Im thinking of joining the Marines, any advice?


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megatronrules
March 30, 2003, 07:30 PM
Well I have thought about this for a while now. Im 24 and not getting any younger. Anything anyone can tell me? Maybe someone who has been there and done it. I wear glasses so I dont know if thats a problem. I want to go talk to a recruiter but they will tell you all the good things i guess:D Not putting them down or anything,just want marines or ex marines opinions as well. This is a big choice to make. 4 years I think,or is there a 2 year option? Thanks for any info guys.

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280PLUS
March 30, 2003, 07:44 PM
when you sign a contract for enlistment with the us govt you sign for 6 years, it then becomes a question of how much of this is active and how much is inactive reserve.

given the present situation the govt would have no problem signing you for say 4 active 2 inactive BUT could very easily not let you go inactive at the end of 4 and keep you active for all six.

if your eyesight without glasses is worse that (i believe) 20/400 you are very limited as to what level of training you will receive.

generally if you exceed the 20/400 your basically not allowed to be much more than a grunt if you go infantry.

they figure any worse than that and if you lose your glasses on the battlefield youll end up either a dead man or shooting a bunch of your buddies accidently while blind and scared s***less

if you join the marines chances are you'll be sleeping in and eating middle eastern dust within 6 months or so

that's another thing to think about.

outstanding organization however, i doubt theres a better choice, and thats coming from an old sailor

:D

dakotasin
March 30, 2003, 07:44 PM
there used to be a 2-year option, but they did away w/ that, and now minimum enlistment is 3.

i served in the navy, so won't comment on the marines-specific questions you have...

i would advise that you do the 4-year enlistment, though, because you'll go to a-schools that will help advance you faster.

on your vision...i wouldn't worry about it.

good luck!

HarryRod
March 30, 2003, 08:09 PM
Start running now. Everyday. Be able to do at least 3 miles at a time before you leave.
Trust me.
Work on your upper body as well.
Oh yeah....start paying attention to detail NOW if you dont already.

telewinz
March 30, 2003, 08:09 PM
The government is suppose to be starting a new enlistment program of just 18 months active. BTW why the Marines? Why not enlist for a skill you can learn while you earn? I learned a lifelong, maketable skill and my college degree while I was on active duty and I didn't even have to use my GI Bill. For that matter I never set foot in the state I got my degree from and I earned it all on duty time at the post education center. I always looked at the Army as being the best compromise, big enough for rapid promotion (& pay) and a large selection of desirable skills to choose from. You can be smart and patriotic at the same time, it's the American Way.:)

280PLUS
March 30, 2003, 08:19 PM
pull-ups

remember 'full metal jacket'?

you stay in boot till you can do the required # of pullups, there's more but that is usually where peeps get stuck.

boot is 13 weeks IF YOU MAKE IT IN 13 WEEKS!!

good luck

m

ps at 24 you'll be one of the 'old guys' and you'll be competing with 17 and 18 year olds in physical training.

Telperion
March 30, 2003, 08:23 PM
http://usmilitary.about.com/

Seems to me, after reading some of this, that you should be prepared for a total lifestyle change if you join the Marines. Of course maybe this is what you want.

TarpleyG
March 30, 2003, 08:27 PM
Don't listen to him. The Corps is the only way to go. If you're gonna do somethin', do it right and give 110%. I regret not staying in now that I am a little older and wiser. Follow advice given earlier. Run, run again, run some more. Do sit ups and get to where you can do 20 pull-ups AFTER running 3 miles and doing 100 sit ups. Do this all day and night before boot camp. You want to be the strongest guy in your platoon at the beginning. Makes a HUGE difference. If you have ANY qualms about blindly following orders (like I do, may be why I am not in any longer), go somewhere else. DIs won't tolerate any ***** and if you give them any they'll give you 10 times as much back. My personal suggestion is that you go to college first if you haven't already and go to OCS to be an officer. The pay is better and you'll get more out of your experience. The only drawback is that you MIGHT belong to the Corps forever since the enlistment period is open-ended for officers.

Good luck whatever the route you take.

GT

Andrew Wyatt
March 30, 2003, 08:45 PM
at least marksmanship wise, learn distance estimation and how to hit unknown range targets. maybe go to Skul and take an infantry rifle course before joining.


run lots. find some marines and ask them what you need to do, fitness wise.


I'm considering joining up, actually. I'll probably go air force, though, since i'm probably not up to the marine boot, physically.

megatronrules
March 30, 2003, 08:46 PM
I didnt think of the Army. Maybe I should look into that too. Thanks for the replies so far. :)

Destructo6
March 30, 2003, 08:49 PM
The first thing to decide is what you want to do in the Corps/Army/Navy/AF. Pick an interest and try to find a specialization that deals with that, keeping in mind it is fairly difficult to change.

Most important is to sign a contract that guarantees that specialist training to you. Do not sign an "open contract" (USMC). If you go to boot camp without a contracted specialty, you'll be stuck selecting from a short list of available specialties. There's a reason they're open and that's usually because they're not desireable, like cook, turd collector, etc.

They never put toilet scrubbing in the brochures, but be prepared to do it, a lot. Don't worry, everyone in the company will be doing it too, so it's not exactly a punishment.

As far as boot camp prep, if you're in reasonably good shape, you should do fine. Buy some good running shoes ($60+) and do some regular running.

280PLUS
March 30, 2003, 08:51 PM
going there and being able to shoot a good target from the start will go a long way too...

lots of good advice here

m

blades67
March 30, 2003, 08:57 PM
Do you like the idea of being on a ship for six months at a time? If you don't, remember that as a Marine you could wind up on a ship detail. If you don't like the sound of that, join the Army.

Steve in PA
March 30, 2003, 09:05 PM
The Marine Corps is the only way to go. If you decide to go this way.......learn to always.......always spell Marine with a capital M !!!! It'll save you alot of grief and a$$ whoopin's from the Union Street Marble Club.

Despite what other say......you won't see the desert for over a year. By the time you get processed.......go through boot camp, go through your MOS training...get set to your new home...the war (hopefully) will be long over.

Do not go in open contract........as you could end up as previously posted!!!! If you just want to "find yourself".....get some discipline, etc...go grunt.........you'll see more, do more, travel more....etc.

Quartus
March 30, 2003, 09:08 PM
Recruiters lie. Always. Get it in writing.



Hats off to you.

betterluckytg
March 30, 2003, 09:14 PM
If you have to ask whether or not you should join, forget it.

Telperion
March 30, 2003, 09:20 PM
If you have to ask whether or not you should join, forget it.

Please elaborate. Joining the military (like going to college, moving, taking a new job, etc) is a life-changing experience. Are you suggesting it is universally good to make such choices without the consulation of others?

AnklePocket
March 30, 2003, 09:21 PM
Run as fast as you can to the recruiting office. Different people take different routes for different reasons and none are wrong or any less than any other. The leadership training that the Marine Corps puts above all other skills will serve you very well whether or not you stay in.
Prepare however you like, but you'll be the finished product at the end of boot camp regardless. Go for it now unless you feel that you can go through life wondering "What if I woulda...?". I can't think of a better time in my lifetime than 7:30 tomorrow morning.

LASur5r
March 30, 2003, 09:22 PM
My buddy joined up , he's in the 101st Airborne...says he should have joined the Marines....more esprit de corps...more team work where everyone pulls their weight pretty much, not so in the 101st, according to him.

Depends on what you want. Whatever you want, hoping you get it.

Fly320s
March 30, 2003, 09:28 PM
Go commissioned.

Enlisted is fine if you just want to do your 6 years and get out, but if you think you might stay in the full 20 go in as an Officer.

Officers have better benefits all the way around.

If your vision isn't terrible you can still get a waiver from the Army to try your hand at flying. The waivers aren't handed out like candy but they are out there.

Don't forget about the Air Force and Coast Guard. I'd suggest talking to a recruiter at each one of the services.

MitchSchaft
March 30, 2003, 09:45 PM
I can't emphesize the physical aspect enough. I made the mistake of exercising very little when I went in. I was 22. I went in 5'6" @ 140lbs. Not out of shape, just not up to par. I ended up with a stress fracture to my left shin due to all the running and drilling they have you do. Which is about 14 hours a day :uhoh:. Went home after 3.5 months of being there. I gained 10 pounds worth of muscle in 2 weeks.

Another thing, if you want to join the military for benefits, schooling, money; stay away from the Marines. They're more of a brotherhood than any other branch and you can see a difference. You'll know what I mean if you go. If you want to be pushed to your limits and beyond, then go with the Marines. Hell, they broke me :neener:.

One reason I did it was to see if I could. I didn't want to be old and think "what if..."

The only reason I don't try again is I'm married with a kid now.

riverdog
March 30, 2003, 09:50 PM
I agree with those who advise getting in great shape. I'd work up to running 4-5 miles as a warm-up to a serious work-out. Pumping iron is good, but you'll be doing lots of push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups, so start doing them now. If you don't know how to swim (some folks don't, learn to swim. If you do know how to swim, put at least a mile a week in your work-out regimen.

From what I've seen the Army and the Air Force specialize, meaning that you learn a job and that's what you do. It might be a great job, but you could end up as a REMF and that's no fun. In the Marine Corps, everyone is combat arms. When a Marine jet pilot punches out and lands in the desert, there's another infantry officer on the ground. He went through The Basic School before he went to flight school. The Marines have no chaplains, doctors or medics/corpmen, those are supplied by the Navy. If you watch Fox News you can see this.

I did my 20 in the Navy and served with a number of Marines. If I had to do it over starting now, I would consider the Marine Corps much more seriously than I did 28 years ago. (back then I thought about it, took two aspirin and felt much better after a good nights sleep). Back then I was in great shape and would have had no problem with TBS. In fact I ran the Quantico obstacle course clean and climbed the rope at the end without using my legs, hand over hand. If I went in the Marine Corps now, I'd be trying to go Force Recon and for that you need to be in great shape, which takes us back to my first paragraph.

betterluckytg
March 30, 2003, 09:50 PM
Pipsqueak: I guess what I'm trying to say is that making a decision like this is a very personal thing and deep down, you KNOW what you want to do. So, you either go and join up, or don't. You don't ask a bunch of unknown persons what to do.

Kinda like when I got drafted in '66. I didn't ask everybody and his damned brother "geez, should I go, or should I run to Canada?" I went, requested the Marine Corps, somehow made it through boot camp, requested 'Nam, got there, requested posting to "the field" after nine months as a REMF, got it and two or three weeks later got my leg blown off and got the hell out of there.

It doesn't matter one bit what the hell anybody else thinks, you either want to do it and do it or keep quiet about it. Just my ever so humble opinion.

bad_dad_brad
March 30, 2003, 09:51 PM
megatronrules,

You are too old for Marine infantry. If you insist on military service at the ripe old age of 24, then join the Army instead. Just teasing, or am I? A big commitment. When I was your age, I could not imagine. Eighteen is the optimal age for a Marine grunt. Six years ago. That is a long time.

chaim
March 30, 2003, 09:52 PM
Don't listen to him. The Corps is the only way to go. If you're gonna do somethin', do it right and give 110% Or he could go into the Army and get Ranger training in his contract, or at least go with the actual Airborne- the 82nd Airborne. Good guys, very hard core.

MitchSchaft
March 30, 2003, 10:00 PM
I understand betterluckytg's sentiment. I walked into the recruiter's office and told him I want to enlist. He tried to do his whole "convinsing shpeal" no me. Halfway through he figured out my mind had been made up.

I don't believe 24 is too old. I'm 24 now and know I could do it if I could work past the physical fitness stuff. They like to play mind games a lot as well. It was great.

betterluckytg
March 30, 2003, 10:02 PM
Bad Dad Brad: You're absolutely right. I forgot to add that I was 22 when I was drafted and boot camp was a genuine bitch for me. 24 would be WAY too old. Mayhap the USAF or Navy?

Quartus
March 30, 2003, 10:41 PM
22 was a bitch? 24 is too old?

I was doing 10 miles a day at those ages (in around an hour), and belting out 300-500 pushups a day, in sets of 100.

And that was AFTER I got out of the Army at 22.


And there are plenty of 40 plus men doing Iron Man Triathlons who can run many a Drill Sergeant into the ground.


It's up to you.

Andrew
March 30, 2003, 11:21 PM
Some questions i will put out for you...

1. Do you like the life you have now, and where it's going?

2. Do you have a job?

3. If yes to question two, do you like the job you have, and where it's going?

Now if you said Yes to one or three, and you would still like to be in the military then you mite look into the National Guard, that what i'am going.
Now one thing you need for whatever part of the military you going to go into is a good recruiter, and one thats working for You! not some 20-years and out guy, thats just been put there for a year, and is only thinking about geting the number of guys he needs to get out, so he can get back to his real job.

megatronrules
March 30, 2003, 11:45 PM
I apprieciate everyones advice and opnions. I do have a job and I like where my life is going, As far as I can see anyway. No one knows what tomorrow brings. I will talk to recruiters from a few branches and go from there I guess. I think its the whole thing of wondering what might have been. I was going to join the Marines when I was 18,personal and family issues kept me from doing that at the time. If I chose the Army I think I would go for MP as Im persuing a career as an LEO. All the PD's seem to prefer ex military as well. Thanks again for all the views guys.

SIGarmed
March 31, 2003, 12:41 AM
You have to ask yourself what type of job you really want. Do you want to deploy overseas without seeing your loved ones for months at a time? Do you want to do the grunt thing? Do you want a desk job, or a technical job, a driving job et cetera. You need to talk to different recruiters and you have to make the decision. Get the mos in writing. Do not go in under a general contract unless you are willing to have a job you really don't want.

As a former Marine I can tell you the life of infantry isn't for everyone. Its hard training, but initially in bootcamp its actually not that hard physically because if you go the infantry route it will definately get harder. Boot camp is only initial indoctrination. In the School of infantry I can remember running at least a ten miler in boots, but you may do that you may not. In my unit we did ten miles in pt gear in approximately 61:00 minutes during a platoon run. If you want to go into the Recon field it gets even harder.

I would say if its really what you want go for it. You only live once. Your contract will eventually expire and you can decide if you want to stay or not, or even join another service.

Also if you are after an 03(03 denotes infantry) mos its going to take at least six months of training if not more to even get to an infantry unit let alone deployed.

The tid bits quoted below are from the link that pipsqueak posted regarding Marine boot camp. http://usmilitary.about.com/

I just want to point out that if you actually do the three mile run in just under 28:00 minutes its no great feet and you'll be considered a lightweight and treated accordingly. It would be in your best interest to do the run somewhere below 21:00 minutes preferably under 18:00 if you can so train accordingly.
In boot camp the longest forced march went as far as twenty miles in big hills. I don't know if they do the same now this was in 90, and Parris Island is flatter than Camp Pendelton. You really don't want to go to pork chop platoon(PCP) :) so be in decent shape upon arrival.


It's important that you get into some semblance of physical shape. Concentrate on running three miles and long marches (up to 10 miles). Sit-ups and pull-ups are also important. If you are unable to perform basic exercises, you may spend a significant amount of time in PCP (the Physical Conditioning Platoon). PCP is tough: PCP's objective is physical fitness, and that's what you'll be conentrating in while in the program. Individual remain in PCP until they can While it is normally a 21 day program, once you're in, you don't get out until you can do 3 pull ups, 40 sit ups in 2 minutes, and run 3 miles in 28:00 minutes.

If you arrive overweight, your Drill Instructor will put you on a "Diet Tray" for your meals. (On the other hand, if you arrive underweight, you may be put on "double-rations.")

mons meg
March 31, 2003, 12:53 AM
I have to disagree with some of the info provided here, but totally agree with others So here goes:

-- Unless things have changed, an enlistment contract is 8 years, not 6. The USMC offered a miinimum of 4 active, 4 IRR (inactive ready reserve, you don't go to drill or anything but they can call you). For Reserves, it was 6 years of drill, and 2 years inactive. This is what I did, but I got called to the Gulf so don't think you won't be spending some time out in the Fleet.

--DO try to get into shape as much as you can, but DON'T think you won't have your *** run off despite your best efforts.

--If you enlist at age 24, you will likely take some crap in boot camp for being an "old man".

--DON'T spend a lot of time at the range with your buddy's AR15 practicing...go running instead. The PMIs will show you the proper way to shoot. Your way is wrong.

-Officers are not enlisted, and do not sign an enlistment contract. They sign a commission, and while I don't have all the details, there is probably a minumin amount of time you can serve, but a commission is open ended and you may resign anytime after your minimum time. If you have a bachelor's degree, talk to an OSO (officer selection officer) first before you talk to a regular recruiter.

--Active duty in the Corps IMO is harder on a family than any other branch. Fleet deployments can be 6 months in duration. Half your enlistment could potentially be spent outside CONUS. (another reason I went Reserve..I wanted to start college)

--You will wonder why the hell you ever signed up for this as they suck you dry and ask for more...and you will always remember you were a member of the finest fighting force the world has ever seen.

Semper Fi.

Jay

Edited for clarity

PS don't think just because a Marine was a reservist and didn't go on floats and cross the equator and get the secret tattoo that he won't happily rip out your organs and eat them if you make the mistake of calling him a soldier... :D

Nightcrawler
March 31, 2003, 01:09 AM
I made the mistake of not preparing myself physically for basic training. The only thing I had a huge problem with was the run, and that's the Army's two-mile. (Ya gotta understand, I'm just God-awful at running, always have been). It was quite a struggle for me to finally get that thing.

Maybe AFTER Army basic training (like right after) I would've been in good enough shape to be able to enlist in the Marines with some confidence, but I dunno.

Personally, if I could go back to high school (*SHUDDER*) knowing what I know about myself now, I would've gone into the Air Force for an active duty hitch, instead of joining the Army Nat'l Guard, probably. I could've gone aircrew and pursued my first love, aviation. But that's neither here nor there.

Here's a good place to go on getting in shape. The Navy SEAL Workout (http://www.navyseals.com/community/navyseals/navysealworkout_main.cfm). It was put together by SEALs to prepare people who want to try for the SEAL teams, but it can work for you. It starts off slow and easy, and builds up week by week, and includes pushups, situps, pull-ups, running, and swimming. If you can stick with this you'll be in some kind of shape, let me tell you.

MAKE SURE, though, that you want to do it before you sign up. IT CAN GET YOU KILLED. Falling on the field of battle for your country is an honorable way to die, and may sound appealing (at least, I've met people who think so). Dying isn't the only thing to worry about. How about getting your legs blown off? Becoming paralyzed? Blinded? Given brain damage or driven insane by nerve agents?

I bring this up because you have to consider it. It's not a decesion to be taken lightly, at least, not if you go into combat arms.

But if you do go into the Marines, you have my respect, anyway. Don't let that sway you one way or the other, though. Just give it some thought.

jmbg29
March 31, 2003, 02:08 AM
I'm former Navy myself. I think that anyone that chooses to serve their country should be commended for it, regardless of the branch in which they serve.

A man much greater than me once said:
"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference to the world, but the Marines don't have that problem..." President Ronald Reagan

telewinz
March 31, 2003, 07:03 AM
Seems you need to get away by yourself for awhile to think things over. This is a BIG step and as such should be fully researched before you make any commitment. Questions you might ask: 1. Am I doing this for adventure or personal enrichment? 2. Will I enjoy/tolerate daily PT for the next few years? 3.What am I seeking from military life that I can't obtain now? 4. Are you aware that you will be SERVING your country which means you will often times be required to do things that are against your better judgement/wishes?

If you take your time and get as much unbiased information as possible your decision should be easy and the experience rewarding. Don't let an Army guy tell you about the Navy and don't let a Marine tell you about the Air Force, they are on the outside looking in as you are.

Choose a skill that converts to a civilian occupation, if you decide not to make a career out of the military (most don't) you will benefit more from your experience than most and you will appreciate it later

Don't count on OCS unless you already have a college degree or at least 2 years of ROTC. If you are determined to get a commission (fine idea), obtain it (reserves) before you go in, don't depend on a promise of some future opportunity.

Treat all recruiters as "used car salesmen" no more no less. If your contract doesn't spell it out, YOU DON'T HAVE IT!

Remember, an E-4 working in an air-conditioned office gets paid the same as an E-4 working in the rain/mud.

Find out what the "shortage" MOS's are and why. The two most common reasons; they demand alot of training time or they are unpopular with the troops. MP's are a fine people but it's been an unpopular MOS (with MP's) since Washington. A longer training period (year or more) requires a longer enlistment committment. Often times you can be rewarded with advanced promotion or a bonus but you may have to ask. Its better to go in as an E-3 or E-4 than an E-1.

Good luck and be informed.:)

Feanaro
March 31, 2003, 07:28 AM
I can only give you the advice my father gave to a friend who was joining the Army. Make your feet tougher. Salt water soaks, lots of walking, etc. Because you will be on them all the time.

I would also assess my reasons for going. IE, am I willing to die or become crippled? You have probably thought hard on that but I know many people appearantly do not.

Smoke
March 31, 2003, 09:17 AM
If I could turn back the hands of time.....

I woould have joined a branch of the military. Not sure which one.
My Dad served (peace time draft) did his 4 years clerking in GA and never talked about it much.

I wasn't aware of what they had to offer until I was about your age. Wife, job, mortgage all kept me from looking at it seriously.

BUt then......I would have cowboyed all over the Northwest too. I'm silly that way.

Bonker
March 31, 2003, 10:24 AM
My dad's advice is to volunteer for everything. He says they will come and ask for volunteers and won't say what it's for. More time times than not, what you'll volunteer for is better than what you'd be doing if you didn't volunteer.

Leatherneck
March 31, 2003, 11:32 AM
If you're looking for job training, go to college or trade school. If you're looking for a challenge that will give you lifelong pride for having met that challenge, sign up to try and be a Marine. When you succeed, you will join a band of brothers that will be with you the rest of your life.

Semper Fidelis

TC
TFL Survivor

bogie
March 31, 2003, 12:59 PM
One thing to consider, and this _may_ have changed...

When I went in, I was in the middle of college... The Marine recruiter told me that I'd be an E-2, but the Army gave me an E-3... That's definitely something to consider...

Personally, my advice would be to go Army or Air Force, and plan on doing 20 years. You'll be 44 when you retire. Do NOT go Infantry, despite all the nice romantic stuff that WWWCommandos tend to push... You're going to be 6 years older than the average Infantry grunt. Instead, go after schools that'll translate to civilian life.

Dannyboy
March 31, 2003, 01:07 PM
Go Army. More options and less brainwashing.

GW45
March 31, 2003, 01:29 PM
I'm still in the Marines - almost 12 years now.

First contract is 4 years active and 4 years inactive - but your name is on a list to be recalled if need be.

I got offered $25,000.00 to join the Army - the Marines said graduated Boot Camp and we'll send you to your MOS school and off to your first duty station.

I didn't join for money, I did it for pride, to prove I had what it takes. Okay the Army said E-3 and the Marines said E-2. What's the difference? 9 months in service. Do the E-3's get treated different than the E-2s? Only if they are getting ready to pick up E-4.

Get in shape - extreme shape. No matter how bad you feel or how tired you get - keep going. The Corps will expect you to.

If joining the Corps seems right to you - then do it. Only you can answer that, I heard everyone tell me NOT to join - the Army this, and the Navy that, and here and there the Air Force.....I don't regret ever signing that contract in 1991 , nor have I in the last 3 times re-uping.

It's hard, it's tough, it's going to push you past whatever limits you think you have and beyond - but there's nothing out there that will match the feeling of being a Marine - You join the Band of Brothers and what the recruiting says is true: The Change is Forever.........

GW45
Sgt USMC

Average Guy
March 31, 2003, 04:05 PM
Others have covered most of my points well, so I'll just say this:

If you're enlisting, check your brain at the door.

Leatherneck
March 31, 2003, 04:17 PM
If you're enlisting, check your brain at the door.
Gotta disagree respectfully, A.G. Some of the smartest people I know are enlisted people. The main difference? The level of responsibilities placed on officers vs. enlisted. But the best officers almost always have a cadre of senior enlisted people to advise them; the successful ones listen to them. :D

TC
TFL Survivor

rick458
March 31, 2003, 04:54 PM
If you want to Join , Join the Best and go MARINES, the discipline
and respect will last you throughout your life time, and when you make it, you will know you have made the grade.
But do lots of running, and work on pull ups, and be aware that Boot Camp is NOT the hardest thing you will in the Corps.
I do not regret an instant I was in the Corps
Also you will make friends closer than Brothers in the Corps, I have MANY friends whose bullet I will take.
Think hard, and make the right choice, and if you decide to become a Marine. Semper Fi My Brother

AnklePocket
March 31, 2003, 05:03 PM
Since the thread lives:
My most challenging lesson in business was learning the hard way (real hard) that any civilian that I ever hired wasn't even on the same planet as the young Enlisted Marines were that I served with on issues of competence, trustworthiness, attention to detail, ability to get a job done without supervision, resourcefullness and so on. No one has ever even come close to the very high level of functioning at any price than the grossly underpaid Enlisted Marines. And my success can be 100% attributed to me doing exactly as they told me to do (and ignoring what some of my seniors told me to do [the Marines like that kind of thing at times]).
I was only in for 4 1/2 years, but I can't imagine having to go through life without that 4 1/2 years. It was priceless and I miss it a lot right now.

echo3mike
March 31, 2003, 05:14 PM
Sorry...little late to the party. Looks like all the stuff I wanna say has been said already. Probably just as well.

FYI, I signed up when I was 26, pretty much for the same reasons...always wanted to go, personal challenge, running out of time 'till I can't, yadda. PT wasn't as tough as I tought it would be, but it'd still be a good idea if you were in excellent shape going in. I'd also like to add that you should probably get some hump time. THOSE were the killers, and what ultimately granted me a medical D/C. The worst ones I can recall were
1) 9 mile speed hump (~ 45lb load) in around 3 hours over sand
2) 18 mile with an M60 (they ain't called PIGS for nothin')
3) the 20 mile in SOI.
Ahhh...the good times. Full combat load is around 70lbs...200 rounds for you, 200 for the SAW, two quarts water, flack jacket, helmet, (a literal pain in the neck), four frags, rifle, poncho, poncho liner, tent shelter half, stakes, para cord, MRE's, sleeping mat, bunch of other stuff in your pack...keep the Advil handy. Oh, did you WANT to be a grunt? If you go comms, you can add a 40lb PRC (pric) 77, or what ever they're using now. And if you go crew served weapons, you can add an 80lb mortor base plate to your load.

As far as advice goes, you really need to think long and hard about why you want to do this. Since you've got a life you like, I'm a little hesitant to tell you to go active. Have you considered the reserves? One benefit would be if you love the life, you can (usually) sign up for active (often with a sign on bonus). If you really can't stand the life, you can still suck it up for 1 weekend a month / 2 weeks a year...unless you get called up.

Think long and hard about this...it's more serious than a marrige, and you haven't really met the bride yet, have you? It's alot harder to deal with and harder to get out of because U.S.M.C.; you signed the MF contract. Just like a marrige, parts of it are great, and parts of it suck...and can potentially kill you.

Don't take the above wrong. I LOVE THE CORPS! There's nothing finer. I miss it every friggin' day, and every deployment makes me ill because I'm not there, too. But don't go into the Corps, or any armed service, for the wrong reasons...it'll be a hell you can't get out of. And NOT signing up may be the most mature decision you can make. It stinks having regrets, but everyone does, and you gotta suck it up and live with it. If you DO decide to sign up, it's an experience that will ultimately be your finest hour. You'll recieve nothing but support and admiration from us formers (and not a little envy).

Ahh.. to be young, dumb, and full of...myself... again.

Semper Fi,
S.

Boats
March 31, 2003, 05:22 PM
Join the Navy and become a corpsman. Then you can opt to hang with the Marines and they will all treat you with some deference if you can keep up with them. After all, they might actually need you the most of anyone one day. There is more rapid promotion in the Navy as well. My brother did that gig for 12 years and is now a physician's assistant as a civvie after completing the college work while in service.

telewinz
March 31, 2003, 05:23 PM
A uniform doesn't earn you pride, only you can do that. An E-5 in one branch might not even be qualified to enlist in another branch. All branches rightly feel they are the best (with some justification). Do whats in your best interest, get yourself the best deal possible from any branch, do a good job and you will walk as tall as any soldier, sailor, airman, marine, or guardsman. Its all subjective in nature anyhow and contains a certain amount of PR and BS .:) I spent several weeks with the marines at Quantico, Va. They were eating powdered eggs for breakfast everyday because their leadership felt it made them "tough". Enough said.

Average Guy
March 31, 2003, 06:10 PM
Some of the smartest people I know are enlisted people.
I agree wholeheartedly. The guys I hung out with were all college dropouts like me! I'm just saying that the smarter you are, the less willing you'll likely be to put up with the absolutely brainless, Mickey-Mouse crap that comes down from on high. You've seen it: Someone up top comes up with a perfectly serviceable idea, but by the time it's come down through all the levels, and everyone passing the word has put his two cents in and helpfully "interpreted" perfectly plain orders, it's a complete CF. I loved my time in and wouldn't trade it for anything, but I was just too smart to stay in. I could have been a "zero," but I was already too old to fly.

That said, if your tolerance for Mickey-Mouse BS is very high, you'll have a much better time.

Semper Fielddayis,

Cpl CG

telewinz
March 31, 2003, 06:23 PM
There is no escape from the "crap". It exists outside the military also, its just part of life. Now days the enlisted soldier may have a "better" degree than his CO. Most branches will not give commissions to people just because they have a college degree. You have to show some prior committment, the military doesn't like being your second or third choice. Degrees are a dime a dozen now, indicates you are educated not smart.

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