QUANTICO, VA – The Marine Corps is debating a controversial policy under which all Marines will be designated as "Infantry Marines" and receive the infantry Military Occupation Specialty (MOS), as either a primary or secondary occupation.
The policy would affect the estimated 160,000 Marines who serve in non-infantry occupations throughout the Marine Corps and would let them earn the infantry MOS following their graduation from either Marine Combat Training for enlisted or The Basic School for officers.
"For too long the Marine Corps has had to deal with the so-called 'grunt versus POG' divide between our infantry and non-infantry Marines," said Commandant Gen. James Amos. "However, starting next year we're all grunts."
According to Marine officials, the new policy will not only allow all Marines to carry the infantry MOS, but will also allow those enlisted Marines access to the infantry's historically low cutting scores — promotion points junior Marines need in order to achieve the next rank. Officers will also be able to list infantry billets on their fitness reports.
This, according to Marine commanders, will ensure that all Marines have the same opportunities for rapid promotion and career advancement that typically only occur in the infantry MOS.
"As the first non-infantry Commandant, I'm aware of the glass cockpit I had to break through to get here," Gen. Amos said. "But if we can have a Commandant who came from the Air Wing, there's no reason why we can't also have a Commandant who was in Administration, Traffic Management, Legal Affairs, or Food Services. And there's no reason why this should only apply to officers."
While this may cause a temporary rise in all 0300 E-4 cutting scores to the low 2000's, Headquarters Marine Corps is confident that they will drop to a more reasonably low average in the 1900's. E-5 scores are predicted to only modestly rise to about 2400.
"I'm glad," said Lance Corporal Alex Dafor, an 0511 Marine Air Ground Task Force Planning Specialist. "I should have the same opportunities to get promoted as any 0351 Assault man. It's not like their job is that much harder than mine, and I practically do the same thing they do."
Private First Class Victor Carr, an 1171 Water Support Technician, said he couldn't wait to tell all his friends back home that he was now a Grunt.
"0311 Baby, yeah!" said Carr, during a Starcraft tournament at Camp Leatherneck. "Death before dishonor!"
Duffel Blog unsuccessfully tried to interview over a dozen active-duty infantry Marines about the proposed changes. Two responded with a string of profanity, nine broke into uncontrollable sobbing, and the last phone call ended with the sound of a gunshot.
If this policy is enacted, it will be the most sweeping change to hit the infantry since 1990, when Gen. Al Gray attempted to open up to the entire Marine Corps the traditional kick-to-the-groin that all new infantry Marines received upon their graduation from the School of Infantry.
After an extensive letter-writing campaign by the Marine Corps Infantry League, the policy was eventually restricted to just infantrymen, although many veterans couldn't remember it being enacted prior to the controversy.