Keeping weapons up to date and fully repaired is a key job in any branch of the military, and in the Marines, a big part of this responsibility falls to the small arms repairer/technician. It's an enlisted job with some specific requirements to be eligible. This position carries a military occupational specialty code (MOS) 2111.
The general military definition of small arms, which are somewhat different than light weapons, refers to those weapons that can be used by a single person. They include handguns, light automatic weapons (which include some machine guns), portable rocket launchers, rifle- and shoulder-fired grenade launchers, and other shoulder-fired weapons. For the most part, small arms are considered portable and can be fired without a tripod or special mount. They may be used in civil disturbances as well as combat and can be stolen more easily than light or heavy arms.
The Importance of a Small Arms Technician
The job of a small arms repairer/technician in the grade of Private through Lance Corporal involves small arms maintenance and repair, inspection procedures, and armory procedures. He or she performs inspections of all small arms, with the exception of vehicularly mounted weapons. The small arms repairer/technician also completes basic shop administrative forms and records.
At the Corporal through Gunnery Sergeant level, the small arms repairer/technician performs, trains, and supervises inspection, maintenance, and repair of all small arms, to include vehicular mounted small arms. The small arms repairer/technician also prepares, maintains, and supervises a shop maintenance and management program and coordinates maintenance and repair of small arms according to grade.
To qualify for this job, Marines need a Mechanical Maintenance (MM) score of 95 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
They'll also need to complete the Ground Ordnance Intermediate Level Supervisors Course (CID AOIGBC1) by Sergeant through Staff Sergeant with 24 months remaining on active duty upon completion of the course. In the case of a lateral move, must have served a minimum of one year in MOS 2111.
Also required are a National Agency Check, Local Agency Check, and Credit Check (NACLC) resident within the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS). And recruits must pass the Command Arms Ammunition and Explosive (AA and E) screening.
Any conviction by court-martial, civilian court, or nonjudicial judgment of any act involving larceny, theft, or drugs will disqualify recruits from this job.
Recruits must complete the Small Arms Repair Course at Fort Lee, Virginia, which lasts about 61 days. The initial phase of this course is trained alongside the Army.
As part of the training, Marines participate in the physical fitness program while assigned to Bravo Company, Marine Detachment. It involves upper and lower body conditioning and cardiovascular endurance.
As with most jobs in the Marines, small arms repairer/technicians must be U.S. citizens.