A 3521 in the Marine Corps refers to a Marine's job or career designation. It's a military occupational specialty of auto mechanic. The first two numbers describe the motor transport field. The last two denote the particular job that the Marine does -- in this case, automotive organizational mechanic. Also, it designates that she's an enlisted Marine. Marines who earn the 3521 MOS hold ranks ranging from private to sergeant.
Significance of the Job
The Marine Corps depends on a variety of vehicles to move around, and every vehicle needs to be maintained. Such maintenance is the responsibility of Marines serving in the motor transport specialty field. There's also a need for many men and women trained to operate and repair Marine Corps motorized vehicles. Without them, the Marine Corps might be unable to deploy as quickly as needed.
Within the 35XX MOS field are 12 different enlisted Marine career paths. Marines holding the 3521 MOS who advance from sergeant to staff sergeant become motor transport chiefs. This means moving from primarily hands-on work to supervisory duties. They must also attend advanced training in keeping with new responsibilities. They also earn a new MOS of 3529. Every Marine wishing to be a motor transport chief must eventually attend the course.
Testing and Training
Marine enlistees hoping to work in the motor transport field must meet certain minimum entrance test scores. They also must successfully make it through Marine basic training. After that, they attend the automotive organizational maintenance training course. The course is given by the Marine Corps Motor Transport Instructional Company, which is located at Camp Johnson, a satellite facility of Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The required training course normally encompasses 59 training days, or 12 weeks. This doesn't include weekends or any holidays occurring during that time frame. Trainees learn basic vehicle familiarization along with required maintenance protocols. Additionally, vehicle servicing and preventive maintenance issues are also introduced. The program also usually includes three days of physical fitness training per week. Additionally, students will stand watch or guard duty on occasion.
Marines who hold the 3521 MOS are usually part of a Marine combat service support organization. Most start their careers in a motor transport company or other small unit. These kinds of companies exist solely to support the combat mission of the Marine Corps. Motor transport units include general mechanics and those trained to service specific equipment, such as light and heavy duty diesel trucks and Humvee four-wheel-drive vehicles.
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