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Thoughts on joining the Marines...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MTMilitiaman, Dec 24, 2005.

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  1. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    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):
    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.
     
  2. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    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
     
  3. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    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.
     
  4. Phantom Warrior

    Phantom Warrior Member

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    Hmmm, I'm Army, so I don't have much to say. But check out this website. It helped me a lot before I joined up.
     
  5. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    United States Marine Corps.......there is no equal, 'nuf said :cool:
     
  6. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    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
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    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.
     
  8. V4Vendetta

    V4Vendetta member

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    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.
     
  9. 6inch

    6inch Member

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    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.
     
  10. SamlautRanger

    SamlautRanger member

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    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).
     
  11. riverdog

    riverdog Member

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    "Semper Fi"=Semper Fidelis=Always Faithful
     
  12. Kurt_M

    Kurt_M Member

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    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. :)
     
  13. SamlautRanger

    SamlautRanger member

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    what kurt M said!

    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.
     
  14. BriGuy1

    BriGuy1 Member

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    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.
     
  15. Moondoggie

    Moondoggie Member

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    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.
     
  16. hank327

    hank327 Member

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    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!
     
  17. mmike87

    mmike87 Member

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    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.
     
  18. mmike87

    mmike87 Member

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    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.
     
  19. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    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.
     
  20. Nimitz

    Nimitz Member

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    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
     
  21. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    @Nimitz

    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.
     
  22. Faithless

    Faithless Member

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    Can't offer any advice. Can offer best wishes.

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

    Nimitz Member

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    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
     
  24. Walter

    Walter Member

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    The Marines?

    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.
     

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  25. Olys45

    Olys45 Member

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    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:
     
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