Thoughts on joining the Marines...


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MTMilitiaman
December 24, 2005, 08:14 AM
I posted this in a somewhat related thread about joining the Army ( http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=172809 ) but was asked to move it because it did hijack pretty well and I am not in that game. So to be considerate...


I've wanted to be a Marine since I was a kid. Something about the movies I watched and the attitude or ethoes or whatever you want to call it--I want to be part of something, to be proud, to be a warrior in more than just talk or type, to do something for my country...whereas my brother (in the Army, 101st Airborne) hated every minute he spent in his Class As and actually changed out them in the car on the way out of the airport parking lot cause he couldn't wait to use a restraunt restroom, I can't wait to step off the plane in my Class As. And I know that I will ask questions, research, and think before signing anything. I am hoping the military will be a more pleasent experience for me (my brother hates the Army). Now I have a few questions:

1. I have about 90 credit hours in a university. I need about 30 more, or about 2 semesters, to graduate with a degree in Political Science. But school has gotten so expensive. I am tens of thousands of dollars in debt and neither my parents nor I can dedicate as much as the FAFSA seems to think we should towards my education. I simply can't afford to return next semester. I am planning on running and doing lots of push ups before joining this summer. I want to see my mom's birthday in May, my sister's graduation in early June, and my good friend's birthday later in the same month. I also wanted to finish schooling before going active. Is there any way I could convince them to let me do basic training over the summer, finish school in the reserves doing my two weekends a month or whatever with the Marine unit in Billings, MT, and then go active? I don't really think I want to do OCS so if that is a prerequesite for letting me get my degree, I think I'll end up getting military out of the way and then finishing school. Bottom line, I want military and school out of the way by the time I turn 30--which is in about 6 1/2 years.

2. Could Winger please explain this (From previous thread): If you go into some form or fashion of Special Forces, SEALS, etc., or the Marines--- if it isn't something you want to do or become a member of with all your heart,,,,, there is a very good chance it will ruin your life with the 'bad papers' you'll get--which will haunt you for the rest of your life, or possibly even destroy you. It is kind of disturbing. Is he merely suggesting that if one isn't commited in mind and spirit, and willing to give 100%, that they will likely fail and face the difficulty presented by a dishonorable discharge for the rest of their life? Or is it saying something else?

3. And finally, what are the chances they will even take me if I have had a knee surgery? I had a torn patellar tendon reattached in my left knee July of 03. Since then I have worked two summers with the Forest Service as a member of the trail crew. Each summer I hike about 400 miles doing some pretty hard work--35 pound packs, 15 pounds worth of Stihl 044 with a 28" bar, digging and lifting--and my knee hasn't given me any problems or pain since the surgery. I can run on it and do pretty much anything that I personally have a desire to do and have attempted to do. I have heard from people in the military that they served with people who had high school football injuries and stuff and did just fine. But it still worries me because this is not only a personal dream of mine, but I am also relying on it to help pay off some of this mountain of debt I have.

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1 old 0311
December 24, 2005, 08:40 AM
Hi MT,

Being in the Marines has opened more doors for me than ANYTHING else. There are lots of guys who have 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 in School, but being in the Corp sets you apart. I have got 2 jobs in my life that I was told others were better qualified for, but I was hired BECAUSE I was a Marine Vet. ALL Military people stick together. That is a bond that can't be broken.
As far as your knee goes if you can make it through training it won't matter. If you can't you won't get a Dishonorable Discharge. It will be a Medical Discharge. To get a D.D. it takes murder, rape, robery, or in some cases kicking the ???? out of a superior Officer. 3 Million people have been there before you, so don't worry about it.
When you get in basic they will give give you a GCT test, like a IQ test. If you score over 121 you can get into Officers School without a Degree.
Do it. You won't regret it.

Kevin

C-grunt
December 24, 2005, 09:37 AM
Join up, its a great experiance that you cant get anywhere in the civilian world. Like Kevin said, military sticks together. We all make sly remarks about each other (Im in the Army) but its all in fun.

Phantom Warrior
December 24, 2005, 09:49 AM
Hmmm, I'm Army, so I don't have much to say. But check out this website (http://usmilitary.about.com/). It helped me a lot before I joined up.

Steve in PA
December 24, 2005, 11:00 AM
United States Marine Corps.......there is no equal, 'nuf said :cool:

dfaugh
December 24, 2005, 11:10 AM
While I was never in any service(health), I have worked with, and been friends with many ex-military people (and unfortunately lost a few of those friends in South East Asia)... And they were ALL some of the best people I've ever known, or associated with...But the Marines were even a cut above the rest...Always watching my back, no matter what and loyal to a fault.

Semper Fi

M2 Carbine
December 24, 2005, 11:26 AM
I joined the Marine Reserves in 1955 when I was 17 and went active when I was 18. I made Sergeant, not an easy thing to do then, and put 8 years on active duty and in the Reserves.
In 1964 I got a slot in the Army Warrant Officer Candidate helicopter program Because of my Marine experience and already being a airplane pilot I maxed the program. I finally got out of the military after thirteen years, as a Army Chief Warrant Officer.

The reason I tell you this is, I'm proud to have made it as a Army Officer but I will always be first a USMC Sergeant.

The military is what you make it. You can apply yourself and rise above the majority and get a lot out of it. It's not just a saying that it makes a man of you.
It will be a life and personality changing experience, for good or bad, mostly your choice, and it will stay with you the rest of your life.
(A little funny story. I'm 67 years old. At a gun show I walked by the NRA table and the lady said, Would you like to join the NRA? I said, I've been a Life Member for many years. She said, Yes I thought so and I think you were a Marine. That made my whole day:) )

The problem with the Marines is because it is small, the opportunities are less and harder to get than in the other services and the living conditions are much worse than the Air Force or Navy.

To keep this gun related.
Every Marine, no matter his job, is first a trained rifleman.

V4Vendetta
December 24, 2005, 11:37 AM
I've heard that the Marines motto is "Semper Fi". What does that mean?:confused: I had guy do my kitchen cabinets a while back. He was a VERY Marine'ish guy. He had the shirt, the hat, the license plate, everything. I'm surprised he didn't fix the cabinets in his uniform.

6inch
December 24, 2005, 11:53 AM
To get the best answers to these questions you really need to talk to a recruiter.

The Marine Corps isn't for everyone. But I can't think of a better base to build a life.

Semper Fi.

SamlautRanger
December 24, 2005, 11:57 AM
Join the military, you will not regret it!!

I would reccommend the following though, if you are looking for Teir One level type jobs in the military that will also give you guaranteed 100% employability at $100,000 plus jobs for as long as you want upon completion of your military service.

Navy EOD Diver

Army Special Forces ( MOS 18E SF Communications or MOS 18D SF Medic or go SF and ensure that you get ASOT Level III course under your belt).

riverdog
December 24, 2005, 11:57 AM
"Semper Fi"=Semper Fidelis=Always Faithful

Kurt_M
December 24, 2005, 12:00 PM
Here's my perspective, as a recently discharged Army Sergeant (I served four years on active duty).

1. This question can only be answered by the Marines. I suggest you talk to a Marine Reserve recruiter and tell him what you would like to do, then see what he can work out for you. If he doesn't want to work with you, or tries to push you into something you don't want to do, talk to his commander or the next senior NCO in his support channel and tell the superior that you want to speak to another recruiter. Don't worry, you won't make them angry and or any less willing to help you, although some overly forceful recruiters will try to make you believe that's the case. Just keep working your way up the chain until you find someone who will open doors for you. Be respectful and polite, but firm. I'm currently trying to get into the Army Reserve and had an unpleasant experience with a rude and arrogant retention NCO (very similar to a recruiter). After one phone call to his supervisor, I got an apology and am now working with another retention NCO who has been extremely polite and helpful. I'm not saying any of this to try and scare you off of the Marines, but whenever you're negotiating a contract with the Armed Services, it's important to remember that many recruiters and retention personnel DO NOT have your best interests in mind, they simply want to fill their quotas and they'll tell you anything to make you sign on the dotted line. You have to approach them with the knowledge that you have the upper hand in negotiations, and then you must refuse to allow them to bully you. I've learned this lesson the hard way and hate to see anyone else put in a similar situation.

2. I'm not Winger, but I'll tell you that is complete and utter B.S. If you aren't cut out for the Marines, physically or mentally, it will become readily apparent during Boot Camp and you will be given an honorable discharge. It won't be a pleasant experience, but it won't follow you around once you're out either. The military has no desire to permanently ruin the lives of those who simply aren't cut out for military life. It's downright difficult to get a dishonorable discharge IMO.

3. Your chances are very good. As long as you can meet their physical standards you're good to go. I got in with 20/1000 vision and a crooked spine. I also had one of the highest PT scores in my unit by the time I got out. If you really want to be a Marine and you're reasonably healthy, there's no reason you shouldn't become one. Best of luck. :)

SamlautRanger
December 24, 2005, 12:13 PM
Remember, Military recruiters are worse than used car salemen.

If it is not in your contract when you sign, you will not get it! Period! Does not matter what the recruiter promised. I knew many in the Army who signed up infantry on their contract. They said they wanted to go Airborne or Ranger and the recruiter told them that they would be able to volunteer for it in basic. No big deal. Well, they got screwed, they had to wait until the end of their enlistment (3-4 years) to re-enlist with a airborne or ranger option. Recruiters are really pressed now to meet quotas and they will do anything and tell lies to get you to join.

Look also at all the benifits you will get when getting out. The Army offers some very good cash bonuses and also better college benifits. Make sure it is all on the contract when you sign though. (last time I checked the Army was offering $20,000 for enlisting in Special Forces and also was offering an additional $25,000 college bonus on top of the GI Bill).

Talk to the recruiters of all branches. Check out all your options.

Don't overlook the Coast Guard. Everyone I know who has served with the Coast Guard has been well pleased.

If I was looking at doing 20 years, the Air Force is probably the nest option-they treat their people the best. And the Air Force (if you are hoohaand gung ho) has many interesting job. Such as Pararesuce, Combat Controller, Special Tactics Teams, TACPs, and also Security Team, Survival Instructors, and Crew Members on C-130 Spec Ops Guns Ships and Crew Members on Spec Ops Helos.

The Coast Guard is also starting to get some new Spec Ops teams in dealing with terrorism.

Navy EOD, as I stated before, will guarantee you high paying over $100,000 a year jobs for as long as you like. Plus you get dive training, Airborne and HALO jump training, and are also now getting Spec Ops firearms training.

BriGuy1
December 24, 2005, 01:39 PM
I spent 6 years in the Marines, 1984-1990, enlisted right out of high school. One former employer specifically looks for former military, no matter what the job or education requirements are (I was an international tax manager). They found that former military can be counted on to "get the job done" when things get tough.

Despite the cost, why not finish that last semester? Get the degree and go to OCS. Much more responsibility straight away, and time spent as an officer counts as management experience, a very important thing to get accepted into a top MBA program after the service, and still real-world valuable if you pursue a different graduate degree program. Military officers are highly sought after by major companies no matter what their degree is in.

Bottom line: no degree + enlisted experience = back to school after you get out. BS or BA degree + officer experience = Fortune 500 entry level management position.

Moondoggie
December 24, 2005, 02:02 PM
Most of the advice you've received here so far is spot on.

I'm a retired Marine. Served both as a recruiter and a DI long ago.

Your knee problem shouldn't be an impediment to enlistment. You will have to get a consult from an Ortho Doc that says you're good to go. From what you've said about your physical activities I don't think this will be a problem.

There are inservice college tuition benefits for reservists. You can also apply for a commissioning program while in the reserves and go onto active duty after you receive your commission when you recieve your degree. Or you could also stay a "weekend warrior" if you decide that's what suits you at the time. You can complete OCS through two 6 week summer sessions or one 12 week session as a member of the "Platoon Leader's Class" (PLC) while attending college or go straight to OCS on the "Officer's Candidate" program (OC) after graduation.

Another avenue would be to go active duty and finish your degree through night school and "distance learning" programs. There are several colleges that participate in the "Serviceman's Opportunity Program". These colleges allow you to transfer all of your credits to them to meet degree requirements and grant your degree without regard to "residency requirements". You also may be able to get some credits through the CLEP program. Be aware, the Marine Corps doesn't care what school you graduate from or what your major was. To the Marines, earning your degree is simply an indication that you are capable of starting a complex program and completing it successfully. We will teach/train you everything that we want you to know as a 2ndLt.

Have you looked into the Naval Reserve Officer's Training Corps (NROTC) at school? They have scholarship programs available.

Also be aware that all Marine Officer's, regardless of MOS, must attend The Basic School at Quantico, VA after earning their commission. TBS is a 6 month course that teaches you to command a rifle platoon in combat. Even aviators have to complete TBS prior to assignment to follow-on training.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

hank327
December 24, 2005, 03:02 PM
Remember, Military recruiters are worse than used car salemen.

If it is not in your contract when you sign, you will not get it! Period! Does not matter what the recruiter promised. I knew many in the Army who signed up infantry on their contract. They said they wanted to go Airborne or Ranger and the recruiter told them that they would be able to volunteer for it in basic. No big deal. Well, they got screwed, they had to wait until the end of their enlistment (3-4 years) to re-enlist with a airborne or ranger option. Recruiters are really pressed now to meet quotas and they will do anything and tell lies to get you to join.

This happened to me back in the late 70's! When I was talking to the Army about enlisting, I wanted to go Airborne. There were no openings for jump school at that time, so I wanted to wait until there was an opening. My recruiter told me to join the Infantry because I since I would already be at Ft. Benning for Infantry AIT, the Army would simply send me over to the Airborne School upon graduating from the Infantry School. I believed him and enlisted as it seemed logical.

WRONG!!! :cuss: My Senior Drill Sgt. just kind of grinned and shook his head when I told him that I wanted to volunteer to go Airborne. He said that the Army had would only honor the contract that I had signed. He said that I could try to volunteer once I arrived at permenant duty station. That didn't work either as they were at about 50% their authorized strength and they weren't about to lose the first new guy they had seen in months. :fire:

So beware, if it's not written into your contract you WILL NOT get it!

mmike87
December 24, 2005, 05:13 PM
I do the hiring for my department, and I pay particular attention to candidates with a good record of military service. I encourage other managers to do the same, in fact encouraging one department to hire an ex-Navy SEAL.

Consequently, I also turned down a candidate with a "General Discharge" a while back for the same reason.

A good miltary record will help you in a lot of positions by those who know and appreciate the discipline that comes from honorable military service.

As much as I complain about how much I hated being in the Navy - it has largely shaped who I am today and I owe a lot of my success to my service. I'd absolutely do it again. The job often sucked but the experience was too valuable not to have.

mmike87
December 24, 2005, 05:15 PM
I spent 6 years in the Marines, 1984-1990, enlisted right out of high school. One former employer specifically looks for former military, no matter what the job or education requirements are (I was an international tax manager). They found that former military can be counted on to "get the job done" when things get tough.

Despite the cost, why not finish that last semester? Get the degree and go to OCS. Much more responsibility straight away, and time spent as an officer counts as management experience, a very important thing to get accepted into a top MBA program after the service, and still real-world valuable if you pursue a different graduate degree program. Military officers are highly sought after by major companies no matter what their degree is in.

Bottom line: no degree + enlisted experience = back to school after you get out. BS or BA degree + officer experience = Fortune 500 entry level management position.

This is sound advice. You're so close - finish up and go in as an officer. As lousy as a lot of officers were in the Navy, almost ALL were still leagues better than most civillian managers, most of whom just plain suck.

Old Dog
December 24, 2005, 05:26 PM
MTMilitiaman, as far as I know, there are still programs to get student-loan repayments deferred during portions of your active duty (I could be wrong, but it's worth checking on); at any rate, while deployed (especially if drawing hostile fire pay & being in a tax-exclusion combat zone) you'll have plenty of opportunity to let your pay stack up to repay your student loans and any other debt ... Also, remember that tuition assistance in the military pays 100% now (although there's a limit on credits per calendar year), so off-duty education is easier than ever (especially since each branch has education services offices on every base; college courses are taught on-base -- even onboard ships -- and extension courses are readily available anywhere).

As some have noted, the pride factor in the USMC is huge -- I've done 26 years on active duty (USN), worked with all branches -- but no group has more esprit de corps than the Marines; they're a truly great bunch of professionals.

Nimitz
December 24, 2005, 07:20 PM
MT im also strongly considering the Marines...im 18 just out of highschool and applying to FSU Im planning on going OCS and as I understand it (anyone want to clear it up for me) that i go to basic during my sophmore and junior year summer break.

not sure if i want to make a "career" out of it but if I dont im going to fall back on being a LEO or EMT/fire fighter....

EVERY single Marine i have talked to has strongly suggested going to college and getting the degree and becoming an officer...havnt really had anyone say "no" to doing that either.

I still need to go talk to a recruiter though *shudders*

Chad

MatthewVanitas
December 24, 2005, 09:46 PM
If you're just about to start school, have you talked to an NROTC recruiter? If you're pretty set on the idea of doing four years of college and going into the Marines, might as well let the Dept of Defense pay your way.

I was ECP (Enlisted Commissioning Program) in the Marines myself, so did it OCS in one shot in Fall 2001, but I did know guys who did half of OCS one summer and half the next. Personally, I'd far prefer to do it all in one shot, if you get the option. I've heard that a decent number of folks leave NROTC after Junior OCS rather than go back the next summer. It's not that bad, just some folks get freaked out by it and dread going back for the second half.

Get thee to a NROTC fella, and see if you qualify for a four-year education courtesy of Uncle Sugar. IIRC, signing up after college is a 3.5yr contract, getting four years of free college and signing up is a 4yr contract, you do the math! Wish I knew more about NROTC, but I know ECP far better. Hopefully there's a recent NROTC graduate who can fill you in on the board.

If you have any OCS/TBS/MOS-school questions, feel free to PM me. Othewise, strongly advise you check out FSUs NROTC options as soon as the holiday is over and business resumes. A recruiter is not an evil demon, but he is a _very_ motivated businessman. Fortunately, officer program recuiters (OSOs), should be somewhat different from enlisted recruiters.

Faithless
December 24, 2005, 11:32 PM
Can't offer any advice. Can offer best wishes.

You've got 'can do' - so I reckon you can make it all happen.

Nimitz
December 24, 2005, 11:37 PM
If you're just about to start school, have you talked to an NROTC recruiter? If you're pretty set on the idea of doing four years of college and going into the Marines, might as well let the Dept of Defense pay your way.

I was ECP (Enlisted Commissioning Program) in the Marines myself, so did it OCS in one shot in Fall 2001, but I did know guys who did half of OCS one summer and half the next. Personally, I'd far prefer to do it all in one shot, if you get the option. I've heard that a decent number of folks leave NROTC after Junior OCS rather than go back the next summer. It's not that bad, just some folks get freaked out by it and dread going back for the second half.

Get thee to a NROTC fella, and see if you qualify for a four-year education courtesy of Uncle Sugar. IIRC, signing up after college is a 3.5yr contract, getting four years of free college and signing up is a 4yr contract, you do the math! Wish I knew more about NROTC, but I know ECP far better. Hopefully there's a recent NROTC graduate who can fill you in on the board.

If you have any OCS/TBS/MOS-school questions, feel free to PM me. Othewise, strongly advise you check out FSUs NROTC options as soon as the holiday is over and business resumes. A recruiter is not an evil demon, but he is a _very_ motivated businessman. Fortunately, officer program recuiters (OSOs), should be somewhat different from enlisted recruiters.

Thank you Matt, I appreciate the advice.

honestly I have not even really considered NROTC (dont know a thing about it) but now i'll defintely look into it...

right now i have "Florida pre-pay" and a 75% brightfutures scholarship... so its not neccesairly a money motivated issue...im very lucky.

Chad

Walter
December 25, 2005, 01:25 AM
Look at these yellow footprints. They will represent your first step as a
U.S. Marine, and will be a memory you will never forget. Good or bad.

Olys45
December 25, 2005, 09:27 AM
Remember, Military recruiters are worse than used car salemen.

If it is not in your contract when you sign, you will not get it! Period! Does not matter what the recruiter promised. I knew many in the Army who signed up infantry on their contract. They said they wanted to go Airborne or Ranger and the recruiter told them that they would be able to volunteer for it in basic. No big deal. Well, they got screwed, they had to wait until the end of their enlistment (3-4 years) to re-enlist with a airborne or ranger option. Recruiters are really pressed now to meet quotas and they will do anything and tell lies to get you to join.



Take a look at an Air Force Contract, it spells everything out concerning your job and training. I can't believe people actually sign the Army contract... as stated above, this is where MOST of the horror stories of Recruiters come from.
The other one is "Just go to MEPS to see if you qualify for the (whatever branch)!"
Unless you have something weird going on with you, or your Recruiter is a total knucklehead, YOU ARE TENTATIVLEY QUALIFIED to join! He is sending you down to MEPS and the MEPS Liasion NCO's are going to twist your arm into signing up!

I never sent anybody down to MEPS unless they were committed to my branch of service. The only time I lied to anybody was after they made a Commitment to my branch and to our country and then tried to welch on it and run away. I only took one girl back after she jilted me, but that was because she helped cover for me until I found the "correct" time to tell my supervisor that she didn't want to go. :evil:

cousinelmer1
December 25, 2005, 10:10 AM
Military is a good thing and I recommend it. You are so close to a degree that will open other doors with the military that is worth a long thought. In 20 years if the military works out to be your thing you could be retire as an O6 or higher will make it all worth while! Maybe you could get the Marines to agree to pay the rest of your schooling and bring you in as an officer after you graduate, you owe it to yourself to ask this question with them and all the other branches. Good Luck and Merry Christmas to you.

Air,Land&Sea
December 25, 2005, 12:02 PM
Finish college and go to OCS. If you make it you'll be a much improved version of your current self. Not different - better.

Winger Ed.
December 25, 2005, 10:32 PM
2. Could Winger please explain this (From previous thread): It is kind of disturbing. Is he merely suggesting that if one isn't commited in mind and spirit, and willing to give 100%, that they will likely fail and face the difficulty presented by a dishonorable discharge for the rest of their life? Or is it saying something else? .

Basic training is tough, no doubt about it. But it is survivable, and most of getting through it is mental. There are folks who are darn near Olympic atheletes who don't complete the training and washout simply because they can't deal with the harshness and stress. And other, normal, regular every day people, that will just keep putting one foot in front of the other as long as it takes to get where they're going and finish the job at hand,,,,,,,,, they are the true warriors, and where heroes come from.

And there is a reason for doing this. I heard it explained once, "If you can't take getting yelled at a little, or forcing yourself to work and keep going because you're tired, or hungry, how the heck are you going to handle being out in the Fleet, or on a combat patrol, a survival situation, or maybe being a POW? The Corps needs to find out this sort of thing as soon as possible".

As far as the physical part, pretty much anybody in decent shape can do it, if they want to bad enough. And many people don't. Any of the more intense miiitary training, finishing college, becoming a Doctor, building your own house, all sorts of things in life are like that. Most people can acheive these things, but don't want to reach a goal bad enough to finish it or do what it takes to complete getting what they want.

////////

Does washing out always lead to a Dishonorable Discharge and having to go through life like a former fellon? No, of course not. But then again, a General Discharge or being discharged 'at the convience of the govt.' will put the bug in your head of being a failure at something that will never go away. People holding them are always making excuses for getting one, trying to justify them, denying their importance, or even that they have one.

Less than honorable discharges will haunt you too. What do ya think will happen when you apply for a job, maybe with the govt. and among the applicants, it comes down to you and a few other persons, maybe one or two with a Honorable Discharge? Some day you might need to get a high level security clearance, they don't look good, or help you in the least. And right, wrong, or indifferent---Those investigators and the powers that be see those discharges as a sign of imaturity, or irresponsibility.

/////////////

Along the lines of 'wanting something is often better than having it':
I've also seen guys that were just absolutely miserable for the remaining time on their contracts too. They finished them, got Honorable Discharges, and moved on, but also had very few fond memories to look back on for the slice of time it cost them.

I thouroughly enjoyed my years in the Service, and perhaps had the best tour of duty that any human ever had. I wouldn't want to discourage you or anyone else from joining the military. It greatly helped make me what I am, and has opened many doors since then too.

However;
It ain't a rose garden either. And I hate seeing young folks going into, or getting into something they know little about that is so life changing and important of a decision. I don't want to sound discouraging, but this is something you should think through very carefully.

To answer your question, yes. The key to a great experiance and getting all you can from your tour of duty is putting body and soul into it. Any branch of the US military is one of the ultimate 'you will get out of it, more than you put in' sort of things a young American can do.

I enjoy helping young people, sharing my experiances, and perspectives on things. I wouldn't want to discourage or scare you about this matter. I only wish to express the importance of this decision you're about to make.

I believe that whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you will do well.

Good luck.

medmo
December 26, 2005, 06:15 AM
If you do decide to go see a recruiter be honest and up front about your knee. You might need a waiver and they will probably have to review it with a doctor. If you were to have a problem and couldn't complete recruit training you would be "seperated at entry" and there would be no negative implications when you rejoin the civilian world.

I can't tell you what to do as far as your decision. Here is my father's advice when I asked him what I should do: "Son, I wouldn't take a million dollars for the experiences I gained from being a U.S. Marine. You also couldn't pay me a million dollars to do it over again."

I would recommend that you go see a recruiter. I would also recommend that you evaluate how bad you want to do it. You have to be committed 100% because the only way you get the title of Marine is earning it.

Every Marine is a "Lifer" if you serve for 4 years or 40. It is that much of a life changing experience. Once a Marine, Always a Marine.

MTMilitiaman
December 26, 2005, 06:59 AM
Winger, thank you so much for that reply. It was far more than I expected but very much appreciated. My brother didn't think his decision to join the Army through at all. It was a spontaneous decision he made with little or no thought given to its implications. He is now in Iraq and hates everything about his current situation. But he has always butted heads with authority figures. He's always had to be the center of attention, an individual, and has always prided himself with being a non-conformist. We can all tell that the Army has done good things for him, but he's hated every minute of it. That is what I want to avoid.

I can remember playing with my brother and cousin on my grandpa's property. We were always Marines then. That has stuck with me. I've wanted to be a Marine since I was a child. My cousin went Air Force and my brother joined my dad and grandpa as members of our family to carry on the Army tradition--my grandpa having served in Korea in 53 and my dad having been part of an artillery crew in the 80s. I have breifly considered the Army but in the end, I could never picture myself as anything other than a Marine.

Graduating high school I was 4th in a class of 59 right behind two people tied with 4.0s and a girl that beat my 3.86 by 2/100 of a point. I took advanced classes and did well on my ACTs, so it seemed only natural for me to go to college. But in college, I found I didn't have the motivation to study and hit the books. I hated high school and with it out of the way, I wanted to have my fun. Now I have 9 semesters of college behind me without a degree, I am thousands of dollars in debt, and I am 23. The fun is over for me and I have been thinking long and hard about what I want from life and what I want from myself.

I've seen from my brother's experience that it isn't a garden of roses. And I know from five summers with the Forest Service that the government can be Charlie Foxtrot and there are moments I will hate it. I have always been the quiet, thoughtful type. I do a lot of thinking--at times, too much. And knowing that commiting has always been the hardest part for me, I know I will do a lot of thinking before I sign anything, if for no other reason than that I owe it to my brother to learn from his mistakes. But I very much think there is a world of difference in motivation and expectation between my brother and I.

I also very much want and need to achieve this dream. I need to be proud of something in my life, to see something in myself that makes me feel I am a part of something. I want to hold my head high and know that I have accomplished something that few, including myself at times, thought I could do. I realized within these last months that before I can expect others to respect me, I have to respect myself. That is why I am considering the Marines despite being told I could get bigger sign on bonuses or more benfits elsewhere. I've been sweaty, dirty, and tired. I've come home from work exhausted with my back tight, arms and legs sore, and blood stains in my socks from the holes worn in my feet from new boots and 14 miles of hiking. I have had my hands numb from 12 hours of sawing in 120 degree heat and went to bed knowing I had more of the same the next day. And I have waded across a creek, humped my gear up a mountain to a fire, only to have the chopper bail before dropping the rest of our gear at the sight. I slept under a peice of plastic at the base of a tree as it rained on me knowing that I would dig line and pack hose for 14 hours the next day. In the end, I am not afraid of earning something. Work doesn't scare me. Seeing myself as a poor 23 year-old college drop out who is still single and living with his parents with nothing to show for it, does.

medmo
December 26, 2005, 09:26 PM
"I need to be proud of something in my life, to see something in myself that makes me feel I am a part of something. I want to hold my head high and know that I have accomplished something that few, including myself at times, thought I could do. I realized within these last months that before I can expect others to respect me, I have to respect myself."

'nuff said. I enisted after three semesters of college at the age of 19. I had my 20th B-day at Parris Island. College was a breeze and more meaningful after I returned to it about 4 years later. I stayed in the active reserves for another four years. You might also discuss USMCR options with your recruiter. Good luck with the decision.

Shadizar
December 26, 2005, 10:02 PM
This is one of the few posts I will comment on without reading the rest...

As a Marine I can say you will not regret it. Are there choices that will meke your life as fulfilling? YES. Will you regret being a Marine? NO. Regardless of where you go or what you do you will always have that. I have never regretten being a Marine.

Make your choice carefully. It WILL stay with my own choice forever, be a Marine. Good or bad, it will shape your life. Being a Marine will make you a part of a brotherhood. Some believe this, and some do not. In the end it is your choice and like no other will shape YOUR like. It will give you confindence in what whatever you wish to accomplish.

The other services can do the same. I am biased. I can tell you with certaintly that the Marine Corps WILL challenge you. Best of luck to you. My personal motto is, "if you're going to do it, go with the best." The Marine Corps will offer you that. If you want to be enmeshed in a warrior culture it is the place for you.

I loved the Marine Corps and still do, they are warriors, there are others, but my vote if for them.

-Shadizar

All-Around-Shooter
December 26, 2005, 10:42 PM
If you go the enlisted route...

Your recruiter will lie to you.

If you make it past MEPS and go to boot camp:

Your drill instructor will tell you the truth.

You will love it.

You will hate it.

Late at night, while walking firewatch.You will walk into the head and look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself an idiot.

You will never forget graduation day. (should you make it.)

You will be treated like a boot untill you become a lance corporal.
(unless your school is long and you hit the fleet as a Lcpl. Then,
you will be treated like a boot until some new boots show up.)

You will lose your girlfriend back home. (most likely.)

You stand a good chance of serving in a combat zone.(regardless of MOS, CRC anyone?)

You won't have much of a personal life.

You will make lifetime friends.

They are going to get their moneys worth out of you.
Get yours too.
Get as much schooling and training as you can.
Get as much college as possible out of the way while on active duty.

There are many more, these just popped into my head.

One more, After you get out You will wish you stayed in. (sometimes.)

Kurt_M
December 27, 2005, 01:35 AM
I've just got to second everything that All-Around-Shooter said. Your motivation for joining sounds very similar to mine. I did well in high school and could have gone to college on scholarships. I had no real desire to do so, since I had no idea what I wanted out of school. So I joined the Army instead. It wasn't fun, but it was probably the best thing I could have done. Now I'm done with my tour of duty and I've just finished my first semester of college. I've gotten much more out of my classes than I ever did in high school, I've never regretted signing up, even when I hated what I was doing and where I was at. If you maintain the outlook you've shown in this thread, you should do great.

Winger Ed.
December 27, 2005, 01:44 AM
I can remember playing with my brother and cousin on my grandpa's property. We were always Marines then. That has stuck with me. I've wanted to be a Marine since I was a child.

I also very much want and need to achieve this dream. I need to be proud of something in my life, to see something in myself that makes me feel I am a part of something. .

Sounds like me in the early 70's.

Whatever you do, the more higher education you have will pay off many times over. As near as you are to finishing, I'd encourage ya to to stick it out and finish your BA degree.

Talk to a recruiter about College ROTC. They'll pay ya a few bucks to stay in school, which sounds like it'd help ya right now. At OCS, they're looking for leadership in addition to the other aspects of the training. If you can think on your feet, take charge of a group, are good at public speaking, keep your wits about you under stress, that's what they'll be looking for in an Officer Candidate.

If you decide to enlist, with the 'smarts' you already have, you'll probably end up in Avaition Maintenance, or some of the Electronic 'Twidgit' fields. Get ahold of a recruiter, take the tests, and see what you qualify for. If its something you're interested in, get a guarantee in writting,,,,,, you may end up in the same place anyway going in with a 'open contract', but there's no need to gamble with your career field choice. In the Marine Corps, its not real hard to move around from one field to another, especially if the educational requirements for the new MOS (job) are higher than the one you're already in.

And the Marine Corps is the one that does 'Embassy Duty', After you get out in the Fleet, request it, do the interviews, get to MSG school, and see where that takes ya....... There's all sorts of 2 year details available for the asking. Heck, you might even find yourself as a Recruiter in 'Who Knows Where', USA.

Anyway,
It sounds like ya got your head screwed on straight, and will do well at whatever you choose to do.

Good luck.

medmo
December 27, 2005, 04:13 AM
"You will lose your girlfriend back home. (most likely.)"

Damn that Jody and Suzy! Curse of the Corps!

"If you decide to enlist, with the 'smarts' you already have, you'll probably end up in Avaition Maintenance, or some of the Electronic 'Twidgit' fields."

"Smarts" and "Aviation/Electronics"? I thought they made all of us geniuses 0311's?

TOADMAN
December 27, 2005, 08:18 AM
Finish College First!!!

coylh
December 27, 2005, 09:13 AM
Killing your way to self respect is a strange proposition.

Ezekiel
December 27, 2005, 05:01 PM
I recommend the book, "Making the Corps", by Thomas E. Ricks.

It is only a single view -- and I am not a proponent of the sort of indoctrination that takes place -- but it is somewhere to start.

Quite honestly, it is self-evident that I was not born for such a life of indentured servitude. (The mere book made me think these guys were brainwashed into becoming elitist stormtroopers and that any values outside the Corps are to be disdained.) The real question, however, is what sort of life you were born to lead.

One way, or the other, I cannot help but imagine a military hitch will help you decide.

Oh yeah, "finish college" if at all possible.

Good luck!

Tejas Gunwerks
December 27, 2005, 06:02 PM
Go enlist in an combat arms in the Marine Corps. Put off college for now. You can always come back to it later, heck, you can even get the Marine Corps to pay for it. If you want to be an officer, be enlisted first. Marines need experienced officers, not snot nosed, wet behind the ears momma boys right out of college. There are several way to get your commission. You are only young once, so do the high speed, low drag, fun stuff while you can. The experience will be uniquely yours, there is not a damn person on this board that can tell you how it will work out for you. As Mr. Nike said "Just do it!"

Semper Fi.

Wllm. Legrand
December 27, 2005, 10:12 PM
1) Don't believe the recruiters. They are salesmen, period.

2) If you get injured in the Corps (as my son) you better play hardball with regards to their giving you all the help benefits they can to get you back to the way you were. It's a bureaucracy, first and foremost.

3) You are a "human resource", in any government employ. Get used to it.

4. Don't sign on the dotted line for benefits and discharge until you speak to an attorney.

This is on the advice of a former Master Sgt., (not me), but one who was in for 20 and gave my son that advice after it became obvious that he was given the runaround...

He still can't do a pull-up or a push-up, but because of his background and the stop-loss program they won't let him go.

No, he is not a field marine (they don't get many that have been through calculus), but because of his training and specialty, his health seems only important if he can't do his job...no matter how much pain he is in.

That's a fact, Jack..

MTMilitiaman
December 27, 2005, 11:13 PM
Killing your way to self respect is a strange proposition.

I am a strange guy in a strange world. Sounds like strange fits right in. One of Murphy's Laws is that if it sounds strange but works, it isn't strange.

6inch
December 28, 2005, 08:32 AM
1) Don't believe the recruiters. They are salesmen, period.

2) If you get injured in the Corps (as my son) you better play hardball with regards to their giving you all the help benefits they can to get you back to the way you were. It's a bureaucracy, first and foremost.

3) You are a "human resource", in any government employ. Get used to it.

4. Don't sign on the dotted line for benefits and discharge until you speak to an attorney.

This is on the advice of a former Master Sgt., (not me), but one who was in for 20 and gave my son that advice after it became obvious that he was given the runaround...

He still can't do a pull-up or a push-up, but because of his background and the stop-loss program they won't let him go.

No, he is not a field marine (they don't get many that have been through calculus), but because of his training and specialty, his health seems only important if he can't do his job...no matter how much pain he is in.

That's a fact, Jack..

I'm sorry you think your son got a bad deal but as a 100% permanent/total, service connected, Marine Corps veteran I take great exception to your list of "Facts".

BTW. Your post should have ended with That's a fact as told to me, Jack.

shane justice
December 28, 2005, 09:31 AM
Lives turn out different than we thought they would...all for the good I expect...

If I could do it all again...

I would join the Corps...

something I will always regret not doing....

Shane

Stainless0ne
December 28, 2005, 02:46 PM
I know im going to to get hate mail because of this, but, i just gotta. I have many relatives and a few friends that have been in the marines. Some were lifers, some not. All of them came out screwed up mentally in some way or another, and should be (and usually are) on anti-depressants, and nerve medication. Do what you must, but talk with some people who have been there first (not recruiters). "I can replace you easier than i can your boots!"- general eisenhower to his troops, WWII.

USMCRotrHed
December 29, 2005, 02:53 AM
My recruiter did not lie to me, but some of them do. Even after I walked in with long hair and an ear ring and told him what job I wanted and that I wouldn't join unless I got it (I got it). Ask every question you can think of. Then research what the recruiter said. As far as OCS goes, Officers get treated better, plain and simple. If you decide to make a career of it, become an officer. Staff NCOs aren't treated bad, but officers are just treated better.

Keep in mind that most everyone in their first enlistment wants to get out ASAP. That's the way it goes. I spent 5 years on Active Duty and have been out for 10 years. I sure wish I could get back in. The pay's not great, but they give you free ammo and pick up the gunsmith tab, then feed you and give you a place to sleep.

When I was in, if you joined with 60 hours of college, it was an automatic promotion to PFC in boot camp. That puts you 6 months ahead of the rest of the recruits in your platoon. Seniority is everything!

Good luck and Semper Fi!!

PS That ethos you are talking about is Esprit de Corps. It's what makes the Corps work.

spaceCADETzoom
December 29, 2005, 03:16 AM
I know im going to to get hate mail because of this, but, i just gotta. I have many relatives and a few friends that have been in the marines. Some were lifers, some not. All of them came out screwed up mentally in some way or another, and should be (and usually are) on anti-depressants, and nerve medication. Do what you must, but talk with some people who have been there first (not recruiters). "I can replace you easier than i can your boots!"- general eisenhower to his troops, WWII.

:) maybe it's not that the Marines made them nuts...but that they were nuts and then joined the Marines. It takes a special soul to be lured by commercials (they have swords!), and not pay much attention to battle history outside of select movies... :)

i kid. not about the "if they're nutty going in, they're nutty coming out" part, though...:)

medmo
January 1, 2006, 06:14 AM
"I know im going to to get hate mail because of this, but, i just gotta. I have many relatives and a few friends that have been in the marines. Some were lifers, some not. All of them came out screwed up mentally in some way or another, and should be (and usually are) on anti-depressants, and nerve medication. Do what you must, but talk with some people who have been there first (not recruiters). "I can replace you easier than i can your boots!"- general eisenhower to his troops, WWII."

Which Marines are you talking about? Screwed up mentally is a subjective term.... are you writing their medical scripts?

"My recruiter did not lie to me, but some of them do."

Recruiters tend to keep blatant mistruths to a minimum. Potential recruits tend to hear what they want to hear regardless. It isn't possible for a recruiter to convey the experience of the making of a Marine with 100% accuracy and clarity.

"Quite honestly, it is self-evident that I was not born for such a life of indentured servitude. (The mere book made me think these guys were brainwashed into becoming elitist stormtroopers and that any values outside the Corps are to be disdained.) The real question, however, is what sort of life you were born to lead."

Serving your God, Country and Corps in a selfless manner is "indentured servitude"? Son, I think you might know about Brain Washing and it only took a few suds with a very little brush. Stormtrooper = Nazis, I can't respond to your comment in a socially acceptable manner so I'll just note it and move on.

"1) Don't believe the recruiters. They are salesmen, period.

2) If you get injured in the Corps (as my son) you better play hardball with regards to their giving you all the help benefits they can to get you back to the way you were. It's a bureaucracy, first and foremost.

3) You are a "human resource", in any government employ. Get used to it.

4. Don't sign on the dotted line for benefits and discharge until you speak to an attorney.

This is on the advice of a former Master Sgt., (not me), but one who was in for 20 and gave my son that advice after it became obvious that he was given the runaround...

He still can't do a pull-up or a push-up, but because of his background and the stop-loss program they won't let him go.

No, he is not a field marine (they don't get many that have been through calculus), but because of his training and specialty, his health seems only important if he can't do his job...no matter how much pain he is in.

That's a fact, Jack.."

Interesting comments..... You stated "That's a fact, Jack." but either you do or don't know that there are more facts out there that are not in your post. There is definitely more going on here then is being represented. The Corps does everthing possible to assist it's wounded warriors and there are plenty of other groups that go even further with assistance like the VFW, The American Legion, The Marine Corps League, etc. C'mon post all of it if you know it. The USMC is not made up of academic rejects and mouth breathers. I knew a few Marines that did very well in Calculus and just for the record if you aren't a "field marine" then you are not a US Marine.

KC&97TA
January 1, 2006, 11:32 AM
Being a Marine ain't a rose garden, there's a war going on, world wide war. There's also alot of transfering to/from units is going on, some times you're happy with these transfers, some times you aren't, regaurdless these transfers result in more deployments. Since you are already on your way to a degree, I sugest you join the Marine Reserve, find things out from the enlisted mans perspective, after you have gotten your degree, then come to active duty as an officer, don't forget the aggony of being enlisted, ever! The worst part about the military is you spend the first 3-4 years takeing out the trash and scrubbing toilets, over populated barraks, someone always knocking on your door wanting you to pick up trash on the front lawn on a sunday morning. Being enlisted ain't no joke and I have alot of respect for the grief I went through and for my men underneith me going through it right now.

Medical in the Marine Corps is hit or miss, I'll tell you I'm 24, have bad knees now, acheing back & nerve damage in my arm and neck. My body has taken a beating, but for some reason, it really doesn't matter any more. Get used to Motrin and Water being a cure for everything. I have a few medical problems, Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, but through it all, I'm not crazy, I'm not brain washed, it all just adds to the jouney.

Always remember: Sgt's run the Corps.

Those with Combat Experiance don't want to here the opinions of others that don't, on topics they learned from a book and not from lessons learned after being shot at or bleeding or seeing thier buddys die. Purple Hearts aren't "enemy marksmanship badges".

Stay away from the USMC Air Wing, they're a bunch of PIGS. sorry air wingers but you are.

Division or Regiment is a boys club, were the 'Big Green Gun Club' expression comes from. No girls allowed in this part of the gun club & the most fun and best storys you'll ever have to tell, or not tell, will come from this area of the Corps. If you like to pee in the dirt, sleep in the dirt, be covered in dirt, shave in a hummer mirror, then a Regiment is the place to be.

It takes 5 Person Other than Combat arms MOS to support every 1 person who is Combat Arms, so be nice to the POGs when you come in from outside the wire, but don't be afraid to tell them thier per-puse and who is and isn't pulling triggers everyday.

If you want to make a career out of it, I sugest you stay away from the GI Joe MOS's, they'll get you killed & mamed. If you want to do 4-6 years and go on your way, There's alot of highly rewarding places to gain experience to take with you back to the civilian world.

The military isn't for everyone, usually when an Officer makes a big mistake they loose thier commision, when an Enlisted man makes a mistake it's NJP or Courts Martial - there's alot of rules, but they're for the better of this Country, the Corps and yourself. Don't worry about makeing mistakes and a bad discharge. Medical Discharges are not looked down apon.

BTW: I don't hate all officers, just a select few.

All-Around-Shooter
January 1, 2006, 12:29 PM
Stay away from the USMC Air Wing, they're a bunch of PIGS. sorry air wingers but you are.


In your seemingly vast experience as a combat Marine, have these "pigs"
ever provided you CAS?

Remember, if necessary an air winger can serve as a rifleman. Can you wrench
on an F-18? Air wingers are definitley lax when it comes to uniforms, haircuts and sometimes even weight standards.But you won't see a harder working bunch of Marines.They endure extremely long hours, workups, deployments, inspections, rifle range and all the other annual Marine Corps requirements.


The Marine Corps has many different roles. To suggest that any one is better/more important is wrong.

To call a fellow Marine a "pig" is very "boot camp".

Manedwolf
January 1, 2006, 12:37 PM
Remember, Military recruiters are worse than used car salemen.

If it is not in your contract when you sign, you will not get it! Period! Does not matter what the recruiter promised. I knew many in the Army who signed up infantry on their contract. They said they wanted to go Airborne or Ranger and the recruiter told them that they would be able to volunteer for it in basic. No big deal. Well, they got screwed, they had to wait until the end of their enlistment (3-4 years) to re-enlist with a airborne or ranger option. Recruiters are really pressed now to meet quotas and they will do anything and tell lies to get you to join.

The recruiters also know that SOMEBODY has to drive the supply trucks, do the paperwork, clean the mess hall, polish the brass, help the cook, sort the equipment, get mud out of tank treads, weld things, clean the latrine, paint the boat, etc, etc...So yeah, make sure you know what's in your contract!

I'm always reminded of stories of when the Navy put lots of recruiting stations in movie theater lobbies way back when Top Gun came out, letting people think they'd instantly get to fly fighters just like that. I have to wonder just how many ended up cleaning decks and painting and polishing everything that didn't move for their entire tour. :D

Old Dog
January 1, 2006, 12:39 PM
Am I missing something here, or does it seem that the most negative comments to this young man are coming from people who have NO military experience of their own?

it is self-evident that I was not born for such a life of indentured servitude.Those who've not served, cannot begin to fathom the experience by merely reading about it ... "indentured servitude" ... sigh.

I have many relatives and a few friends that have been in the marines. Some were lifers, some not. All of them came out screwed up mentally in some way or another, and should be (and usually are) on anti-depressants, and nerve medication. Do they consider themselves "screwed up" mentally? Would these people be actual combat veterans? Are you in fact qualified to judge that your "relatives and friends" are screwed up mentally? That's one helluva broad negative judgement there, buddy, but, giving you the benefit of the doubt, it's probably an indication that these folks may have been predisposed to depression or anxiety -- Marines (that's a capital "M" to you, partner) tend to be pretty emotionally stable folk as a rule.

Don't believe the recruiters. They are salesmen, period.Um, having worked in recruiting (as a non-vol, of course), I can tell you that the recruiters -- for any branch -- who lie, do not last long. I won't say it doesn't happen, but it's far less frequent than one would imagine. Any dishonesty in recruiting is normally internal, recruiters, classifiers and processing staff "tweaking" the system -- almost always to the benefit of the applicant. Applicants for the armed forces these days are much more savvy and there is much more competition for schools and training. The repercussions for dishonest recruiters are heavy -- normally career-killing and permanent.

I'm always reminded of stories of when the Navy put lots of recruiting stations in movie theater lobbies way back when Top Gun came out, letting people think they'd instantly get to fly fighters just like that. I have to wonder just how many ended up cleaning decks and painting and polishing everything that didn't move for their entire tour.We never put recruiting stations in the movie theaters, but I'm sure there were a few savvy recruiters who may have arranged to be around the theaters in their service dress blues when Top Gun was playing (same for Hunt for Red October) ... Ah, if I had a buck for every applicant who told me, "I wanna do what Goose did" or "I wanna be a sonar dude like Jonesy" ...

telomerase
January 1, 2006, 12:49 PM
I had a friend who was told he would be a navigator for the Navy. After he signed, they tested him for color-blindness, and he spent his whole enlistment as a cook.

There's also the question of whether you're willing to go kill people you don't know over WMDs that never existed, but I guess you got past that. Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.

medmo
January 1, 2006, 01:25 PM
Sounds like your buddy had a guaranteed contract. Well, nothing is guaranteed. If you somehow fail to meet the requirements to successfully function in the "guaranteed" MOS then your job will be changed. You will be reassigned to a job (MOS) that meets your physical and mental qualifications. Are you suggesting that the USN should have allowed your buddy to become a naval aviator even though he had sight limitations and did not meet the qualifications? Your buddy knew going in that if for some reason he washed out of that MOS then he would be reassigned.

"There's also the question of whether you're willing to go kill people you don't know over WMDs that never existed, but I guess you got past that. Best of luck to you, whatever you decide."

WMD's that never existed? I guess it was a faked media stunt when the world saw the images of countless dead Iranians and Iraqi citizens who died of nerve agent poisoning.

We are currently killing people who have one goal which is to kill Americans and others from Western society. There minds have been completely polluted by self serving leaders who have brain washed these guys with perverted religion. They would love to do nothing more than come to the U.S. and kill as many Americans there as possible. You don't get to decide if you are "at war" all of the time. These people are "at war" with you and your country. These people are engaged completely in efforts to kill Americans, destroy this country and it's vital interests. There is no possibility of negotiating or reasoning with these people. Killing or capturing them is the only solution that seems to work. Where would you like us to do this? Where they breed or in your back yard?

WillBrayJr
January 1, 2006, 01:28 PM
While I do support our Troops, I just don't think being in the Military is the right job for me. So I would have to pass on that.

telomerase
January 1, 2006, 05:16 PM
WMD's that never existed? I guess it was a faked media stunt when the world saw the images of countless dead Iranians and Iraqi citizens who died of nerve agent poisoning.

That was in the 1980s, when the US was supplying Saddam with the VX precursors. The alleged nuclear and gas threats to the US in the 2000s never existed, and no one ever thought they did.

The Iraqis weren't interested in killing Americans before the US invaded. Al-Quaeda certainly was, and the invasion has really helped them spread fanatic Islam.

I'm sure you and I share the same goals; we both want to see freedom spread around the world. I just don't think that the US Aid To Dependent Dictators (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/walker1.html) programs are doing that. Happy New Year, and death to all dictators... including those our taxes paid for.

Wllm. Legrand
January 1, 2006, 07:55 PM
"

Interesting comments..... You stated "That's a fact, Jack." but either you do or don't know that there are more facts out there that are not in your post. There is definitely more going on here then is being represented. The Corps does everthing possible to assist it's wounded warriors ..... C'mon post all of it if you know it.
Since my son is posted here near my city, I've heard it all..through both surgeries, therapy, etc.etc, etc. Tell it all? Why? You can accept it or not, I don't give a damn. "..does everything possible.." is a platitude. Maybe my son's runaround is not typical. I met with the surgeon at the Air Force Academy in the Springs (first surgery). It's been four years now..he's in for five, but we'll se if these new changes that I've been told about (for a couple of months now)regarding medical review board changes and the such will finally let him go.

" The USMC is not made up of academic rejects and mouth breathers. I knew a few Marines that did very well in Calculus and just for the record if you aren't a "field marine" then you are not a US Marine.

Two errors here. I never claimed that it was made of academic rejects. That's your implication, not mine. I simply stated that they do not get many h.s. kids that have been through calculus. That's a friggin' fact. What's your problem?

Second error is regarding "field marine"....I know you'd like to think otherwise (the grand tradition of the Corps and all that), but call a spade a spade. I've had numerous conversations with ret. Mstr. Sgt. and another discharged Marine (all of us party to the same conversations) and the term is used. Maybe those old-time vet and the younger one are just full of it.

I'll have to speak with them about their use of proper nomenclature. On your authority, of course.

I stand my description of the list as factual, according to experience. The "tint" my be subjective, but then this opinion is not made of whole cloth, as you may believe, but rather from being close to the situation.

Never do I run into more hard-nosed intransigents who are closed-minded on any subject to which they have already made up their mind as former or active military and cops. You sound like one or the other.

Usually it's just a matter of time before they dredge out the ol' "Well, you don't know shiiite because you were never in!", usually given with some self-righteous smirk in their voice. Give it a rest, old dog.

You may as well talk to the wall as have a genuine discussion that has any degree of disagreement. As long as everyone is in agreement, conversation is great...disagree, watch out!

That's subjective, too.

And don't start this "hates the military" crap. I'm proud of what he's done. He's a tough kid. I'm just calling the facts as they are, free of false ideology or phony platitudes.

Old Dog
January 1, 2006, 08:21 PM
Well, Wllm. LeGrande, it's understandable that you have strong feelings about your son's treatment through military treatment facilities. I'm a little unclear as to exactly where you feel the Marine Corps (and the Navy Medical Corps) did him wrong -- he was injured, received treatment, had surgery, went through therapy, but is still suffering pain and physical problems yet the Marines will not give him a physical disability separation or disability retirement? And he's already appealed his case to the Central Physical Evaluation Board? Having been through the medical board procedures myself , I know quite well how frustrating the medical bureaucracy can be, and I'd agree that the physicians can and do make mistakes ... but with persistence, the system can be successfully fought (hopefully without Congressional intervention).

You also noted that
Usually it's just a matter of time before they dredge out the ol' "Well, you don't know shiiite because you were never in!", usually given with some self-righteous smirk in their voice. Give it a rest, old dog.To which I must respond that I was addressing the two gentlemen with no military experience of their own who presumed to give advice to the young man who is already on his way to boot camp ... I will stand by my comments, for one who has not served has no right to term military service as "indentured servitude" nor claim that everyone who goes into the service ends up "mentally screwed up." If you consider this self-righteous, so be it. And, frankly, if you've not served, as I stated, you really cannot begin to fathom the experience ... I'm a pretty hard-nosed intransigent about that, you're correct on that score.

happyhooligan
January 1, 2006, 08:35 PM
Though it may pain you, try and finish up with your schooling. You're two semesters short. The Marines may have a student loan repayment bonus like the other branches. If you really want to join now, see if you could do a split-option where you would attend bootcamp this summer, and your MOS school next summer. You may be able to transfer to active duty right away after you graduate.

Wllm. Legrand
January 1, 2006, 09:08 PM
Well, Wllm. LeGrande, it's understandable that you have strong feelings about your son's treatment through military treatment facilities. I'm a little unclear as to exactly where you feel the Marine Corps (and the Navy Medical Corps) did him wrong -- he was injured, received treatment, had surgery, went through therapy, but is still suffering pain and physical problems yet the Marines will not give him a physical disability separation or disability retirement? And he's already appealed his case to the Central Physical Evaluation Board? Having been through the medical board procedures myself , I know quite well how frustrating the medical bureaucracy can be, and I'd agree that the physicians can and do make mistakes ... but with persistence, the system can be successfully fought (hopefully without Congressional intervention).

You also noted that
To which I must respond that I was addressing the two gentlemen with no military experience of their own who presumed to give advice to the young man who is already on his way to boot camp ... I will stand by my comments, for one who has not served has no right to term military service as "indentured servitude" nor claim that everyone who goes into the service ends up "mentally screwed up." If you consider this self-righteous, so be it. And, frankly, if you've not served, as I stated, you really cannot begin to fathom the experience ... I'm a pretty hard-nosed intransigent about that, you're correct on that score.

Okay, I was a little harsh on that "self-righteous" comment. Jumped the gun. Sorry about that. I just have heard it so much. As I've said, I've never been shot, either, but I bet it would hurt. I bet you are an intransigent old @)#($*)@. ;)

As for your first paragraph, your understanding of it is correct. Back and forth, file this, Sorry, misdiagnosis on first surgery. go back east to meet with some board, sorry that's been put off, go back to see if third surgery can be done, no wait, change in rules you may be able to get another kind of board to review, etc., etc.
Like I said: BUREAUCRACY! Such B.S. Fix the problem, no matter what. If he hurts so much now (has to take pain pills to get through the "motions" of a PT session (only partial as he can't even run--which he does anyway--without pain in the shoulder). Just use some of the GD money used to "create democracy" in some S**T-hole of a country we shouldn't even be in to take care of one of those who trusted the FedGOD to do what it said it would do.

That's all I ask. Really DO do all they can.

Old Dog
January 1, 2006, 09:15 PM
Fair enough, W.L. ... Regrettably, the Navy's medical establishment (and I'm sure the Army's and Air Force's as well) right now is really suffering -- another victim of the "cost of war." Most of the medical personnel, physicians, P.A.s, nurses, corpsmen, are all being deployed -- even those who are assigned shore duty. What's left stateside are reservists and contract staff filling the billets. This compounds the fact that the Navy's (and Marine Corps) medical board and limited duty systems were screwed up to begin with. Sorry for your son's problems, and here's hoping that he quickly finds people involved in his case who care.

ghost squire
January 1, 2006, 11:15 PM
Bottom line: no degree + enlisted experience = back to school after you get out. BS or BA degree + officer experience = Fortune 500 entry level management position.


This is sound advice. You're so close - finish up and go in as an officer. As lousy as a lot of officers were in the Navy, almost ALL were still leagues better than most civillian managers, most of whom just plain suck.


What if one were get a 2 year degree before going in as an enlisted man, then get some experience before becoming an officer later on?

For example if you wanted to be a SEAL you wouldn't go in wanting to become an officer, you'd go in as an enlisted man and would it be possible in the Marines at least to become an officer later?

medmo
January 2, 2006, 12:26 AM
"The Iraqis weren't interested in killing Americans before the US invaded."

Tell that to the air crews and aviators who dodged SAM's and other ground fire while patrolling the "no fly zone" when fulfilling the mutually agreed upon cease fire. The same guy calling the shots in Iraq when the Iraqi citizens and Iranians were gassed to death was the same guy in charge when our units rolled North from Kuwait in 2003. Regardless of where you think he aqcuired those weapons he used them and the world thought he would use them again. The world also was convinced that he possessed WMD's and was developing more. Mass graves don't lie. The US is a much safer country and so is the world without Hussein.

I think your argument that having forces locate and destroy terrorists off shore is self defeating to our cause in the war on terror is non-reality based thinking. Were there troops actively engaging an enemy in the Mid East when the Twin Towers 1st bombing occurred? When the barracks in Saudi Arabia were destroyed by suicide bombers? How about the suicide attack on the USS Cole? The "Oh, man let's not piss them off anymore" theory just doesn't hold water. These twisted perverted animals showed up "pissed off" and desire nothing more in life then martyrdom by killing us. The "maybe we can ignore it and it will go away" ideaology has proven a failure. The US is capable of disrupting, detaining and destroying these terrorists. The fact that every day we wake up without news of death and destruction within our borders is proof. If these people were capable you would wake up to much different news daily.

I'm sure that we both agree on how we want to see this situation resolved. I don't think we "understand" the situation the same way.

Wllm. LeGrande - Apologies if you felt like I stomped on your toes. Yes, I understand there is a bureaucracy to deal with and it might take longer then you feel is acceptable for the situation to be resolved. I think your old time vet and younger vet might be full of themselves. I was a "field Marine" not one of those other types. Brother, I'm telling you every swinging member in the USMC is a field Marine. Do some spend more time in the field then others when training? Yup When your MEU is in a theatre of operation then every one is a field Marine.

Manedwolf
January 3, 2006, 01:09 PM
The same guy calling the shots in Iraq when the Iraqi citizens and Iranians were gassed to death was the same guy in charge when our units rolled North from Kuwait in 2003. Regardless of where you think he aqcuired those weapons he used them and the world thought he would use them again.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/handshake300.jpg

Here's where he obtained them. Yes, that's Rumsfeld on the left, there, and the chemical precursors all came from places like Dow and DuPont. The story is a lot more complex than comic-book black and white. The US literally MADE Sadaam to keep the Iranian ayatollahs busy, supplying him with everything he needed. Then, like every time we try to play with puppet leaders, they turn bitey and turn on us. Just like bin Laden was once part of the US-supplied Mujahadeen resistance against Soviets in Afghanistan.

This whole mess is a result of 30 or more years of bad policy, not just "good guys and bad guys". That's not how the real world works. WE are the ones who knowingly empowered monsters and enabled them to exercise their evil ideas. The world is full of tinpot dictators with similar aspirations, but the ones we tried to make pets of took the training and the guns and weapons and, as they always do, turned around and bit us in the behind. Now we're paying the price.

BTW, some of the most noted and respected military historians, the ones who are required reading for officer school, have called Iraq things like "the worst tactical blunder of the past 2000 years". I'm just sorry to see good men and women losing their lives in the quagmire, while the CIVILIAN military leaders enjoy VIP cushy, safe lives at home.

medmo
January 6, 2006, 06:54 AM
DUH

I didn't just show up uneducated, inexperienced and late to your Modern American History Class. No kidding, the US Govmn't did all of that? Excuse me and let me wipe the slobber off my shirt collar.

There were many things that were done against the "Evil Empire" and the "Islamic Revolution" that encompassed the theory "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Do you remember 9/11 and the wake up call? I'm guessing not. It changed the way we do business and respond to threats and even potential threats to the US and it's citizens. That was a transition point but apparently you never shifted gears.

"Now we're paying the price."

Nope, all we had to do is be ourselves to pay the price. If you don't practice the same type of perverted religion than they do you will "pay the price". That is nothing more than we had to do bring the condemnation and "jihad" to be called against us.



"BTW, some of the most noted and respected military historians, the ones who are required reading for officer school, have called Iraq things like "the worst tactical blunder of the past 2000 years". I'm just sorry to see good men and women losing their lives in the quagmire, while the CIVILIAN military leaders enjoy VIP cushy, safe lives at home."

Tactical blunder? What officer school requires "reading" that questions the most current and highest priority of the US Military? No where that I know of..... Name them if you happen have the list handy. You are sorry for who? Honorable and brave people that don't want your pathetic pity. They want your support to help them fight each and every crucial battle in this war. The CIVILIAN military leaders and YOU enjoyed a nice cushy, safe sleep at home last night in your own beds due to their devotion and dedication. Their blood, sweat and tears are keeping YOU and your CIVILIAN military leaders safe from urban dirty bomb detonations to individual terrorists dumping AK mags in our elementary school rooms.

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