An Enlisted Career
Starting with the first day of recruit training, recruits are assigned responsibilities designed to develop leadership skills. As Marines begin to earn promotions in the enlisted rank structure, both the demands and their responsibilities increase. These are the grades found in the Marine Corps' enlisted rank structure.
Assignments are given according to the needs of the Marine Corps, and enlisted Marines seek assignments in one of the following career paths: Combined Arms, Aviation or Combat Logistics. Although every Marine is a rifleman, there are many different Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) within the Corps. From infantry to engineering to aviation maintenance, each and every occupation within the Corps is essential to the overall success of the Marine Corps mission and every Marine takes pride in the job they do.
For enlisted Marines, promotion beyond the rank of Lance Corporal is primarily based upon time-in-service, time-in-grade (rank) and level of performance. Enlisted promotions are competitive and are based on specific vacancies that occur within MOSs. Each year, Congress states, by law, what percentage of Marines can serve in each grade above Corporal. The Marine Corps takes the number of available openings they have for each enlisted rank and then assigns them to different MOSs. Because there are a finite number of jobs within each MOS, promotion to the ranks of Corporal and above require an intense devotion to the duties of your MOS and a desire to be the best.
Advancing in the Corps
After a Marine has completed his or her initial training and has become proficient in their MOS, the opportunities for self-improvement and career advancement continue on pace with a Marine's desire to succeed. Additionally, there are numerous special training schools, advanced educational opportunities and Specialty Duty Assignments available to any Marine willing to take advantage of them.