Ground Intelligence Officer (0203)
Create Post
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Marine Friend Free Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    5
    Credits
    793
    Savings
    0

    Ground Intelligence Officer (0203)

    Marines,

    First off, thank you for even beginning to read my lengthy question. I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I have searched and researched this on my own (via google search within leatherneck.com, since for some reason the actual search function wasn't working for me here)

    A little about me -
    I'm about to graduate with a bachelor's in emergency medicine from a local university (you can read my profile to see which one). I am a practicing paramedic in my local area. I am 22 years old. I scored a 98 on the ASVAB. I last ran a 20:10 three mile (I will be shaving it down to 17:00), with 16 pullups (I will take it up to 24), and 108 sit ups. I speak English, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi and a little Urdu. I plan to learn Arabic, fluently, in the next 3-6 months. As far as leadership goes, I am successfully operating my own business (which I plan to turn over to my #2 once I ship), I am the president of the Emergency Medicine Student Association at my university, and I have held student body leadership positions throughout my K-12 career. I can produce letters of recommendations from program directors, medical directors, professors and employers for any selection board that requests them. I understand that none of these accomplishments can come close to be compared to being a Marine Corps Officer, but I feel that they are adequate enough to be considered to be given a chance.

    My initial interest to join the Marine Corps was in 2007, when I was 18 years old. I had some family issues, and I decided (or it was decided for me) to wait until I finished my bachelor's degree before I were to do so. Now I have the opportunity to go in as an officer, and my friends and family, most of who are Active/Reserve Marines, have advised me that an officer path is the best one (for me at least).

    An MOS that I have greatly considered, is that of Ground Intelligence Officer (0203). The reasons, are as follows:
    - The ability to get SOME combat/infantry experience as an officer
    - The ability to get into the field of intelligence, which I have learned can be very lucrative post-military
    - The ability to use my talents
    - Access (if proven to be worthy) to schools such as SERE, Scout/Sniper, Recon. (The more schools that filter out those who are unworthy, the more worthy I can prove myself to be)

    I have the following questions:
    - On my contract, will I be "guaranteed" an 0203 MOS? Or will I start out as an Intel Officer and then have to prove myself worthy to get to 0203?
    - If for some reason I don't get the security clearance, or something gets in the way, can I move to an 03 MOS? (I would be happy with that as well)
    - I have read, from searching, that only the best officer in their OCS "third" gets to choose their MOS. Does that mean that the second, or third best officers don't get any choice in the matter? Or will they give it to them if it's available?

    I am only concerned because I know that if I'm given the chance to prove myself, I will be able to do so successfully. But I'm not much of a gambling man, so I would like to know just how much of it is out my control.

    Again, thank you for enduring my wall of text.


  2. #2
    There are a few Officers who visit here on Leatherenck from time to time, hopefully one of them will see this topic and help you out.


    Have you looked at these sites........




    http://www.marineofficerprograms.com...course-occ.php




    Officers Candidates School
    http://www.ocs.usmc.mil/?dest=home


  3. #3
    Marine Friend Free Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    5
    Credits
    793
    Savings
    0
    Ma'am,

    Thank you for replying. If there is another forum that is specific to potential officers, then I haven't found it.

    I have indeed browsed through that resource. Unfortunately, I have not found answers to my questions there. I appreciate the assistance though.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Thindy View Post
    I have the following questions:
    - On my contract, will I be "guaranteed" an 0203 MOS? Or will I start out as an Intel Officer and then have to prove myself worthy to get to 0203?
    - If for some reason I don't get the security clearance, or something gets in the way, can I move to an 03 MOS? (I would be happy with that as well)
    - I have read, from searching, that only the best officer in their OCS "third" gets to choose their MOS. Does that mean that the second, or third best officers don't get any choice in the matter? Or will they give it to them if it's available?

    ...But I'm not much of a gambling man, so I would like to know just how much of it is out my control.
    First, thanks for the well written post.

    Second:
    - Officer MOSes are not guaranteed except Pilots, NFOs, and Lawyers
    - Only 03 MOS you would get as an officer would be 0302 Infantry Officer (to the best of my knowledge anyway)
    - All officers get to rank their MOS preferences at TBS. The higher you rank in your 'third,' the more likely you are to get your top pick. I have heard that the top five graduates of the class get their first choice. Or you could be like me, somewhere in the middle, and still get your first choice.

    So, as far as MOS selection, there is definitely some 'gambling' involved. But there is risk and 'gambling' involved with all things military. We try to mitigate and reduce uncertainty and risk, but we by no means try to eliminate it. Our philosophy of warfare is based on the realization that war is inherently risky and uncertain, and we learn to live with it. So keep that in mind as you decide how to move forward.

    Finally, I would caution you not to get hung-up on a particular MOS before you even get selected for OCS. I'm not sure you have an accurate concept of what 0203s do. Additionally, many Marine officers (myself included) have joined with the intent to become an 0302 (or some other sexy combat arms, or intel, etc.) to later discover that they would much rather do something else. Personally, I discovered that I am better suited (and much prefer) doing something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. So, if leading and mentoring Marines is what you primarily want to do, then sign up and see where you fit best as you go through TBS. If the MOS is the primary thing you're concerned about and leadership is just secondary, then I'd recommend enlisting first -- but keep in mind that we expect even our most junior Marines to be outstanding and selfless leaders.

    Best of luck.


  5. #5
    Thindy,

    Officers do NOT get to choose or have guaranteed their MOS. You either enlist on a "Law" contract (JAG lawyers), "Flight" contract (for pilots, no promises on what type of aircraft), or for a "Ground" contract (everything else).

    Officer MOS assignment doesn't take place until the end of The Basic School (TBS), which is the follow-on training for officers after Officer Candidate School (OCS).

    At the end of TBS, the officers are ranked according to GPA combined with fitness test scores, etc. So in a class of 90 Marine officers, a list would be formed, ranking them from #1-90.

    This ranking is then divided equally into three pools consisting of 1/3rd of the total. So in our hypothetical TBS class of 90 officers, 1st Third would be composed of the Marines ranked 1-30, 2nd Third would consist of Marines ranked 31-60, and 3rd third would consist of the Marines ranked 61-90.

    The pool of available slots for each officer MOS is then divided (not necessarily evenly) between the three thirds. So for example, if there are 15 available Infantry Officer slots, they might hypothetically assign them for our example class of 90 as follows:

    8 - Upper Third
    4 - Middle Third
    3 - Lower Third

    This is done for all the different MOS slots available.

    The individual officers then rank their preferences in order from first to last, and submit these lists to their advisers.
    The advisors then work their way down through the class ranks, starting with the Marine ranked #1. The #1 ranked Marine will get the MOS assignment that he has placed as his #1 preference on his preference list, drawn from the slots available from the Upper Third pool. And then so on down through the Marines in the Upper Third. If the Marine's #1 preference is not available, or has no more slots in that third's pool, they are given their #2 preference, and so on.

    In this way, all Marines are given MOS assignments. The more "popular" MOS tend to have more slots available for the Upper Third, but generally will have some slots available to all three, giving Officers from the bottom half of the class at least a chance of being assigned them.
    It creates a somewhat weird dynamic of it being more advantageous to be the the first Marine in the Middle Third than it is to be the last Marine in the Upper Third, who is technically one class rank better, but the system has the advantage of ensuring the the highest quality officers are more evenly distributed between all the occupational fields, instead of merely concentrated in the most popular ones.


  6. #6
    Marine Friend Free Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    5
    Credits
    793
    Savings
    0
    Beltayn,

    Thank you for your informative post. Let me see if I understand this correctly.

    The 1st best, 31st best, and 61st Marines get a choice at their jobs?
    And then the 2nd best, 32nd best and 62nd best Marines get second choice?

    Meaning the second best Marine could still get his choice of job, pending the first best Marine doesn't snatch it from him?

    I'm happy that the Marine Corps gives people the motivation to excel in class so that they can get their choice of MOS, but it almost feels like if you can't be the best Marine, you should be the 31st best, or even the 61st.

    Again, thank you for your reply.


  7. #7
    Marine Friend Free Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    5
    Credits
    793
    Savings
    0
    Ammermda,

    Thank you for you reply. I realized that you posted after I read Beltayn's post. The more I understand, the more I realize I don't know anything. I believe the best thing for me to do, is to just get myself physically and mentally prepared for OCS, and take a leap of faith. I would be happy to just be an officer in the Marine Corps, but of course I would be happier with being able to choose what I want to do.


  8. #8
    The system of Officer MOS selection is reflective of the overall attitude of the Marine Corps in most areas as a whole.
    The primary priority isn't to grant every individual satisfaction, the goal is to maximize overall warfighting effectiveness of the force.

    Imagine a scenario where MOS selection is purely based on merit. What would happen to the occupational specialties such as Supply or Comptroller (accounting) which aren't, for lack of a better term, as "sexy" as others like Pilot or Infantry Commander or Intelligence Officer? They would probably fall to the Officers who were in the bottom tiers of the talent pool.
    All the integrated parts of the force are vital to successful warfighting. If an entire segment of that integrated network is turned into the dumping ground for the least talented young officers, you are probably smart enough to imagine the effect that would have.

    This system ensures that, while the most intense occupational specialties such as Infantry Officers and Intelligence are concentrated in the upper third, each occupational field is still given a distribution of new officers from the full spectrum of the available talent. Not only does this affect the new influx of Lieutenants, over the long term as those officers get promoted within their fields and continue their careers, it means that the more talented officers are also available to provide mentorship and guidance to the weaker officers junior to them in subsequent years, improving them overall. Within an organization, segregating talent into an "A Team" and a "B Team" only leads to stagnation at all levels.

    Additionally, consider that some young officers may not be strong in all areas, but still be well suited for a high-demand occupational field. For example, consider a young Lieutenant who isn't the best at taking tests, but is extremely physically fit, has an excellent grasp of tactics, and an intuitive gift for snap-decision making under pressure. Such a Marine might want nothing more in the world than to command Marines as an Infantry Officer, and is extremely well suited for it, but his ranked performance in TBS only puts him in the middle of the pack in his class. If all the Infantry slots were to go to the highest class-ranked Marines, what is to be done with this Marine? Dividing up available MOS slots between the Upper, Middle, and Lower thirds gives Marines such as this the opportunity to be end up in MOSs that simply would not be available to him if things were purely by priority of class rank.

    Does it suck if you chance to end up as the lowest person in the Upper Third? Sure, but quite frankly it really isn't that big of a deal. There are great opportunities available to officers of all specialties to advance their careers in the areas that interest them. The years spent as a Lieutenant and junior Captain are designed to grant you experience with command and allow you to learn about the Marine Corps and develop your leadership style. You will never hear a field or general grade officer bemoaning how their career was held back because they happened to serve as a comptroller for the couple years they spent as a Lieutenant.

    One possibility, just as an example, is the opportunity to volunteer to serve as a Foreign Area Officer (FAO), who work as part of the Defense Attache Office working at the US Embassy to a foreign country, and who become experts on that country's military assets and particularities, and coordinate between the DoD and the local government in the case of conflict breaking out in that region.

    For now, don't worry too much about your MOS. Across occupational specialties, the role played by an officer in the United States Marine Corps will be much the same. You will be expected to lead Marines, and to learn from them. You will work closely with, trust, and earn the trust of your NCOs and SNCOs. You will not be doing the grunt work, be it stacking boxes, cooking chow, processing intelligence briefings, or conducting aircraft maintenance; your enlisted Marines will be doing that. And the role of their officers, across those diverse fields, is much the same.


  9. #9
    Just as a droll aside, I wasn't aware that they had student body leadership in Kindergarten and Elementary School.


  10. #10
    Oh, and regarding the question of security clearances, unless I am greatly mistaken, ALL Officers must qualify for at least a Secret level security clearance to even be commissioned, due to the requirement for officers to be able to view and formulate battle plans, which are obviously classified.

    Don't quote me on that, however.

    p.s.
    I also just realized that there is, in fact, A Sticky on this topic, located at the top of the Ask a Marine forum. How 'bout that!


  11. #11
    Marine Friend Free Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    5
    Credits
    793
    Savings
    0
    Thank you for the information, Beltayn. I did read through that sticky, but it seems that I misunderstood some of the information in there. Your clarification was very valuable.

    And you're right, I didn't have much leadership experience in Kindergarten. Instead, I stood sentry during story time. I guess you have to start some where.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not Create Posts
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts