Life as a Infantry Marine....
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  1. #1

    Life as a Infantry Marine....

    Ive looked high and low for a description of the life of an infantryman. I also am having trouble looking for information on the mos. I know what MOS are available but i dont know the specifics what basic infantry training is like.How do you get you specific MOS assignment and what MOSs will be available to pick from? What opportunities do infantryman have and what training opportunities will i maybe see? I know infantry are the main combatant group of the Marine Corps but, honestly what is the likelyhood of deployment, how often will I be away from my family, will i see combat often, and is it real rough like I heard... I mean I heard infantryman have it rough. Also on the subject of deployment, I was curious but are we still in Iraq and is it rough for Marines in Afghanistan or are we not there?
    I know this has all been covered but either I am blind or these answers have been buried deep. Thanks for all the help this is alot and I hope covers everything. I want to be ready for what I am getting into... I think I chose right and I always wanted infantry. Thanks Marines.

  2. #2
    Ok, I'm gonna answer your questions as you asked them. First off tho, how are you having difficulty finding out info on the infantry? (Google, my friend--it can answer so many of lifes's questions). I'm an 0311 so everything I'm about to tell you is from an 11's eyes. I'm gonna chop this into 3 parts too. First will be infantry training out of boot camp, 2nd will be life in the fleet, 3rd will be deployments.
    Ok, depending whether or not your east or west coast, you will attend the SOI at that respective coast. Assuming you're not lying about your location, you will attend MCRD Parris Island, and then go to Camp Geiger SOI and attend ITB there. I was west coast, but whatever, not everyone can get superior training (yes, even in the fleet you and your buddies will occasionally give each other **** about where they came from, i.e. which coast). Everyone goes to SOI (School of Infantry) but the POG's go to MCT (Marine Camping Tri--I mean combat training) and rest of us with aspirations greater than working behind a desk attend ITB (Infantry Training Battalion).
    There are 5 03xx specialties (ok, this is the last time I'll bring this up, but seriously, you couldn't find ANYTHING about this online?)
    0311-Riflemen. We do everything, go everywhere and are the nucleus of the Marine Corps--everyone and anyone else is support for YOU.
    0331-Machine Gunner. Self explanatory. Big guns are good.
    0341-Mortar men. "Tube strokers" Yeah, they take a lot of **** from the rest of us, but a wonderful asset to have when on patrol. Calling for fire is fun.
    0351-Assaultmen. Use the largest man-portable rocket launcher in the USMC arsenal: the SMAW. Are also heavily trained in the use of explosives of all shapes and sizes.
    0352-Antitank/TOW Gunners. Self explanatory. However, I have yet to encounter or hear about any encounters where insurgents used tanks, or any heavy armor for that matter.
    ITB is 12 weeks long (least it was when I went through in late '07). The first 4 weeks is general knowledge. Basic patrolling, land nav, classes etc. Then comes time for you to fill out your wish list on what specialty you want. Prospective 51's needed to take a math test. Then the next day, we went to whatever MOS we wanted (i.e. 11's over there, 31's over there, etc, pretty much on a first come first serve basis). Each MOS had a basic quota and I don't recall anyone getting screwed over. Naturally, the 11's is the biggest group. From then on, we were separated into 3 Plts: 1st and 2nd were riflemen and 3rd or, "weapons plt" was everyone else. From there we (11's) dived into more advanced patrolling, handling and shooting the M-249 SAW (a wonderful weapon btw), the M203 40mm grenade launcher, and shooting a LOT of ranges with all the above. As 11's you go to the field everyweek, rain or shine (it usually rained). Weapons guys went twice. YOu will eat nothing but MRE's in the field (trust me, they get old after the second week). In the field in where you do all your training which is basically different kinds of ranges, a LOT of patrolling exercises, and a fair amount of humping to get to said ranges (unless you **** off your Sgt Intructor and you run the entire way--yeah, that was a crappy day). It can be miserable, but from that misery is where a lot of pride comes from. This is what grunts do. We go to the field and we train. There was always a great deal of unspoken pride when would get back from the field all filthy, nasty and tired and see all the weapons guys all clean and fresh with their sleeves rolled. The Sgt Intructors gave each other a LOT of **** too--the rivalry can get pretty funny. Anyway, you'll go back to the field a bunch more times. Kick a bunch more ranges, do a lot of MOUT/CQB stuff (Military Operations in Urban Terrain/Close quarters battle, i.e. room clearing) then you have the FinEx (Final Exercise) where for 3 days you get very little sleep, go on patrols, sit in the defense, clear buildings--pretty fun stuff.
    I'm sure I'm missing a few things here and I'll add them as they come to me. If you got any more questions feel free to post them up or shoot me an email if you're really feeling self conscious.

  3. #3
    Crap, forgot one of the more important things. As soon as you split, you will be assigned billets: Rifleman, Team Leader, SAW Gunner, Assistant Gunner <---that is a rifle team. There are 3 teams to a squad and a squad leader. You will all either pick or get assigned a billet. Everyone carries an M16 except the SAW Gunner (duh) and the team leader also has a M203 attached to his rifle. Learn these billets b/c this is ALL the same in the FMF (Fleet Marine Force i.e. the Fleet, i.e. the real Marine Corps). As a boot you'll either be a SAW gunner (most likely, unless you're a 120Ibs weak bit*h) or an A-gunner, maybe a rifleman.

  4. #4
    Don't be knocking on 52s man. There may not be tanks, but I've seen a jav turn a taliban machine gun bunker that had us pinned down into a crater...twice.
    Oh and **** the saw. I hate that pos. Ours are way too old and never work evern when spotless. Give me a 240 anyday.

  5. #5
    Heh. Fair enough regarding the TOW's. You can never have too much firepower. I guess it's just that deep resentment I have toward them and their 1400 cutting score and 10,000+ SRB bonus, haha. Least grunt-iest MOS next to 0313--I mean you'd really recommend this kid go for 52? 6th Marines not hooking you guys up with the SAW's eh? That sucks. Our whole Bn got brand new SAW's, snub nose barrels, retracable stocks, the works prior to our deployment last year. Agreed on the 240.

  6. #6
    LOL now that I think about it 52 would be skate as ****. Riding around in a truck in the field, no post on deployment...our jav team stood post at the end, but that's it. Low as cutting score where you'll rate cpl 10 min after you pick up lance.
    Sh!t man, I shouldve went 52.
    I lied...I couldn't be in wpns co and skate for everything.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekSmalls7 View Post
    Ok, I'm gonna answer your questions as you asked them. First off tho, how are you having difficulty finding out info on the infantry? (Google, my friend--it can answer so many of lifes's questions).
    to answer this... I dont know if its my wording on google etc.... but Ive tried multiple search sites and it doesnt show me what I want.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekSmalls7 View Post
    I'm gonna chop this into 3 parts too. First will be infantry training out of boot camp, 2nd will be life in the fleet, 3rd will be deployments.
    You missed part 2 and 3 Lance Corporal.

  9. #9
    I have a few questions actually...
    Also some of the information I did find online wasnt specific enough thats why I asked.

    1. how often will I be away from my family?
    2. what other training opportunities are there to infantryman during and after ITB?
    3. what other types of training are available?
    4. how often may I be deployed?
    5. can an 03XX ship overseas instead of just east or west coast?
    6. how often is combat seen in the fmf?
    7. what is life like in the fmf? i heard it sucks most of the time, and it sucks sometimes...
    8. where are Marines currently deployed? I heard we are out of Iraq and on our way out of Afghanistan.
    9. In ITB what is the likelyhood or how often is there the chance to volunteer or try out for BRC?

    1. In a word: Very. It all depends on where you are stationed. More
    than likely you'll be a few hundred miles away from your house/family,
    so really the only time you'll get to see them is Christmas leave
    block and pre and post deployment leave block. I myself have the
    misfortune of being staioned in HI so for the last 3.5 years I've been
    home maybe twice a year. It can be tough, but believe me when I say
    the friends you make in your Plt will very quickly become like family
    to you. Plus on base, you'll have access to whatever internet you
    want in your room, cell phone, etc, so it's not like you can't contact
    any family memer whenever you want and vice versa (Edit: usually tho,
    when you go to the field for a couple days or a week or so, your
    command will forbid cellphones--and rightfully so)

    2. Training opportunities during ITB: None. Your at ITB, that's
    your primary MOS school. That's there only goal: to make you a basic
    infantryman (and about 75%--or more--of the stuff you learn there you
    will have to "unlearn" anyway--each unit has there own SOP's-standard
    operating procedures--that usually deviate (and rightfully so) from
    USMC doctrine) and only a basic infantryman.
    2A. Training opportunities in the fleet. As a boot, you'll be
    somewhat limited b/c your seniors sole priority is to get you trained
    up. However, judging from my unit. We usually sent our boots to a
    couple weeks of language classes (if you're smart), a LOT of them get
    sent to MOVAS (sp?) which is Humvee/7 ton/MRAP drivers license course
    (the Marine Corps has recently gotten really big on sending EVERYONE
    to this course--for resons that escape me), you might go to a BFT
    course (Blue Force Tracker--think military GPS on crack--very cool
    little system that each vehicle [hopefully] will have when you get to
    country), oh and if you're a PT stud and a crack shot with the rifle,
    you MIGHT get to go to DM course---very rare for boots to attend, but
    there have been a couple.
    3. Forget going to anything high speed like jump school, High Risk
    Personnel, or CQB school. Sad fact is, there are just WAAAAY to many
    grunts for the USMC to support ALL of us attending these high speed
    schools. There ARE some cool Reg/Bn level school you may get the
    chane to go to once you make it back from your first deployment and
    are considered a "senior" or once you pick up Cpl. Courses like
    Combat Hunter, Corporal's Course, DM School........and that's about
    all I can think of right now (there's more). Yeah, it sucks I guess,
    but's that's just how the grunt world goes. Not enough room to train
    ALL of us, so a select few might go to ________ high speed school and
    that Marine is expected to impart his knowledge to others.
    4. You've probably read/heard about the CMC (Commandant Marine Corps)
    or other higher ups saying they want to get to a 1 year on 1 year off
    deployment rotation. HA! I laugh everytime I read that. I've been
    deployed every year I've been in. Again though, it depends what unit
    your in. Some get to go on MEU's, some actually have more than 6
    months between deployments. All depends where you go. (Hopefully not
    to 3rd Marines in HI). BUT, by the time you actually get to the
    fleet, who knows? maybe the war will be winding down (god I hope not,
    5. You mean are there grunt units stationed outside CONUS? Yep.
    There's only 1: 3rd Marines in Oahu. You don't want to come here.
    It sucks. Other than that, ALL grunts are staioned either in
    Pendleton, 29 Palms, or Lejeune.
    6. Depends on where you deploy. If you [hopefully] get the chance to
    go to Afghanistan, well, they don't put Marines in area's that have
    nothing going on and a threat level of 0. You might take contact, you
    might not. You might get hit by an IED, hopefully not (tho now, only
    MRAP's can leave the wire so if you DO get hit, you stand a pretty
    good chance--unlike if you're in a humvee and get hit).
    7. Hehheh. This is gonna be a long one. Ok, first off, a lot
    depends on your command (i.e. Bn CO, Co. CO, 1stSgt) if they're a
    douche and a half, life will suck. If they're cool for the most part
    you life will be ok. When you first get in you will be a boot. Life
    will suck, you will screw up you senior's rank and do lots of pushups
    as a result. Do NOT be a bit*h and cry hazing and do NOT take
    anything personally. Study your knowledge, PT well, study your
    knowledge, show uptmost respect to your team leader, show some
    ititiative/intensity on the ranges and during training--and you will
    get ****ed with a lot less. If there's a "sh*t bag" on your
    team....well, you're screwed. On the weekends, I suggest not staying
    in your room where your seniors can find you. Your a boot. Life
    sucks ass. We were ALL boots at one point and life sucked ass for us
    more, and we're fine. Matter of fact, I still have the upmost respect
    for my first team leader--yes, PFC Williams did a fair amount of
    pushups, took a few kicks to the ribs--whatever. NONE of it was
    hazing. ALL of it was my team leaders duty to train/toughen my up
    before we wen to a place where most of the inhabitants wanted to kill
    us. Look good in your uniform, don't put yourself on the radar by
    doing something stupid, always be the first to jump up when your team
    leader or other senior asks for volunteers (yes, it's probably for a
    working party, yes that sucks, do it anyway). Other than that, some
    days you'll be off by 1300 some days you'll be off by 2300. It all
    depends on your command. Hopefully you'll get a decent one like I had
    when I was a boot.
    8. There's no more grunt Bn's in Iraq. That war has been over for a
    long, long time. The bulk of Marine forces are in the Helmand
    Province of Afghanistan, which is where you'll prob go. Keep up with
    the news at and it'll give you a better idea of what
    unit is going where.
    9. Everyone is given the chance at ITB. You'll go to a brief given
    by some Recon Marines. If you have aspirations of going Recon I
    sincerely hope you are a PT stud and can swim like a fish. Truthfully
    tho, I would NOT do recon right off the bat after ITB. Go to a grunt
    unit first, get a taste of the real grunt life/training/deployments
    and THEN put in papers to go recon or MARSOC. Just my opinion. But
    the grunt life v. the recon life are two VERY different things and I
    have several friends current in recon units. Two very different
    creatures. I'd recommend the hard grunt life before the high speed
    low drag life--again, tho, that's just me. But hey, if you want to go
    recon and attend all those high speed schools and get some truly bad
    ass training and schooling and challenge your physcial limits FAR past
    what you thought normal, sign up. Worst case scenario, you fail the
    indoc and get sent to a grunt unit anyway.

  10. #10
    1. Grunts dont go to Okinawa?
    2. As a grunt how often will you see promotion?
    3. Along with the promotion question is it harder to get housing liberty? I am engaged, and am planning to be married no more than 1.5 years after graduating recruit training. Just wondering how hard it may be to get housing.

  11. #11
    1. Nope. Trust me, you don't want to go there--ever. POGville central--on crack. Plus, it REALLY sucks ass trying to get around if you don't have a car. The only training that a grunt *might* go there for is JWTC, the Jungle Warfare Training Center
    2. Heh. There's a reason why Lcpl's run the infantry. Yeah, you've heard it said, "NCO's are the backbone of the Marine Corps"--true, but Lances run the grunts. The cutting score for ALL 03xx fields is extremely high (exception being 0352--and you already know my thoughts regarding those "grunts" and 0321)--absurdly so, I think. So it's very common to have a squad made up of entire Lcpl fire team leaders and a Cpl or Sgt Squad leader. That's not to say you can't pick up quickly in the grunts, either go on a board, or pick up in country combat meritorious. But for the most part (i.e. 97% of us) it is not uncommon or considered abnormal or "shi*baggish" to be a 2-3 year Lcpl. If anything, it's a cource of pride amongst us as, in a combat zone, a Lcpl fire team leader has far more responsibilities than most POG ass Sgt's do. POG's are NOT big on small unit leadership--if you're not a Cpl or Sgt, you don't rate shi*--a far cry from the grunts where Lcpl's are usually running the show. If you ever get the chance to work closely with a group of POG's (hopefully you won't cause you'll want to kill them all) you'll see what I mean. Just they way they operate and the way WE operate is like night and day.
    3. Housing generally isn't a problem on any base (except here on HI where there's a 3-6 month waiting list to get a house on this tiny ass base). There might be a waiting list, but as soon as you get married, make sure you get on that list. A good strategy I've seen used many, many times: if your unit has an upcoming deployment, get married over pre-depoyment leave, put your name on the waiting list (if there is one), do your deployment (which you will BANK on cause you're married), and by the time you come back you should have a house ready for you and the wife.

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