9 things you should know before becoming a Marine infantry officer
We’ve all seen Marine officer recruiting videos either on TV, on our mobile devices, or posted on a billboard next to the highway. For many, the video’s imagery, music, and testimonials cause young minds to consider joining the Corps — for one reason or another.
The video states what you’re going to learn and what awesome prospects lay ahead. Those who attend and complete the training can move on and serve in the Marine Infantry if that’s the path the individual has set for himself.
But what the training book doesn’t teach you is the role outside of the technical. Life in the Marines as an officer is a proud one, but it’s also stressful.
We sat down with our resident Marine infantry officer Chase Millsap and discussed what you should know before taking on the vital leadership role.
1. Your primary weapon is the field radio
It’s your job as a leader to organize your Marines while taking contact. Knowing how to use your radio to instruct your Marines and coordinate supporting arms is paramount.
2. You will always eat last
In the Marines, enlisted Leathernecks get to eat their chow before anyone else, which means officers are always at the end of the line.
3. You will almost always be the least experienced person starting day one
Everyone has to start out somewhere (unless you’re prior enlisted). Listen and learn as quickly as you can.
4. Physical fitness isn’t optional
The minimum PT score is 300 — just saying. And you’d better never, ever let that squad leader beat you on a unit run.
5. Pony up the big bucks to take care of your grunts
We’re not suggesting you buy everyone in your platoon houses — that’s crazy talk. We mean forking out cash for cigarettes, rip its and dip. It will boost your unit’s morale.
6. You don’t have to be nice.
But you do need to be fair.
7. You better know why you’re giving those orders
Having the power to give a Marine an order is a big deal. So you need to be sure that it’s well thought out ahead of time.
8. Read these three books
9. Most importantly: it’s not about you
It’s about taking care of your Marines.