Find Out What it Takes to Be an MOS 0861 Fire Support Marine

Duties, Responsibilities, and Qualifications of MOS 0861 Fire Support Marine

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The Marine Corps' Military Occupational Specialty code system distinguishes job positions, roles, and duties within the Marine Corps. MOS 0861 designates the Fire Support Marine. 

MOS 0861 was previously titled "Fire Support Man." Then, after an extensive review by the Secretary of the Navy, the Marines decided to go gender-neutral with some job titles in 2016. This followed on the heels of the Pentagon directing in 2015 that women could serve in front-line ground combat situations.

As a result, 19 MOS names were changed to eliminate any gender-specific references. MOS 0861 was one of them. In the majority of cases, the word "man" was replaced by "Marine," as with MOS 0861. 

This is a primary MOS (PMOS) and the rank range extends from Master Gunnery Sergeant to Private. Primary MOSs identify a service members' primary skills and/or training. This is said to be one of the best MOSs offered by the Marine Corps. 

Job Description of MOS 0861: The Fire Support Marine

Fire Support Marines perform the duties involved with the observation, conduct, and control of artillery and naval gunfire. The term "fire" relates to weapon fire as opposed to combustion and burning, thus the necessity of renaming the MOS to accommodate women on the front lines.

Other responsibilities of MOS 0861 include calling for, observing, and adjusting artillery and Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS). They include employment of laser designators and rangefinders, employment of radar beacons for NSFS support ships, and coordination of fire support assets. Fire support assets include mortars, rockets, artillery, NSFS, and CAS/CIFS.

MCO 3501.26A, the Artillery Unit Training and Readiness (T and R) Manual, includes a complete listing of the duties and tasks associated with this MOS. 

Job Requirements of MOS 0861: The Fire Support Marine

Marines do not step into this position without first meeting several prerequisites and undergoing specific training.

Applicants must possess a GT score of 100 or higher. They must have normal color vision and overall vision that's correctable to 20/20. They must have secret security clearance or be eligible for this clearance, and they must be U.S. citizens.

Additionally, applicants must complete the six-week Marine Artillery Scout Observer Course (MASOC) at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma, as well as the Fire Support Marine Course, EWTGPAC, at Coronado, California. MASOC is known to hold Marines to some very high standards. The course includes written tests weekly and three graded live fire missions. 

Because this is a PMOS, it is limited to only enlisted Marines, chief warrant officers, limited duty officers, and warrant officers. These Marines are promoted to this position. 

Related Department of Labor Occupation Codes

  • Artillery or Naval Gunfire Observer 378.367-010
  • Field Artillery Senior Sergeant 378.132-010

Related Marine Corps Jobs

  • Field Artillery Radar Operator, 0842
  • Field Artillery Fire Control Man, 0844

Related SOC Classification/SOC Code

  • Artillery and Missile Crew Member 55-3014 

The above information is derived in part from MCBUL 1200, parts 2 and 3.