Chief Warrant Officer 2 J.C. Knight, a student in the Infantry Weapons Officers Course, aims down rang at his target 412-meters away with his M40A5 sniper rifle. The Corps is seeking applicants to become Marine gunners. (Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos/Marine Corps)
Marine Corps Recruiting Command is looking for experienced enlisted grunts to apply to become Marine gunners — one of the service’s most prestigious infantry jobs. Each year a couple dozen Marines are screened, but only about half make the cut to serve as the Corps’ foremost experts on combat marksmanship and all things infantry.
Last year, just six Marines received an appointment as a chief warrant officer 2 in the 0306 infantry weapons officer occupational specialty, although in most years about 24 are screened and an average of 12 make the cut.
The fiscal 2015 Enlisted to Warrant Officer Marine Gunner Selection Board will convene on or about July 8 to select gunnery sergeants and above for appointment as CWO2.
To be competitive, candidatesmust not only have operational experience, but also have extensive knowledge of infantry and combat marksmanship doctrine and other relevant expertise, according to Marine administrative message 077/14, signed Feb. 21. They will be expected to make a significant contribution to the warfighting capabilities of their future units and to become important advocates for the infantry/ground combat element.
Even as high-level advisers, gunners can expect to deploy regularly.
“They will maintain their high degree of expertise by combining consecutive tours in the operating forces, a base or station range complex and tours of duty at Training and Education Command and Systems Command,” the message states.
Eligible, Marines will be experienced infantrymen in the 0369 rifleman, 0313 LAV crewman or 0321 reconnaissance man specialties. The only exceptions are sergeant majors or first sergeants with the 9999 MOS, provided they previously served as riflemen. Marines must also have at least 16 years of service, but no more than 23, on Feb. 1, 2015, when they would receive their commission.
Applications to become a gunner must carry a general officer endorsement and be received by Marine Corps Recruiting Command no later than May 23. Among other things, applications must include the results of a comprehensive medical exam, HIV screening, details about body markings and tattoos, proof of security clearance and pre-service waivers for any digressions, including drug use. For full details refer to the MARADMIN, available online.
Results of the board are expected sometime in mid-September. Those selected will have cleared only the first hurdle on the rigorous path to becoming a gunner. They must then successfully complete the Warrant Officer Basic Course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and then the Infantry Weapons Officer Course