USMC Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 2671-2676) are part of Occupational Field 26-Signals Intelligence/Ground Electronic Warfare.
This field of occupational specialties works to collect and analyze information to both produce and disseminate intelligence.
Marines entering into these career choices are required to go through extensive training and should be language experts.
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Qualifications and Training
Cryptologic Linguists will be required to pass all physical testing and cannot have speech or hearing defects.
They must be a U.S Citizen and meet SCI security clearance.
While each MOS will require individuals to take the ASVAB test, each MOS has a different minimum score requirement for the General Technical (GT) portion, (at least 95 or better).
These occupational specialties require individuals to take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB).
A minimum score of 95-110 (depending on the MOS) is required on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.
In all MOSs, the minimum score can be substituted for a minimum Level 2 proficiency on the listening and reading portions of the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) in the appropriate language.
Cryptologic Linguists are not only required to achieve the Level 2 proficiency in listening and reading on the DLPT, but they must also be able to maintain it.
The DLPT is the Department of Defense standard in determining language proficiency.
Marines are required to attend recruit training for 13 weeks and the Voice Processing Course.
Each MOS has specific training requirements related to the region/languages they cover.
Specific training requirements will be discussed in the related job functions area below.
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What are the job functions of a Cryptologic Linguist?
USMC Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 2671-2676) are proficient in different languages and cultures.
While they may have different targeted areas, the basic job functions of each MOS are the same.
Cryptologic Linguists complete immediate and continued training in order to be fluent in different language modalities.
Modalities include areas such as listening, reading and/or speaking.
The requirements to enter into a Crypotologic Linguist include being at a Level 2 in certain modalities, but the Department of Defense has given professional linguist a career goal of being at a Level 3 in the modalities that are required per the specific job.
Part of the continued language training is to assist Linguist in meeting this goal.
All Marines in these operational specialties must be familiar with Electronic Warfare including electronic support, protect and attack.
Cryptologic Linguists monitor, transcribe, and translate intercepted target communications.
The Cryptologic Linguist sets up, operates, and maintains collection and communication electronic equipment.
They also work with intercept equipment and must know how to fully install, operate and perform preventative maintenance on the equipment.
The Cryptologic Linguist will listen to communication such as cell phone or radio waves and are looking for any information that may be valuable to the mission.
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Any information they intercept will be interpreted and translated from the foreign language to English.
When Cryptologic Linguists translate the information they must be certain they keep the original intent, meaning and emphasis to avoid losing critical information in translation.
The Cryptologic Linguist is to avoid language that may be hard to understand and must be impartial when translating.
They will use the communications they receive to run analysis of the information and exploit any necessary communication pieces.
Using all of the data they have collected, Linguists are required to prepare intelligence records and reports.
The reports may require the opinion of the Cryptologic Linguist on the credibility of the person they received information from.
It is up to them to find the information that is relevant and document all information for future use or that may be relevant to future missions.
This task can include briefing command or preparing presentations on findings.
Part of their job may be to establish reference materials that can be used as foreign language to English dictionaries, culture references or indexes including military terms.
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MOS 2671, Middle East Cryptologic Linguist
As one could guess from the MOS name, the individuals in this MOS work with Middle Eastern Languages.
The specific DLAB score for this MOS is 110 and the GT score is 105.
The Marines who enter into this field will complete the Tactical SIGINT Operators Course.
Training and locations:
- Arabic Basic PEP- Monterey, CA
- Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (Arabic)- San Angelo, TX
- Tactical SIGINT Operators- San Angelo, TX
- Persian Farsi Basic PEP- Monterey, CA
- Voice Interceptor (Persian-Farsi)- San Angelo, TX
MOS 2671 requires recruits to complete the requirements related to MOS 2711-2729.
MOS 2711-2729 are Linguist EMOSs that are used in conjunction with primary MOS.
The requirements of MOS 2711-2729 include being proficient in Arabic, Egyptian, Syrian, Levantine, Amharic, Maghrebi, Hebrew, Kurdish, Somali, Swahili, Turkish, Iraqi or Algerian.
MOS 2671 covers many languages and dialects and that is the reason for the large amount of training required.
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MOS 2673, Asia Pacific Cryptologic Linguist
Cyrptologic Linguist in this MOS will work with different Asia Pacific Languages.
The specific DLAB score for this MOS is 110 and GT score is 105.
Training and Locations:
- Korean Basic PEP- Monterey, CA
- Apprentice Cryptologic Language Analyst (Korean)- San Angelo, TX
- Tactical SIGINT Operators- San Angelo, TX
- Chinese Basic PEP- Monterey, CA
- Apprentice Cryptologic Language Analyst (Chinese)- San Angelo, TC
Additional requirements include completing the MOS 2733-2749 requirements.
These Linguist EMOSs have similar requirements to MOS 2673, but specify the language that Marines must be proficient in.
The languages that MOS 2673 Cryptologic Linguists may be proficient in include Burmese, Cambodian, Cebuano, Chinese (Cant), Chinese (Man), Indonesian, Japanese, Maguindanao, Korean, Laotian, Malay, Tagalog, Tausug, Thai, Vietnamese, Maranao or Yakan.
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MOS 2674, European Cryptologic Linguist
Marines in MOS 2674 will work with European languages.
The required DLAB score for this MOS is 95 and the minimum required GT score is 105.
Training and locations:
- Spanish Basic PEP- Monterey, CA
- European I West Cryptologic Linguist (Spanish)- San Angelo, TX
- Tactical SIGINT Operators- San Angelo, TX
Similar to the other Cryptologic Linguist MOSs, 2674 requires completion of the Linguist EMOS 2754-2769 requirements.
The requirements are the same as those laid out for a Cryptologic Linguist, but specify the language that European Cryptologic Linguist must learn and be proficient in.
The languages that European Linguist could learn include Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese (BR), Portuguese (EU), Spanish or Swedish.
MOS 2676, Central Asian Cryptologic Linguist
In this primary MOS, Cryptologic Linguist will learn modalities of Central Asian languages.
This MOS has a minimum DLAB score of 100 and a GT score of at least 105.
Central Asian Cryptologic Linguists will meet the requirements laid out in EMOS 2772-2798.
As with the other Cryptologic Linguist MOSs, Linguist MOSs have similar requirements that the Cryptologic Linguist does, except for specific languages.
EMOS 2772-2798 includes a large selection of languages including Georgian, Estonian, Czech, Hungarian, Lithuanian and more.
For a complete listing of languages that may be required for European Cryptologic Linguist, visit the most recent Military Occupational Specialties Manual.
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What Does a Cryptologic Linguist Get Paid?
USMC Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 2671-2676) go through a large amount of training.
Linguist will be paid based on rank and can expect pay to increase as rank and skill progression does.
Through career progression, individuals will advance from beginner to intermediate and then to advanced.
Additional training opportunities are available that assist with promotions.
According to Glassdoor, average salaries as a Marine Corps Cryptologic Linguist were around $33,300 a year in base pay.
Indeed, another site that lists salaries based on employee feedback, lists the average base salary of around $32,000 a year.
This base income amount does not include benefits.
Follow the table below to get an idea of Marine Corps base pay.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2020 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private First Class||PFC||$1,943|
|E-9||Master Gunnery Sergeant||MGySgt||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major Of The Marine Corps||SgtMaj||$5,473|
All Marines are offered benefits in addition to their base pay amounts.
The Marine Corps provides tuition assistance programs that assist with continued education.
The Marines also provides for housing for all individuals, including utilities.
Other benefits include insurance, paid sick time, vacation and retirement.
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Several job reviews state that the typical day as a Cryptologic Linguist varies.
At times, your day consists of training and keeping your skills sharp, other times you are working long hours utilizing your skills supporting home or deployed operations.
Individuals in this role recommend the position, but only if you can be dedicated to putting in the time and effort.
It can take years to be trained in a language and training is not easy.
Reviews state that skills learned in this MOS are mostly utilized when deployed.
Positive aspects include skills gained, the pay and the experience.
Negative reviews discuss not utilizing skills enough when not deployed, and when deployed, the time spent away.
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The review below provides details on some duties that may be performed on a daily basis.
The review below shows the contrast of work-load between when Marines are deployed or home.
Civilian Career Opportunities
Working as a Cryptologic Linguist for the Marines allows individuals to gain foreign language skills and skills surrounding electronic communications.
Marines can find positions as computer operators, interpreters, foreign language teachers, electronic/radio operators or equipment technicians.
While some positions can require additional training, most positions will pay similar or even more than a Cryptologic Linguist, depending on rank.
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USMC Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 2671, 2673, 2674, 2676) are the individuals tasked with learning a foreign language to interpret, analyze and communicate information and messages.
Cryptologic Linguists can attend training for up to a couple years to learn a foreign language in different modalities.
MOS 2671 will learn Middle East languages, MOS 2673 will learn Asia-Pacific languages, MOS 2674 European languages and MOS 2676, Central Asian languages.
Marines in these MOSs have to meet strict requirements and take additional language testing/course work.
Similar to all Marine positions, these Cryptologic Linguist positions will pay based on rank.
The reviews for these positions were mostly positive, with the average rating at 4/5 stars.
Civilian career opportunities using the skills learned in this MOS are available as interpreters, teachers and more.
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