A Note On MOS Selection And UAV Officers

At TBS there is going to be an “MOS Mixer”, which is basically where a bunch of Captains talk about their Marine Occupational Specialties then you go to the bar and talk to them over beers. It is a great experience that will give real insight into what being an officer in a certain MOS means.

UAV Officers

The UAV Officer MOS is a brand new officer MOS and no one knows anything about it. Here’s is some basic gouge about the UAV MOS that came up during the mixer.

  • UAV Officers work with a team of two or three Marines operating a UAV from a FOB.
  • The UAV Officer is the mission commander who directs the operation of the UAV, gathers intelligence from the feed, and supervises the coordination of that intelligence with the S-2 and whatever unit on the ground the UAV is supporting
  • In the future, the Marine Corps will be arming UAVs. When that happens, officers will begin directly operating them, as enlisted personnel are not allowed to operate craft that can drop ordinance.
  • This is a growing industry. It’s the only growing field in the Marine Corps at the time
  • Marines who get selected for UAVs will go to several Air Force schools. You’ll get your basic pilot’s license flying a Cessna, then focus on UAV material. Similarly to flight school, training will take a few years.
  • Currently, Marines selected for UAVs have only a 55% pass rate through UAV schools. This is an Air Force school that is heavily academic, and Marines coming out of TBS tend not to be prepared because TBS doesn’t teach you any skills relevant to operating a UAV. On the other hand, Air Force LTs show up with a thorough understanding of how the aircraft works.
  • Marine UAV operators are extremely successful once they get to the fleet. Since TBS teaches infantry tactics, how to coordinate with infantry, and how to call for fire, Marine UAV operators are effective as forward observers for fire support.

Some thoughts on MOS selection

If you want infantry, you’re probably going to get it. People are getting dropped and DOR-ing from IOC at a pretty incredible rate right now, which is leaving a lot of openings. Some classes have over 50 infantry slots! Some people who DON’T want infantry are probably going to get it. When you take away reservists, flight contacts, and females (not sure how the new regulations will impact numbers), 1 in every 4 male active duty Lieutenants will get infantry.


USMC Officer

As a Marine Corps Officer, my goal is to help and educate those who have obtained, or are aspiring to earn, the title of Marine Officer.

  • Chris

    Do you know if this is still the case? I’m trying to decide between ground and air. If I went ground, I’d want a combat MOS, preferably infantry.

    1. USMC Officer

      UAV capabilities are continuing to grow, and I imagine this will be the case for sometime. If you haven’t commissioned yet then I would suggest trying to get an air contract. This will create more options for you going into TBS. You can always drop the air contract, but it’s difficult picking one up at TBS. Those who want infantry will generally get it as long as they prove themselves physically capable of completing Infantry Officer Courses (IOC).

      1. Chris

        Whoops, I was referring to the “Some Thoughts on MOS Selection”, not the UAV bit. But you answered my question anyway, thanks!

  • Maj James Hale

    I am currently the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps UAS Schoolhouse and one of the Marine Corps’ first 7315 UAS Officers. I would be happy to tell you all about the pipeline and what to expect in the Marine Corps UAS career field. 520-533-6780.

    1. Juliann Hitt


      Is it still possible to contact you about the UAS career field and pipeline? I’m interested in the MOS, but having difficulty finding information on it.

      1. Maj James Hale


        Contact me at 520-533-6780. I’ll be happy to tell you all about the 7315 UAS MOS.


        Maj Hale

        1. Inquiring


          Are you still in a position to discuss this in greater depth via phone or email?

          Additionally, is this something one could contract into directly, or does it require redesignation later on (and if so, from which primary MOS?)


    2. Ross Norman

      Are you still the CO of the UAS school? I’m a captain in the marine corps and interested in transferring to the VMU/7315 career field via the transition conversion board. I’d love to talk to you about the school and your experiences with the mos.
      Capt Norman

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