Army and Marine FAO, IN pl question

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by ns1234, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. ns1234

    ns1234 Member

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    hi guys, I am just curious. I know that the army has a guard or reserve FAO track for CPTs - what rank does a marine have to be to apply for FAO, and is there a similar reserve track?

    Also, this is a side question - if one were a marine or army IN officer, what are the respective amounts of time one would actually be a platoon leader before they are sent to a staff job? Are they different in their timelines? I seem to hear that marines are actual PLs for a shorter time. I am very ignorant - does one lead a platoon just as 1st and 2nd LT, or also as a CPT? I assume MAJ is a staff job.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Soldiergriz

    Soldiergriz Husband, Dad, Soldier

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    Sorry, I cant answer question about guard/reserve FAO.

    Army Infantry Officers - you can count on being infantry platoon leaders for 12-24 months. It really depends on where you are stationed, deployment timelines, and battalion commander decisions. More time is better. But, many lieutenants then compete for opportunities to lead scout platoons, mortar platoons, and support platoons. There are other highly selective opportunities as well. Some compete for jobs as General Officer Aides. Others transition to be company executive officers. Some may move to battalion or brigade staff.

    Remember - after your initial entry training, you will follow on to Airborne school and Ranger School. Then there are usually additional training opportunities beyond that. You'll promote to 1st LT relatively soon after you arrive at your unit in some (many) cases.

    Whether you get 12 months or more - your job is to lead the platoon effectively. Period.
     
  3. ns1234

    ns1234 Member

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    Great, thanks! So 12-24 months PL.m, but then there are additional combat-related opportunities like scout. What about the timeline for the guard?
     
  4. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

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    Marine Infantry Officers typically get a platoon for 18 months. From there, they will rotate into other jobs within their battalion, which may or may not still involve directly leading Marines: Weapons platoon, Company XO, etc.
    After spending 3-4 years (and normally 1-2 deployments) with a battalion, Marines will then move on to B-Billets, which is normally a billet outside of their specialty to "broaden" them in the Marine Corps. B-Billets can vary from TBS/IOC instructor, resident professional education, etc. This is also when Marine Officers can go up for Recon or MARSOC. Upon returning to the fleet after their B-Billet, at this point Infantry Officers would likely be going up for a company.

    FAO/RAO selection in the USMC traditionally occurs after the first fleet tour and from there the expectation is to "rotate" tours: i.e., do a billet slated for FAO/RAO, then a billet slated for whatever their primary job is. FAO is just an additional MOS, or military occupational speciality. This is different from the other services (particular Navy) where "once a FAO, always a FAO."
     
  5. ns1234

    ns1234 Member

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    Wow thanks, that’s super helpful. To what extent is all of this true for marine officers in the reserve?
     
  6. Soldiergriz

    Soldiergriz Husband, Dad, Soldier

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    Sorry, I have no insight into the Guard.
     
  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

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    I can't speak to much of anything with the reserves. They're kind of a weird beast in the USMC, and are normally chronically undermanned with officers. I'm not sure how many opportunities they have with stuff like FAO/RAO. Maybe if someone was one active and then went reserve there might be billets available? I'm honestly not sure.