of being out of the fight directly makes me reconsider staying in this particular MOS. I hate deskwork and computers, but eventually your advancement in the Marine Corps will precipitate that kind of work in any MOS you take.
03-17-10, 09:00 PM #10
how dangerous is this MOS really? My husband scored high on his ASVAB and got this MOS and he seems really excited about it but i hear its very dangerous and i'm very worried. he is in coronado doing live fire before graduation currently.
do they deploy more often than other MOS fields?
03-17-10, 09:16 PM #11
As an 0861, he should be on a normal deployment schedule. He will probably do 6 months deployed to 12 months at home, somewhere around there. Dangerous? Well if we were employed how we should be, the job would have a significant higher risk than infantry. However, it seems many in the Marine Corps command have a certain level of retardation when it comes to employment of 0861's, so I'd say we assume th same amount of risk as a rifleman 0311. This is especially true of attaching to grunt companies, they lose alot of good support because they do not understand how to use us.
What unit is your husband going to?
03-17-10, 09:26 PM #12
12 months at home and 6 deployed-wow that made me feel better! i thought it was 6 at home and 6 deployed on average.
He graduates the day after tomorrow and believe it or not we still dont know where we're going or what unit he'll be attached to. i'm assuming we'll find out tomorrow night or friday morning. well he might know already but he's in naval firing week and cant call me and tell me.
How many times have you deployed since you've been in if you dont mind me asking? You got stationed in 29 palms, do you like it there?
sorry for all the questions i just have so many!
03-17-10, 09:30 PM #13
To any Lat-movers considering coming over as an 0861...
Our MOS is heavily bogged down, and our bonus has been greatily depleted. Look elsewhere.
When you come in for a nice chunk of change, as a CPL or SGT, you get the money but then get stuck on a computer in a COC. You have no high speed training or gear to look forward to. You will be approving or denying someone elses missions. We have Lat Movers that got $50,000+ and will hate the next 4 years of their life and new chosen MOS.
For those of us who have built up credibility and pushed through the MOS since we were Pvts and PFCs, and are considering a Re-up, we would appreciate if you would consider what you will be doing BEFORE you jump in for the money... And suck away what remains of OUR bonus.
I really don't care if you are offended by this email, but I can speak for most 0861's when I say...
We want to train the Pvts and PFCs, not CPLs and SGTs with ZERO MOS CREDIBILITY who just got a fat bonus. So don't expect a warm welcome when you show up to a unit that has 16 Sgts and 2 LCpls
03-17-10, 09:35 PM #14
03-19-10, 09:12 PM #15
Paul is at Parris Island now, and is going in as 0861.
I printed you org post, and am mailing it to him in Boot to read.
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