The Meteorology and Oceanograpy (METOC) field has the distinction of being the only earth science-related job field in the Marine Corps. But don't confuse the work METOC analyst forecasters do with the duties of a civilian meteorologist; it's a lot more complex and in-depth to analyze and predict weather conditions for Marines going into battle than to forecast a rainy commute.
This is considered a primary military occupational specialty (MOS) and is open to Marines ranked from private to master gunnery sergeant. The Marine Corps categorizes this job as MOS 6842.
Responsibilities of METOC Analyst Forecasters
These Marines collect, assess and disseminate METOC intelligence, forecasting weather conditions for friendly and enemy force strengths. They analyze atmospheric, space, climatic and hydrologic intelligence to make their tactical recommendations to Marine Corps superiors.
In addition, METOC analyst forecasters use and perform preventive maintenance on METOC sensors, information technology systems, and equipment. Once a METOC forecaster analyst achieves the rank of staff sergeant, they are required to manage METOC computer systems and local METOC databases, web pages and network communications.
The duties of this MOS include:
- Assessing and predicting meteorological, oceanographic, hydrological and space environmental parameters in support of Joint and Marine Corps operations
- Forecasting every type of weather condition including severe weather, winter weather, and tropical weather.
- Forecasting oceanographic conditions like sea state conditions, near shore conditions, and river stages
- Preparing and disseminating mission specific products and briefings
Qualifying for MOS 6842
In order to be eligible for this job, you'll need a score of 105 or higher on the general technical (GT) segment of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. You also have to qualify for a top-secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. This clearance is required of those who are handling or have access to information that, if disclosed could cause grave damage to U.S. national security.
In addition, Marines seeking this job need to be eligible for access to sensitive compartmented information, as determined by a single scope background investigation. This investigation examines your character and conduct, looking at any criminal record and financial disclosures. It may take into account emotional stability. It also may involve interviews and reference checks of those who can vouch for your character.
METOC analyst forecasters need normal color vision (no colorblindness is allowed) and have to be U.S. citizens.
Training for METOC Analyst Forecasters
All Marines complete basic training (boot camp) at a Marine Corps Recruit Depot either in Parris Island, South Carolina or in San Diego, California. Marines selected for the METOC analyst forecaster MOS then attend technical school at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi to complete the Meteorology and Oceanography Analyst/Forecaster Course, or the Air Force Weather Apprentice Course.
This course may be waived if the Marine already holds a bachelor's degree in meteorology from an accredited institution of higher learning.
Similar Civilian Occupations to METOC Analyst Forecaster
Although the work you'll do in the Marines is of a more serious nature, you'll be more than qualified for a number of civilian meteorology roles, including meteorologist, oceanographer assistant and weather clerk.