Marine Enlisted Field Artillery Cannoneer – MOS 0811

An American howitzer vehicle on a battlefield will carry an artillery cannoneer.
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Marines use different weapons to defend against and attack the enemy in combat situations. One of the most effective weapons the U.S. military uses is the howitzer.

It's a type of artillery weapon that can double as a field gun or a cannon, and it can produce direct and indirect fire. A howitzer needs more than one operator because it has a high muzzle velocity and a long barrel. A field artillery howitzer battery includes several members and one of the most important in the field artillery cannoneer. This Marine military occupational specialty is (MOS) 0811.

Duties of the Field Artillery Cannoneer

The position of field artillery cannoneer is an entry-level MOS. The basic skills needed include an ability to operate and maintain artillery equipment, basic technical and math skills for computing, communicating and executing commands, the ability to work closely with others in a field environment, and performing technical skills as necessary. 

As members of a field artillery howitzer battery, cannoneers prepare artillery pieces and equipment for movement, combat, and firing. They inspect and prepare ammunition for firing, and they prepare the weapon for firing. It includes laying for elevation and deflection, loading the piece, and handling the ammunition. 

In addition to their combat duties, field artillery cannoneers perform preventive maintenance on the howitzer and clean artillery pieces and equipment. They make routine tests and authorize repairs to equipment. They also work to ensure that their position is camouflaged, and they protect the weapons and other equipment from chemical warfare agents. They're also tasked with constructing field fortifications.

Job Qualifications for MOS 0811

Marines must have a general technical or GT score of 90 or above on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to qualify as field artillery cannoneers. They'll complete the USMC cannon crewman course and demonstrate their qualification through their performance when they've completed their basic training, or they can complete the appropriate MCI courses. In the second scenario, recruits will demonstrate their qualification through on-the-job training.

Related Marine Corps Jobs

A job closely related to the field artillery cannoneer but slightly different is MOS 0814, the high mobility artillery rocket system or HIMARS operator. Like their counterparts in MOS 0811, these operators prepare the HIMARS for movement, combat, and firing. They inspect and prepare the launcher system for employment to include movement to and from concealment positions and firing positions. They operate the fire control systems and handle the multiple launch rocket system family of munitions.

HIMARS operators also perform preventative maintenance and clean the weapon's components. They make routine tests and authorized repairs to HIMARS, and they provide security. They ensure that battery positions are camouflaged and they protect HIMARS from chemical warfare agents. 

You can refer to MCO 3501.26A, Artillery Unit Training and Readiness (T and R) Manual for a complete listing of duties and tasks.

Related Department of Labor Occupation Codes 

  • Field Artillery Crewmember 378.684-018
  • Field Artillery Senior Sergeant 378.132-010

The above information is derived from MCBUL 1200, parts 2 and 3