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Black Sheep Militia: Amphibious Assault Crewman

So, you want to be a tracker? Well I’ll give you the rundown on your future career as an 1833.

Good Morning Ladies and Gents! Welcome to our second article for our military category. If you were thinking of joining the military, specifically the Marine Corps, click here to learn some tips. Today, I wanted to go even further and discuss my job specifically. I know when I began, I had no clue what an Amphibious Assault Crewman was, let alone their daily job duties. In my mind, I was going to be creeping in and out water with large amounts of camouflage on my face, staring menacingly at some objective while not making a single sound hahaha. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening, but it wasn’t too bad.

For those of you who have already signed your life away and chose this MOS or went in as open contract, you might want to listen closely. Open contract Marines have a high chance of getting placed in this MOS or Motor T. As Marines, being amphibious is the name of the game. We are the tip of the spear, as they say. Hopefully after reading this you can come to a better understanding of what it means to be an 1833. Are you trackin? YAT YAS! (Be Advised! these are common terms and lingo we use as trackers)

Black Sheep Militia: Amphibious Assault Crewman

Here’s what you need to know to be a successful Amphibious Assault crewman…

First, we are referred to as the trackers of the Marine Corps, a highly versatile group of individuals. We are trained as Grunts, swim like Recon, and drive as Trackers. Our purpose is to get ourselves from ship to shore, along with any other personnel and equipment necessary. Our mode of travel is the Amphibious Assault Vehicle or AAV. This too, is a highly adaptable vehicle.

As trackers, we modified this vehicle for different modes of battle and support. One version, as I stated earlier, carries grunts and equipment from ship to shore. Next, we have our communications vehicle which is heavily laden with top brass and multiple units of comm gear for us to be able to shoot, move, and communicate effectively to the rest of the Marines we are attached to. Furthermore, we have the R7, which is like our standard model, but it has a crane for engineering or mechanic purposes. If that wasn’t enough, the Marine Corps decided to add mine clearing kits, also known as MLK-154 kits, on the AAV which comes equipped with three rockets and 100 meters worth of explosives.

Trust me these are fun to launch, not so fun to equip and load.

So, there you have it, these are the standard vehicles you will begrudgingly be responsible for in your career as an amphibious assault crewman. Unfortunately, as I stated before, we are a highly versatile group of Marines. As part of a vital group in the Corps, we are expected to train like grunts and swim like reconnaissance Marines. Why? Its simple.

On a normal op or say deployment, what happens when you can no longer push forward in these vehicles because of terrain or other factors? Well you park the damn things and you hump(hike) to your destination. Let’s go even further. These vehicles normally operate in and out of oceans or seas which means that if the vehicle starts to sink, one of the jets goes out, or you fall overboard, then the ability to swim very well certainly comes into play. It’ll behoove you to be able to run, swim, and be decently strong to be successful in this MOS.

Positions of an Amphibious Assault Crewman

Typically, there are four positions that you can have as a crewman. For one, everyone starts off as dungeon b**ch. Unfortunately, this Marine is the poor sap in the back of the vehicle making sure nothing crazy is happening. The Marine in the dungeon is the least senior of all four Marines and his sole purpose is to verify that water is not rising internally, the engine is running smoothly, the comm is fully operational…etc. Next, you would have the driver of the AAV. The driver can be switched interchangeably, but normally it is any marine who can maneuver the vehicle well during high speeds. Third, the gunner. Normally, the crew chief is either in the gunner’s seat or behind the driver if there is no platoon/section commander. The gunner oversees the 50-caliber machine gun or 40mm grenade launcher.

Black Sheep Militia: Amphibious Assault Crewman

The gunner can expertly shoot while moving which is why the crew chief is normally in this seat, being that the crew chief is either an NCO (non-commissioned officer) or senior lance corporal. Lastly, the fourth position can also be taken by the crew chief if there is no commander available. In this seat, you are behind the driver, so that you may be able to give any appropriate or quick orders to maneuver the vehicle or vehicles in the section/platoon.

Daily duties of an Amphibious Assault Crewman

Being a tracker comes with a large load of responsibility. Below I will put what our day to day job functions looks like.

  • 0530- Physical Training: This can be running, swimming, hiking, weight training, obstacle courses or a combination of all the above.
  • 0730- Time to work: Daily job duties consists of fixing the vehicles along with the mechanics or going through the daily maintenance for the vehicle. Most days you are in mechanic suits, sweating you’re a** off, dealing with diesel, grease, solvent, oil, coolant…etc. You may also run short ops of drive tests on the vehicles.

Strength is a necessity in this role.

Black Sheep Militia: Amphibious Assault Crewman

You will be dealing with heavy objects and tools such as AAV tow bars, cranes, guns (50 cal. and 40mm grenade launcher), pelican cases, ammo cans, fluid cans…etc. To open the engine compartment alone takes two Marines to lift.

  • 1730 to 1930- Work day closes: Most days end between 5 to 7 pm (this is not including field day which is once a week a very thorough cleaning of the work areas/dorms).

Normally, this is a very standard day as an Amphibious Assault Crewman. Every now and then you will have parades or full physical training days, but these are few and far between. Also remember, once a year you go to the range for rifle qualification.

On deployment, days are similar (unless you’re out on an op) since upkeep of the vehicles are our top priority, unless there are working parties which” always take priority”, I say sarcastically.

Black Sheep Militia: Amphibious Assault Crewman

Lastly, being an amphibious assault crewman, can be highly monotonous at times while not on deployment (i.e. in garrison), but it is a fun job. Especially, with the right group of Marines there for support.

Adaptability is the key to success!

Also, let’s not forget there are several vehicles available to master along with different weapon systems as well. Plus, we train like grunts and swim like recon, but we also get afforded different duties at embassies or attached to some cool training courses such as Combat Hunter. Hopefully, you find this article helpful or at least insightful. If you have anything further to add, please feel free to comment down below or email us. If you would like to support the Black Sheep movement, feel free to visit our shop or subscribe to our mailing list.

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