Advice and Info About Enlisting Into the Marine Corps 

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So how in the hell do you pick a job???

Well, there is no correct answer to this question. Since you are all enlisting for your own reasons and since you all have different priorities, the process of picking your job is your business and you really shouldn't let others influence your decision. Sometimes in life you just have to say, 'fuck it' and roll with the punches.
The Marine Corps is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so in a perfect world you might want to pick a job that isn't found in the civilian world. Just don't over-think the process and be very honest with yourself. Don't fuck around toying with the idea about picking a job you have no interest in or are able to qualify for. Find a list of jobs online and pick out several that interest you. Keep in mind you will never find a clear explanation of what a job entails online since this is nearly impossible to explain without actually going through it. So don't search too hard for a job description online, because it doesn't exist. Any info you will find is going to be a very basic job description that will do it no justice.

Before you visit with a recruiter and agree to the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), you should have a general idea about three different job fields that interest you and that you wouldn't mind serving in. In a perfect world you want to stick to these three choices as best as possible. Once you get your ASVAB scores, you then will know if you qualify for your desired jobs. If you don't, then you pick out other jobs. If you do, then you make it very clear to your recruiters that this is the job field you want. Once you qualify for your desired job and once you make it very clear that this is your preferred job, it is your duty to not accept any other job. And remember, if you are enlisting as a reservist, your job choices will be limited, but you will get to pick your exact job as opposed to only picking your job's field.

  • Don't assume that how a job worked out for one Marine will be how it will go for you. Remember, we are all different, times change, you might serve in a different unit type, or you might hear some exaggerated or misleading stories from Marines.

  • If you pick a job based on its tough guy reputation and because you think it will give you more respect, that is fine and dandy. Just understand that there are hundreds of Marines who have taken this path and then end up pissed off because their job wasn't what they hoped it would be and no one really gave a crap about their job once in. You will get respect for who you are as a person and not for the job you do. And when picking a job that is perceived as "tough" or "bad ass", be sure you clearly understand that these perceptions will do you no good in the civilian world. Just think about how pathetic it is when you choose a certain job and then rely on that label to get you respect.

  • Don't let your recruiter pick or suggest any job for you unless you ask him to. He or she isn't an expert in any job except for the one they have served in, so don't let them paint this awesome picture of what other jobs are like.

  • There really isn't this "perfect" job, so don't waste to much time trying to find it. All jobs will suck and be the best at one point or another.

  • You should expect to be treated differently in some jobs. Example: If you picked the infantry MOS you can expect to have to deal with tons more juvenile bullshit then say if you picked the band MOS or an MOS like Public Affairs or Combat Camera.

  • Trying to figure out a job's daily schedule, the pros and cons, and shit like that is pointless because so many variables come into play when dealing with jobs. If you find yourself trying to figure these things out, you might be over thinking the process.

  • A high ASVAB score does not mean you have to pick a job with a higher required score. You should feel free to choose any job you qualify for and once again, don't let anyone tell you that you must pick a certain job because of your score. This isn't the old Marine Corps where "dumb" people picked certain jobs and "smart" people picked other jobs. Today's USMC is very mixed and you will find people from all walks of life in most jobs.

  • You cannot pick jobs such as Drill Instructor, Recruiter, Silent Drill Platoon, Marsoc, Recruiter, Dog Handler, and several others when enlisting, so don't research those jobs. Those jobs you can worry about once in the Marine Corps.

  • No job in the Marine Corps is going to vault you onto Wall Street and no job in the Marine Corps is going to cause you to become homeless. Believe it or not you will fail or succeed as a civilian regardless if you serve or not and regardless of the job you pick.

When choosing a job to possibly gain future job skills, you need to remember this: 1) You're assuming you will want to do this type of work as a career once out. 2) You're assuming that your job field will be hiring. 3) You're assuming that your desired civilian job will be located near you. 4) You're assuming you will be able to get hired, and 5) you're assuming that your military job will be accepted in the civilian world. Most Marines will never use their USMC job in the civilian world. What they use to get hired is their veteran status and their military experience as a whole. Plus many of these jobs that you think will land you cool civilian jobs might require certifications or more schooling, so don't just assume you are a shoe in because you pick job X. No job in the USMC is going to grant you a free pass into any company/job in the civilian world. At the end of the day you yourself has to pass their hiring process in order to get hired.
The Marine Corps has many interesting jobs to pick from, so do your research and try to pick your job with some maturity instead of being like the masses who run to a certain MOS field such as infantry for all the wrong reasons only to regret it while counting down the days until they get out.

If you find yourself stuck between two jobs that are polar opposites, you may want to call a time out and reevaluate your situation. Example: If you can't decide between infantry and the intelligence MOS, something is very wrong. These two jobs are complete opposites in every sense, so during the process of deciding which jobs interest you, why you want to serve and what you hope to get out of your service, something went wrong. You shouldn't be all over the map when it comes to choosing your job, especially if you have been interested in the USMC for a longer period of time. If you only recently have started to show an interest in the Marine Corps and you're stuck between very contrasting jobs, then this is understandable. Just make sure you aren't this way once in the DEP.
Usually a person gets stuck between two similar jobs such as infantry and artillery, or intel and linguist or aircraft mechanic and vehicle mechanic. When you find yourself stuck between two jobs that are complete opposites, it might suggest to you that you don't really know what you want to do while serving or what you hope to get out of your service. Being undecided about two very different jobs is the same thing as a person being stuck between enlisting into the Air Force or the Marine Corps. These two branches are complete opposites in every sense and a person should not be stuck between choosing either branch. You have to have a general idea of what you want.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you go Reserve Duty you can pick your exact job assuming you qualify for it and assuming it is available. If you go active duty you can only pick the job's field and or a contract with mixed jobs under it. Very few active duty jobs have their own contract. Many jobs fall under a contract with more than one job under it which you can get, so make sure you read and understand this crap when picking a job. A good example is if you want to be an 0311 infantry man, you cannot enlist into active duty as an 0311. You will enlist with a general 0300 infantry contract and your exact job of 03 something will be figured out later.

In closing there really isn't a "best" way to choose your job. And in the end it will be your ass who has to live with your decision, so think long and hard and don't forget to think about your future when picking your job. This doesn't mean you have to pick a job that will possibly help you once out. It simply means think of your future as in your health, your satisfaction, your desire to reenlist, your rate of promotion, your quality of life and all of that bullshit.
  • Don't search for the perfect job. It doesn't exist.

  • Don't try to be in the infantry without picking the 03xx MOS field. If you are being told that jobs like MP, Field Radio Operator, Combat Engineer, or Artillery are just like infantry, then you are being misled. Only 03xx/infantry jobs are like infantry.

  • If you want infantry and are told Security Forces (SF) is the same thing, you need to have this explained to you. If it were the same shit, why in the hell would it be called SF? Security Forces contracts are two parts. The second part will have you in an infantry unit. The first part will have you doing something very different.

  • Do not be tricked by cool sounding jobs such as Field MP, or Combat Engineer, or Security Forces or Field Radio Operator. Have these jobs clearly explained to you if they interest you. I can tell you combat engineers are not "combat" Marines as in grunts. They are actually engineers who build and tear down stuff and who are basically the jack of all trades. Just don't let the "combat" wording mislead you into thinking you will be a front line fighter, because you wont. And don't let the "engineer" part mislead you into thinking you will be an actual engineer as in the type which requires many years of college, because it is not this type of engineer.

  • Understand your job selection as best as possible. And for the love of God, do your research of possible jobs BEFORE you agree to any job. I don't know why I am often asked about a specific job that some poor poolee picked after he signed for it. It's supposed to be the other way around. Research first, then agree to it if you want it. If you are being pressured to sign for a job, tell your recruiter you need a few days to do your research. If you're being told you have to pick a job right then and there, then this should send a huge red flag in front of your face. There is no good reason they should tell you that you must pick a job right then and there. Don't fall for their bullshit pressure tactics. "Sorry Staff Sgt. I need more time to research these jobs and I am not prepared to pick a job at this moment." <<< It's that simple. Open your mouths.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for a bonus. The USMC does give out bonuses and it isn't always for the "geeky" type jobs. All you can do is ask.

  • Do not think that you can change your job after one or two years. That wont happen and don't let anyone blow smoke up your ass. Always assume that the job you ship to boot camp with will be the job you do for your entire enlistment.

  • Keep in mind that your job choices are determined by what you score on your asvab test and on what is available at the time of your enlistment. The higher you score the more jobs that will be open to you.

  • Active duty enlistees can only pick a MOS job field such as 03xx and the USMC will decide where exactly you will be placed at a later date. Reserve contracts are allowed to pick their exact MOS such as 0311 if available. Not all jobs are available to reserve enlistees. 

If you pick a job because you are obsessed with seeing "action", then I sure hope there is some "action" out there for you to take part in because if there isn't, you are going to possibly feel very stupid at the end of your enlistment.

Understand that certain jobs can land you in a type of unit you may not want to serve in. As an example: If you are picking an admin type job to avoid the infantry life, you need to understand that an admin male Marine can end up in an infantry unit, or a tank unit, or artillery unit and many others. Of course you'd be doing admin stuff, so don't jump to any silly conclusions.