SHOULD YOU JOIN THE MARINES?
- This is a question you need to figure out on your own. You really shouldn't be asking others if the USMC is for you. We are not you and only you knows what is best for you. In the end, until you know 100 percent that you want to join and that you are willing to accept whatever is tossed at you, I'd stay very far away from a USMC recruiter.
IS JOINING THE MARINES WORTH IT?
- This too is a question that you will need to answer for yourself. No Marine including me can tell you if serving is going to be worth it to you. It works for some and for others it doesn't. I can tell you that if you enlist and accept whatever they toss at you, it can be an enjoyable enlistment and it can be very worth it. If you enlist with super high expectations and if you refuse to accept your chosen path once it starts to get ugly, then you are going to be in for one long enlistment and you may end up feeling that it wasn't worth it. At the end of the day if having a stable job for 4-6 years and if experiencing everything the Marine Corps tosses at you isn't worth it to you, then something is very wrong with you. If you end up not liking your service, I am very sure in most cases the older you get, the more you will realize that it was well worth it. You might not see this while serving or soon after, but as you go through life your military experience should be a positive one when looked back on.
WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD YOU BE DOING TO PREPARE FOR BOOT CAMP?
- Don't forget you are also preparing for what comes after boot camp. You can find some tips and advice and a list of the exercises you should be doing at the following link: PT TIPS AND ADVICE
CAN YOU GO TO COLLEGE AND EARN A DEGREE WHILE IN THE MARINES? (ACTIVE DUTY)
- Yes you can, maybe. During your free time you are free to do as you wish and while in the Marines, you will have a lot of free time, this includes the infantry MOS's also. What makes getting your college education difficult is that you don't always work set hours and extra duties can come up at any time. Plus your dedication to study also plays a role. In most cases you wont have the time to attend an actual college, so taking on-line courses is the preferred method. Even when deployed in some cases you can take on-line courses. It isn't easy to earn a degree during your enlistment, so don't expect to earn one. If you enlist for five or six years, then I would say you have a chance at earning your degree while enlisted, but don't count on it. Of course if you enter the USMC with some college done already, this will make earning your degree much more possible. Keep in mind no one should be enlisting into the active duty USMC to earn a college degree as a priority. If it happens, then so be it. If it doesn't, then you are good to go because you didn't join to earn your degree. And just because you heard about one Marine who earned his degree while serving, this doesn't mean you will do the same. Many unforeseen events will come into play and we are all different, so don't expect to accomplish what others have done. Bottom line is this: Yes you can get some college done while serving. Just don't expect to earn any type of degree while enlisted unless you had some college done before enlisting.
HOW MUCH FREE TIME WILL YOU HAVE AS A MARINE?
- You actually will have a lot of free time as a Marine regardless of your job and this includes while being deployed to a non combat zone. You usually get four days off for all major holidays and you have many other days off. I'm not going to try to explain how time off goes because it varies from unit to unit and it also depends on whether you have any additional duties scheduled, but what I will guarantee you is that as a Marine you are going to have more then enough time off and you are free to do as you wish during your free time. This includes Marines in the infantry MOS field.
HOW DOES MAIL WORK DURING BOOT CAMP?
- You will find plenty of tips and advice in regards to how the mail works during boot camp at the following link: MAIL TIPS AND ADVICE
CAN YOU HAVE CELL PHONES AND COMPUTERS WHILE IN THE MARINES?
- Of course you can. Once you get into your first unit, you are free to have and to use your phone as you wish as long as it is not getting in the way of your work and as long as you are following the rules. Prior to arriving in your first unit, your phone time and liberty will be much more restricted, so expect that. These heavier restrictions occur during infantry school/MCT and during MOS school.
SHOULD I TELL MEPS ABOUT MY DRUG USE?
- The decision of whether to lie during the enlistment process is one that you and only you needs to make. Read the following link for an explanation of what can happen if you lie to gain enlistment into the Marine Corps. LYING TO GAIN ENLISTMENT INFO
CAN YOU VOLUNTEER FOR A MEU?
- In some unit types they will ask for volunteers to go on a MEU. For infantry units, your unit is either tasked with the MEU or it is not and you don't have a say in the matter. It is usually the supporting MOS's/units that wont deploy as entire units and will ask for volunteers. Either way as this website says over and over, when it comes to the USMC, always assume the worst and hope for the best. If your job is not infantry, once in your unit you will know if you can volunteer or not. And this info only applies to active duty.
WHAT KIND OF MEDICAL ISSUES WILL DISQUALIFY YOU FOR ENLISTMENT?
- Because the answers to medical related questions are not always simple, I am not going to try to give an answer to this question. Your best bet is to go speak to an actual recruiter and let them help you. You cannot go by what someone else tells you or what you have heard when it comes to medical questions. You need to get answers from a current recruiter.
HOW MANY LEAVE DAYS DO MARINES GET EACH YEAR?
- All Marines earn 30 days per year or 2.5 days per month. Whether you can use all 30 days each year is a different story. Since how leave is granted varies from unit to unit, I will not try to explain this issue. What I can say is that you wont be taking 30 straight days off. And you must submit a request to take leave in advance and it must be approved. In some units such as infantry units, you will have leave "blocks" which are set dates of when you can take leave. These blocks usually take place prior too and after returning from any deployment. It is best to get settled into your unit before trying to figure out how leave works because many factors come into play such as how many saved days you have, whether your unit is going to deploy, holidays, field time, additional duties, etc etc. Note: Emergency leave is granted during family emergencies once verified and this type of leave should not be confused with taking regular leave.
HOW LONG DO WAIVERS TAKE TO GET APPROVED OR DENIED?
- There is no correct answer to this question. It varies and can be as quick as a few weeks, or the process can drag on for many months. Just be patient and hope for the best. If you are waiting for a waiver, it is always in your best interest to assume it will be denied. This means you should be living your life as if you will be denied enlistment. By doing this in the event it is denied, you aren't let hanging and you are prepared to move forward. If you have been waiting for a while or feel your recruiter is shady, you have every right to ask your recruiter for proof that your waiver package was submitted. Recruiters are only human and they do fuck up from time to time. Sometimes they forget to turn in your packet, so ask to physically see in the computer that your waiver is in the system. Remember, it is up to each of you to stay on top of things and you shouldn't assume things are getting done.
DO HIGH SCHOOL GRADES MATTER WHEN ENLISTING?
- No. All that matters is that you graduate high school and that you pass your ASVAB. The USMC could care less if you are a 4.0 student or a 2.0 student. It makes no difference what your grades are.
WHAT GEAR AND EQUIPMENT CAN YOU KEEP ONCE YOU GET OUT?
- You do not keep your weapons or any equipment/gear that was issued to you. That is property of the US Government. All you keep are your uniforms, clothing, boots, and your memories. Any dreams you may of had to come home with your tank or rifle end now silly wabbit.
CAN YOU GO SHOOTING WITH YOUR WEAPONS DURING YOUR FREE TIME?
- FUCK NO! The USMC is a military branch and not some weekend gun club. Your issued weapons are kept in an armory that is guarded and you only see them when you go to a range, when you clean them, or when you check them out as part of your unit. If you own your own firearm, then on some bases they do have ranges where you can go fire them just like any civilian range, or you can go off base to have your fun.
CAN YOU WEAR YOUR UNIFORMS WHILE ON LEAVE OR ONCE YOU GET OUT?
- Of course you can. As long as you wear them correctly and as long as you do not make the USMC look bad, you are free to do as you please. Same rule applies while on leave. You can wear your uniforms as you wish. The only uniform you can't wear are your cammies/MARPART uniforms. That is a work uniform only and you can’t be seen out in public wearing them unless you are doing some form of training or some official function. You will learn all about your uniforms and when you can and can’t wear them while in boot camp.
WHAT DO MARINES DO WHEN NOT IN COMBAT?
- You train in your job. Let’s say you have one year between deployments. In that year you will do all of your qualifications such as PFT, CFT, rifle, gas, swim, etc etc. You do field ops, you go on leave, you attend classes, you do drills, you clean gear/weapons, you do humps, you do obstacle courses, you do PT, you sit on your ass, etc etc. It all depends on your job as to the specifics of what you do. When not in combat your USMC life is sort of like a regular job in the sense you get up, you go work, and when done you are free to do as you please. Of course some jobs have more “steady” schedules, while jobs such as infantry can have you in the field. If your job is admin, then this is what you do on base each day. If your job is mechanic, then this is what you do each day on base, and so on and so on. When you deploy you do the same job, but in another environment. A good way to look at it is like this: During a time of war when not deployed in a combat zone, your life is basically the same as serving during peace time. Try not to make a big deal out of serving during peace time or war time. In most cases we cannot control this, so either you want to serve or you don't and let the chips fall where they may.
DO MARINES GET STATIONED IN GERMANY OR AFRICA?
- The correct answer is yes, but only certain Marines get stationed there. Those two places are not traditional Marine bases as we know them. They are sort of like headquarters command type units that very very few Marines get sent to. No infantry units are stationed out there. Marines do deploy to Europe and Africa from time to time. Chances are very very good you will never get stationed in or even see Germany or Africa. Like I said, very very few Marines are out there. Most Marines are either on the west coast, east coast, Hawaii, or Japan. And I am not speaking about Embassy Guards or other special assignment type duties. I am speaking about the bulk of the regular Marine Corps.
WHY DOES THE USMC NOT WANT GED HOLDERS UNLESS THEY HAVE COLLEGE CREDITS?
- First off serving in the military is not your right, it is a privilege. They do not have to let you serve. Look at it from their point of view. If you could not stick out four years of high school for whatever reason, then chances are very good you won’t last four years in the military. The military is all about commitment and you not completing high school says something about your character. This doesn’t mean you are stupid or any less of a person. It only means the USMC has requirements and you don’t qualify. And not letting straight GED holders into the USMC has nothing to do with intelligence; it has to do with commitment. Studies have proven that those with only GED’s tend to not do so well in the military. The USMC actually does allow very few straight GED holders to enlist each year, but these positions are taken up quickly. All you can do is ask, but don't count on it. Keep in mind that the rules can change at any moment, so what flies today may not fly next month.
CAN YOU GET TATTOOS BEFORE YOU ENLIST?
- Yes you can, but why take that chance? If you truly want to be a Marine, then don’t do anything to yourself that may disqualify you. Just wait until you enlist and then you can see what you can or can’t do as far as tattoos go. If you think you are smart and read the regulations and go by what others say, then what are you going do if they change the rules, or if your info was wrong? Ahh, didn't think of that, did you? Just make sure you let your recruiter know what your plans are.
ARE WORKOUT POWDERS, VITAMINS, ETC ETC OK TO TAKE?
- Once again, why take that chance? If you have any doubt, then don’t take them. No matter what anyone tells you as far as it being legal, all that matters is what shows up on your piss/drug test. So if you test positive, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. Not worth the risk. I'm sure there is nothing illegal about the more common stuff you all might be using, but when using stuff that isn't main stream or questionable supplements, this is when you might have some issues, so use caution.
CAN YOU OWN A CAR OR MOTORCYCLE IN THE MARINES?
- Yes you can, but it is not your right. Unit commanders can tell you no if they wish. You really do not need a car, and many times a car only brings unwanted trouble such as driving drunk, and more bills you may not be able to afford. And motorcycles and Marines simply do not mix. Many Marines get hurt each year due to cycle accidents. I do not recommend any Marine owning a motorcycle while in the USMC, especially as a young Marine. And if you do buy one, you will have to go through all those fancy courses in order to be allowed to own one on base. When it comes to the question of buying a vehicle, it is best to wait until you arrive in your permanent unit and once there you will see if you actually can have one, and if you really need one. And if you own a car now and you enlist, you can have it shipped to your first duty station if they allow for you to have a car. You will learn all the details once in your unit. You can’t have a vehicle while at SOI/MCT or during your MOS schooling in most cases. If your school is one of the longer ones as in a year long, then things may be different. Once again, you will find out once you go through the process. This info does not apply if you are stationed in a foreign country such as Japan.
WHEN DO MARINES GET PAID?
- Sorry but Marines don't get paid...ha ha, just kidding. All military gets paid on the 1st and 15th of each month. If this day falls on a holiday or weekend, then you may be paid on the day before. Your pay is sent to your bank account through direct deposit. You can use you own account, or you can open one up in boot camp. I do believe the USMC makes you open an account during boot camp which you can change after boot camp to any bank of your choosing. During boot camp you will not see your money until you graduate. So when you enlist, plan on not having any money until you graduate (13 weeks). Boot camp is not the place to do your bills or finances. You can do all that crap once you graduate. Remember, you should not be enlisting into the USMC for the money anyways. It is important you take care of all your bills well in advance, especially for you married people. Once again, do not count on having any money until you graduate.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "ACTIVE" AND "RESERVES"?
HOW DO YOU GET RECRUITER'S ASSISTANCE?
- You ask your recruiter for it. It is best to give your recruiter a heads up that you may want recruiters assistance before you leave for boot camp and possibly send him a letter letting him know you still intend to do this. You need to ask for it as soon as you graduate. If granted you can receive up to 30 days extra on top of your 10 days of leave. Most Marines will get about 2 weeks of recruiter’s assistance, if granted. This duty is you helping out your recruiter and other Poolees at your recruiting station. Do not think that you will get this duty just because you ask for it. All you can do is ask. And you do not have to take RA.
SHOULD I ENLIST INTO THE RESERVES TO SEE IF I LIKE IT AND TO SEE WHAT THE USMC IS LIKE?
- Hell no!! That is a bad idea. When you enlist, you better have it embedded in your brain that you will like it no matter what. The Marine Corps is not a place you join to see if you like it. That is a huge risk and one that often ends horribly. Many of you have this great master plan to enlist into the reserves to see if you like it, and if you do like it your next idea is to switch to active duty. That may sound like a good idea, but it is not. When you make up your mind to enlist into the Corps, you must be 100 percent certain this is what you want to do. So pick a path and live with your decisions. If you want active duty, then enlist into active duty. If you want reserve duty, then do that. If you are told your desired path is not open right now, then learn to wait. Don't be a wuss and pick reserve duty to test the waters because when you do you forget about one very important thing: You may enjoy the reserves, but this is not what active duty is like. So those who enlist into the reserves never really see what active duty Marine life is like.
CAN YOU BUY YOUR OWN ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR WEAPONS AND GEAR?
- Yes you can, but whether you will be able to use them is up to your unit commander and individual commanders. It is best if you get settled into your unit first, and then you will see what you can or cannot do. As far as knives, flashlights and all purpose tools goes, in most cases you can buy your own and will be allowed to have them with you during training or combat.
DO ALL MARINES GET A SWORD?
- NO. All officers and all enlisted Marines who are E-4/Cpl and above rate a sword meaning they are allowed to own one. They do not have to have one and they do not get issued a sword. If they want to have a sword, they will have to buy one with their own money. The ranks of E-1/Pvt, E-2/Pfc, and E-3/LCpl do not rate a sword meaning they cannot have one.
WHAT IS THE ASVAB TEST FOR?
- The military uses this test to see what jobs you best fit into. The purpose of the test is to show you what you are good at and what you are not good at. This test’s purpose is not to see who is smarter. It is about seeing what job fields you are best suited for. Many who score high on this test love to brag about this fact. Little do they realize what jack-asses they look like since this isn't that type of test. Remember, the higher you score, the more jobs that you will have to choose from. You can find some more info about the ASVAB at the following link. ASVAB INFO AND STUDY GUIDES/AIDES
WHICH BRANCH IS THE BEST?
- There is no such thing as a better branch. All branches have a specific mission to do; therefore each branch is the best at what it does. If we had four different Marine Corps, then and only then could we compare them. Since we don’t, it’s pointless and juvenile to try to determine who is best. As an example: You cannot say that the USMC is better than the Army when it comes to airborne operations since this is one of the specialties of the Army. Or you cannot say the Marine Corps is the best at ship operations since they are not a Navy. Sure, as Marines we want to think we are the best, but if you stop and think about it the USMC is only the best at what it does and last time I checked we don't do it all.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD AND BAD JOBS IN THE MARINES?
- There are no bad jobs in the Marines, only bad Marines that fill them. You can read and learn all about different jobs and how to go about picking your job at one of the pages on this page here: MOS - JOB INFO AND ADVICE
WHY DOES THE ARMY DEPLOY LONGER THAN THE MARINES?
- Because their mission is not the same as that of the USMC. The Army needs to be in one place a lot longer to fulfill their mission. The Marines do not need to. It has nothing to do with anyone being better or any bullshit like that. One branch operates one way, the other one does not. Let’s stop comparing the Army to the USMC, two very different branches. Even though some of you may want to be deployed longer, once deployed you will thank God that your deployment is shorter. And remember, the USMC deploys regardless of war or peace time while the Army doesn't.
HOW DO MARINES GET STATIONED ON SHIPS?
- They don’t. Some Marines deploy on ships. Deploying and being stationed are two very different things. Certain units will deploy onto a ship and in most cases, you don't volunteer for this duty. An infantry unit that goes on ship one deployment may not be on one the next deployment. Many infantry Marines go an entire enlistment without stepping foot on a ship. It just depends on what your unit is tasked with.
CAN YOU LEAVE/EXIT/QUIT THE DEP?
- Yes you can. It is perfectly legal to exit the DEP without any penalty to you and it is your right to do so if this is what you want. If possibly quitting is in the back of your mind now, then do not waste anyone's time by enlisting. Do not enlist until you are 100 percent certain that you will follow through with your commitment. This is why the USMC doesn't publicly state that you can quit the DEP. If they did many of you would view the enlistment process as a game and would back out for the silliest of reasons and this doesn't benefit anyone. You can read more info about the DEP at the following link. DEP INFO
WHERE DO MARINES GET STATIONED AT?
CAN I USE MY OWN GUN IN THE MARINES AND CAN I PICK MY OWN WEAPON?
- Oh goodness. HELL NO!! You cannot use your own weapon in the Marines and you will be issued a weapon and that will be that. I am sure in some cases you will be allowed to use a different weapon then the one that was issued to you. But they do not ask you what weapon you prefer.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A RECRUITER?
WHAT DOES "STANDING A DUTY" OR "DUTY" MEAN?
- At least once per month most junior Marines will have to stand some type of guard duty, or watch duty. This can be guarding your living quarters, being the designated driver for that day, being an assistant driver for that day, being a guard at some other place such as an armory or range, or being assigned to some sort of working party (see next question). Having duty is just part of the USMC, and it can suck. You usually stand this duty for 24 hours and your duty can land on a weekend or holiday. So your free time that day is gone because you have a duty to stand. You can stand duty more than once, and it can be for any length of time. All Marines stand a duty of some sort unless you are very high ranking, and this includes married Marines. Standing duty is sort of like being a security guard for the day of a particular location. If you are a shitty Marine, then expect to stand a lot of duty.
WHAT IS A WORKING PARTY?
- Sounds fun doesn’t it? A working party is just a group of Marines that gets tasked with doing some type of work that has nothing to do with your actual job. Junior Marines do working parties frequently, and if you are a shitty Marine, then your ass will get volunteered for these working parties more frequently than others. Working parties can be cutting grass, loading pallets, counting gear/equipment, cleaning gear/equipment, building things, painting things, or anything else your unit wants to make you do. Working parties and standing duty are two of those things that make the USMC seem like a bad branch to serve in because these events can suck. Remember, when you enlist you choose to play by their rules, so just shut your lips and smile.
CAN YOU LIVE OFF BASE?
- Married Marines can live off base regardless of rank if approved. Single Marines will live in the barracks until you reach a certain rank that you don’t need to worry about at this time. If you are a new Marine and single, your ass will be in the barracks. This is for your own good and not done to mess with you. Why would you want to join the active Marine Corps and then not want to live on base? That makes no sense. The reason is because living in the barracks gets old really fast and you put up with a lot of crap. This info applies to when you are in your actual unit and not while in boot camp or in your job's school.
WHAT CAN YOU BUY FOR YOUR ROOM IN THE BARRACKS?
- The rooms are not large and you will have a roommate or two. Just use common sense. No pets, no large screen tv’s, no redecorating, no lavish furniture such as water beds or sofas, no large computer systems, etc etc. Each unit will have their own set of rules, but most have very strict guidelines. You can have a tv, a radio, a computer, a gaming system, a Chia-Pet and things like that. Keep in mind your room must be kept very clean and neat at all times and theft is an issue in the military. And keep in mind you will be living with someone else, so you must learn to adapt and to get along. You may be forced to lock up all of your crap each morning before you leave for work and you must square your room away each morning before work. When your room is found to be nasty, then this is when you and your roommate(s) can be punished and this is when you start to hate life in the USMC. So you've been warned. Note: This info does not apply to any rooms you may live in prior to reaching your first duty station. USMC schools have different rules when it comes to most things, so prepare for that.
SHOULD I ENLIST FIRST IF I WANT TO BECOME AN OFFICER?
- No. Enlisting first is not a proper path to becoming an officer. Do not enlist so you can try to see if being an officer is for you or any other similar reason. If you are 100 percent confident that you want to become an officer, then you enroll into college and do the PLC program or OCS program, or you try the NROTC program. Enlisting into the reserves to earn your degree so you then can hop on over to the officer side of the USMC is also not a good idea. It may sound like a cool simple idea, but like I said, shit happens. If you are activated while in the reserves, you could lose one full year from school, so now your four year degree will be bumped to a five year degree assuming you are on track. And you can also get into trouble during this time and there goes your chance at becoming an officer. Remember, life doesn’t always go as planned, especially in the Corps. And I will say this again, just because you heard about one Marine accomplishing a certain feat, this doesn’t mean you can also do it. Many variables come into play when dealing with questions like this, so make sure you do your research. The money you get while in the reserves is not a lot since you are a reservist. Don’t be suckered into enlisting first if you truly want to become an officer. Your college is not paid for just because you join the reserves. You must serve in the reserves for a while to earn any monies for college. To learn more about this topic, read the following page: OFFICER vs ENLISTED
DO YOU GET DRESS BLUES DURING BOOT CAMP?
- Yes you do as of 2012. They are issued to you as part of your initial clothing issue while in boot camp and they are yours to keep. You do not graduate in dress blues either.
WHAT CAN YOU DO DURING YOUR FREE/OFF TIME?
- Once you are done with your work day you are free to do as you please providing you have no duties or anything else scheduled that day. Being a Marine and living on base is no different than how you all live as civilians. Marines are people just like you and they enjoy the exact same crap you enjoy. Movies, girls, guys, video games, sports, sleeping, drinking, and touring the sites are all examples of what Marines do on their off time. Of course some bases will be located in areas that don’t offer much, but each base itself always has something to do. As a Marine you will have plenty of off time and this includes the infantry and when deployed to non-combat areas also. Let me say that again: As a Marine you will have plenty of off time. Yes, some Marines do get their free time fucked with for one reason or another, so remember, when you enlist you choose to play by their rules, so no whining.
HOW DO I TELL MY PARENTS ABOUT ENLISTING?
- Very simple. If you want to join the Marines then you have to find the courage to tell them. Just open your mouth and tell them. Only you knows your parents, so tell them when you feel the time is right. Keep in mind that it is not always what you tell them that worries them, but it very often is how you tell them that pisses them off. Example: If you tell your parents you are enlisting after high school and that is final, then this may bother them because they see it as you having put no thought into this decision. But if you tell them that you have decided that college is not for you after high school, and that by enlisting you get your schooling paid for while also traveling a bit and maybe learning a trade, and also maturing a bit more while in, then they may see your decision a bit differently. Explain to them why you want to join and what your plans are while in the USMC. Explain to them that college can be done after the USMC with them paying for it. Enlisting into the military is not easy on the parents either, so remember that. Do not argue do not have a fit, do not make stupid statements, just try to be more mature then they may be at that moment. And don’t worry, your parents will always love you no matter how much they tell you that if you join you are no longer a part of the family. In the end if you cannot find a way to tell them, then perhaps you may not be ready for the Marines. Or you can always have your recruiter speak to your parents.
WHAT IS THE IRR?
- In-active Ready Reserves. Very simply this is what you are placed in once you leave your active part of your contract. Example: You enlisted for 4 years active duty. Since all initial contracts are a total of 8 years, you then owe them 4 more years. So when you leave active duty you are out of the actual physical USMC, but on paper you are still part of the system. Whether you have to go to a yearly meeting or maintain contact via mail, you will find this out once you become a member of the IRR. In the event of WW3, or if you have a very specialized job, then you can be called back to serve some more. This is a rare event, but it can happen. Do not confuse the IRR with being a reserve Marine, two very different things. IRR means you are out of the active USMC, reserves means you are part of the USMC in the active reserves part of it.
DO MARINES WORK ON HOLIDAYS?
- Some Marines do, but most get the holidays off. Usually you get 3 or 4 days off. The USMC refers to them as a 72 or 96, as in hours of liberty. The USMC is good on giving you the holidays off. Remember, some Marines have to work that day because no matter what, cooks need to cook, and Marines need to guard their living quarters. So some Marines will work on holidays. You asked to serve, so no whining. Of course when deployed in a combat zone, things will be different. Whether you can travel home during the holidays is a different story and you will not know the answer to this question until you are going through the process. Once again, do not assume that because you heard about one Marine who was allowed to go home during a holiday that this will also apply to you.
WHAT IS FIELD DAY?
- Every Thursday in most cases across all the USMC bases single Marines clean their barracks and living areas. And when I say clean, I mean clean. This event is despised by many Marine, so remember; you chose to enlist, so learn to enjoy it. You very often will fail your field day and have to repeat the process the next day therefore lowering your morale. I guess the USMC does field days to prevent you from living like swine. Despite field day taking place on Thursdays in most cases, you very often can end up field daying on any other day, so be warned.
CAN YOU CHANGE YOUR JOB IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT ONCE YOU HAVE SHIPPED TO BOOT CAMP?
- Hell NO! If you re-enlist, or are injured and cannot do your job, you may be allowed to change jobs. In your first contract, you won’t change your job. In some rare cases very few Marines can change their job sometime during their first enlistment. It is best you don't count on it. The job you enter boot camp with will be the job you have during your first enlistment 99.9 percent of the time. You can request to change jobs (lat move), but it must get approved by the headquarters of the USMC and this is very very rare. Do not believe anyone who tells you that you can lat move at the two year mark. This simply is not as common as some make it out to be. And let me make this very clear: Changing your job or lat moving is not the same as you becoming a Sniper, or Recon Marine or Embassy Guard, etc etc. These are different situations that you don't need to worry about at this time. For more info on the topic of changing your job while in the Marines, read the following page: SWITCHING JOBS WHILE IN THE MARINES EXPLAINED
CAN YOU SERVE TWENTY YEARS IN THE MARINES?
- Yes, but you are not guaranteed the chance to re-enlist and make a career out of the USMC. Many factors come into play when staying in. They very often force people to get out, or deny them re-enlistment. Remember, 3/4 of new Marines get out after their first contract. There are reasons for that, so think about that. Just because you want to make a career out of the USMC does not mean you will be allowed to. There has to be a place for you and you have to meet many requirements. All you can do is your best and hope you are allowed to stay in when your time comes. Trust me on this one: No matter what you say right now, you will not know for certain if you want to make the USMC a career until about your 3rd year and you wont know if you can stay in until midway or later during your 3rd year.
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?
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.
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. You can read all about how difficult boot camp really is on this page here: HOW TOUGH IS BOOT CAMP AND CAN I PASS IT?
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.
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.
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. Don't let any recruiter blow smoke up your ass about how you can get your college paid for by enlisting into the reserves. This is just not true. You get very very little money for college while in the reserves.
DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SWIM TO PASS BOOT CAMP OR TO JOIN THE MARINES?
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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