0302 vs. 0203

Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
24
#1
Hey y'all,

I'm shipping to TBS (The Basic School) this upcoming Fall and was wondering about two very different MOS(s). Many of my friends at TBS is already getting billeted for certain MOS(s) and they told me that there are 15 0203 (ground intelligence) slots and 50 0302 (infantry officer) slots. For any former or current Marine officers in this thread, this inflation in slots -- especially in these two MOS(s) -- are taboo. Usually, there are only 3 0203 slots and 40(ish) 0302 slots. However, I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me on the day-to-day task -- or even the overall mission set -- for 0203? I'm very familiar with the 0302 MOS -- but what does a ground intel officer do in the fleet? I've heard they even get to be Platoon Commanders for infantry units too. Moreover, which MOS would be more useful for MARSOC? Let me elaborate on "useful." What I mean is... which MOS (0203 vs. 0302) will be more of a desirable MOS for officers looking to apply down the road for A&S? Thanks y'all ahead of time.
 

yarles87

Verified Military
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
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32
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WY
#3
Hey y'all,

I'm shipping to TBS (The Basic School) this upcoming Fall and was wondering about two very different MOS(s). Many of my friends at TBS is already getting billeted for certain MOS(s) and they told me that there are 15 0203 (ground intelligence) slots and 50 0302 (infantry officer) slots. For any former or current Marine officers in this thread, this inflation in slots -- especially in these two MOS(s) -- are taboo. Usually, there are only 3 0203 slots and 40(ish) 0302 slots. However, I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me on the day-to-day task -- or even the overall mission set -- for 0203? I'm very familiar with the 0302 MOS -- but what does a ground intel officer do in the fleet? I've heard they even get to be Platoon Commanders for infantry units too. Moreover, which MOS would be more useful for MARSOC? Let me elaborate on "useful." What I mean is... which MOS (0203 vs. 0302) will be more of a desirable MOS for officers looking to apply down the road for A&S? Thanks y'all ahead of time.
I can't speak to what's desirable for MARSOC, but can provide some insight to the 0203 vs. 0302 (I was 0302).

BLUF: Go Infantry

Point 1 that should not be underestimated - 0203's will not necessarily go to a Infantry BN. I have several friends who went through TBS, IOC, and the Ground Intel Officer course and then were sent to logistics battalions, regiment, division, etc. I'm sure those have their own challenges, but they are intel pure. IPB's, powerpoint, etc.

Point 2 - Assuming you go to a Infantry BN, you'll either go to STA/Sniper Platoon or S2a. STA Platoon Commander sounds sexy on paper, but you're there to coordinate training, logistics, and be the face of the platoon to the OpsO or BN Commander for your HOGS/PIGS, not necessarily lead them on the ground. The teams are generally attached to a rifle company, which usually leaves you in the BN COC.

S2a is a intel pure, and you'll help run the shop. IPB's, powerpoint, etc.

I did see instances of 0203's taking a rifle platoon for a short period of time, usually to get them a bit of experience before going to STA platoon. This is entirely command dependent and not something you should expect.

Point 3 - If you want to be a maneuver element leader at the platoon level, as in closing with and destroying, go 0302. Simple as that.

Point 4 - Don't rush through your LT time to get somewhere else (MARSOC in your case). It's a short ride, but a incredible honor and learning experience that I will cherish forever. Be a fucking stud (mentally and physically) and the rest will take care of itself.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
24
#4
I can't speak to what's desirable for MARSOC, but can provide some insight to the 0203 vs. 0302 (I was 0302).

BLUF: Go Infantry

Point 1 that should not be underestimated - 0203's will not necessarily go to a Infantry BN. I have several friends who went through TBS, IOC, and the Ground Intel Officer course and then were sent to logistics battalions, regiment, division, etc. I'm sure those have their own challenges, but they are intel pure. IPB's, powerpoint, etc.

Point 2 - Assuming you go to a Infantry BN, you'll either go to STA/Sniper Platoon or S2a. STA Platoon Commander sounds sexy on paper, but you're there to coordinate training, logistics, and be the face of the platoon to the OpsO or BN Commander for your HOGS/PIGS, not necessarily lead them on the ground. The teams are generally attached to a rifle company, which usually leaves you in the BN COC.

S2a is a intel pure, and you'll help run the shop. IPB's, powerpoint, etc.

I did see instances of 0203's taking a rifle platoon for a short period of time, usually to get them a bit of experience before going to STA platoon. This is entirely command dependent and not something you should expect.

Point 3 - If you want to be a maneuver element leader at the platoon level, as in closing with and destroying, go 0302. Simple as that.

Point 4 - Don't rush through your LT time to get somewhere else (MARSOC in your case). It's a short ride, but a incredible honor and learning experience that I will cherish forever. Be a fucking stud (mentally and physically) and the rest will take care of itself.
Thank you, sir. I've always wanted to go 0302 - but many officers have told me to look into 0203. However, from what you've told me, I definitely want to pursue (God and Chesty willing) 0302. It's nice that an Infantry Officer's MOS 'sounds sexy,' but I love the way they think -- both tactically and strategically. Once again, thank you!
 

Teufel

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#5
It appears I have been summoned.

You don't know me so I'll do a short intro to my post. I graduated TBS as an infantry officer and lat moved to intel after 7 or 8 years in the fleet. I was fortunate to deploy to combat as both an infantry platoon and company commander. I've also deployed as a battalion Intelligence officer and in some other billets. I don't say this to brag but rather to explain my perspective.

My time in the infantry had served as the foundation for every thing I've done in the Marine Corps. I've been to more advanced schools than I can count. The infantry officers course is still the best.

0203 sounds like a great job. You get to attend IOC and be a sniper platoon commander. Everyone's experience is different. In my experience, however, some 0203s thread the needle and get infantry or recon platoons as Lieutenants. The rest (the vast majority) get stuck in the headquarters as a sniper platoon commander or assistant Intel officer. Yes the sniper platoon commander usually ends up in the HQ on deployment after he attaches all his teams to the maneuver companies. Boring.

Guess what? Every single 0302 infantry officer is guaranteed a rifle platoon. It's the best experience you can get. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

You have a tremendous impact on your Marines in a rifle platoon and you will learn a lot if your kind and ears are open. I can't speak to MARSOC since I've never served there but I am personally partial to infantry officers in recon than intelligence officers. Some break the mold but most do not. Best of luck in your career.
 

DozerB

Logistics
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#6
Couple of things, and then I'll disappear again, as this is one of the 1% of SS posts I can speak on.

1) Do NOT even mention the word MARSOC (or Recon) at TBS. Just don't. One guy always does during the first few classes, and it never goes well for him. Especially when he almost fails the initial basic swim qual. The fleet is nothing like TBS; it's a great school, and a great time, but make sure you like the Marine Corps first. I know a lot of guys who showed up wanting to be snake eaters who are now stock brokers after one tour, they just didn't dig it. TBS is so different from daily life in the fleet as a junior officer. It's good to have goals, but get settled into an operational battalion before you start making commitments that range past the 5+ year mark brother. Trust me, I get the ambition, but a lot of things will change in the next year.

2) Make sure you like being outside first. Plenty of studs show up to Quantico telling their families how they want to be meat-eaters only to find out they hate being wet/cold/on their feet all day long, and GLADLY accept a Finance Officer or Aviation slot. I know we all think this will never happen to us, but just watch. I'm not throwing stones, I have a lot of respect for the guys who are honest with themselves. Being a platoon commander, or just an officer in general, is a lot different than simply being a shooter. You have to manage 1,000 different things, and very few of them are sexy.

3) Most 0203s I know wish they had gone 0302. The ones who don't are at Recon, but they came from S-2A gigs where they were mission planners who never left the boat.

Just my experience. If you have questions about TBS, shoot me a DM. Good luck.
 

Teufel

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#7
My experience is dated but everyone at TBS wanted to be a grunt until they were in the middle of a winter patrol exercise sleeping in a snow covered fighting hole.
 

Agoge

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#8
My experience is dated but everyone at TBS wanted to be a grunt until they were in the middle of a winter patrol exercise sleeping in a snow covered fighting hole.
Yes sir! Everyone wants to be a grunt until it's time to do what grunts do!

Make sure that's what you want. If you can't fully embrace the suck, you won't be any good to any one. At times -- many times -- the grunts "suck." And, there is no better job!
 

Teufel

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#9
Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with being an intelligence officer. @Marauder06 can tell you about the professional satisfaction you get from conducting high level intelligence. The problem is that some guys chose the ground intelligence specialty because they think it's 80% ground and 20% intelligence. It's actually the opposite in most cases.
 
Joined
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Messages
24
#10
It appears I have been summoned.

You don't know me so I'll do a short intro to my post. I graduated TBS as an infantry officer and lat moved to intel after 7 or 8 years in the fleet. I was fortunate to deploy to combat as both an infantry platoon and company commander. I've also deployed as a battalion Intelligence officer and in some other billets. I don't say this to brag but rather to explain my perspective.

My time in the infantry had served as the foundation for every thing I've done in the Marine Corps. I've been to more advanced schools than I can count. The infantry officers course is still the best.

0203 sounds like a great job. You get to attend IOC and be a sniper platoon commander. Everyone's experience is different. In my experience, however, some 0203s thread the needle and get infantry or recon platoons as Lieutenants. The rest (the vast majority) get stuck in the headquarters as a sniper platoon commander or assistant Intel officer. Yes the sniper platoon commander usually ends up in the HQ on deployment after he attaches all his teams to the maneuver companies. Boring.

Guess what? Every single 0302 infantry officer is guaranteed a rifle platoon. It's the best experience you can get. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

You have a tremendous impact on your Marines in a rifle platoon and you will learn a lot if your kind and ears are open. I can't speak to MARSOC since I've never served there but I am personally partial to infantry officers in recon than intelligence officers. Some break the mold but most do not. Best of luck in your career.

Thank you, sir. I understand the '25 meter target' -- and I'll stay true to mine. I just was wondering the difference -- and it seems like 0302 would be a better option. I do also know that an Officer's primary weapon is the radio. Thank you, sir. I'll definitely have your words in my mine - while i'm at TBS, sir.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
24
#11
Couple of things, and then I'll disappear again, as this is one of the 1% of SS posts I can speak on.

1) Do NOT even mention the word MARSOC (or Recon) at TBS. Just don't. One guy always does during the first few classes, and it never goes well for him. Especially when he almost fails the initial basic swim qual. The fleet is nothing like TBS; it's a great school, and a great time, but make sure you like the Marine Corps first. I know a lot of guys who showed up wanting to be snake eaters who are now stock brokers after one tour, they just didn't dig it. TBS is so different from daily life in the fleet as a junior officer. It's good to have goals, but get settled into an operational battalion before you start making commitments that range past the 5+ year mark brother. Trust me, I get the ambition, but a lot of things will change in the next year.

2) Make sure you like being outside first. Plenty of studs show up to Quantico telling their families how they want to be meat-eaters only to find out they hate being wet/cold/on their feet all day long, and GLADLY accept a Finance Officer or Aviation slot. I know we all think this will never happen to us, but just watch. I'm not throwing stones, I have a lot of respect for the guys who are honest with themselves. Being a platoon commander, or just an officer in general, is a lot different than simply being a shooter. You have to manage 1,000 different things, and very few of them are sexy.

3) Most 0203s I know wish they had gone 0302. The ones who don't are at Recon, but they came from S-2A gigs where they were mission planners who never left the boat.

Just my experience. If you have questions about TBS, shoot me a DM. Good luck.

Absolutely agree, sir. I won't mention those words -- until time comes. However, if it doesn't, I'm more than happy to serve in the gun club, sir.
 

arch_angel

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#12
Absolutely agree, sir. I won't mention those words -- until time comes. However, if it doesn't, I'm more than happy to serve in the gun club, sir.
Sir, do you have an idea of when you'll be attending TBS? I'll be attending OCC this summer and TBS shortly after so there is a good chance that we may run into one another. Like you, I am weighing my options and looking at a number of combat arms MOSs, 0302 and 0203 being my top 2.
 
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#13
Sir, do you have an idea of when you'll be attending TBS? I'll be attending OCC this summer and TBS shortly after so there is a good chance that we may run into one another. Like you, I am weighing my options and looking at a number of combat arms MOSs, 0302 and 0203 being my top 2.

Do to MCRC slow processing, I'll be commissioning Sept 2, 2017. According to my major, I'll be attending TBS either Sept 11 or Jan 8. If you're up there, we should train together. DM me and we can exchange personal contact.
 

Stanimal

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#14
I am not an officer, but I have had the privilege to serve under my fair share and even suffered under a few "choice" individuals. From my experience, the officers with infantry backgrounds were more tactically sound, mentally and physically harder, commanded more respect and generally exercised more control over every situation they encountered than did their intel brethren. No disrespect meant to intel officers, but I feel that infantry officers learn how to lead Marines earlier and at an often accelerated pace.
It must be an amazing thing; commanding a platoon of fire-breathing grunts who would run through hell and back if you told them to. ...and not just because you hold their Pros/Cons and FitReps in your hands either, but simply because they respect the shit out of you and what you stand for and because they know you would do the same for them.
 

Teufel

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#15
I am not an officer, but I have had the privilege to serve under my fair share and even suffered under a few "choice" individuals. From my experience, the officers with infantry backgrounds were more tactically sound, mentally and physically harder, commanded more respect and generally exercised more control over every situation they encountered than did their intel brethren. No disrespect meant to intel officers, but I feel that infantry officers learn how to lead Marines earlier and at an often accelerated pace.
It must be an amazing thing; commanding a platoon of fire-breathing grunts who would run through hell and back if you told them to. ...and not just because you hold their Pros/Cons and FitReps in your hands either, but simply because they respect the shit out of you and what you stand for and because they know you would do the same for them.
I agree 100%
 

Squancho

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#16
Ivictus_USMC and arch_angel, God and Selection Board willing I'll be at OCC 226 in September, which should put me at TBS when y'all are still there. I'm looking at 0302 and 0203 for my top choices as well, with my eyes on Recon down the road. I'd love to pick your brains regarding OCS and TBS, and to just link up with other like-minded guys. Shoot me a PM if you want to exchange personal contact info.
 

arch_angel

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#20
Thank you, sir. Currently we're fighting the "tough fight" of staying in shape, studying, and prepping for IOC. The storm of IOC is brewing just over the horizon.
 
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