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What to expect when Joining in the Marine Corps

Updated on December 9, 2012
Myself in Afghan
Myself in Afghan

Thinking about it?

When you are thinking about joining the military you usually think about how hard boot camp is going to be. You might also wonder about the risks of going to war and leaving your family. Another thing a lot of people think about is if they can make it and usually underestimate themselves or overestimate the difficulties of joining the Marine Corps. I spent 5 years in the Marine Corps infantry and only recently got out so an entire enlistment is still fresh in my head. In this article I’m going to go aver exactly what to expect when joining.

Boot camp down and dirty!

Everyone thinks that boot camp is the make it or break it in the military when in fact it isn’t. they also think they need to be in some incredible inhumanly shape in order to get through it. I’ll tell you from experience and from seeing some unfit people make it through. Yes, it is about 3 months of mental punishment but I swear they fly by. Also if you are not in shape you will be in better shape when you leave. If you are already in shape you will probably be the same but have an easier time. You can look at other article on Marine Corps boot camp below for a more information on that.

After boot camp schooling

The next place you go after boot camp is MCT or SOI which pretty much just more schooling on how to be a marine. (SOI is school of infantry where marines in the infantry fields go to learn how to be grunts) This school also is not much fun. It is like boot camp except you get some weekends off and they call you marine instead of recruit but it is a lot shorter. Again though this really isn’t too hard but now you have the temptations of alcohol on the weekends and you are now at risk of NJP’s or Court Martials considering you have a little more freedom to mess up.

My buds and I in Africa
My buds and I in Africa

Your unit!

After you get done with all your schooling you will be sent to you unit. I’m not sure how other jobs other than infantry does it but you probably show up and get assigned to someone and they school you up on your job. In the infantry this is going to be your team leader and you are probably going to be more scared of him then you were of your drill instructor because a Lance Corporal in charge of something or someone is a dangerous thing. This is where you get you job training, direct training about your job from marines that have been doing it for a while. Once again though guys this is completely doable and the only thing that you can mess up now is by getting into trouble.

Afghan child
Afghan child


This is the portion I am not going to describe. Everyone has a different deployment experience and you need to have your own. The one thing I can say is do not assume it is going to be like the one your seniors describe because it seldom is. My first deployment was completely different then my second which both were way off from my third. Each of my deployments did have something in common though. Each one had good times and bad, easy and hard, fun and miserable parts.

A child of Jordan and I in Petra
A child of Jordan and I in Petra

In the end,

Well that was a brief description on how it goes joining the marine corps but really all you need to do is not give up mentally and you will have a easy time. Five years flew by for me and now I’m making like 40k a year just going to college. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you think about it. Plus save your money, you’re going to want it more when you out.


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    • cmlindblom profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from middletown, ct

      Thanks for the comment and the welcome home!!! Nothing better then a well trained unit in action.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 

      5 years ago from Canada

      I've only served for a youth Air Cadets program and got a glimpse of the actual training but it is awesome to behold a unit altogether as one. Welcome back home and thank you for your service.

    • LaThing profile image


      5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Let me guess, the picture of you and your buddies in Africa.... You are the second one from the right, right? :)

      You are absolutely right, people have a very wrong notion about the marine corp. Unless you are there you don't really know what they are all about. Hope your experience was mostly good. Take care, fellow CT guy!

    • cmlindblom profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from middletown, ct

      Thanks for the comment. All the pictures except the one with the guy holding his hand out the the child are mine. I think people get the wrong idea sometimes with what we really do.

    • LaThing profile image


      5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Hi., Chris..... Great hub! Encouraging, yet has that little warnings in there; expect the normal and not so normal, LOL. Hope it will be helpful for anyone who is think of joining the marine. Beautiful pictures. Wish you all the best .....

      Voting up and everything :)


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