the mccs marineAaron Pylinski | Community Writer
“Commands don’t always understand or know the capacities and importance of a MCCS Marine. It is not until we are deployed or in a field operation that they realize our worth. MCCS Marine go above and beyond to ensure morale and welfare are kept at the highest level. Whether sleeping under camo netting on the deck or sitting on a convoy for hours or weeks, they step up to get the job done.”
The glare from the hot sun makes the conditions almost unbearable, but months of rigorous training has prepared the Marines for this moment outside the wire. As the armored convoy pulls into the Forward Operating Base (FOB), they dismount.
Their mission isn’t over for the day, though, it’s only just begun. For the next 72 hours, these Marines’ mission is to provide their brothers and sisters in arms on the FOB with food, fresh socks, and morale. Who are these Marines? The MCCS Marines.
What is an MCCS Marine, really? They are two-fold operators providing support to businesses and units both in garrison and deployed. In garrison, they handle management of Marine Marts and the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX), and they are an integral part of club and entertainment operations. When forward deployed, they bring as many comforts of home to faraway deployed Marines.
CWO-4 Montreal Newkirk, MCCS Officer, says, “MCCS Marines at the MCAS Iwakuni have a unique opportunity to support servicemembers and their families throughout the Indo-Pacific region, regardless if it is in garrison or in the field away from home. MCCS Marines are force multipliers for MCCS and commands in support of home, duty, and self.”
They connect Marines with loved ones through internet cafes and provide morale and welfare in the form of movies, video games, and gym equipment. They do all of this under their Four Pillars of Deployment Support.
MCCS Marines can trace their lineage as far back as World War II where their duties were broken down into two categories: food & hospitality and clubs. Since then, they’ve woven their way into the fabric of the Corps providing services for Marines and their families across the globe.
And what some might consider a cushy job is no easy day for the 4100-series Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). In garrison, these Marines find themselves working long hours, deploying in support of unit training, and somehow still managing to squeeze in all the normal standards for weapons and physical training required of every Marine.
The MCCS Marine stationed here in Iwakuni can be seen stocking shelves, taking inventory, working hand-in-hand with customer service, or running morale and welfare operations in any one of our clubs or gyms. Their long hours and dedication to serving the community are what helps MCCS Iwakuni provide the best possible services.
Key Personnel and Responsibilities for Deployment Support
Marine Corps Community Service Officer (MCCSO - MOS 4130): The MCCSO advises the commander on all matters pertaining to MCCS operations. The MCCSO is accountable for MCCS resources and personnel. The MCCSO must be involved in the planning phase as early as possible to provide an appropriate level of support. The MCCSO will serve as the liaison between the command and authorized support organizations.
Marine Corps Community Service Staff Non- Commissioned Officer (SNCOIC - MOS 4133): The Senior Enlisted MCCS Marine is designated the SNCOIC and is essential to the planning, execution, and operation of MCCS services at all levels.
MCCS Marine Personnel (MOS 4133): MCCS Marines are assigned to operate all services and activities.
Their mission here is only part of the MCCS Marine’s role when they are not deployed. Many times they are deployed to training like Cobra Gold in Thailand to provide morale and welfare services or stand up a mobile MCX for Marines.
Their mission is a joint endeavor both here at MCAS Iwakuni and forward deployed. On any given occasion they also work closely with the Navy Exchange (NEX) and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). When deployed forward, the MCCS Deployment Support Mission is to provide quality of life programming and resources to the Commander in expeditionary operations worldwide, to increase the morale and readiness of the warfighter.
MCCS Marines come from all types of backgrounds, everything from infantrymen to communicators to airframe mechanics. In fact, the diversity of the MOS is quite celebrated. Those with a logistics background are very welcome considering MCCS Marines are constantly deployed forward and need to get their wares out to their fellow Marines.
So now that you know what an MCCS Marine is, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I sign up?” Great question!
First of all, you have to be a Marine (that’s a no-brainer), you need a General Technical (GT) score of 110 or higher, be a Sgt or above, and must be interviewed by an MOS 4130 or 4133 prior to an approval for lateral move into the MOS. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re in. After that, your fellow MCCS Marines will teach you the secret handshake and how to glow in the dark while levitating. I might be making that last part up.
MCCS Marines in Iwakuni have Historically Supported:
Eagle Wrath 2016
Cobra Gold, Thailand
Cope Tiger, Thailand
Thunder Horse 2016
Totetsu Dragon 2015