It is a sad day for many Marines around the world. The Marine Corps has decided to eliminate the military occupational specialty (MOS) known as the Infantry Assaultman.

What can we say about the Infantry Assaultman? He was a renaissance man of the infantry. Need a hole blown in a wall with a sophisticated demolition charge? He could do that. Are you in need of shooting a rocket into a building to ruin some asshole sniper’s day? Backblast area all clear and he was your man with a SMAW rocket on target. Where you perhaps short on manpower and needed someone to man a machine-gun and understand how to employ it? The 0351 Infantry Assaultman easily slipped into roles that were not his own and excelled. Why? Nobody really knows, it was just what he did. Nobody knew what to do with the assaultmen, so while they maintained their specific MOS skills, they also learned and picked up the skills from others as well.

The infantry assaultman was smart. He had to be. His job required that he be able to distinguish between friendly and enemy tanks through a thermal optic, memorize several different equations for demolitions and numerous explosive values, all in the blink of an eye. He was known as the Ph.D. of the infantry. With abnormally high ASVAB scores, the assaultman was a bit of a nerd in the infantry community, but lovable at the same time. He was a nerd, but he was the infantry’s nerd.

Assaultmen from Weapons platoon, Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, launch a high explosive rocket from an MK153 Shoulder-fired, Multi-purpose, Assault Weapon (SMAW) in the mountains of Djibouti, Africa, during a live fire range in 2010. (Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Marine Corps)
Assaultmen from Weapons platoon, Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, launch a high explosive rocket from an MK153 Shoulder-fired, Multi-purpose, Assault Weapon (SMAW) in the mountains of Djibouti, Africa, during a live fire range in 2010. (Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Marine Corps)

With the reassignment of the Javelin anti-tank missile to the TOW missile gunner MOS, it was only a matter of time before the assaultman went the way of the buffalo. We’ll forever hold you in our hearts 0351 Infantry Assaultmen, and we’ll miss the days of clearing your backblast before you sent a rocket of doom to the faces of insurgent terrorist assholes.

Semper Fidelis.

Originally published at American Grit. More from American Grit: