No More Infantry Assault Marines, Commandant Says

No More Infantry Assault Marines, Commandant Says

The Marine Corps is phasing out the assault section of rifle companies and abolishing the infantry assault Marine military occupational specialty altogether.

By doing so, the Corps expects to free up about 500 Marines for other jobs deemed essential to defeating future adversaries, such as cyber operations, electronic warfare and intelligence, reported on Wednesday.

Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller recently told Marines that future rifle companies will include combat engineers to breach barriers and destroy enemy fortifications with rockets — tasks which currently are assigned to infantry assault Marines.

Marine Corps officials did not immediately comment Wednesday on Gen. Neller’s remarks.

The Corps had planned to expand to at least 194,000 active-duty Marines, but Defense Secretary James Mattis has told the Marines to focus on improving readiness first.

Without an increase in end strength, the Corps “had to create some trades to buy Marines to do other things,” Neller told

Because training is so similar to what other infantry Marines receive, current infantry assault Marines should be able to easily transition to other MOSs, Neller said. Typically, the infantry assault Marine MOS is for Marines at the rank of sergeant and below.

Neller also told Marines that the Corps will begin using the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle in lieu of the current MK-153 shoulder launched multipurpose assault weapon, or SMAW.

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  • Bill Goss

    Being the tip of the spear (read ASSAULT) has always been the basic foundation, mantra and the primary purpose of our Marine Corps existence. If we evolve into the “standard mode” of specialized high tech and cyber warfare, and abandon our true core (Corps) values, then we will correspondingly truly become a redundancy of the Army mission. It certainly will leave our beloved Corps very vulnerable to future budgetary discussions/decisions by Congress relative to the merging of the Marine Corps mission with that of the US Army’s! It is discussed by Congress in every session and, God forbid, may someday happen. As an old Nam Grunt (D/1/7), I certainly hope that it does not occur within my grandchildren’s lifetime! Semper Fi! Point

  • CARL KULYK Sgt E-5 of the past

    I served as section leader in flamethrower section in 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. We lost them in 1972. I am now involved with Marine Corps League in Saint George, Utah as we provided military funerals for Marines and Corpsmen who were attached to Marine units. At time active Marines come from Las Vegas to assist and a young sgt told me he never met anyone with 0351 mos. I guess we will really will become a part of the “old Corps”

  • Bulldogman – L/CPL

    Been both, 1371 Combat Engineer and 0351 Assaultman. Easy transition. Good for the Corps. Give ’em hell.

  • Rene Esparza

    I held three MOS’s in the Corps and this was from 86-96 so it’s nothing new. We should teach our Marines how to perform multiple jobs eventually it will help them when they transition to the civilian world. Semper Fi

  • Ssgt Spencer

    I too was an 0351 from 1969-1979. Vietnam 1971. Hell of a weapon especially on the Ontos. Semper Fi Marine!

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