How to Become a Marine Corps Engineer Equipment Operator

These equipment operators are the Marines' construction workers

Staff Sgt. Christian J. Keyser observes as a tractor rubber articulated steering multi-purpose vehicle tears down a wall Aug. 9 at Camp Hansen. The buildings being torn down presented a hazard to base personnel as well as the equipment being stored inside of them. Keyser is a heavy equipment operator with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
••• U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Anne K. Henry / Released

These Marines are like the construction workers of the Corps. They use a variety of construction machines and equipment for grading and excavation projects wherever Marines need earth moved. 

This job is categorized as military occupational specialty (MOS) 1345 and is considered a primary MOS. It's open to Marines ranking from private to staff sergeant.

Duties of MOS 1345

The main responsibility of this MOS is operating heavy equipment. If you enlist in this job, you'll operate gas and diesel engine powered vehicles, as well as self-propelled, skid-mounted and towed equipment. This could range from machines used for earth moving and logging to clearing and landing operations.

Basically, if you enlist in this MOS, it's your job to prep an area for other Marines, whether that means readying an area for a combat mission, or for a larger construction project like a bridge. There will be a lot of heavy lifting, a lot of outdoor work, and you'll be expected to get your job done no matter the weather or other conditions (including active combat situations). 

Qualifying for MOS 1345

You'll need a score of at least 95 in the mechanical maintenance (MM) section of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. You'll also have to complete the engineer equipment operator course at Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. 

Thanks to a joint operating agreement, soldiers can also take this engineer equipment operator course. Students spend 45 days in the training course and learn to operate vehicles like tractors, forklifts and caterpillar earth-movers. 

To qualify for this MOS in the Marines, you need vision correctable to 20/20 and depth perception (third-degree binocular fusion). 

Non-MOS qualified Reserve Marines unable to attend the regular formal school course may be certified for MOS 1345, as an AMOS-only, by the commander upon successful completion of the Marine Reserves' alternate training instructional program (ATIP).

The ATIP for MOS 1345 consists of core tasks to be performed to standard at Reserve managed on-the-job training (MOJT). A minimum of six months MOJT while assigned to a 1345 billet is required.

Jobs Similiar to MOS 1345

Marine Engineer Equipment Mechanic, MOS 1341, works with a variety of different motor vehicles, from diesel engines and gasoline and diesel driven construction equipment such as tractors, power shovels, and road machinery.

They may also work on and repair specialized equipment like air compressors, concrete mixers and other engine-driven or towed construction equipment. Obviously having mechanics in a branch of the military that has to be battle ready often with little notice helps keep things running smoothly.