MOS Slots And Ranking Breakdown

The table shows each MOS, the number of Lieutenants who ranked it as their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., choice, the number of slots that were available, and how many Lieutenants from each tier (top 1/3, middle 1/3, bottom 1/3) received that MOS.

This is an actual breakdown from one of the 2013 TBS classes.

The best way to read the table is to search a specific MOS using the search bar and then scroll right to see the rest of the table.

MOS 1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th11th12th13th14th15th16th17th18th19th20th21st22ndSlotsTopMiddleBottomAny
Adjutant0180423332515631112108131624499282222
Ground Intel0203101616121316121712986111110710141092099333
Human Intel020425282018111817151499109791267999122
Signals Intel02061916109871291524208119811167121352341111
Air Intel020710172022181681611211719171175810455541111
Infantry030250139139118968989612767101492548161616
Logistics0402222917252827261615151191165613431414141
Command and Control Systems0602578946101012129162418242011171710111224888
Field Artillery08021819282729191513177888487755222196661
Combat Engineer1302253834263424121012116756746212196661
Tanks180215232520191722121116137976756654341111
AAV18039102118221916121914131171091088657422
Ground Supply3002114476968101515151712171537262423103331
Comptroller340443855384289158915141321133943236222
Public Affairs43027527712158111019111291614128183126123111
Military Police580321541114141615161421181213914167129476222
Aircraft Maintenance60026141112912141279111218141420162214138441111
Aviation Supply660227145147911128127131314172224271711641111
Low Altitude Air Defense720423533782025231924212519161012443211
Air Support72085759789191619131313261422201815866222
Air Defense Control721011275613192114143121252119211565522
Air Traffic Control722011891191313147121611151716181917168753111


53 COMMENTS
  • John
    Reply

    Are the breakdowns of slots for each MOS generally consistent across TBS classes? Obviously the needs or the Corps are always changing and it’ll depend on what’s in demand, but generally speaking do the number of slots for a particular MOS consistantly stay small, medium or large?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      If you were to classify the number of slots as “small, medium, or large” then I would say they remain relatively the same. There’s always going to be a handful of slots for tanks, intel (each type, except ground), POA, LAAD, etc. On the other hand, infantry and logistics are usually going to be the MOSs with larger allocations.

      One nice things about TBS is you will get the allocations for your company within the first week of checking in … usually. This will give you a quick idea of how competitive some slots are going to be.

      1. Shawn
        Reply

        Hey there. Thanks for doing this. Why do you say that Ground Intel does not always have a handful of slots? Just curious. Thanks!

        1. USMC Officer
          Reply

          I’ve seen some classes with 10 slots and others with only a few. It’s partly because they have to adjust the numbers based on how many officers are making it through Infantry Officers course. If their seeing a lot of drops, the number of slots will increase.

  • Josh
    Reply

    I have a question with regards to the selection results as I’m mildly surprised at what I’m seeing. Take for example, the most popular MOS, 0302, when you look at the breakdown of who was selected for the 48 slots available, it says that an even third (16) were taken from each tier. This phenomenon holds true for the majority of the listed MOS’s. I only have two possible guesses as to why this is:

    1) I’m misinterpreting what the tiers represent – I interpret it as the 1st tier represents preferences ranked 1-7, 2nd tier would be preferences 8-14, etc.

    or,

    2) The USMC doesn’t give a rat’s ass what job you want to do and will assign you whatever they damn well please.

    Please elaborate if possible.
    Thanks,

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Read this article and you will have a much better understanding.

  • Miranda
    Reply

    I am currently at TBS and we are nearing MOS selections. At an MOS mixers some Captains told me about this thing called an I.M. Special letter. Its technically called a “uniquely qualified package” or something like that. They said if you are hoping for an MOS that is very competitive then this letter is helpful. However, I cannot find any information on it in my Company’s SOP and my SPC did not know where to look either.

    I was wondering if you heard of it, if it still exists, who I would ask about it, how I would write one, and who I would turn it in to. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Semper Fi

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      I have never heard of this. MOSs are allocated originally by your Company XO, and then your SPCs will “horse trade” your future. If you want to voice your “special skills” I would do so to your SPC during your counselings. If they know what you want and believe that you are a good fit they will absolutely fight for you. My XO spent over 100 hours making the initial selections. Our SPCs spent dozens more trading. They left the field during FEX III two nights, and I even saw them come in on a Saturday. The new initiative at TBS seems to be to give everyone something in their top 5.

      In the end, your overall standing in the company will weigh more heavily than anything else. Especially for the low density competitive MOS.

      I guess this is all to say that any letter you write wouldn’t make it past the Company XO (maybe to the CO), and I honestly don’t think they would care much. “Quality spread” will always dominate the decision making.

  • Joseph
    Reply

    What are the chances of becoming a pilot or naval flight officer.

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Usually there are only a few slots available at TBS. Most pilots/NFOs are contracted prior to commissioning. For my TBS class, there were zero slots to start, but 2 pilots elected to drop their contracts and so those 2 slots got opened up to the company to be competed for.

      1. Joseph McCollum
        Reply

        Is there any way to get a contract before commissioning besides PLC.

        1. USMC Officer
          Reply

          You can get an air contract from any commissioning source (Naval Academy, OCC, PLC, NROTC).

  • Bill Penrod
    Reply

    You can get an aviation contract from any of sources but you have be completely qualified mentally and physically by a flight surgeon……….

  • Nick
    Reply

    In my OCS class there were a lot of flight contracts that wanted to ditch their flight contract and go ground. Is this possible in TBS? And what are the chances of a ground contract(myself) being able to grab one of those flight contracts.

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Usually, a class will have 2-4 competitive flight contract slots available. If someone drops a contract then it goes up for grabs to compete for at TBS.

  • Aaron T. Rickabaugh
    Reply

    Do pilots go to TBS or straight to flight school after OCS?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      They go to TBS first.

  • Jay
    Reply

    Sir, would you happen to know what the average amount of slots available for 0204s usually is? And, what the minimum swim qual requirement for Naval Aviators?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      1-2 0204 slots, it’s EXTREMELY competitive. Not sure about the swim qual.

  • Jay
    Reply

    Sir,
    I noticed for Field Artillery that 18 people selected it as their first choice and there were 19 slots available, is it safe to say that all 18 people that ranked it as their number 1 choice got placed into that MOS?

    Thank you

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      No. Probably only a small fraction of them actually got that MOS. You can read more about the selection process.

  • Steve
    Reply

    I am going to OCS but did not get selected on the March board for a flight contract. The next board is chosen so I would have to wait a year for the next available. My OSO said I should go ground instead of waiting. I graduated with an aviation management degree from ISU and would still eventually want to fly. Is it possible to get an aviation related MOS (like air traffic control) by going ground? Possible still to get a flight slot later in my carreer? Thanks for reading.

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Yes, you will be able to compete for a flight contract at The Basic School. It will be based on your performance at TBS, medical qualification, and you will have to retake the ASTB. Being a ground contact means your doing something other than actually flying. So avaiation maintenance, air traffic control, air defense, etc. are all ground contract MOSs. If you don’t get a flight contract coming out of TBS, there are other programs that allow you to transition to become a pilot. But those slots are EXTREMELY competitive and based heavily on the Fitness Reports you receive while in the fleet. Your degree will have little to no impact on the selection process.

  • Nick
    Reply

    I’m going to be contracting as air. However once I get down to tbs I’m looking to get selected for military police. How difficult is it to be selected for this MOS? I’m graduating with a degree in Criminology. Thank for all your help

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      MP is generally fairly competitive, but not as much as some other MOSs. Just note that you will have to drop your Air Contract long before you actually know if you will get MP.

  • Phil
    Reply

    First of, thanks so much for this insightful website and all the work you put in it. It has been a great resource. Now on to my question: If I need an age waiver for my OCC ground application, will that in any way influence what MOS I get assigned at TBS? Also, does an age waiver or the higher age itself hinder you in any way once you are in the fleet? My ultimate goal is to serve in MARSOC.

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      There are no age restrictions for MOSs (except pilots). I’m not sure about MARSOC, but I’ve never heard to any age restriction.

  • Steve
    Reply

    Sir,

    How does the selection process work for reservists? I saw on the bottom of the UAV page you have, “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.” Does this mean reservists choose their preferred MOS differently than active duty? Thank you.

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Yes, reservists have different quotas. I’m not exactly sure how the process works.

  • Jacob Stoneking
    Reply

    What is the chance of being an Infantry Officer?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Despite being a high density MOS, you will not get selected if you cannot demonstrate during TBS that you are physically capable of completing Infantry Officers Course (IOC).

  • Monye Nwokogba
    Reply

    What is the chance of being an Aircraft Maintenance Officer?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      It’s a low density MOS with moderate competitiveness. Be the #1 in your TBS class and you can have whatever MOS you want. Other than that, it’s difficult to say.

  • Johnny
    Reply

    I am 16 and I am looking into the NROTC Marine option. I am pretty smart, I got a 29 act score and am a good people person. I also am very physically fit and I presume I would have very high fitness scores in the future. In addition I don’t have any medical issues or other drawbacks. Lastly, I would say I am very motivated and would do whatever it takes to increase my chances of choosing my MOS.

    I have two questions

    1)Based on this info what would you say my chances are of becoming an infantry officer?

    2) Any advice on how to become a solid candidate for an infantry officer MOS?

    Thanks

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Johnny,
      The best advice I can give you is to not look to far ahead. If all goes well and you get into the NROTC program, your still 5-6 years away from being able to compete for a Infantry Officer spot. There is a long road before you get to that point so focus on first getting an NROTC scholarship!

      The scholarship application is based on many factors to include physical fitness, academics (GPA, test scores), and extra-curricular activities. It is also dependent on you getting accepted to a school with an NROTC program. I presume you are a junior in High School? If so, I would focus on the following:
      -Maintain as high of a GPA as possible. You can’t fix the pass, but get as many “A’s” as you can to improve your GPA over the next year.
      -Be involved in your high school. Participating in varsity sports, student government, and clubs will factor into your application.
      -Do a Marine Corps PFT. A 300 score will go a long way, but above a 250 is decent.
      -Consider getting help from a local recruiter. Just don’t let them talk you into enlisting if your goal is a commissioning.

  • John
    Reply

    I know that Infantry is competitive, but do they give any weight to special factors such as being an eagle scout or having very good leadership capabilities? Would going to the navy academy help me to get a better chance at an infantry slot? I am also looking into a full career in the marines so if I tell this to my CO, would that increase my chances? I’m not exactly sure how competitive infantry slots are, thus I am a little paranoid about getting an MOS that I don’t want and having my career plans messed up. I am a junior so I still have some time. Thank you.

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Infantry Marines are a different breed. Physical fitness will play a heavy role in your competitiveness. There is a high failure and turnover rate at the Infantry Officers Course (IOC), so they want to send Marines who will be able to pass. I’m not just talking about PFTs. Your going to want to be able to hike with 100+ lbs of gear, have the endurance to perform physically for up to 24 hours with little to no rest, and the mindset to continue on despite pain and fatigue. A lot of Marines get to The Basic School (TBS) wanting to be an Infantry Officer, but soon realize they probably don’t have what it takes. I think of IOC as being a more difficult version of TBS, and TBS is quite difficult. I’ve never gone through IOC, so I can’t offer much more than that.

      Perform well academically at TBS and be the kind of Marine that doesn’t give into complacency, or self pity. There aren’t any pre-TBS special factors that will help you. MOS selection is based solely on performance at The Basic School and how you rank against your peers.

  • John
    Reply

    When it boils down to making your wishlist and you’re a prior service Marine who does extremely well in your previous MOS field, will that carry any weight for getting your first choice? Or similarly, will your SPC try and put you in your old MOS field? Say a 0311 that got out as a sergeant want’s to be in Arty or Combat Engineers. Will you be somewhat forced to stick with that field?

    1. Prior Enlisted
      Reply

      I would also like to know if it holds weight being a prior that is trying to get back into his previous field? OSO seems to think my SPC can pull strings to get me back where I was.

      1. USMC Officer
        Reply

        Most SPC will try to keep you out of your prior MOS to make you a more diverse officer. The best way to get your desired MOS is to do well at TBS.

  • Tom
    Reply

    Can you tell me how many judge advocates enter per class at TBS?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      From my experience there’s usually 2-3 per class. They stick out because most are Captains by the time they start TBS.

  • Manny
    Reply

    What is the chance of getting finance officer 3404 with a finance degree also I am currently a reservice in the corps entering the plc program

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Your degree doesn’t matter. You will compete for MOSs at TBS with everyone else.

  • Andrew
    Reply

    Two questions: At what point during TBS are you notified of the MOS you will be assigned? Also, is it likely that if you were selected for infantry that you will attend the next available course, even if it is only a few days from TBS graduation?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      You find out about a month prior to graduation. Yes, you will go to the most immediate course.

  • Deshaun
    Reply

    Is it hard achieving air traffic controller mos?? Is it highly desirable amongst officers?

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      I wouldn’t say it’s desirable, but there are only a few spots so it can be competitive.

      1. Deshaun
        Reply

        Will i need the 74-75 afqt if i come out of college with my degree. Im a senior graduating in two weeks, and enlisted recruiters are pushing me to enlist. I really wanna go straight into OCC.

        1. USMC Officer
          Reply

          I think you are referring to the ASVAB which is not a requirement for OCC applications. You need to talk to a OSO, not a enlisted recruiter.

          1. Deshaun

            I did talk to an OSO. He told me to make a 74 or higher i swear

  • Andrew
    Reply

    What are the chances that I would get my very last MOS choice. Also, would I still have to list all 22 MOS’s in the poll if I’m a ground option through PLC?

    Thank you

    1. USMC Officer
      Reply

      Having talked with more senior officers, it wasn’t uncommon 5-10 years ago to get your last MOS choice. In more recent years, most of the Marines I’ve worked with got an MOS in their top 10. I can’t say for certain what will happen with your class, but that should give you some perspective. You will list all of the MOSs even if you are ground contracted. Consider the aviation slots throw away choices unless you completed the flight screening.

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