Marine Corps Correctional Specialist - MOS 5831

Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831)

An Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831) performs job duties similar to the civilian counterpart.

Correction Specialists supervise prisoners, or “confined and restrained personnel”.

The primary objective of this Marine MOS is to keep the peace and prevent prison escapes.

Learn more about the training, job duties, and salary of Marine Corps Correctional Specialists (MOS 5831).

Education, Qualifications, and Training

5931 mos marines
Marine Corps Correctional Specialists (MOS 5831) receive the same combat training as other soldiers before focusing on specialized learning. Image: 3rd Marine Logistics Group

Are you interested in becoming a Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831)?

Speaking to a local Marine Corps recruitment office can help you get all the details you need to prepare for MOS 5831.

Qualification will require you to meet certain education, prerequisites, and training.

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The first step to joining the U.S. Armed Forces is to receive a high school diploma.

The other option is to finish your primary education with a GED.

New recruits of the U.S. Marine Corps are required to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests is used by the Marine Corps to determine eligible Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) based on performance.

In order to qualify for Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831) you will need to score General Technical (GT): 100 or higher on the ASVAB.


There are a few qualifications you must meet in order to qualify for Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831).

First, soldiers must be 19 years or older as well as “possess a high degree of maturity and emotional stability”.

MOS 5831 is open to Private (E-1) through Master Gunnery Sergeant (E-9) in the Marine Corps.

Secondly, MOS 5831 only admits soldiers with no convictions by courts-martial, and zero non-judicial punishment convictions involving illegal drugs or moral turpitude.

The Marine Corps will also check your record of civil court convictions that resulted in confinement.

Any history is grounds for disqualification from MOS 5831 Correctional Specialist.


Soldiers begin their time in the Marine Corps at basic combat training.

The two Marine depots for basic training exist at Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California.

Secondly, aspiring Marine Corps Correctional Specialists (MOS 5831) are required to complete the Correctional Specialist Course.

The training takes place in the Marine Corps Administrative Detachment at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Requests for a lateral move to MOS 5831 for existing Marines requires an interview and recommendation by a Senior Corrections Officer (MOS 5804).

What does an Marine Corps Correctional Specialist Do?

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Correctional Specialists (MOS 5831) have a wide range of job duties related to Naval Brigs and other types of correctional custody units. Image: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

An Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831) is required to guard and provide supervision of the daily actives of confined personnel.

Supervision may take place at Naval Brigs or other types of correctional custody units.

The objective is to prevent disturbances or escapes through the guarding of military custody units.

While the vast majority of time spent is related to guarding and supervising confined personnel there are other job tasks of MOS 5831.

Marines are required to treat prisoners in a safe, humane, and efficient manner.

Correctional Specialists may also present their expertise to commanding officers on the establishment of regional detention facilities in zones of conflict.

While many Specialists work in a garrison setting, a select few MOS 5831 train and present insight into the handling and methods of dealing with enemy detainees.

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Job Duties of MOS 5831 Correctional Specialist

According to the Marine Corps, the primary job duties of a Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831) include:

  • Conducting routine inspections.
  • Processing personnel for confinement and release.
  • Transporting prisoners, absentees, and deserters.
  • Observing and reporting meaningful changes in prisoner behavior.
  • Reporting infractions of custody unit regulations.
  • Managing confined personnel funds and personal property.

While most confuse MOS 5831 Correctional Specialist with a non-combat military job that is not always the case.

For example, during Operation Iraqi Freedom many Correctional Specialists were deployed  in order to establish detainee operations in the country.

The Marine Corps depends on MOS 5831 to ensure humane treatment of enemy prisoners based on Geneva Convention rules and guidelines.

When there is a shortage of Correctional Specialists in combat situations, or transport of a prisoner is required across hostile territory, the role of MOS 5831 is tremendously important.

What does an Marine Corps Correctional Specialist make?

usmc corrections
Marine Correctional Specialists (MOS 5831) have a variety of job duties and are sometimes sent to combat situations to help manage or transport enemy prisoners. Image: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Marine Corps Correctional Specialists (MOS 5831) are not paid based on their Military Occupational Specialty.

The same is true of every other MOS in the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps compensates its soldiers based on years of service and military rank.

Here is a general idea of what you can expect to receive in monthly pay based on Marine rank:

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2023 Minimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePvt$1,917.60
E-2Private First ClassPFC$2,149.20
E-3Lance CorporalLCpl$2,259.90
E-6Staff SergeantSSgt$2,980.50
E-7Gunnery SergeantGySgt$3,3445.80
E-8Master SergeantMSgt$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant1stSgt$4,957.20
E-9Master Gunnery SergeantMGySgt$6,055.50
E-9Sergeant MajorSgtMaj$6,055.50
E-9Sergeant Major Of The Marine CorpsSgtMaj$6,055.50


The U.S. Marine Corps offers numerous benefits included with a monthly salary:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Affordable Life Insurance
  • Retirement
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores.
  • Education: Marines can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.

Job Reviews

You can browse a variety of job reviews related to MOS 5831 Marine Corps Correctional Specialist on the internet.

The vast majority of reviewers had positive experiences working as Correctional Specialists.

One former MOS 5831 recommended you do thorough research of the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) before choosing the military career path.

While being away from family and long work hours are two common disadvantages, the experience of serving the U.S. military is very unique and fulfilling.

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Civilian Job Opportunities

There are many similarities between working as a Correctional Specialist for the Marine Corps and civilian detention center.

Therefore, once your service date ends with the military it is possible to continue working in the same job field.

Corrections Officer and Security Officer are the two most relevant civilian jobs to MOS 5831.

Additionally, some former MOS 5831 receive employment in law enforcement as police officers though additional training and certification is necessary.


An Marine Corps Correctional Specialist (MOS 5831) is needed by the military to guard and supervise confined personnel.

Confined personnel can include enemy prisoners, absentees, and deserters.

The objective is to treat military prisoners in a safe, humane, and efficient manner.

Work is performed at Naval Brigs, correctional custody units, and in combat zones.


Levi D.
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