For the uninitiated, OFP is a military initialism that means, “own f*cking program.” The term is commonly used by one service member in reference to another that seems to be immune from formations, uniform inspections, working parties, and the general tomf*ckery that goes along with being a part of the world’s most elite fighting forces.
This is not to say these individuals do not work hard or are not important to the fight. In fact, in most situations, the reason they are OFP is because of the vital tasks they perform — sometimes at odd hours.
Let’s explore the duties and responsibilities of the individuals the military allows to be on their own f*cking program.
1. Military Working Dog Handler – all services
Military Working Dog handlers are responsible for the care and training of his or her service dog, which contributes to combat operations abroad and installation security at home by providing targeted odor detection (explosive/drug).
Service dogs, generally seen as a non-lethal option for neutralizing a threat, also serve as a psychological deterrent during law enforcement operations.
In other words, these badasses are expected to play with their dogs — it’s their job and no one can tell them not to.
2. Ammunition Technicians – all services (various titles)
Ammo techs do everything that needs to be done regarding ammunition, including receipt, storage, issue, and handling of ammunition and toxic chemicals.
They often spend hours driving around to various ranges ensuring compliance with standards regarding ammo. They often have their own office and a parking spot at the S-shops — all as an E-4.
3. Enlisted Aide for Generals/Admirals – all services
Speaking of OFP, enlisted aides are responsible for… well, I’ll let the official enlisted aide guidebook do the talking:
The good news is your only boss is a general and he/she is usually very busy.
4. CBRN Defense Specialist – all services (various titles)
These are the sadists adorned in gas masks and HAZMAT suits, making their military brothers and sisters cry with CS gas (commonly called “tear gas” by Eagles fans).
They are tasked with monitoring, detecting, training for, and advising anything that has to do with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear threats.
CBRN personnel are often ridiculed for their abundant “spare time.”
5. Religious Program Specialist/Chaplain Assistant (“Chap-Ass”) – all services except the Marines
These motivators are tasked with supporting chaplains in any area that does not require ordination or pastoral counseling.
The title explains most of the job, however, these guys have one boss and he or she is generally the most understanding, kind, and generally happy person in uniform.
6. Marine Corps Infantry Weapons Specialist – aka “GUNNER”
A “Marine Gunner” is qualified to train Marines on the proper employment of all weapons systems organic to the infantry. That includes, but is not limited to, pistols, rifles, machine-guns, rockets, mortars, missiles, explosives, and their associated accessories.
To qualify for selection as a “Marine Gunner,” you must be a Gunnery Sergeant with 16 years active duty in the infantry and have served as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant. Upon selection, Marines are promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2, but a “Marine Gunner” is always referred to as “Gunner,” never CWO.
There are about 102 Gunners total in the Corps.
After a tour with an infantry battalion, they move on to billets as regimental and divisional Gunners, range OICs, and various other positions where Gunners continue to teach infantry skills to Marines.
And nobody… nobody, tells a Gunner to do sh*t.