Marine Corps Officer Job Descriptions

USMC Officer Professions

Marine Corps VMFA-121 Re-designation Ceremony
Lockheed Martin/Flickr

There are several options a prospective Marine Corps officer can take to achieve that title. To enter the USMC officer ranks you can take several paths. The choices you have are the following:

The United States Naval Academy

The Academy is the Navy and Marine Corps Department of Defense operated college located in Annapolis, MD. Typically 25% of the graduates of the four-year institution will become Marine Corps Officers.

Marine Corps Option ROTC

Navy/Marine Corps ROTC programs at more than 65 colleges and universities across the country offer Marine Corps commissions to college students who complete four years of naval science study on campus.

USMC Officer Candidate School 

Under the officer candidate programs, male and female graduates of an accredited four-year college or university, and graduates of accredited law schools licensed to practice in a state or federal court are eligible for a reserve commission.

Platoon Leader's Course

The Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) is for college students who enroll as freshmen or sophomores attend two six-week summer training programs at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, located at Quantico, Virginia.

Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP)

ECP provides enlisted Marines with a four-year degree from an accredited school the opportunity to become commissioned officers.

ECP is open to Marines with a minimum of one-year active duty experience and at least 12 months remaining on their current enlisted contract.

However, once commissioned, all Marine Officers will attend The Basic School (TBS).  From their performance at TBS, they will be directed by the needs of the Marine Corps as well as their personal desire to continue training in their MOS.

 The Marine Corps selects the jobs for the Marine Officers the following method:

Top Third / Middle Third / Bottom Third

The Basic School method of assigning MOSs to second lieutenants that best fit the job description, the needs of the USMC, as well as the Marine's performance at TBS.  Though TBS adheres to the highest standards of fairness, sometimes members in the top third of the class may not receive follow on orders to their requested training. This method is designed towards serving the best interests of the Marine Corps.  

In 1977, the Commandant of the Marine Corps decided to apply a quality spread to the assignment of MOSs. This decision was made to ensure every occupational field received a fair share of the most competitive lieutenants.  Within each third, class standing and performance is the primary assignment criteria.  However, the jobs a commissioned Marine Corps officer can do depend on his or her performance training, previous experience, skills, education and desires. 

Most Needed MOSs in the Marine Corps

Each year is different than the next and there may be some jobs that need more personnel than others that traditionally are lower.  However, typically, there are four MOS's that require the most Marine Officers as these jobs in the Marine Corps are the largest and/or have the most turnover:

03 - Infantry Officer - Infantry Officers lead the backbone of the Marine Corps as an expeditionary force. Marine Infantry Officers are responsible for their Marines preparation for every variety of ground combat mission. These Marines are leaders of grunts which is perhaps one of the toughest young officer jobs in the Marine Corps.

04 - Logistics Officer - Logistics Officers are critical thinkers and planners.  In fact, their planning strategies are instrumental for the Marine Corps to fight effectively after traveling across the globe. Coordinating the movement of Marine, equipment and manage supply chain from ship, air, to shore is their most recognizable responsibility. 

08 — Field Artillery Officer - The Marines who lead the gunners of the Marine Corps must be effective in tactics, gun-line drills, communications, maintenance, transportation and logistics.

The Artillery units provide close-fire support for the infantry, armored reconnaissance, tank units, and MarSOC Raiders. 

30 — Supply Administration and Operations Officer - The Marines who purchase needed equipment and material for every mission.  Marine Supply ensure the entire Marine Corps is properly equipped as they supervise the purchasing and contracting of supplies, manage budgets and develop spending plans. 

Remaining MOS 

Below are the other occupational fields for Marine Corps officer jobs.

01 — Personnel, Administration, and Retention Officer

02 — Intelligence Officer

0370 — MarSOC Officer (Special Operations Officer)

05 — Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Plans Officer

06 — Communications Officer

09 — Training Officer

11 — Utilities Officer

13 — Engineer, Construction, Facilities, and Equipment Officer

18 — Tank and Assault Amphibious Vehicle Officer

21 — Ground Ordnance Maintenance Officer

23 — Ammunition and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer

26 — Signals Intelligence/Ground Electronic Warfare Officer

27— Linguist Officer

28 — Ground Electronics Maintenance Officer

31 — Traffic Management Officer

33 — Food Service Officer

34 — Financial Management Officer

41 — Marine Corps Community Services Officer

43 — Public Affairs Officer

44 — Legal Services Officer

46 — Combat Camera (COMCAM) Officer

48 — Recruiting Officer

55 — Music Officer

57 — Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Officer

58 — Military Police and Corrections Officer

59 — Electronics Maintenance Officer

60 — Aircraft Maintenance Officer

63 — Avionic Officer

65 — Aviation Ordnance Officer

66 — Aviation Logistics Officer

68 — Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officer

70 — Airfield Services Officer

72 — Air Control/Air Support/AntiAir Warfare/Air Traffic Control Officer

73 — Navigation Officer and Enlisted Flight Crews Officer

75 — Pilots, Naval Flight Officers

80 — Miscellaneous Requirements MOS's Officer

When assigning MOSs to newly commissioned officers, the desires of lieutenants are considered at TBS, however that is secondary to the needs of the Marine Corps. Most lieutenants (approximately 75%) will receive one of their top three choices.  In reality, individual choice probably has the greatest impact on final MOS assignments.