Marine Corps Job: 2651 Special Intelligence System Administrators

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Steven Maldonado, right, a radio operator with Communications Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, explains the PRC-117 and its compatibility with the secure communication controller in the combined operations center during Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise.

Capt Breck Archer/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In the Marines, Special Intelligence System Administrators have duties that span an array of encrypted communications. They're the ones who keep the communications systems running properly, working with hardware and related technology. Think of them as the Marine Corps' IT department, but with slightly higher stakes than their civilian counterparts.

They work with everything from tactical radio platforms, satellite platforms, and data network services from local-level to enterprise-level designs. This includes (but isn't limited to) specialized communications equipment, unit-unique intelligence repositories, and computer information technology.


These Marines oversee the integration of enterprise services, automated services, cloud computing, converging and emerging technologies, and national-to-tactical reach-back capabilities. It's up to them to maintain connectivity into the Marine Corps ISR enterprise for data standardization, enterprise support and services, network and data redundancy, and disaster recovery.

Marines assigned this MOS will receive training in computer hardware fundamentals, common operating systems, radio frequency theory, network security, and basic, intermediate, and advanced networking. Other more advanced skills gained include knowledge of information assurance, database and data flow management, satellite communications, network and data science philosophies, information warfare, and cybersecurity policies.

This is considered a primary military occupational specialty (MOS), and the Marine Corps categorizes it as MOS 2651. It's open to Marines between the ranks of private and master gunnery sergeant. 


Special intelligence communicators' duties encompass all aspects of special intelligence communications. They support special compartment intelligence computerized network transmissions, network administration, cryptologic security, and computer network defense.

These Marines conduct preventive maintenance of relevant equipment and circuit connectivity, the transmission and receiving of special intelligence via the Defense Special Security Communications (DSSCS), and the Defense Messaging System (DMS).

MOS 2651 also maintains files, logs special intelligence communications related publications, and performs other operational and administrative tasks.

Marines assigned this MOS will receive training in unit-unique computer security systems, the operation of power supply, and operator vehicle maintenance procedures. 


In order to be eligible for this job, Marines need a score of 100 or higher on the general technical (GT) segment of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. Candidates are required to complete the cryptologic technician class A course.

Since they handle potentially sensitive information and equipment, Marines in this job need to be eligible for a top-secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. This involves a background check of government agencies like the FBI, along with an investigation of character, criminal records, and finances. A history of alcohol or drug abuse may be disqualifying.

In addition, candidates for MOS 2651 must be eligible for access to sensitive compartmentalized information, as determined by a single-scope background investigation, the most in-depth background check conducted on military personnel.