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  #1  
Old 9 January 2019, 08:50
Willy Willy is offline
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My Son is thinking Forward Observer

Hey fellas,
My son has been looking into joining the Marines and he's interested in the FO MOS (0861, I believe). Any prior FO Marines here who have some insight, stories, etc that they'd like to share? I dabbled when I was in, but I didn't work in an Arty unit.
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  #2  
Old 9 January 2019, 10:20
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If he has his heart set on being a Marine, that's cool. But, I will tell you, being an FO in the 75th is probably one of the coolest gigs in the DoD. If you dig through the Ranger forum you will see over and over guys saying that if they had it to do over again, they would have been an FO instead of an 11 Series.
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Old 9 January 2019, 10:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky View Post
If he has his heart set on being a Marine, that's cool. But, I will tell you, being an FO in the 75th is probably one of the coolest gigs in the DoD. If you dig through the Ranger forum you will see over and over guys saying that if they had it to do over again, they would have been an FO instead of an 11 Series.
We had 13F's in our company in 2/75th. I had a weapons platoon and always worked with the FO's. Crazy and very competent. Books could be written on their antics, but they were very very good at their trade.
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Old 9 January 2019, 12:37
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Being 13F in 75th is a solid gig, it's not so great in big Army artillery units...daily life couldn't be more different.

Only thing better would be an air force cct or tacp working with socom.

Not sure if that Marine mos means any special ops assets, but regular artillery and mortars are the least fun parts of being an FO.
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Old 9 January 2019, 16:18
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I mentioned he should check out the Rangers. I said "What? Don't you wanna kick in doors and shoot people face?" Haha. He said "No. Not really." Anyway, I guess he prefers the idea of dropping steel. I can see there's a lot of opportunity out there.
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  #6  
Old 9 January 2019, 16:22
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Originally Posted by mdavid View Post
Being 13F in 75th is a solid gig, it's not so great in big Army artillery units...daily life couldn't be more different.

Only thing better would be an air force CCT or TACP working with SOCOM.
He ought to talk to one of each, IMO. Combat veterans if possible...
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Old 9 January 2019, 16:24
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hawkdrver hawkdrver is offline
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Willy -

Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know, but tell your son to google JTAC if he hasn't already. Full on bad asses, across all services. Lots of career options.

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He ought to talk to one of each, IMO. Combat veterans if possible...
^^ This.
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  #8  
Old 9 January 2019, 16:55
DB8541 DB8541 is offline
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I was a recruiter many years ago and a Grunt but I am pretty sure you cannot enlist to be an FO. You first have to go in as an 08XX then work your way up to 0861 usually once he has made Cpl or Sgt. So that means being a gun monkey for awhile first and all of the basic stuff first. Same thing goes for guys who are in the FDC.

The advanced positions are filled with dudes that have done their time on the gun first or at least that is the way most of the USMC used to work in any MOS with advanced follow on positions and MOS'S.

Don't let a recruiter (from any service) fill his head with all the cool stuff he can do in the advanced senior positions without making him aware that he will have to do his time and it might be a long time in the shit jobs first of the MOS.
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Old 9 January 2019, 17:24
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^ Spot on advice right there. He might get to be an FO one day, but he'll have to spend a lot of time in the trenches first.
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Old 9 January 2019, 20:02
Gray Rhyno Gray Rhyno is offline
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Unless things have changed in the last 10 years, 0861 is an entry-level MOS (Pvt-MGySgt). 0861s are at the artillery regiments (farmed out to the supported units as required), a few division and MEF staff positions (SNCOs), ANGLICO, and MARSOC. What is it about the MOS that he finds interesting? Where does he want it to take him?
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Old 9 January 2019, 20:05
Willy Willy is offline
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I looked into that. It is actually an entry level MOS now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DB8541 View Post
I was a recruiter many years ago and a Grunt but I am pretty sure you cannot enlist to be an FO. You first have to go in as an 08XX then work your way up to 0861 usually once he has made Cpl or Sgt. So that means being a gun monkey for awhile first and all of the basic stuff first. Same thing goes for guys who are in the FDC.

The advanced positions are filled with dudes that have done their time on the gun first or at least that is the way most of the USMC used to work in any MOS with advanced follow on positions and MOS'S.

Don't let a recruiter (from any service) fill his head with all the cool stuff he can do in the advanced senior positions without making him aware that he will have to do his time and it might be a long time in the shit jobs first of the MOS.
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  #12  
Old 9 January 2019, 21:24
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275RLTW 275RLTW is offline
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FO has no direct civilian job translation once he gets out. Unless he’s enlisting for college money or the free SHARP classes and barracks cleaning lessons, his marketability after service is very low. Going into more specalized units, as mentioned above, will provide more chances for advancement both during and after his service.

I was an FO in Ranger Bn. As they’ve said, lots of fun can be bad in that position; infill on littlebirds, kicking in doors & calling in JDAMs is better than sitting in a vehicle just looking at a screen of a target. Either way, get him PTing and Rucking now.
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  #13  
Old 9 January 2019, 21:42
DB8541 DB8541 is offline
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Quote:
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I looked into that. It is actually an entry level MOS now.
Ah, gotcha. Been awhile for me. Too many MOS's to remember. Either way there will always be an entry level in any job field that he will have to start with.

Recruiters always play up the cool stuff and pass over the shit you have to go through first to get there.
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  #14  
Old 10 January 2019, 02:28
Akheloce Akheloce is offline
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Out of my lane here, but a coworker of mine, former Naval officer told me that E's can call in arty or mortars, but you have to be an O to call in air (for the USMC). True?

Simply based on QOL, and all the other stuff, I'd pick CCT or USAF JTAC.
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  #15  
Old 10 January 2019, 05:34
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
Out of my lane here, but a coworker of mine, former Naval officer told me that E's can call in arty or mortars, but you have to be an O to call in air (for the USMC). True?

Simply based on QOL, and all the other stuff, I'd pick CCT or USAF JTAC.
USMC JTAC's can be enlisted and call in CAS last time I checked. Also IIRC, JTAC is actually an MOS in the Corps.
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  #16  
Old 10 January 2019, 09:45
JK07 JK07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
Out of my lane here, but a coworker of mine, former Naval officer told me that E's can call in arty or mortars, but you have to be an O to call in air (for the USMC). True?
No, that is not true.
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  #17  
Old 10 January 2019, 11:59
8654maine 8654maine is offline
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Interesting thread. FO's career pathway has definitely changed from several decades ago.

In regards to the OP, I think the priority is key.

Is it more important to be a Marine or for a particular career path?

If the former, go MCRD, wear the EGA and make the most of your opportunities (which can be very wide).

If the latter or if he changes the mind, then look at all branches.

BTW, being FO in the 75th would be cool. After all, they are just well supported Marines. (Y'all knew that was coming...)

The best advice from above is "PT & Ruck" right now.

Be fit & ready for any adventure, regardless of branch.
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  #18  
Old 10 January 2019, 12:03
Gsniper Gsniper is offline
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Sign him up here, we can give him a cool screen name like DangerClose or Angle-T.
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  #19  
Old 10 January 2019, 13:10
gwbarnes gwbarnes is offline
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Grandson graduates and receives his commission next spring. Recently got branched FA. He requested Infantry, like his father and grandfather. (His other grandfather was FA) As cadet Bn. Cdr, I expected him to be get his request, but he seems OK with FA. Wants to go to one of the Ranger bats as FO, after Ranger school, then try to branch transfer to 18, after a few years.
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  #20  
Old 10 January 2019, 15:18
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Tell him to look into USMC ANGLICO or USAF TACP.
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