MCT instructor duty offers new option for B-billet
By Cpl. Alisha R. Fitzgerald
| | August 29, 2003
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
The first ever Marine Combat Instructor Courses were held at each of the Marine Corps Schools of Infantry, Camp Geiger, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., in April.
Since established as a Special Duty Assignment in Oct. 2002, the MCT instructor billet, MOS 8513, offers Marines an alternative to drill instructor duty and recruiting duty.
"Marines usually try to stay away from being a drill instructor or recruiter," said Gunnery Sgt. Leonard Champaign, career planner for H&SBn. "This provides a nice substitute to those fields."
While it may be a substitute, it still fulfills the B-billet or SDA requirement, which most feel is necessary to advance in the staff NCO ranks.
"Every Marine should do a B-billet," said Champaign. "The majority of the Marines that get promoted [in the higher enlisted ranks] have completed a B-billet assignment. It makes you more competitive for promotion."
Champaign estimated that approximately 80 percent of Marines who get promoted to a staff NCO have fulfilled their SDA requirement.
Providing an alternative that helps Marines get promoted, while helpful, wasn't the main purpose in mind when deciding to establish the position as an SDA. Just as drill instructor and recruiting duty play an important role in completing the overall Marine Corps mission, MCT instructors are integral in the process of training entry-level Marines to gain basic infantry skills. Since the entire mission of the Marine Corps is built on war fighting, specially training Marines to properly instill these vital tools of the trade into new Marines is fundamental to overall combat readiness.
"We needed a school-trained instructor who signed up for the job, vice someone who is just put there," said Champaign. "Like the drill instructors and recruiters, this makes them better equipped to perform their duties."
Champaign said that since the establishment of the MCIC, a rise in the level of professionalism among the instructors has already been noticed.
Though all Marines interested in becoming MCT instructors are welcome, Marine Combat Training Battalion East has been seeking women Marines to fill immediate openings for female instructors since April.
The standard tour of duty for the billet is 36 months. All potential instructors are required to "possess a high degree of maturity, leadership, responsibility and professionalism," according to the MCT Duty Screening/Interview Guide. Marines in any MOS can qualify for the assignment.
Corporals through gunnery sergeants are eligible, with corporals having at least one-year time in grade and completed Corporals' Course. Corporals must also have 4.4/4.4 average Pro/Con marks.
A General Technical score of 90 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is also required. Potential instructors must have no courts-martial, not more than two Non-Judicial Punishments, no adverse Page 11 entries and no drug-related incidents.
Other factors are also considered, such as financial responsibility, family stability, presence of mind, physical fitness and personal appearance.
MCIC is a six-week program. Once graduated, Marines receive Level I SDA pay during Fiscal Year 2003, to be raised to Level II as soon as fiscally possible, according to Marine Administrative Message 295/03.
For more information, contact Champaign at 228-3269 or Master Sgt. Marcell Hatton, Depot Career Planner, at 228-2854.