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US Marine Corps Lifestyle Should you Join?

Updated on May 16, 2012

No Jobs so why not the Military

I know in the past few years the economy has been terrible and recruiting was very good due to the war in Iraq. The Iraq war is now over and Afghanistan does not seem like a long commitement for the US military. Budget cuts, reduction of forces, bad economy are just some factors that will make it somewhat difficult to join in the next few years; having said that I believe that if you have a strong desire to join then you must be highly prepared to do so physically and mentally and of course there are things to consider before joining any service because it is a big commitment and this decision should not be taken lightly.

I have been in the Marine Corps for over 15 years so I will write about some of my experiences and things to expect for someone wanting to join my Marine Corps. This is my own personal experiences so take it for what is worth. I will try to answer most questions if it's within my capabilities otherwise I will try to give you resources to find the answers.

Joining process

I joined the Marine Corps when I was twenty years old. A friend of mine kept insisting that I go with him and talk to the recruiter about joining so I decided to go just so he would stop. Well fifteen years later I am still in, unfortunately my friend was caught with drugs and did not even go to boot camp. The reason I decided to join was because I did not have a plan about my future and the recruiter told me about all the benefits and things I could do so I said hey not a bad idea. the truth is i did not know much about the Armed Forces and I knew even less about the Marine Corps but fortunately for me it worked out. I have to say joining without researching and not knowing exactly what I was getting into was not one of my brightest ideas, considering that the Marine Corps is considered the toughest service. (not my words, just common knowledge).

I suggest anyone tinking about joining should take the time to research thoroughly everything they can to avoid surprises and I mean the bad kind.

Anyway I signed up and I went to the processing center where I waited a couple of days to be shipped to Marine Marine Corps recruit Depot Sand Diego California.

Marine Corps Boot Camp, yes it was Hard

Boot Camp was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I am not exaggerating. I flew along with other would be recruits to San Diego Airport. There I waited with many others who had flown from all over the country to be picked up in a bus and be taken to our first taste of boot camp. The drill instructor that picked us up gave us a hint of what was to come, a lot of yelling and more yelling all the way to the depot. The first few days is all about processing and very little sleep if any at all, you get rid of all personal belongings and everyone is issued the gear for the next three months.

After three days you are taken to the house of pain which is home for the next three months. There you will meet your permanent DI's or Drill Instructors. Introductions from everyone and then hell breaks loose, the Drill Instructors go around the squad bay giving out orders jumping from place to place dumping everything in sight and making the place looking like a tornado went through, it was a lot of fun I have to say hhhmm maybe not.

Boot Camp is about doing what you are told without asking why and doing it quickly. Drill instructors yell at you and they want you to yell back, basically it is about bringing out the outspoken person in everyone. If you do not scream back to acknowledge orders you will be ignored or punished, simple as that.

You learn to swim with full gear and rescue others in the water. You learn to drill as a unit, you will learn martial arts, you will run every day, you will learn to shoot an M16, how to assemble it and take it apart and show proficiency as well. You will be taught how to eat, walk, answer questions the Marine Corps way. You will learn and memorize Marine Corps history and be evaluated on it.

There are many things you will learn in Marine Corps Boot Camp. The first few weeks is hell but once you start to realize you can do things you never thought you'd ever do then things begin to click and everyone starts working together as a team, by the time you graduate Boot Camp you feel like you can do just about anything and then the hard part begins where you are on your own and no Drill Instructor will be watching your evry move and you have to live up to the high standards of the Marine Corps.


Marine Corps Boot Camp

Your MOS and What to Expect

After Boot Camp you are given 10 days of leave to go back home and show off the cool uniforms. then you report to the School of Infantry either Camp Pendleton CA or Camp Geiger SC. If your MOS (Military Occupational Skill) is Infantry you will stay at SOI (School of Infantry) for a couple of months to learn Infantry tactics. If your MOS is non infantry you go to MCT (Marine Combat Training) to learn basic infantry tactics for a couple of weeks. The time I went it was 18 days straight in the field now i believe it is longer with some days off in between. Once you graduate you will go to your MOS school which should last from a few weeks to a year depending on the MOS you are assigned.

If you sign your contract and it says open, you can be assigned any MOS so be careful unless you do not care to be anything the Marine Corps wants you to be. Once you graduate from MOS school you will go to your first duty station and your career begins.

Travel, Benefits, war

Your first duty station can be anywhere in the world the Marine Corps has a presence. It could be Okinawa, Japan. Europe, Middle East, or Oklahoma City. You just have to be flexible to be able to travel and adapt to any environment. The first few years in the Corps will be hectic, a lot of traveling and a lot of work. You will be at the bottom of the barrel so there will be many instances where you will be used on different details to clean, move things, but all this decreases as you advance in your career and you get to delegate the work.

Unfortunately the Marine Corps has a high divorce within first term Marines. The first few years can be very hard in the life of a Married couple. Compound that to twice the stress on a young Marine couple and there is trouble. Deployments, late nights, stress can put a strain in a young family. There are many services offered to married couples in the Marine Corps but even with all these services it will be hard, but not impossible of course as long as it is understood that Marine Corps life is not easy but it gets better as time goes by.

There are many benefits that you will enjoy while being part of the Marine Corps family. There are many services offered for free about relocation, financial education, counseling, and anything you can think of that will help you and your family adapt well to Marine Corps life.

Education is one of the benefits that attract young people to join the service. Tuition assistance pays up to $4500 per fiscal year on education and the GI bill provided that you have it covers anything above that so getting an education while in the service is possible. I still regret that I did not get mine early in my career but hey it is never too late so I am going to school and I know I will get my education for free.

War is always a possibility for any US Marine. It does not matter if you are a cook, a mechanic, personnel, you have to be ready to pick up a rifle and be proficient at being part of an infantry squad. I for instance work in the personnel side. I work in an office making sure Marines in my unit are paid on time, training is recorded in their career. At the same time I have to qualify every year with an M16, be physically fit, be Martial Arts proficient, basically be ready for war. I deployed to Iraq for seven months. My job was to make sure all administrative issues were resolved so I worked indoors, but several times I was told to get ready, get all my gear to go out the wire either providing security or manning a M240 as a gunner. These are things expected of a US Marine of any specialty male or female.


US Marines

Pride

Once a Marine always a Marine. It does not matter if you served one year or thirty years you will always have the Marine tittle with you until you die. It is a lot of pressure but remember anyone can be a Marine but not everyone wants to. You will have a family of almost 200,000 brothers and sister that will have your back no matter what, and a whole nation as well, just remember if you are going to join the Marines you need to understand it is a very serious commitment.

Some may say we are crazy for some things that we do, like not walking and talking on the phone, no hands in pockets, haircuts every week, running and running and running and many many other things, just remember "IT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS"

Quotes:

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985


Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine.

General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all.

Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders

Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are.
Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.
Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War;
shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered
to not wear their khaki leggings.

US Marine Corps Pride

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    • profile image

      Jariah 18 months ago

      Nice article! Very informative.

    • profile image

      Johnb730 2 years ago

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    • profile image

      Johnk639 2 years ago

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    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 2 years ago from Colorado, US

      You need to hurry if you want to enlist, I believe you can't enlist past 28 so you may have little time. First off make sure you read and ask as much as possible about Marine Corps life so you know you are making a good solid decision, then talk to a recruiter and ask questions, and of course you need to be in somewhat good shape, good luck

    • Lucas Doyle profile image

      Lucas Doyle 2 years ago

      I am 27 as of feb.12th I have always wanted to be a (the few the proud the marines) marine. I have a great job that allows military leave but I feel like I might be too far gone from my high school wrestling and BSA shape. I would like to be able to feel like I made something of the life I was given, and serve my country family and friends. what advice and steps should I take to follow my dreams of being a proud united states marine.

    • profile image

      Concerned Mother 3 years ago

      I have a question..... are you still taking questions?

    • profile image

      Luis 3 years ago

      Hey man, i have a question.

      Im an american citizen but I live in in a bordertown in Mexico, im still going through all the paperwork befor joining, could my situation create a problem and not be able to enlist?

    • profile image

      tyler ramos 3 years ago

      I was in bootcamp MCRD San Diego for all of phase 1 and got sent home on medical but im all cleared 100% i want to be a Marine its my dream. Do you think it is possible for me to reenlist? or is there certain steps i have to take now?

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 3 years ago from Colorado, US

      Join for 4 years, get a degree while you're in; get to know very well the weapons and you'll be set to join any PD, it's possible.

    • profile image

      Criss 3 years ago

      I'm 25 two classes away from my associates in criminal justice. I Want to be a cop the cut of is 35 and I'm afraid that if I join the usmc I will be cutting short my chances of getting hired by a pd!! The competition is crazy to get InThe force . What do you recomend I really regret not joining when I was 18 .

    • profile image

      Mongo13 4 years ago

      Hey guys I need some help my family is trying to guilt trip me into not joing the infantry but the artillery so that way I wouldn't do. What should I do or say? I'm shipping march 11 but I don't know if I can change my mos and not lose my ship date

    • profile image

      Tyler Ramos 4 years ago

      Hey Ruben,

      I was in bootcamp MCRD San Diego for all of phase 1 and got sent home on medical but im all cleared 100% i want to be a Marine its my dream. Do you think it is possible for me to reenlist? or is there certain steps i have to take now?

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      SSgt Rivera, thank you and all of the other service members who have commented here for your dedication and service to our country. What hockey8mn did not tell you was that he will go on active duty in January. I am he proud father of a newly commissioned 2nd Lt., USMC.

    • hockey8mn profile image

      hockey8mn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      SSgt Rivera,

      When I created my hubpage profile I used the quote you have here from General Mattis to the Iraqi tribal leaders. My dad told me it would be inappropriate to use swear words and could be cause for getting flagged. So, I put * in place of the last three letters. I changed it back to the original form, voted your hub up, awesome, and shared. Semper Fi

    • profile image

      Jose1989 5 years ago

      Thank you for this article you made my decision so much easier

    • profile image

      Kommadant 5 years ago

      Ruben,

      Very informative article. With the recent cuts that are scheduled for FY13, what do you think the enlistment criteria will be like?

    • profile image

      Stephen 5 years ago

      Mr Rivera

      I am 20 years old and just got into the DEP program. I am very excited but just a little regretful I didn't join out of high school. I will graduate boot camp at the age of 21 and was just wondering in your experience whether or not those that join later get along with those that join out of high school. Also as far as ranking goes will I be able to catch up in a relatively short period of time. I will graduate bootcamp as an E-2 due to college credits.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      countryboy18191 5 years ago

      Mr. Reuben I'm strongly considering joining the Marines and i want to know what is the best way to physically prepare myself for boot camp example how many push ups,chinups,situps in a day should i be able to do in a day with ease, how many miles a day should i run/walk with 50+lbs in a backpack to help me get to boot camp and have the physical aspect be easy for as possible because the shooting will be easy, mental part will be ok as far as sticking to it but dealing with someone in my face every single second for 12 weeks and not being able to talk back or joke or be funny or clown around will be hard for me.lol Also im in a very serious relationship and was planning on getting married next spring do you think i should wait until after my first year or get married before i go to bootcamp or anything? All or any advice that you can think of would be very helpful have done a lot of research on physical requirements and drills,formations,commands,weekly breakdown of bootcamp etc to be prepared but just never hurts to get extra info thank you

      Ian Psalm23:4

    • profile image

      Josh 5 years ago

      I want to go the officer route but didn't score high enough on the ASVAB. Is there any way I can become an officer that doesn't involve me going enlisted?

    • profile image

      Sierra 5 years ago

      Im considering going into the marines, but i feel like i dont have the upper body strength or endurance to be able to. I cant even do one push-up or a pull-up. I guess that is most of my concern. Can anyone adapt to the ways od a Marine? Or does it take a certain type of person.

    • profile image

      Patrick 5 years ago

      Happy Memorial Day, Mr. Rivera.

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Sean,

      Congratulations on joining the Corps. As far as wanting to be the platoon leader and honor grad, it all has to do with overall performance, all I can tell you is get 300 points in your PFT or very close to it, then show you can be a leader by helping out others after you accomplish your task, be a leader in all aspects of the training, simple as that, lead by example, actions speak louder than words and you will see people will start to follow you and ask for yur advice.

      Good luck

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Alexandra,

      I think the age limit is 29, hopefully I'm not mistaken but I am almost certain you are good to go on age. As far as your kids go, you will have to have someone tke care of them during boot camp, mct, school. It has to be something legal because the Marine Corps will wnat to make sure your kids will be well taken care of before you start anything.

      Good luck

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Luke,

      Most likely wherever you are you will get 4 days off for the holyday. Usually all schools let the students go home or stary in the barracks during that time, it will be at your own expense though.

      Good luck

    • profile image

      Sean 5 years ago

      Mr. Ruben, Im 22 years young. I am joining the corps late july early august. I want to be part of the best the marines have to offer. Recon. I have been working my ass off to get in shape and prepare for the challenge. One thing I want to accomplish is being an honor grad and a platoon leader like my father. But when I ask him questions like "what should my time be in 3 mile?" he merely answered as fast as you can do. I understand he wants me to push myself to my limits, which he has accomplished. He raised me mentally tough and I am very proud of his accomplishments and service but I dont want to follow in his footsteps, I want to lead it. Any physical adivce on becoming an honor grad? My father always told me it about leadership, instict, ability. In that specific order. He is gone now would just like some advice from an experienced marine. And thank you for your service to this beloved country.

    • profile image

      Alexandra 5 years ago

      Hi, I am 25 years old and I have two small children, I am a single patent. I want to know if it is possible for me to join at this age. I have heard that childcare is provided, but is this DURING bootcamp? Or will I have to find someone to care for my babies while I'm at camp? This is really, my ONLY obstacle

    • profile image

      Luke 5 years ago

      Hey Ruben, I am Currently enlisted, my ship date is July 16 wich means I should graduate around October 14 if correct, I will be going to mct and then com school, I was wondering if I can take leave during com school or delay anything in anyway to come home for Christmas? Thanks

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Scott,

      Here's a good explanation on the tatoo policy.

      http://www.stripes.com/news/marines-tighten-restri...

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Sara you asked

      "Hello Ruben,

      So my husband is wanting to become a DI. We have one child, but are thinking about having our next right after he comes back from D.I. School....I was wondering if this is a good ideal, because I keep reading they have no time for family for like 3 years..."

      Personally I wouold not do it, Marine Corps is stressful as it is but being a Drill Instructor is twice as stressful so it is ultimately up to you guys but I wouldn't do it.

      Good luck

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Sam you asked:

      "Im am a 16 year old girl right now and for many years I have been thinking of joining the Marines.I just actually began to research about joining, can you give me any information on if theyre are any differences for women joining and going through boot camp, or any useful websites or videos on it. Thanks and another thanks for serving our country."

      Boot camp for females is in North Carolina, they go through the same basic training and schools and they are expected to perform in all aspects of Marine Corps life as well. The PFT (physical finess test) is measured a bit different but it's still very challenging. There are many youtube videos you may watch; just type female Marines and many will show.

      Good luck

    • profile image

      Pauline 5 years ago

      My son is set to go to bootcamp November 5th. I don't have a question. I just want you to know your site is inspirational. I am scared for him and proud all at once. He is a young man and the decision is his. I always thought he would go to college. He is choosing his own path. My issues are about letting go. The information you have provided here has really hepled me accept my son's decision. I can't even imagine how proud I will be when I say "MY son is a Marine". Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    • profile image

      Andre 5 years ago

      Hi Ruben, i have been thinking about joining the marines for quite a while now . I am 20 years old but i want to make myself a better man and do something that i can be proud of. Not going to lie i am very nervous because i knows its a huge commitment but im doing my research and this has been very helpful. Thanks for sharing

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
      Author

      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Hello everyone, I have been away at the Career course and just got back. I will answer all unanswered questions in the next few days.

      Semper Fi

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      Been doing research about joining the USMC and this have by far been the best article I have read in regards to personal experience.

    • profile image

      Ruben Hernandez 5 years ago

      Great article! I am planning to join the Marines I am 19 years old, but the problem is that I have to lose 70lbs this summer I am going to commit to lose them. I want more I want to be part of something big.

    • profile image

      Beanie 5 years ago

      Hey Ruben,

      First off, Thank you for all that you have done for this country. I admire you and aspire to be a service member like you. I appreciate all the help and advice you have given here. It sure kept me busy reading through all these.

      I'm set on joining the military right now and following in my parents footsteps. They were both Navy and met in the service, and I want to carry on the long family tradition. I am most interested in the Marine Corps and being an aerial gunner there followed by Air Force at a sort-of-but-not-so close second.

      I'm a 5'7 22 yr old female. What's the problem? I've always been a chubby child and I weigh about 260 pounds and need to drop to 160 in order to enlist to become a Marine. I have been eating healthier, eating in moderation (1600 cals a day), and excersizing about 4 days a week. I am already seeing results, a month and a half ago I was at a little over 270 and got winded walking 1.5 miles around my mostly flat neighborhood. Now that I have been more active, I can complete 5 miles on a nearby trail with many hills and feel like I could keep going if there was more trail. I know I can do it, I have lost 40 pounds before but was halted after the death of a family member sent me into a bad state of mind. But, with such a long road ahead of me, at times I feel discouraged. I know losing so much weight to join isn't impossible and has been done before, but it's a long road. I set myself up a series of 'Mini goals' to help, such as getting slim enough to do a pushup, pullup, fit into rides at Elich's without fear, etc. Do you have any other advice for me in regards to the weight loss route? I will be taking up jogging in intervals soon once I am done with finals aswell.

      I saw that you mentioned earlier that you are stationed at Buckley currently. My mother is currently contracted there as well and I live nearby. I was wondering if you knew any of the recruiters at the nearby offices and if they might be willing to work with me? Specifically the closest Marine Recruiting office to me is at Quincy and Parker. I am nervous to visit because I feel that they will tell me what I already know; "You're too fat, lose weight and then come back."

      What weight should I get to before I bother visiting? What weight do I have to be before I can enter the DEP?

      I would appreciate your thought on the matter. Currently I am enrolled at a local community college and pay out of pocket. I am in the design department, get great grades despite being a HS dropout previously, and although I am somewhat content here, I look around and know this isn't really what I envisioned my life to be like. I want the honor, pride, and dedication that comes with serving. I want the challenges and the adventures that the Marine Corps can offer.

      Even if you never find time to answer my questions, thank you for your service.

    • profile image

      david 5 years ago

      Thank you for this great info my goal is to become a marine but i got a couple of questions please email me at davidluisortega@gmail.com...thank you for your service!

    • profile image

      Oscar G 5 years ago

      I´ve always wanted to be a marine but was too young to sign up on my own sinc my parents didnt want to sign for me and now that i just turned 18 im still looking forward to a U.S Marine but the problem is i was recently deported with a ban of 10 years . I was wondering if you by any chance have any idea if i can somehow still join the corps & if so how?

    • profile image

      Nathan 5 years ago

      Thank you, as someone who has been seriously considering joining up this thread has meant the world to me and your insight has laid several consers of mine to rest. Keep up the good work as you are helping a lot of people

    • profile image

      Ivan 5 years ago

      Hey Ruben I was in the military just not too long ago and I got discharge honorably of course from the Air Force and that was about a year and a half ago. The thing is that I got out do to this thing call a D.O.S. Roll back that the Air Force does to fore shape and resize the Air Force so in other words it is like the military version of getting laid off in my eyes. I have a re-enlisting code of 1J on my DD214. Do you know what that code may mean exactly? I hear the RE codes that start with 1 are not bad codes at all. I want to go back into the military and I don't know if the Air Force would allow me back in. I really been thinking about the Marines though especially since I'm from San Diego and live in San Diego, and I know San Diego is home to lots of Marines. Since I would be consider prior service would the Marines let me in and would I be able to pick the job I want? I'm 23 years old still so I know I'm not too old. I know I'm a little out of shape since I got out the military almost two years ago, and all I've been doing is going to school full time with the G.I. Bill. So I know I would have to get in shape and I'm prepared to do that if I'm eligible to get in with a job I want. What do you know about prior service in the Marine Corps? and do they get picked on in basic?

    • profile image

      Jordan 5 years ago

      Ruben

      I have been deeply considering the Marine Corps for a while now, but I have one problem I was diagnosed with asthma at a young age. I haven't had any symptoms or problems with my asthma since I turned 14. I was just wondering if my condition would prohibit me from following my dream.

      Thank you for your service in America's 9-11 force

      Thanks,

      Jordan

    • profile image

      Patrick 5 years ago

      Mr. Rivera,

      Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, it's been very helpful. I'm still talking to recruiters in regards to age waivers and it sounds like it could be done, and I've also come to the conclusion that I'll probably always have mixed feelings about, which I suppose is a lot better than no feelings at all. Now that the recruiters and I are starting to talk business, the biggest question I have is how much control do I have over the terms of my contract, i.e. what MOS I'll end up in, etc. I want to get into firefighting one way or another and one of the big reasons I'm considering the USMC is that it seems like it would be a good springboard into firefighting; veterans still seem to get hiring preference and it would also get me some of the motivation, discipline and physical training I'd need to get into firefighting. I've already got some but more doesn't hurt. If I could get into firefighting within the USMC (8811 if I'm not mistaken), that would be pretty kick ass. I'd have all the training and certifications necessary by the time I got out and I think that would put me closer to the top of the hiring list. I understand that not everybody gets what they want in the way of an MOS, but there are several other fields that might interest me as well as being good experience/training for firefighting.

      In short, my question now is during the process of signing up, what are good questions to ask, things to look for, etc., so that I can be made aware of the various MOS's I could get into and how much control can I have over the terms of the contract I sign and the MOS I end up in? It's common knowledge that some recruiters will tell a person whatever they want to hear just to get them in and I'd rather not end up in a really boring MOS that won't get me much experience I can use once I'm out.

      I guess that's another question, too: How much can/do recruiters bend the truth?

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and answer my questions. There aren't too many people I can talk to about this that have experience specifically in the USMC and I value your input.

      Patrick

    • profile image

      Madeline 5 years ago

      Hi Ruben,

      I really appreciate that you take the time to answer all these questions. I am the girlfriend of a Marine Poolee who has recently been contracted. He's a little unsure of which route he should take on whether he should choose ACTIVE or RESERVES.

      Here's a little background:

      He's turning 25 this year. Has some college courses, but nowhere near a degree any time soon. Wants to get the full Marine experience, but is worried about life after the Marines, like how he will be able to get a decent job to support us if we end up getting married.

      If he chooses ACTIVE, he gets the freedom to live on his own (his home environment is shaky), he gets the full benefits of health, etc..., and he gets to be a full-time Marine... BUT no job is guaranteed for him after he's done being active, so that's what's he's worried about.

      If he chooses RESERVES, he can work on getting his degree, have some part-time job, and be a part-time Marine. Not exactly easy, but maybe better in terms of him having a stable career in the long run.

      He's 25, so he's not exactly young enough to get the best of both worlds. What do you think he should do? Is it really that hard to get a "real" job after completing his active contract? Do the benefits end once he's done completely his 4 years in/out?

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      Maria M 5 years ago

      Hi Ruben,

      I am 24 years old. My boyfriend is 27. We are at a point where we want to make sure our future is set for our kids, when we finally decide to have them in the future. What is your take on women joining the marines? I consider myself a strong individual, but I would be naive to say i am marine ready. Any thoughts on women pursuing a career in the marines?

    • profile image

      Josh Reynolds 5 years ago

      Will the MARINES kick you out if you arnt clean?

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      Sven Joubert 5 years ago

      Thank you the info its been very helpfull im a South African and id like to join the U.S.M.C but i don't knw how if you know would you please let me know its always been a dream to me theres nothing els I want to do im 20 years old if you get info could you please inform me, you could search me up on facebook Sven Joubert Many thanks.

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      ferdy cruz 5 years ago

      i want to become a USA Marine in the future n i want to start training right now so i could get prepare when it comes to be a USA Marine, n i just need 2 more years to get out of High School. I want to serve the people of the United State of America and i am 17 years old.

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      annonymus 5 years ago

      I suport my botfriend 100% on wanting to be a marine but they have been taking forever to get back to him about his acceptance. it makes me mad but good at the same time cuz i have only been with him for a year and 7 months but i have none him for 3 years and he is really faithful to me but i have been told some many stories that the most faithful men have gone into the marines and came out a cheater and an asshole and i am affraid thats how he will come out so what should i do? Also even though i support his choice i want to mess it up for him too does this make me a bad person or something else?

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      Mr. Sanderson. 5 years ago

      Thank you for laying it out on the table so bluntly. I'm 19 years young and have dreamed of being a Marine since i was 7 years old when I met an old Marine that had served in WWII, D-Day+1. Very old fella but the look on his face when he explained his experiences and how they helped him took me by complete shock and awe...not to mention the ass whooping i received at home after telling my mother i wanted to be a Marine. But anyway, main point, thank you!

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      scott 5 years ago

      what is the official poicy regarding tatoos on new marine recurits

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      Jarhead 5 years ago

      Thanks for the article Ruben hopefully it will help some people out who are thinking about joining i know i was not ready when i joined years ago in 1995 the biggest problem i saw in my early career were all the young kids who fell into the heavy drinking crowd and got into trouble especially when i was in okinawa my first time.

      The Marine Corps is by no means an easy life or paycheck as some people seem to think,but it is rewarding you will be doing things you will remember forever and probably meet some of the best friends you could ever ask for and for. Ferreira yes the U.S military does accept foreigners you just need to know how to speak and understand english well and pass the entrance exams here is the list of requirements and the contact list your english seems good so don't think you will have a problem.

      http://www.marines.com/eligibility/requirements

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      Ferreira 5 years ago

      Ruben, I'm 20 years old and it's been a while since I decided to follow the military career. Since, I've been researching and asking for opinions about this decision. So far, I still don't know anyone who joined. So as I expected, people don't agree with my decision... But I don't really care... I talked to my parents and they respected my decision, since a huge part of my family served the army. The problem is... I'm brazilian, but I don't want to serve here. I want to join the marines. Is this possible? If not, can I join the american army and serve in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? Thank you.

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      Ruban,

      my brother wants to join the marines. can he decided how long he will be away for? thanks Ruban

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      Sara 5 years ago

      Hello Ruben,

      So my husband is wanting to become a DI. We have one child, but are thinking about having our next right after he comes back from D.I. School....I was wondering if this is a good ideal, because I keep reading they have no time for family for like 3 years...

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      Sam 5 years ago

      Im am a 16 year old girl right now and for many years I have been thinking of joining the Marines.I just actually began to research about joining, can you give me any information on if theyre are any differences for women joining and going through boot camp, or any useful websites or videos on it. Thanks and another thanks for serving our country.

    • profile image

      Sam 5 years ago

      Im am a 16 year old girl right now and for many years I have been thinking of joining the Marines.I just actually began to research about joining, can you give me any information on if theyre are any differences for women joining and going through boot camp, or any useful websites or videos on it. Thanks and another thanks for serving our country.

    • profile image

      pauljohn calundre 5 years ago

      nimfa.paul08@gmail.com please help me

    • profile image

      pauljohn calundre 5 years ago

      could anyone help me join the marines??? im just 21 and i dont live in us.. but i really want to join on it please could anyone answer me here`s my email please do email me and tell me what to do cause im really interested in joining the marines please do respond.. thanks

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Charles,

      Fix it and come back

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Svet,

      Good for you, many don't research at all and end up being awol after a few months not realizing what they're up against, it's a lifestyle change for sure and it's not for everyone, it is a huge commitment could lead to losing your life during these time of war, but one thing I will tell you though the Marine Corps tries from the time you step into boot camp to get you ready for the ultimate most stressful environemnt you can imagine; is it the same as watching your buddies die, probably not but all Marines are trained to keep fighting and to take care of one another, that is priceless.

      Anyways good luck in your endeavors

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Conor,

      It depends on the situation, if you claim to be an only son then the Corps might reconsider sending you, if you say nothing maybe you will go, it depends on the situation.

      Take care

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      OOOORAH

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Patrick,

      Mixed feelings, mixed feelings, fortunately I never had any when joining but I see your dilema. It depends on your situation, your attitude, why do you want to join? You have to realize that the majority of Marines who join are very young so will you feel out of place or will you be the mature guy helping the others make mature decisions? is there famiy involved, so I sugest to take the good and the bad and take your decision based on that and very importantly in my personal opinion it is a must to have family support because you will feel like Sh**t sometimes and family support is good to have in those times.

      Good luck

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Brad,

      If you drop your rifle in boot camp there are many games the DIs could play, holding it with one finger, doing shoulder preses, runing with it so it could be anything creative, reveille is usually at 5 in the morning but it depends on what is in the schedule.

      Take care

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Vans15,

      Just ask a recruiter you want to be infantry, I am sure there are openings.

      If you go in active duty then after 4 years you go to the inactive ready reserve for 4 years, its like being a civilian but still subject to being recalled if needed.

      Take care

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Julia,

      You really seem to know what you want and I really hope you get in since you would be a great leader. One thing with waivers is that it could depend on a few factors, how badly do they need you, is the Corps decreasing numbers or increasing, is there a war, how good is the recruiter so as you see even before talking about the kind of waiver there are factors to consider. The Marine Corps is decreasing in numbers at this time so it may be a bit harder to get in and more with a waiver, I may suggest to wait unitil you graduate and at that point numbers may be going up again and you may have better chances of getting in, just my opinion.

      Good luck

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Joe,

      Reserves deployments depend on what unit it is. An infantry unit may deploy more frequently than a maintanance unit so it depends but with the drawdown deployments have decreased a lot. Deployments for Marines usually last from 7 months to one year.

      Take care

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Svet,

      One thing is for sure, everything you earn in the Marine Corps you earn after many challenges. Challenges can range from being obedient to orders from cleaning a toilet to having to charge an enemy compound, it may go from extreme to extreme, some cant handle it but the average Marine knows how to deal with everyday challenges because we are given the foundations starting from boot camp. Will you learn leadership skills, of course you will as long as you face every challenge with the same positive attitude no matter what it is. Education benefits I think are the best I know, you can get a degree while in the military but again it depends on your discipline and effort. I know many Marines that have been in for a long time but no degree but others may be in only for four years and get out with a degree with no loans to pay back. There is a lot of traveling of course, whether within the US or overseas, that is a given.

      Take care

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Brendan, You have to get used to running because we run a lot in the Marines, I would suggest to do a combination of intervals of maybe running 800 meters at a fast pace and 800 next slow , some long distance running, any combination to get endurance. Also very important to get training for upper body strenght. The important thing is to be fit in endurance and cardio, with that you wll be ready for boot camp. After Marine Combat training you go to your MOS school, or if it's SOI you go to your first duty station. After school it depends on where you go, usually for duty stations in the US you get a couple of days of leave, but for overseas you get about 30 days.

      Take care

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      Charles A. 5 years ago

      I tried to enlist back in 04 , but they said I couldn't ..for having a bad credit score !? Wow,

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      svet 5 years ago

      I have decided not to further pursue the marine corps after further research. I think the whole leadership qualities, and being a Marine is catchy, but the bottom Line is, are you willing to die for your country, or get a serious stress disorder. After I talked to some fellow marines and heard there stories, and that they are scarred, I decided it wasn't for me. I think we all need to remember that, if you want to join, you're going to go fight, and your probably going to see stuff that you will not be prepared for.

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      Derik OooRahh Chabin 5 years ago

      Thank You For The Info, I've already been talking to a recruter I've made the decision to go in And Serve my Country Under The Eagle Globe And Anchor Semper FI. Do Or Die OooRahhh I'm going in right after High School In 3 years

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      Conor Basham 5 years ago

      Hey Ruben,

      i am a current college student at University of Alaska and i was wondering about something i havent seen a question on here about yet. well here it goes, i am my fathers only child, my father died 3 months ago due to cancer and iam the only one to keep his name going on. i was wondering would they send me to a war zone or would they do the same thing army does and only send me if iam 100 percent needed? i am asking this because marines is the only branch i will join. all the other ones seem to week for me.

      - thanks Ruben

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      retof 5 years ago

      My dad is in the marine corps. I want to thank you for all you do.

      -Rachael.T

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      Patrick 5 years ago

      Mr. Rivera,

      I posted a question a few months back asking about age waivers. After talking to a recruiter a little bit, it sounds like I could be eligible for an age waiver. My question for you this time concerns the ambivalence I feel when considering joining. Sometimes it feels like the right thing to do, other times I feel like I'm out of my f***ing mind for even thinking about it. What are yr experiences with mixed feelings? Your own, others', etc. Thanks again for taking the time to answer all these questions, you've helped a lot of people.

      Patrick

    • Brad Wade profile image

      Brad Wade 5 years ago

      i want to know more like what happens when you drop your riffle and what pt exercises does the corps. do what time is reveille how long is pt also how long is boot camp and soi . im a sea cadet and one of there benefits is getting a e-2's pay how much is that ?

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      vans15 5 years ago

      Thank you sir for serving our country. I am 15 and i really want to joing the us marines corps. Eventually i want to start my own family. What really intereat me in the marines is being part of the infantry unit.

      How can I get in the Infantry Unit?

      After 4 years or serving, what do you do the next 4 years ?

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      Julia C. 5 years ago

      Hi Ruben,

      I must thank you for these posts, and I know that you are helping so many people with such an important decision. I scanned through most of the questions and could not quite find one to fit my concerns.

      I am a 21 year-old fulltime mechanical engineering student who is thinking about trying the Marine Corps for the 3rd time. Unlike most, I am not joining for the benefits, the money, my family, the tradition(s), or even the job security. I am joining for the experience that no other organization can even begin to offer. This, unfortunately, is not enough of a reason for my family. For me, it is the definition of passion, yet for my mother, it is a waste of time, energy and my talents.

      My first run-in with the Corps was when I was 18; a freshman in college. I was a plebe, going to school for free on a NROTC scholarship- life was good. I started out Navy, but was going green upon my return from Christmas break- unfortunately, I have a history of some dormant form of childhood asthma (dealbreaker, I know). We are talking about asymptomatic asthma- which has been so since I was diagnosed. In my mind, only God exists without evidence, but my pediatrician and DoDMERB seem to disagree. In short, my waiver was denied, I was disqualified from NROTC, and forced to transfer to an in-state college.

      Still studying, still making so-so grades, I felt a void in my life, which didn't exist while I was in ROTC. So, I got up with a Marine OSO over the summer, and started on the path for officer selection, and OCS upon graduation. My grades instantly and dramatically improved, I was gaining weight (trust me, a good thing- I am 5'2" and 107 lb, with the metabolism of a squirrel), and walking on sunshine- finally feeling like I was doing something I loved. Unfortunately, this did not last long, and for the same reason- that satanic word, 'asthma'.

      Being an engineering major, I will be graduating in 2013 instead of 2012- not complaining. As mentioned before, I will be trying the Corps again- this time, reservist enlistment. I have not told my mother- if it all works out, she'll see the uniform, and if it doesn't, she'll never know (bad, I know, but she just doesn't understand)..

      My questions to you:

      Should I wait until after I graduate, or attempt ASAP?

      I know asthma has made it a no for me in the past, but I have been seeing a pulmonologist, and taking methacholine (breathing) tests- displaying the lack of evidence for my ancient diagnosis (which occurred when I was 4). Are medical waivers easier for enlistees? Could I still qualify for one, being that my first was denied for the same reason?

      Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to any insight you may offer.

      -Julia

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      Joe p 5 years ago

      Hey Ruben hows it going , I was wondering how often does the reserves deploy and usually how long are the deployments? Thanks

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      Terrellz 5 years ago

      You should go to Futurejarheads.com It'll tell you a lot you need to know if not everything. The good and bad. Its was created by a former Marine. Trust me, the website will help you a lot! Especially all the thing your recruiter Will Not TELL you! And explain what The Real USMC is like so you are better prepared if you decide to enlist. Ruben has done a good job informjng ppl with questions also.

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      Svet 5 years ago

      Hi Ruben, first of all I just want to say that I fully respect and admire what marines are all about. My last boss was an ex-marine, didnt know exactly what that ment until I recently researched military branches. I Was interested in the Marines because of the Character they build inside you, and also because of the leadership skills. This is something I'm still pondering about, I'm 21. Are these reasons good ones to join the military? Also self discpline is something I lack. For me I have taken community college and credits, but I have no idea on a career path in school I want to take, Education is becoming boring to me. Anyways, my boss inspired me, I was wondering also about the educational benefits? Would I have time to study? & what about traveling?

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      Brendan 5 years ago

      Thank you so much I have been researching about the Marine Corps for a while and see what boot camp Is like and what recruits do after boot camp and after combat training. I am 16 and have been wanting to join since I was 10 and I thought if I'm going to join the military why not join the best. My grand pa was a Marine in World war 2 and I have his Gold medal of the egeal, globe and anqur and having that influenced me to wanting to join the marines. I have a few questions what type of workouts should I do to get me in shape for boot camp? When finished combat training what do you do after combat training or SOI? How long do Marines have before they are sent to were they go like Japan? Thank you so much for the information and time. Thank you so much for defending my freedom and risking your life for everyone.

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Debi,

      They have an occupation just like a fireman, maybe he would be interested in that. Here's the info

      http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marine...

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      Debi 5 years ago

      Hi Ruben

      My son is 18 and has been speaking with a recruiter. My question is do they have any fire science programs? He was a fire cadet since he was 14 and now a fireman and wants to pursue that career.

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      shelly 5 years ago

      hey Ruben

      My names shelly in 16 and I'm thinking about joining the Marines when I get out of hs and was wondering if you could give me some more information about how to join and what its like my emails shellyburress@yahoo.com thanks a million

    • profile image

      DAVEY 5 years ago

      Richards I leave on may 7th too on a reserve contract, see you there!

    • profile image

      Mach 5 years ago

      I'm not entirely sure what unit took u out and let u rock a 240 but I can tell u right now I'd roll out in a fire team b4 I'd take any admin bros outside the wire on any patrol I was leading but hey glad to hear u went out and got some

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      frank

      "One word to describe the marines: CULT"

      OOOOOORAAAH

    • profile image

      frank 5 years ago

      One word to describe the marines: CULT!

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      King sky 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info. Im thinking about joining!

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      Richards 5 years ago

      First off I would like to thank you this article and and it was really informing about what to expect in training and what life is like being a Marine.

      I'm set to leave for Recruit Training May 7th, I'm currently enlisted 0311 as a reservist on a 6-year but am reconsidering my decision as to going reserves and am thinking about going active duty. From what I'm familiar with I have until I get on the plane to change my contract.

      I Chose reserves because I wanted to get a degree so I have something to fall back on outside of the Marines if I decided against making a career out of this and was also considering the possibility of going to OCS after my I receive my degree.

      My concern is I would like to experience enlisted active duty life-style well I'm still younger as I feel I may regret it down the road and feel like if I do this later on after I complete my degree I may ruin my chances of becoming an officer and won't be able to experience it to the fullest as will be about 27 at the time. Also I'm concerned about becoming and Officer because I'm afraid it will be to much of a office job and not enough as much training or combat opportunity's as an officer. If I did choose the officer route however It would be between being an Infantry Officer or Aviation Officer. If I continue the Enlisted route I would like to do something that would put my ability's and skills to the test and try to go Force Recon, MARSOC, Scout Sniper, or EOD

      Could you please give me advice on this from your knowledge and provide me with suggestions based off of my situation. It would be very appreciated. Thanks again for this article

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Peter,

      Thank you for sharing.

      Semper Fi brother.

    • Ruben Rivera profile image
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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Nicola,

      You asked

      what are the "bad news" people should know about before joining?

      It depends on what each individual may consider bad news. For some may be getting up early, or too much running, so it all depends on what "bad news" means for you and every individual wnating to join.

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Matthew,

      We have electricians in the Marine Corps and different fields like refrigeration here;s a description of the mos http://usmilitary.about.com/od/enlistedjo2/a/0041....

      Okinawa is always a must for all Marines, in fact when Marines graduate from MOS school the duty station that always have openings is OKinawa because not all Marines want it but it depends on the school if they let you decide or if they just give it to the students. One thing is for sure Okinawa will be a duty station assigned to most Marines during their service with the Corps.

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Shaya,

      You're asking me if the Marine Corps would be the best military branch? Of course I will say it is but that would only be my biased opinion. You may want to read and research as much as possible and ask many people as well, hear the good and the bad and then make your own personal assesment.

      There are no nurses in the Marine Corps. We rely on the Navy for medical support and the closest to being in your desired field and the Marine Corps would be a Navy Corpsman, we have them attached to all our units; otherwise you may have to pick a different field.

      Good luck

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Serena,

      Your question was if a Marine can transfer to another service even though the contract is not done yet.

      I've only seen this happen in the Reserves but with the Active Duty they would only release you form your contract within 180 days from your expiration of active service, I have not seen it longer than that.

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      Ruben Rivera 5 years ago from Colorado, US

      Kendall,

      The Marine Corps would be a great foundation if you want to pursue a career with the FBI. Marines are trained with different weapons, most fields require a security clearance so just from the basics it would be a good start.

      If you get married before joining your married benefits start the day you start boot camp. If you get married after you sign up then your benefits start the day you get married. Your wife would be allowed to travel with you and the government will pay with all travel expenses until you are assigned your first permanent duty station which happens after boot camp, Marine Combat training or Infantry training and MOS school.

      Take care

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      nicola 5 years ago

      what are the "bad news" people should know about before joining?

    • profile image

      Matthew 5 years ago

      I was thinking about joining the Marines to help me get and education and experience in electrical work. I've noticed various MOS's that relate to an electrician. Which one would be more advantageous towards a career outside the military, but would also be valuable in it (In case I decide to re-enlist)?

      I also am interested in spending time overseas in Okinawa. How likely is it to be allowed such a transfer?

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Peter 5 years ago

      A US Marine

      I came home after my four-year tour in the Marine Corps doing thirty-one month overseas in and out of the Vietnam Conflict. It was November in NH at the time hunting season. My love for weapons and shooting made that great to be home to a place I had no idea in my memory that this existed. It felt comfortable with my weapon at my side off into the (it was no longer the bush) woods hunting that poor harmless deer. Five or six hours out sitting under a pine tree on the side of a hill looking over the distance with out a house in site as all the way to the horizon. The thoughts of being home, back in the world safe and secure from all the experiences of what I had done. I had no intention of even firing my weapon even if I saw a prize deer to take back. The silence of Mother Nature was broken as the loud crack of sniper fire and the whizzing of the bullet pass by my head. I was back there for even just a second as I aimed my weapon at the gook to realize it was a hunter about twenty-five yards away. Now in shooting position laying on the ground a second bullet hit the tree next to me. I rapidly fired two shoots placing one on each side of the hunter. He dropped his rifle, flaring his hands in the air yelling I not a deer don’t shoot me. I walked up to the man with my weapon locked and loaded and told him to walk away leaving his rifle on the ground. The hunter was only a few feet away as I broke his rifle on the side of a tree. I departed the woods that day and gave all my weapons away and to this day refuse to handle one or allow others to bring one in my house.

      I saw that day my ability to kill with out even thinking about not being in combat any more. I saw the reality of being someplace else while back here in the civilized society. I had no idea survival back here in the real world would be the hardest part of life. The MC dumped me into a society that from my undiagnosed disabilities there was no memory in my head of ever being here before. My TBI years earlier resulted with total amnesia. It was like each mission in the MC, to assess and concur. Years later after producing a copy of my medical records because the US military could not find them my broken back and loss of hearing plus my TBI was recognized as service connected disabilities. I had learned to keep silent about my mental travels back to the other place as the people back here just hated what we had done to, as they would say innocent people. PTSD would years later be another disability as the flashbacks grow stronger each day even today some thirty-years after.

      The Veterans Administration stops my medical care for combat related disabilities to help the State of New Hampshire in their quest to stop my opinion letters of government wrongs. This civilized society refuses to talk with me like begging me to do something wrong so they can say, “I told you he was bad”. The struggle since falling the other day has gotten to the point of intolerable. It is so clear that we should never come back to a society that just does not want us after servicing in the United States Marine Corps.

      Peter Macdonald Sgt USMC Semper Fi

      NH 03824 603-781-3839