BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT POSSIBLY BEING MISLED.
This is not the same as being lied to. Misleading others is just as evil, but perfectly legal. You should 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 won’t always paint that perfect picture that many of you want.
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 or she 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 they are saying to you.
Here are 4 examples of how a recruiter may mislead you:
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 earn 30 days per year, this doesn’t mean you will take 30 days per year by just asking. And do not expect to 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.
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 may possibly fill out a form listing your preferences, but at the end of the day the Marine Corps will put you where they need you at that time and they don't give a good God damn where you wish to be stationed. You have no say in the matter unless your school is one of those schools that allows you to pick your exact duty station. There may be other circumstances where you can pick your duty station, but for the majority, you will be stationed where they need you at that time. This info applies to active duty enlistees only. Read more about the differences between active and reserve duty here.
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 and accept it.
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 just because you ask. Many factors come into play when switching jobs and you will not know how this works until you have been in the USMC for a short while. All I can say is that the job contract you enlist with is the one you should expect to serve out during your enlistment. Do not enlist with the plan to change jobs during your first enlistment and don't let anyone tell you that you can change your job just by asking.
- 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 some make it out to be. And keep in mind that 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.