All great spy movies are packed full of plot twists, deceit, and dangerous situations where the main character attempts to turn an agent from the other side.
Well, the 0211 MOS isn’t quite as action-packed as a movie, but the principle behind the counterintelligence MOS is the same.
Counterintelligence/HUMINT is the MOS that is most closely related to being a spy.
It requires extensive training, of up to two years, before being sent out to remote areas of the world for lengthy periods of time.
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The training involves immersive language training, basic intelligence school, and human intelligence school to learn how to coerce individuals into giving you information.
Counterintelligence is an extremely dangerous occupation that requires individuals to spend long periods of time in very remote and isolated locations.
Oftentimes the Marines working in counterintelligence will work alone or with a team of only one or two other Marines.
Requirements and Qualifications
- Be an active-duty U.S. Marine
- This a lateral move MOS only
- Must be at least 21
- Must have 36 months obligated service remaining upon graduation of all training
- Be between the ranks of corporal and sergeant
- Must undergo a lengthy interview process by a board of HUMINT personnel
- Be eligible for a Top Secret security clearance
- Must pass a Single Scope Background Investigation
- GT score over 110 on the ASVAB
- Pass the Defense Language Aptitude Battery
- Be able to pass the Nelson-Denney examination
- If that is not available, then the individual must be able to pass the Test of Adult Basic Education
- Must submit to a polygraph examination
Training and Career Path
0211 counterintelligence Marines undergo extensive training that can last for almost two years.
The training pipeline can vary for everyone.
Not all counterintelligence marines will go through language training at the Defense Language Institute (DLI), but most will.
This will be the school that takes up most of the time for the training pipeline since some language programs last for over a year.
The language training at DLI is very intense and requires a daily time commitment that leaves room for little to no social life.
Marines must be focused and driven to complete the language training, especially for languages that are more difficult, such as Arabic or Pashto.
Language training will usually be the first school that Marines attend before going on to attend other schools.
Marines will also attend a 91-day training course in Dam Neck, VA.
The course is the basic HUMINT/Counterintelligence training indoctrination where a myriad of topics will be covered.
Much like the language school at DLI, the HUMINT/CI course is very difficult and requires working hard daily.
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Additionally, some counterintelligence Marines will have the opportunity to attend other schools such as; SERE, airborne, other intelligence schools, and other possible schools that the government feels will help the overall mission for the intelligence community.
The attrition rate for the training pipeline of counterintelligence is extremely high.
Up to 60% of individuals will fail out and get reclassed into a different MOS for the remainder of their new contract.
Individuals going for counterintelligence must be focused, driven, and ready to work hard to complete the entire training pipeline.
How Much Are MOS 0211 Paid?
0211 Marines are currently eligible to receive lateral move bonuses up to $90,000.
The bonus is paid out in increments, once the Marine successfully graduates from all required schools, and is working as a counterintelligence marine.
Additionally, some languages receive a monthly bonus for maintaining a 2/2 mastery on the Defense Language Proficiency Test.
This monthly pay increase varies depending on the language mastered.
Since this is a lateral move only MOS, Marines that are looking into this career will have served at least 2 years before requesting a transfer.
Additionally, Marines must be at least E-4 and cannot exceed the rank of E-5 without special circumstances and waivers.
Therefore, the following pay scale represents marines that are at least E-4 with three years’ time in service.
- E-4: $2,432 per month
- E-5: $2,678 per month
- E-6: $3,002 per month
This is just the basic pay for all military personnel with over three years of service within this rank.
Additionally, Marines are eligible for full medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as free room and board.
Marines are guaranteed two meals per day with the opportunity to have three to four free meals per day.
Foreign language proficiency pay ranges from $100 per month for less complicated languages to up to $1,000 per month for some of the more difficult and complex languages.
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Day in the Life of a Counterintelligence Marine (MOS 0211)
Although this MOS is as close to a spy as one will get within the Marines, it is not exciting all the time.
Daily, very detailed and lengthy, reports are required to be submitted.
The reports must be precise and accurate since the information is so important and can completely alter the course of world events.
It is a very stressful career that requires personnel to be as accurate as possible with their reports so as not to pass any misinformation.
Each day will vary, but it can be expected that most counterintelligence Marines will spend most of their service deployed to remote regions of the world.
Daily contact with family is not always available, and it may be weeks or months before a Marine is able to contact home to let them know that everything is alright.
Counterintelligence Marines who are working closely with individuals in crime organizations may not have easy access to calling home since it could risk the lives of the Marine and the person or people that they are gaining intelligence from.
If daily contact with family and friends is needed, then other career options should be considered.
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While not deployed, counterintelligence Marines will assist other intelligence MOS’ with reading and analyzing reports.
A day out might be something as simple as sitting in various establishments, listening to conversations, and taking detailed notes, much like a journalist.
Other days may require human interaction and meeting with various individuals associated with crime organizations or expected of being criminals.
Finally, some days may be full-on interrogations that last for several hours to get the suspected criminal to pass information that can benefit the United States and the intelligence community.
The following reviews portray a level of happiness and contentment with the choice of those that chose intelligence careers within the Marines.
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Given the level of secrecy required of a counterintelligence career, it is difficult to find reviews specifically within that career field.
Counterintelligence Marines never have to worry about whether their work is making a difference in people’s lives because they are at the tip of the spear with influencing world events.
It is a complex job that requires daily reports, good writing skills, and the ability to think clearly and accurately while in stressful situations. One wrong word or phrase can mean the difference between earning the trust of a valued source and losing that opportunity forever.
Civilian Job Opportunities
Many counterintelligence Marines will go on to serve the federal government as analysts upon completion of their military service.
The NSA, CIA, DHS, and many other agencies need Marines with Top Secret clearances and the training that comes from being an active duty 0211.
They can enjoy lucrative pay and benefits while working for the federal government. Individuals who do not wish to work for the federal government can find many opportunities working for private security firms.
There is a wide variety of private security companies looking for highly trained intelligence officers to do investigative work, manage branches of a security firm, and conduct detailed interviews.
Some intelligence Marines have found lucrative careers going into business for themselves.
Careers like bounty hunters, background investigators, and personal security are all pathways where counterintelligence Marines have flourished as civilians.
Since most 0211 Marines are masters of a foreign language, there are countless opportunities to utilize the foreign language that was learned.
Teaching foreign languages, online or in schools, is in high demand.
Additionally, some Marines decide to branch out and away from intelligence and go into translating and interpreting. Interpreters need to be able to read people and understand body language in order to accurately transmit the information that is being discussed in the room.
This is a trait that counterintelligence Marines know all too well. Interpreters can enjoy a lucrative career with median salaries of around $49,930 annually.
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What is counterintelligence in the Marine Corps?
Counterintelligence in the Marines are any activities that work to prevent spying or sabotage by enemy forces or other foreign entities.
How long is USMC counter Intel school?
Marines required to attend the Defense Language Institute at Monterey, CA, may require up to 18 months of language training depending on the language. After that, Marine Counterintelligence specialists attend 91 days of training at Dam Neck, Virginia.
How do you qualify to become a Marine Counterintelligence Specialist?
Marine Corps Counterintelligence specialists must be active duty Marines over 21 and be an E-4 or E-5. Your General Technical ASVAB sore must be over 110, you must pass the DLAB, polygraph, and background check.
How much do Marine Counterintelligence Specialists make?
Marine Counterintelligence Specialists start at E-4 to E-5, with base pay of $2,200 and $2,400 per month. They may receive a bonus up to $90,000, with a monthly incentive for language proficiency ranging from $100 to $1,000.
What is the attrition rate for Marine Counterintelligence?
Up to 60 percent of candidates fail to complete the extensive pipeline into a counterintelligence career in the Marine Corps. These individuals are reclassed into a new MOS for the remaining term of their enlistment.