Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Many aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico (MCBQ) may be surprised to see men and women in their utilities standing behind the counter of the exchanges and recreational facilities. If anything, many customers have grown accustomed to seeing civilians in this role.
However, there is a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 4133 for Marines who want to work in retail. They are otherwise known as exchange or Marine Corps Community Service (MCCS) Marines and usually range in rank from chief warrant officer 2-5 or sergeant to master gunnery sergeant. These Marines fall under the auspices of MCCS. The retail MOS is rare on any Marine Corps base, as fewer than 100 enlisted Marines hold the role.
These Marines do not have a formal schoolhouse to complete training for the retail MOS, but instead use standardized Marine on-the-job training (OJT) which is seen in 4133 doctrine such as the Individual Development Plan (IDP), the MCCS Training and Readiness (T&R) Manual and Military Occupational Specialties Manual.
The OJT process is six months long. During retail MOS training Marines learn about topics such as finance, human resources, loss prevention, backroom/warehouse operations, store operations and store manager operations.
In the Marine Corps Exchanges (MCX), Marines typically serve in supervisory or management positions where a team of Marines and civilians provide customer service, complete daily administrative tasks and get experience using comprehensive applications and systems.
Staff Sgt. Joshnino Supapo, MCX Camp Upshur Store Manager, is one of these Marines. Supapo has had the privilege of assistant managing the Medal of Honor Golf Course and providing assistance at the auto skills center and the marina.
“Being an MCCS Marine is a unique experience because we are given opportunities to provide services to Marines in the rear conducting the humbling tasks such as cashiering, stocking and cleaning, which we do in a forward environment,” Supapo said. We pride ourselves in knowing that we as Marines will take care of our brothers and sisters, no matter where.”
According to Supapo, it is unfortunate that many Marines do not realize the MOS exists, as the Marines remain a valuable asset to unit leaders and make a huge difference to their fellow Marines on base.
Marines serving in the 4133 MOS provide merchandise wherever the war fighter is and intangible services to ensure the war fighter’s morale is at the highest level. Where applicable or in deployed environments, Marines will also set up and manage Tactical Field Exchanges.
MCCS Marines have deployed to places such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, South America, Australia and Norway. But at home, they to provide goods and services to the war fighter.
The patronage of base facilities like the Marine Corps Exchange provides MCCS the ability to use profits to reinvest in other areas of MCCS, such as the Voluntary Education Center, Semper Fit and the Auto Skills Center.
Money made from MCCS services such as the MCX also supports morale by allowing them to hold events such as the Labor Day Bash, Fourth of July celebration and even Christmas events aboard base.
MCCS Marines are typically assigned to operate retail activities, food and hospitality and Semper Fit events and these Marines typically take on many responsibilities dependent on their position of MCCS officers, noncommissioned officers or senior enlisted officers.
Typically the MCCS officer serves as a liaison between the command and Business and Support Division.
The staff noncommissioned officer in charge is designated to complete the essential planning, execution and operation of MCCS services at all levels.
Supapo said through the exchanges, MCCS Marines ensure that Marines and civilians can be taken care of with their purchasing needs and requests and ultimately help the person underneath the uniform.