Marine Corps Geographic Intelligence Specialist – MOS-0261

Marine Enlisted Job Descriptions MOS 0261, Geographic Intelligence Specialist

Geographic Intelligence Specialist setting up equipment outside a building on a snow covered field.
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US Marine Corps

Geographic intelligence looks at human activity on the earth's surface by collecting and processing geographical data from various tools and sources. The Marine Corps geographic intelligence specialist (MOS-0261) is an entry-level position in this field of scientific study. The tools of the trade include the creation and study of maps, geographic information systems (GIS) information, remote sensors, and images. The range rank is MSgt to Pvt.

MOS 0261 Job Duties Performed 

Geographic intelligence specialists gather, interpret, and process geophysical data from various equipment and tools. They perform precise ground control survey operations using defined points on the earth's surface to provide the positioning data needed for drones and various other weapons delivery systems. They analyze terrain and hydrography as a functional aspect of military intelligence.

They also create and update military maps and charts, and they conduct

  • Geodetic surveys—measuring the geometric shape of the globe,
  • Topographic surveys—the shape and height of the earth's surface
  • Hydrographic surveys—the measurement of ocean surfaces

The Corp's Intelligence Training and Readiness Manual contain a complete list of the position's duties and tasks.

Department of Labor Occupational Codes 

Related Department of Labor occupation codes include: 

  • Geodetic Computer 018.167-014
  • Surveyor, Geodetic 018.167-038
  • Surveyor, Marine 018.167-046
  • Drafter, Cartographic 018.261-010

Equipment Used by Geographic Intelligence Specialists 

The equipment utilized by a geographic intelligence specialist includes survey and mapping instrumentation such as the theodolites, electronic and satellite positioning equipment, and microcomputer-based mapping equipment.

Job Requirements for MOS 0261

An applicant for this position must possess an EL score of 100 or higher. High school courses in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are highly desirable. The position is limited to U.S. citizens. 

The individual must be eligible for a top-secret security clearance and have access to Sensitive Compartmented Information predicated upon a single scope background investigation. Applications for the SSBI must be submitted prior to attendance at the Basic Geographic Intelligence Course at Ft. Belvoir located in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Applicants must complete the Basic Geographic Intelligence Course at Defense Mapping School at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia. Training includes a term at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campus located in Springfield, Virginia. This course is seven and a half months long and is available to ranks from Private to Sergeant.

Corporals through Gunnery Sergeants can attend the Intermediate Geographic Intelligence Specialist Course which is approximately four months in duration. Delta State University also has course offerings with learning objectives geared toward certification. 

All Marines requesting a lateral move to MOS 0261, USMC, and USMCR must attend a screening interview conducted by a 0261 GySgt or above. Interview waivers can be granted only by the 02 OccFld Manager or CMC (MM). Lateral move Marines must typically be corporals or below of any MOS, although Sergeants can be considered if they have less than 12 months in grade and they're highly qualified. 

Applicants must have normal color vision and normal stereoscopic acuity.

Related Marine Corps Jobs

  • Imagery Analysis Specialist, 0241
  • Surveying and Mapping Technicians, 17-3031
  • Surveyors, 17-1022
  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists, 17-1021

Civilian Positions Outside the Military

This training and experience can be invaluable after discharge from the Marine Corps as well. The Central Intelligence Agency employs geographic intelligence specialties, as do many civilian enterprises. 

Above information derived from MCBUL 1200, parts 2 and 3