Captain Grose's Anti- FAQ pages

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HOW YOUR JOB IN THE CORPS IS DETERMINED

 

 
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This email will explain how TBS and your MOS are connected. I have intermixed the questions and my answers.

"I've praised you before on your page and will again.  Also, I have a few questions/suggestions for you.

1. What is TBS like?  I have heard of a 3 tier system where if you place in the top 3% of a tier you get to choose your specialty.  Do you know anything about this?"

TBS is a six-month school that teaches you everything you need to know to be an Officer. It gives you all the basics. The pace is fast and the curriculum is diverse. You learn everything from etiquette to attacks and everything in between. It is classwork, field work, inspections, discussion groups, physical training, exercises, tests, and much more. It is basically six months of total emersion into the Marine Corps where you learn about everything the Marines do, see, use, and believe. No other service does this and it is the hallmark of the Officer Corps.

The scoop about the 3-tier system is this. Your assignment after TBS is dependent on how well you do at the school. You are rated in order from one to however many Lieutenants are in the Company. This rating depends on your academic scores, peer evaluations (Spear Evals), input from your Captain, etc. These scores are always changing so there is no way to tell for sure where you fall at any particular time.

At the end of the course, they take the list and break it into three equal parts: the upper third, middle third, and lower third. Then they go to the top third and ask #1 Lieutenant what he wants from a list of available Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs). He picks and then they go to the #1 Lieutenant in the second third who is actually about #80 overall. He picks and then they go to the #1 Lieutenant in the bottom third who is actually about #160 overall. After he picks, they go back up to the #2 Lieutenant in the top third who is actually #2 overall but gets 4th pick. They #2 in the second third and then #2 in the bottom third. This goes on until everyone gets an MOS.

You are probably asking why they do this. It is called quality spread. To explain, I will show you what would happen if they DIDN'T do this.

Say you have 300 Lieutenants in a class and you let them pick an MOS without the quality spread. For some reason, the majority of Officers want Tanks. I don't know why but it is probably because it is considered a "sexy" MOS. Historically, there are about 3 slots open for tanks so you would get the superstars (1, 2, and 3) pick tanks and the tank community gets the cream of the crop. Now you get to the end and you have the MOSs that not a lot of people drool over: Supply Officer, Motor Transport (Yes, Adjutant is in this group, too). Now you get the bottom feeders (those Lieutenants who are less than stellar compared to their counterparts) and they are "stuck" in a bummer of an MOS. As this process repeats itself class after class, you get a great tank community because all the water-walkers are being fed into it. But your Motor T  and supply section keeps getting the leftovers. Over time, the Corps suffers because you have a collection of weak officers in one MOS.

To try to alleviate this, they came up with the quality spread. That way, you get good officers and less-than-outstanding ones in all MOSs. It is good for the Marine Corps because you get the two mixed where the good can help the needy. But it is sometimes bad for the individual because you could work your butt off at TBS and not get what you want while a bottom-feeder gets a great MOS.

Case in point, I came out 78/236 (the 66th percentile) but the cut-off for the thirds was 80. Therefore it went something like:

1
80
160
2
81
161
.
.
.
As you can see, I was at the bottom of the top third and out of 236 Lieutenants, I got about 230th pick. Adjutant was my 5th choice out of 25 so I was not as jammed as you would think. In fact, I feel lucky to get what I got but I originally wanted to be a communications officer so I could get into data processing. But alas, it was not to be and I am happy with my current assignment.
 
 
"2. I believe that a great addition to your page should be a site descriptive of your decorations, awards, commendations, etc.. "

I never thought about that but I will take it into consideration. I am proud of my accomplishments and the majority of my 7 ribbons are a result of my involvement in the Gulf War. Thanks for the suggestion.

"Well, thats all I can think of right now.  I look forward to getting the best job in the world which is being a United States Marine and serving with you one day, not far from now."


Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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