marine corps scout sniper - mos 0317

Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317)

A Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) is a historical and highly desired position within the U.S. Marines.

Scout Snipers receive specialized marksman training at the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School.

The Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is currently considered a secondary MOS, meaning it is not open to new recruits.

Learn more about how you could one day work as a Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) for the Marine Corps.

Education, Qualifications, and Training

0317 mos marines
In order to become an Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) you must have a rank of Lance Corporal – E-3 or higher. Image: Wikimedia Commons

MOS 0317 Marine Corps Scout Sniper is considered a secondary military occupational specialty.

What that means is the position is currently closed to new recruits coming straight out of boot camp.

It is currently open to Marines with a rank of Lance Corporal (E-3) or higher.

However, there are rumors that the Marine Corps could change MOS 0317 to a primary MOS in the near future due to declining enrollment.

Related Article:  10 Best Marine Corps Jobs For Civilian Life


Marines are required to complete high school with a diploma or GED equivalent.

Once you enlist in the military, you will take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests allows the military to learn more about your education and skills in order to pair you with an appropriate MOS.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers (MOS 0317) must have a score of General Technical (GT): 100 or higher on the ASVAB.


It is currently impossible to become MOS 0317 Marine Corps Scout Sniper immediately after boot camp.

However, there are rumors the Marine Corps could change MOS 0317 from a secondary to primary MOS in the future.

The military occupational specialty is currently open to Marines with certain requirements that have a rank of E-3 or higher.

Marines must already be qualified in Marine Infantry or Marine RECON units.

Expert rifleman must demonstrate a correctable vision of 20/20 in both eyes.

You will also need to receive a Secret security clearance from the Department of Defense.

The military will perform its own investigation on you which not only looks into criminal history but also your character and finances.

The Department of Defense will also consider a history of alcohol abuse or drug use.

Any history of mental illness will likely disqualify you from 0317 MOS.

Related Article20 Health Conditions That May Disqualify You From Military 


Marines must get selected by their battalion in order to receive the designation of MOS 0317.

The requirements vary by battalion, however, all infantrymen that pass their USMC physical fitness standards and combat fitness training (with a rank of E-3 or higher) are potentially eligible.

After meeting all the other qualifications the soldier will need to complete Scout Sniper School.

Marine Corps Scout Sniper School lasts 79 days and takes place at Base Quantico in Virginia.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers (MOS 0317) are trained to use precision rifle fire at selected targets from concealed positions.

You will also learn more about stealth and concealment in addition to mastering shooting accuracy.

Marines are taught how to take proper care of their gear and field craft.

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What does an Marine Corps Scout Sniper Do?

marine scout sniper
The Marine Corps is rare in that it combines two responsibilities (sniping and reconnaissance) in the role of MOS 0317. Image: Department of Defense

A Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) is heavily relied upon during combat operations.

Their ability to engage individual targets without collateral damage to civilian lives, other troops, or property is invaluable.

Scout Snipers are experts in enemy surveillance, marksmanship, as well as stealth and concealment.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers generally have two roles:

The first is to utilize precision weapons to deny the enemy freedom of movement or disrupt operations by targeting important personnel like commanders and radio operators.

“Hard targets,” equipment like communications and armored vehicles, are also targeted by training Marine Corps snipers.

Secondly, Scout Snipers must perform reconnaissance and surveillance operations for their battalion.

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Scout Sniper Platoon (SSP)

Marine Corps Scout Snipers (MOS 0317) are assigned to infantry battalions known as the Scout Sniper Platoon (SSP).

The SSP is typically an element of the headquarters and service (H&S) company of the battalion.

An SSP is generally composed of 8-10 sniper teams consisting of two soldiers per team.

The Scout Sniper team includes:

  • Scout Sniper: The marksman is armed with a large caliber anti-material rifle like the M82A3 SASR. The soldier is responsible for delivering long range precision fire on selected targets from concealed positions.
  • Scout Spotter: The spotter is responsible for detecting, observing, and confirming sniper targets. The role is important as a spotter also calculates the range and wind conditions on a given target.

Each Scout Sniper team has a designated leader to make orders for the two-man team.

The team may operate independently or provide support to maneuver units for the rest of the battalion.

SSP Platoons report directly to the battalion commander.

Unique Role of Marine Corps Scout Snipers (MOS 0317)

The Marine Corps has a unique way of consolidating the role of a scout and sniper into one MOS.

The U.S. Army, for example, divides the job duties of a scout and sniper into two different military jobs.

However, the Marine Corps expects MOS 0317 to perform both sniper duties and reconnaissance work for its battalion.

Therefore, the responsibility and expectations of a Marine Scout Sniper is far higher and more demanding compared to other military branches.

Marine Scout Snipers were originally part of the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) units yet have transitioned into more specialized Scout Sniper Platoons (SSP).

Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoons originate from shortly after the Gulf War where the unit was tasked with intelligence gathering and long-range precision operations.

The shooter and spotter relationship in every SSP team is not always permanent.

Some units have the team members switch off while other battalions establish a specific position for each member.

Related ArticleMarine Corps Tow Gunner (MOS 0352): Career Details

Special Application Scoped Rifles (SASR)

Every platoon in the Marine Corps is assigned four Special Application Scoped Rifles (SASR).

All Marine SASR weapons are chambered in the .50 caliber and include powerful rifles like the M107 and M82.

SASR weapons are issued to sniper teams by commanders in order to take out heavy equipment or armored vehicles.

SSP Platoons are capable of taking out targets with an M40 from 1,000 yards.

Meanwhile, the M82 has the capability of effectively taking out targets from 1.25 miles.

Some teams are also trained specifically to perform night operations using night vision scopes and infrared laser equipment.

Reconnaissance Operations

Marine Corps Scout Snipers (MOS 0317) are adept with surveillance in addition to serving as highly skilled marksmen.

The stealth and concealment of snipers allow them to serve as effective intelligence gatherers.

The information they collect can greatly assist commanding officers in determining and planning follow-up operations.

Scout Snipers can also compromise critical command and control equipment of the enemy.

Air defense radar and missile launchers are two examples of enemy equipment that requires the use of precision rifle fire to neutralize.

Related ArticleMarine Corps Mortarman (MOS 0341): Career Details

What does a Marine Corps Scout Sniper make?

marine corps scout sniper
Pay begins at the rank of E-3 for Marine Corps Scout Snipers. Image: Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Marines are paid based on rank and years of service, not Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

However, since a Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) must have the rank of E-3 or higher, you can expect your monthly salary to begin at least the designation of Lance Corporal:

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 Marine Corps provides several different benefits to its soldiers:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Retirement
  • Affordable Life Insurance
  • 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

The overall reviews for a Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) on are positive.

You can find general job reviews about what it is like to serve the Marine Corps on

The bond you make with fellow Marines is a lifelong brotherhood and one of the biggest advantages to joining the military.

Related ArticleMarine Counterintelligence (MOS): Career Details

Civilian Job Opportunities

There is no direct civilian job equivalent to performing work as a Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) in the Marine Corps.

However, the experience, discipline, and leadership you acquire while serving the Marines can translate well to a number of different careers.

Former Scout Snipers can find comparable work serving as a big game hunting guide or marksmanship instructor.

Others may choose to work in law enforcement or security for another government agency.


A Marine Corps Scout Sniper (MOS 0317) is very needed during times of war and combat.

Scout Snipers are skilled in enemy surveillance, stealth, and concealment, as well as long-range marksmanship.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers are deployed to both urban population centers and rural landscapes to effectively engage individual targets.


Levi D.
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General FAQ

How long does it take to become a Marine scout sniper?

If you qualify, you’ll need to complete Scout Sniper School, which is 79 days at Quantico in Virginia.

How do you become a Marine scout sniper?

Marine Corps Scout Sniper is considered a secondary MOS not open to new recruits. If you are an E-3 or higher, obtain a Secret clearance, and score 100 on the General Technical portion of the ASVAB, you may qualify.

How much are Marine Corps Scout Snipers paid?

Marines are paid according to rank and time in service. As an E-3 or above, you can expect a minimum base pay of about $2,000 a month plus benefits.

How many scout snipers are in the Marine Corps?

The Marine Corps currently only has about 300 Scout Snipers, which may force the Corps to open the MOS to new recruits in the near future.

Can you be a Marine sniper with glasses?

If your vision is correctable to 20/20 in both eyes, you can become a Marine Corps Scout Sniper with glasses.

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