PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
Marines are constantly looking for ways to get ahead in their career.
To help Marines advance, many choose a B-Billet, or a duty outside of their normal military occupational specialty.
“B-Billets are for Marines looking for career progression,” said Staff Sgt. Talisha Robbins, the Headquarters & Service Battalion career planner, from Akron, Ohio. “Plus, they’re an opportunity for Marines to temporarily get out of their MOS.”
Enlisted Marines have the opportunity to take part in four different B-Billets, all of which are a three-year duty tour.
One of the better-known B-
Billet opportunities on the Depot is drill instructor duty. Drill instructor duty is a chance for sergeants and above to serve
aboard a recruit training depot and continue the proud tradition of making Marines.
“Marines looking to do a B-Billet that is physically demanding should look into being a drill instructor,” said Master Sgt. Clinton Parks, the Depot and Eastern Recruiting Region career planner. “The physical demand of being a drill instructor for three years is a lot.”
Most drill instructors enjoy it and aren’t looking forward to ending their tour.
“I get fulfilled from being a drill instructor when I see the newest members of our Corps walk across the parade deck as a basically trained Marine,” said Staff Sgt. Jhomara Joint, a drill instructor with November Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, of Dallas. “I know I have trained them to the best of my ability, led by my own example and instilled the love of Corps and country.
Another commonly known B-Billet is recruiting duty. Recruiters are sent on the mission of enlisting qualified men and women into the Corps. They work long hours, sometimes seven days a week, approaching strangers who could possibly be interested in earning the title U.S. Marine.
“Recruiters have to be able to talk really well,” said Parks, from Portland, Ore. “Their job is to look and sound good so that people want to join. Once they do that, they send the people that enlist down here to the drill instructors.”
Many Marines, such as Staff Sgt. Jeffery Hollenback, from Syracuse, N.Y., enjoy recruiting duty.
“I recruited fine young men and women into the Marine Corps from 2005 through 2008,” said Hollenback, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the tax center. “It was a great opportunity, and it benefited my career.
For Marines looking to see a little bit more action while performing their B-Billet tour, there is the Marine Security Force.
“Marine Security Force provides elements such as quick reaction forces to sea ports, airports and embassies around the world,” Parks said. “If something happens in one of the corners of the world, they’ll deploy reaction teams to assist the area under attack.”
MSF Marines also take part in security escorts, protecting high profile people such as the president and vice-president.
“I enjoy my job because of all the different things I get to do,” said Lance Cpl. Zack Faruki, a security forces team leader at 8th & I Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. “When it comes to security, I get to do different things, but mainly I do escorts in places such as the White House and Pentagon.
“Here at 8th & I, we represent the Marine Corps and its standards to the civilian eye,” added Faruki, from Mountclair, N.J. “Being in such a prestigious duty station with the security clearance we require not only helps Marines in their military careers, but also helps to further their careers after the Marine Corps.”
When it comes to craving simulated action and training, Marine Combat Training instructor is another high demand B-Billet.
“Being an MCT instructor is a new B-Billet that’s only been offered as a B-Billet for a few years,” Parks said. “MCT instructors do all the weapon and infantry instruction and training at the School of Infantry. To be one of the instructors for MCT, it’s required that candidates have completed a minimum of one combat tour. That is because they are training young, impressionable Marines, who they will be sharing their knowledge and experience with.”
It’s at MCT where basically trained Marines are taught vital skills of surviving in combat while completing the mission successfully.
“This is the best B-Billet to do, because you are what makes the Marine Corps,” said Staff Sgt. Homer Miller, a MCT Instructor at Camp Geiger, N.C. “Recruits go to Parris Island to learn how to be a Marine. Here, they learn how to go to combat while being effective and staying alive.
“I have to make sure the Marines I send out of here after graduation are 100 percent combat effective,” added Miller, from Atlanta.
While Marines doing B-Billets are looking for anything from a physical challenge to simulated combat experience, some are looking to get a chance to travel.
“Marine Security Guard duty is very remote, but definitely one of the Corps’ best kept secrets,” Parks stated. “On MSG, Marines tour three different countries over a time frame of three years.”
While on a MSG tour, Marines stand their post guarding American embassies and give different countries a first-hand impression of Americans.
“Out of all the different B-Billets, I think MSG is the most interesting,” said Sgt. Denell Rivers, a military justice noncommissioned officer, who returned from MSG duty in 2008. “It offers an opportunity to travel, lets you, as a Marine, stand out and show that on individual duty, you can get the job done.”
Marines interested in beginning the process of submitting their B-Billet package should contact their battalion’s career planner, or call Parks at 228-2584.