Job Description: Field Radio Operators employ radio to send and receive messages. Typical duties include the set up and tuning of radio equipment and Very Small Aperture Terminal-Small, including antennas and power sources; establishing contact with distant stations; processing and logging of messages; making changes to frequencies or cryptographic codes; and maintaining equipment at the first echelon. Skill progression training for Staff Sergeant through Corporal is Radio Supervisors Course.

  • Branch Branch: Marines
  • Ratings Average Rating:
  • Desinnation Designation: 0621
  • Average Required Test Average Salary: $31,256
  • Entry Type Entry Type: Enlisted
  • Required Test ASVAB: EL: 105
  • Degree Degree: High School
  • Age Age: 17-29
  • Citizen Citizen: U.S. or Permanent Resident
  • Category Category: Communications
Average Age
22 Average Age
Average Age
4,968 Number Employed
Average Age
2.0 YearsAverage Employment


Pros: Incredible pay. Small possibility of travel.

Cons: Easy promotions make inept leaders. Most time is spent in meaningless busywork.

Location: Camp Pendleton


It all seems to depend on what unit you get, since each one will be very different. Mine was a circus. The majority of my NCOs (enlisted leaders of 3-4 years of service) couldn’t do their jobs in any way and encouraged lower enlisted Marines to do the really stupid stuff that could get you kicked out (shrooms, spice, DUIs, etc) and several Marines did get caught. Most of the senior enlisted leaders didn’t care about the mission, they only cared about getting their next promotion. Most of the Marines in my unit liked to talk big about being Marines, but they whined about and cheated in any kind of real Marine training (shooting, physical training, hikes, field training, etc). There’s a reason the grunts generally hate POGs, and it’s units like mine that give them their bad impression. The few people who did take the work seriously ended up doing almost all the work while the rest just went to the gym during work hours and even on our deployment. You’ll spend most of your enlistment doing the same inventories for radio parts over and over because none of the leaders will ever pay enough attention to get the procedures right, and you’ll spend precious little time learning how to be an actual radio operator. At least, that was my experience. I was lucky enough to spend a little time in a few different units, and some of them were actually pretty impressive. But most of my four years was in that one incapable unit.