Field Artillery Officer 0802
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Quince Bisard
The Field Artillery occupational field is divided among three functional areas: firing battery operations, field artillery operations, and field artillery observation and liaison. Qualifications include ability and learned skills to operate and maintain artillery equipment; basic technical and mathematical skills for computing, communicating, and executing fire commands; leadership and sustainability abilities in a field environment; and performing duties involving hard technical skills as well as administrative and managerial skills.
The duties that must be learned vary by functional area. Firing battery operations include moving, emplacing, loading, firing, protecting, and maintaining field artillery cannon weapons systems. Field artillery operations involve moving, emplacing, operating, protecting, and maintaining equipment which acquires targets; provides, relates, and evaluates gun and target survey information, meteorological data, weapon system performance; and integrating these factors into orders and communicating these orders to the firing battery.
Field artillery observation and liaison include checking and analyzing combat plans and communicating appropriate advice, planning and operating information to coordinate the fires of field artillery and naval guns with infantry and armor combat maneuvers; observing and reporting targets and other battlefield information; and adjusting observed fires on targets. Because field artillery is the primary supporting arm for Marine infantry and armor, most of its billets are in Fleet Marine Force (FMF) ground organizations.
What is an 0802?
Field Artillery Officers command or assist commanders in directing field artillery units. They direct tactical employment of the field artillery unit in combat, and coordinate unit's fire with other artillery units with mortar, air, and naval surface fire support ships. They evaluate intelligence, plan targeting at all echelons, and direct administration, communication, supply, maintenance, and security activities of artillery units.
Are there any prerequisites to becoming a Field Artillery Officer
Officers must meet the Ground Combat Arms MOS Classifications Standards. For the Physical Fitness Test, officers must perform at least 6 pull-ups and run 3-miles in 24:51 or less. For the Combat Fitness Test, officers must perform at least 60 ammo can lifts, run the movement to contact in 3:26 or less, and navigate the maneuver under fire in 3:12 or less.
Where do I go after TBS?
After TBS, officers must complete the 125 day Marine Artillery Officer Basic Course (MAOBC) at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School on Fort Sill, OK. The purpose of the course it to provide Marine lieutenants with Marine specific knowledge of artillery systems and with the Marine specific skills and in- depth knowledge in the areas of fire support, fire direction, tactical communications, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Marine logistics, and platoon operations to prepare them to become company/battalion level fire support officers, platoon commanders, and fire direction officers.
What is it like being a Field Artillery Officer?
A typical first tour assignment for a Field Artillery Officer is within an Artillery Regiment as part of the GCE of the MAGTF. There is one Artillery Regiment subordinate to each active and reserve MARDIV: 11th Marine Regiment aboard MCB Camp Pendleton, CA (1st MARDIV); 10th Marine Regiment aboard MCB Camp Lejeune, NC (2nd MARDIV); 12th Marine Regiment aboard Camp Hansen, Okinawa (3rd MARDIV); and 14th Marine Regiment aboard NAS JRB Fort Worth, TX (4th MARDIV). Field Artillery Officers in their first tour will typically be assigned the duties as a Forward Observer (FO), Guns Platoon Commander, Fire Direction Officer (FDO), or Executive Officer within a firing battery or the headquarters battery.
Field Artillery Officers may also serve in various Staff Officer billets such as the Assistant Operations Officer (S-3A), Assistant Logistics Officer (S-4A), or Battalion Fire Direction Officer within the O-5 (Lieutenant Colonel) level command within the Artillery Battalion or as the Regimental Fire Direction Officer at the O-6 (Colonel) level command within the Artillery Regiment. Additionally, Field Artillery Officers may serve as a Liaison Officer (LNO) attached to Infantry, Tank, or LAR Battalions. If assigned to a HIMARS Battalion, Field Artillery Officers may serve as LNOs to the Division Fires Cell.
Recommended reading for Field Artillery Officers
Matterhorn: An Novel of the Vietnam War. Karl Marlantes
What now Lieutenant? Leadership Forged from Events in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Beyond. Richard Neal
On Gunnery. Michael Grice
Lightning from the Sky, Thunder from the Sea. Thomas Petri
The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Errors in Complex Situations. Dietrich Dorner
- 0803, Target Acquisition Officer (III) (CWO5 to WO) PMOS
- 0811, Field Artillery Cannoneer (MGySgt to Pvt) PMOS
- 0814, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Operator (MGySgt to PVT) NMOS (0811)
- 0840, Naval Surface Fire Support Planner (Gen to 2ndLt) FMOS
- 0842, Field Artillery Radar Operator (Sgt to Pvt) PMOS
- 0844, Field Artillery Fire Control Marine (Sgt to Pvt) PMOS
- 0847, Field Artillery Sensor Support Marine (Sgt to Pvt) PMOS
- 0848, Field Artillery Operations Chief (MGySgt to SSgt) PMOS
- 0861, Fire Support Marine (MGySgt to Pvt) PMOS
Sources/Credits: Please note that the information above was derived from and in most cases taken directly from the "Marine Officer MOS Assignment Handbook". The Basic School. Camp Barrett. March 3, 2019. All credit goes to the great staff at TBS for putting this together.
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