Be very careful about being misled by recruiters. This is not the same as being lied to. Misleading others is just as evil, but perfectly legal. You have to remember that a recruiter will rarely fill in the entire picture. It is in his or her best interest to leave out key details since these details wont always paint that perfect picture.
One other important factor is "selective listening". For some odd reason many of you who wish to enlist will sit there and only hear what you want to hear. It is important that you pay close attention to what your recruiter is saying and it is very important that you don't be afraid to question anything that he may say. Have them explain their words if you don't understand or need more clarification. Don't be intimidated by them and don't sit there like a bump on a log and pretend you are understanding everything he is saying too you.
Here are some examples of how a recruiter may mislead you:
EXAMPLE 1: YOUR QUESTION: Do you get 30 days off of leave per year?
RECRUITER’S ANSWER: Yes you do.
That answer is very misleading, but a correct one. Yes, you do accumulate 30 days of leave per year. But this does not mean you will be allowed to take 30 days of leave per year. When talking about leave many factors come into play on whether you will be allowed to take it. So just because you may gain 30 days per year, this doesn’t mean you will take 30 days per year. And do not expect to ever take 30 straight days of leave during your first enlistment. You do not just wake up one day and decide you will use a few of your leave days to take off from work. Hell freakin no. That is not how it works.
EXAMPLE 2: YOUR QUESTION: Can you pick where you want to get stationed?
RECRUITER’S ANSWER: Well of course you can.
That answer is also very misleading, but a correct one. You will fill out a dream sheet of your top three choices for your first duty station. But at the end of the day, the Marine Corps will put you where they need you at that time. You have no say in the matter unless your school is one of those schools that allows you to pick your exact duty station. You are only allowed to pick from three choices. You can pick the west, or east coasts, or overseas. From time to time if you pick the west coast as an example, the USMC will station you there but not because you chose it. They place you there because this is where they need you and it just so happens that you picked it. This is why you hear about some Marines saying that they got their first choice. They really didn’t, the USMC picked it for them and it happened to match their choice.
EXAMPLE 3: YOUR QUESTION: Are you free to go as you please once you are off of work each day?
RECRUITER'S ANSWER: Yes or course you are. It’s sort of like a 9 to 5 job. Once you’re done you are free to do as you please.
Once again, misleading. If you have no other duties/responsibilities that day, and if your unit/platoon is not being fucked with/punished for some reason that evening, then you are free to go providing they have not put a restriction on where you can’t or can go, and providing they have put no time limits on how long you can be out. Remember, you chose to enlist so you'd better smile when you are getting fucked over.
EXAMPLE 4: YOUR QUESTION: Can you change jobs while in the Marines?
RECRUITER'S ANSWER: Of course you can. After two years you can switch jobs.
Changing your primary job during your first enlistment is not going to happen 99.9 percent of the time. After two years the USMC may say you are eligible to switch jobs, but it isn't going to happen, especially when your reason for wanting to change jobs is simply to try a new job. If you are reenlisting, the chances of you switching jobs are far greater. The job you enter boot camp with will be the job you do for your entire enlistment."Switching" jobs is not you becoming a Sniper, or Recon or Recruiter or anything like that. That is an entirely different issue. We are talking about you enlisting with an infantry contract and after two years you want to try to become an MP, as an example. This just isn't going to happen. Read the "LAT MOVES" page on this website for more info on switching jobs.
As you can see misleading is not a good thing. A recruiter will rarely fill in the details because if they did, the USMC would not sound like the fun place they make it out to be. And keep in mind not all recruiters are this way. This is why when you ask a recruiter questions, it really does you no good in most cases because you don’t know what the correct answers are. You are assuming they are being honest with you and you’re assuming you are not being misled.
Just make sure you pay close attention to what they are saying and never be afraid to have things explained to you. Don't just sit there and nod your head in agreement, especially if you don't understand something. Open your mouth and ask for more details.