Photo Information

U.S. Marines with the Parris Island Marine Band play the electric and bass guitar aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, April 10, 2021. Portraits of band members were taken in support of the Musicians Enlistment Option Program.

Photo by Sgt. Erin Morejon

The success of 6th Marine Corps District Musician Enlistment Option Program

23 Sep 2021 | Sgt. Erin Morejon The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The Musician Enlistment Option Program gives young men and women the opportunity to fight and win our Nation’s battles while pursuing their passion for music. While this program serves as a great opportunity, finding the few who are qualified and up to the challenge can be a challenge all in itself. This is because the individual must be not only a skilled musician but first and foremost a Marine.

To find these candidates and ensure the success of the MEOP mission, two things are required: an elite recruiting force and a diligent musician technical assistant to guide them in the right direction. Serving as the MTA for 6th Marine Corps District is Staff Sgt. Mardia Timoney. As the MTA, Timoney’s primary responsibilities are to assume overall cognizance for the coordination and management of MEOP; as well as provide guidance, operational support, and audition screening for the recruiting command.

With Timoney spearheading the way for fiscal year 2021, the 6th MCD team has proven that they have what it takes to meet the mission. Within the past fiscal year, 6th MCD has achieved the following successes: completed contracting and qualifying by December 2019, conducted a total of 40 live auditions, and closed out shipping in June with no Marine Corps Recruit Depot discharges to date.

“The hard work put forth from the 6th MCD recruiting team has resulted in 16 applicants who have already been screened and contracted for 2022.”  Staff Sgt. Mardia Timoney, MTA for 6th Marine Corps District

“This has led to an excellent 82 percent fiscal year 2022 start pool by May 2021,” said Timoney.

While the 6th MCD exceeded expectation as a whole, there were several recruiting stations, recruiting substations and an individual recruiter that stood out from the pack. RS Tampa successfully qualified, contracted and shipped eight MEOP applicants for fiscal year 2021. RSS Fort Myers, RSS Bradenton, RSS Orlando, RSS Sarasota, RSS Kissimmee, RSS Temple Terrace and RSS Wesley Chapel have successfully contracted 14 applicants since FY 2020. Gunnery Sgt. Robert Uanino, RSS Jacksonville Beach, successfully supervised and facilitated the processing and shipping of over three MEOP applicants within the past two years.

“As for the past successes of the MEOP program, I owe a big thank you for the intense and focused efforts of the entire recruiting force,” said Timoney. “Due to how fast and efficiently 6th MCD is contracting for future vacancies, we are positioned to become even more competitive and ensure that we are seeking out imminently qualified men and women to enlist into the Marine Music Program.”

As 6th MCD enters into the next fiscal year, the MEOP is prospecting for all instruments in order to build a strong start pool for fiscal year 2023. For additional information regarding the process, the MTA can be contacted at (843) 298-1944 or at