Advice and Info About Enlisting Into the Marine Corps

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Q AND A PAGE 2

CAN YOU SWITCH BRANCHES WHILE IN THE MARINES?
Once again, FUCK NO!! You cannot jump from branch to branch. You must finish the active part of your enlistment contract first and once you do this you are free to try to enlist into one of the other branches. Re-enlisting into a different branch is not a sure thing and it is not as easy as just wanting to do it. You will not know if you can change branches until it is your time.

IS BOOT CAMP REALLY THAT TOUGH?
No it is not as hard as most people make it out to be. This doesn't mean it isn't hard. It's just not as hard as many may think it is. Read the boot camp section for info about how tough it really is.

HOW CAN YOU BECOME A GUIDE OR SQUAD LEADER DURING BOOT CAMP?
All you can do is your best and hope you get noticed. If you do then your DI's might recognize you and assign you one of these positions. Guides and squad leaders are usually fired left and right and many recruits take turns being in one of these leadership positions. Not all boot camp platoons are run the same way. So how leaders are chosen will vary from platoon to platoon. Like I said, all you can do is your best and hope you get noticed. And remember, after boot camp no one really cares about what you did or were in boot camp and being a squad leader or guide doesn't help you while in the USMC. These boot camp leadership positions are a good personal accomplishment, but they will mean squat once boot camp is over.

CAN YOU TAKE A BIBLE TO BOOT CAMP?
Yes you can and they cannot deny you this right. Try not to take a bible or other religious material that has sentimental value because things do get lost and ruined during boot camp. And try not to take a large bible since storage space is limited. As for religious necklaces, yes you can take them, but whether you will be allowed to wear them is a different story. Just remember that things do get lost and ruined, so use caution in what you take.

DO THEY REMOVE YOUR WISDOM TEETH DURING BOOT CAMP?
While in boot camp the medical doctors will examine your mouth and determine what work needs to get done. Some of you will have your wisdom teeth pulled while others will not. They do not yank them just for the sake of yanking them. You may get them all removed during boot camp or they may decide to only remove one or two and the rest at a later day. This process varies from person to person, so don't assume things because of what you have heard. If you want to get them removed prior to going to boot camp, that is your business and you are free to do so. Keep in mind your dental work is free once you ship to boot camp, so if you can't afford to remove them as a civilian, then let the military handle this stuff. And yes, you are given rest and recovery time if you have your teeth pulled during boot camp along with any medication you may need.

CAN YOU TAKE YOUR CELL PHONE TO BOOT CAMP?
You of course will not be allowed to use your cell phone during boot camp. You are not supposed to take it with you, but if you do, it will be stored and kept away from you. All personal crap that is stored will be returned to you just before you graduate. Do not make things harder for yourself. Just leave your phone at home and learn to do without today's conveniences. Once again, you are not supposed to take your cell phone and if you do, you risk it being lost or damaged and you may end up dealing with more bullshit then is necessary.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR PERSONAL BILLS WHILE YOU ARE AT BOOT CAMP?
You should try to make arrangements to pay your bills before you leave. And you can try to call whoever you pay bills to and let them know you are about to leave to boot camp to see what type of arrangements they can make for you. Unless it is a serious emergency, you will not have access to your money during boot camp to pay bills, so figure this crap out before you leave and do not act like you leaving for the Marines is a reason for everyone to give you a free pass and to be very understanding.

DO YOU NEED TO ACT LIKE A HARD-ASS BEFORE ENLISTING AND AS A MARINE?
No you don't. You really should try to be who you truly are and you shouldn't go around acting like a tough guy just because you plan to enlist or are in the DEP. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to cuss all the time and you do not have to act all macho just because you want to enlist or are enlisted. Don't let the USMC hype or image get too you. Just be who you are and don't fall for the peer pressure. You sure as hell aren't going to impress me by acting like Mr tough guy, so learn to be yourself and not who you wish you were.

SHOULD YOU LET MARINES TALK SHIT TO YOU JUST BECAUSE YOU AREN'T A MARINE?
Of course not. Just because a person is a Marine this doesn't give him the right to belittle you. Just because you aren't a Marine this doesn't give Marines the right to treat you like shit and it sure as hell doesn't mean they are special. You still are somebody and you should never allow for anyone to put you down. You do not have to kiss a Marines ass either and if you are disrespected by a Marine you have every right to tell him to fuck off. Do not make the mistake of putting Marines on a pedestal. Let each Marine earn your respect and don't just assume they are to be respected because they are Marines. There are plenty of asshole Marines out there who enjoy putting future Marines down. You really don't need to be associating with those types. If a Marine enjoys putting you down, it's probably because he is a pussy and one hell of a loser. Don't underestimate yourselves and assume that you aren't worth a shit just because you aren't in the USMC. USMC or no USMC you should always hang your head up high and be proud of who you are. Don't rely on a title to give you respect, earn it by being who you are. The funny thing about respect is that once earned it can be lost if your actions call for it.

CAN RECRUITERS CHECK YOUR FACEBOOK AND OTHER SITES AND USE THEM AGAINST YOU?
Of course they can and they do. You need to be very careful in what you post online because you never know who is going to look through your personal sites. Pictures with you doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and doing things of this nature are a good way to get you denied for enlistment and if you are in the DEP it is a good way to get your ass booted from the DEP. Even if you are just pretending to drink or were not actually drinking, if the picture looks like you were you open yourself up to a bunch of bullshit. Just watch what you post and watch what you say any time you are online.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T PASS BOOT CAMP?
You will get separated from the Marine Corps and you go on with the rest of your life. You don't get a bad discharge and it wont effect you in your civilian life. Basically it will be like you never even tried out for the Marines. If you want to try and enlist again into the USMC or into one of the other branches, that is fine and it will all come down to why you didn't pass boot camp.

WHAT IS "TA"?
TA is short for Tuition Assistance. This is a program for active duty Marines only and it pays for some of your college courses while on active duty. TA is not a guaranteed benefit and can be taken away or changed at any time. Let me say this again. TA is not a guaranteed benefit and can be taken away or changed at any time. TA has nothing to do with your GI Bill, so do not confuse the two. Once you arrive in your unit you will know if you qualify for it and how to go about applying for TA.

SHOULD I JOIN THE RESERVES TO GET COLLEGE MONEY?
The Marine Corps is by far the worst reserve branch to enlist into for college money. If your sole interest is college money and serving in the reserves, I strongly suggest you join the Army or National Guard.

WHY DO SOME MARINES SAY SERVING IN THE MARINE CORPS SUCKS?
In most cases when a Marine says it "sucks" he is not referring to boot camp or to the physical aspect of being a Marine. They are speaking about all the little things that make being a Marine a harder life than it has to be. For instance: You very often are treated like juveniles, you very often will pay for the mistakes of others, you may end up doing jobs you did not ask for such as cleaning, painting, mowing grass, etc etc, you may notice some of your leaders will abuse their power and often take things out on you, your free time may be messed with, your liberty can be restricted for the silliest of things, your requests or demands often go unheard, your life can seem micro-managed at times, you have to abide by "USMC politics", you may encounter a lot of free time where no training is scheduled and this is when they find cool things for you to do, and many other things that lower morale.
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CAN YOU PICK UP SGT/E-5 DURING YOUR FIRST ENLISTMENT?
If your contract length is for 5 or 6 years, I would say you have a good chance in some MOS's. If it is for 4 years, then it won’t likely happen, especially in the infantry MOS field. It also depends on what your job is and on how you perform in your qualifications. Most four year Marines will get out as an E3 or E4. Some jobs promote faster than others. Infantry is a very slow promoting field, so do not expect to move up the ranks quickly in this field. There are ways to get promoted faster. You must be on top of your game in all aspects, and you must be squared away. By being a good squared away Marine, you may get noticed by your superiors and sent to a meritorious promotion board. Just remember there is a lot more that comes into play when dealing with promotions and you will learn all of this once in your unit.

WHO PAYS FOR YOUR TICKET TO BOOT CAMP?
The USMC will pay for all that. Your recruiter will pick you up and take you to MEPS and all your travel arrangements to boot camp will be taken care of then. You will stay in a hotel the night before you ship out. You will pay for all travel arrangements to get home from boot camp. You didn't actually think the USMC would make you pay to get to boot camp, did you?

DO ALL MARINES GET TO JUMP OUT OF AIRPLANES?
No. Only certain Marines who are in special units/MOS’s will ever get to do that. In the Marines you get to do what your job requires you to do and not what you want to do so you can be cool. Very few Marines get jump qualed, and the USMC does not have entire units dedicated to airborne ops like the Army does. If you join the USMC then don't count on ever jumping out of an airplane unless you go skydiving in your free time. Jump school can be offered as an incentive when re-enlisting.

WHY DO MANY MARINES JOIN THE ARMY ONCE THEY GET OUT?
Since the Army has well over one million Soldiers, it has a lot more to offer you and a lot more room for those who want to serve in it. Marine veterans do not run to the Army because the USMC sucks or because the Army is better, well I guess some do. They do it because as you get older you want to settle down, you want to have more opportunity, you want to start a family, you want to be treated differently, you want a change of pace and the Army provides you with these opportunities more so than the USMC does. One enlistment in the USMC is usually enough to last you a lifetime and that is all most people need. NOTE: People from all branches enlist into other branches for their own reasons and this doesn’t mean that the branch they left is any better or any less of a branch. Believe it or not, there are many Army Soldiers who get out of the Army and then go enlist into the USMC for a variety of reasons. Now why would they do this if the Army is so much better? Do you see my point?

CAN YOU GO TO BOOT CAMP BETWEEN YOUR JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEAR?
No you cannot. You must be done with high school before you ship out to boot camp in the USMC. And to enlist you must be a high school senior which begins the day after your junior year ends. The Army offers the "split option" program and the Marine Corps doesn't.

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AFTER BOOT CAMP?
An entire page on this website was created to answer and address this frequently asked question, so go read it.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET MARRIED AS A MARINE?
You should avoid getting married in the USMC until you have served at least one full enlistment. Young love and the USMC do not mix. The USMC is stressful enough for single Marines, so add in marriage and you are asking for trouble. The USMC leads the military in ruined relationships and in divorces, so think twice before you decide to get married. If marriage is a must, then get it done as soon as possible. A favorite quote of mine: “The sooner you get married in the USMC, then the sooner your divorce will be here.”

DO MARINES GET PAID MORE THAN THE OTHER BRANCHES?
No. All military branches pay the same and your base pay is determined by your rank. As an example, an E-3 in the USMC makes the same as an E-3 in any other branch. All jobs also pay the same. You can Google "Military Pay Chart" to learn about how much military members make. Married Marines will make more, but their base pay is the same as single Marines.