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Posted: 2/10/2005 3:07:32 PM EDT
I've always wanted to join the USMC.  I would like to become an officer, but not a remf.  As a far second choice, I would like to be an armorer, being that I already enjoy learning about a rifle's "weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel."  My dad was an officer in Vietnam, is glad he went, but sometimes has negative flashbacks.  My mom hates the idea of me joining.  I should mention that my parents are divorced, so that might have some influence on her opinion.  She says that "I'm too smart to join" and that the military will mess with my head.  She also claims that the Marines are the worst when it comes to damaging minds.  I think that all of her reasons are b.s. because she doesn't want to risk the possibility of me dying.  I wanted to get some advice from some veterans.  I figure that you know everyuthing that I need to know and that you could steer me in the right direction.  All advice, experiences, etc. are truly appreciated.  Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/10/2005 3:33:36 PM EDT
[#1]
um.... see my thread below, basically I'm in a situation just like you.  Parents don't want me to go, etc.  I'm even being offered grad school.  Remember one thing though, there is nothing greater than service to yuor country.  Took me a while to learn that one, but hey, after I sign my name I know I'll be doing the right thing.  
Link Posted: 2/11/2005 6:27:15 AM EDT
[#2]
I've been in the USMCR for a little more than 7 years, and I spent 7mos in the Al Anbar province of a lovely little country called Iraq. I've dropped to the IRR now, and looking back on my service I have to say that it wasn't easy or fun a lot of the time, but it was fun some of the time (never easy). It's the bonds you make with your fellow Marines that makes it worth it. I definitely would not be the person I am today had I not signed on the dotted line January 26th, 1998. I owe a lot to the Marine Corps, and you will too if you join. The only thing you need to understand is that the Marine Corps is its own reward. People will tell you that the Air Force has better jobs, better benefits for going to school. The National Guard will pay for your school and give you a bonus, etc... If you want money and schooling on Uncle Sam's nickel, you'd be better off in any other branch, honestly. If you want to be a Marine, join the Corps. It's tough, much tougher than the rest, it's why we're The Few, The Proud. The money motivation will dry up quickly, so do it 'cause you want to be the best, or don't do it at all.
Semper Fi.
Link Posted: 2/11/2005 7:00:17 AM EDT
[#3]
First, you have to make up your mind if you want to be an Officer or an armorer.  There are no Officers that are armorers in the USMC.  What you might do as an officer is be in charge of an armory, but there is no way you could pick that.  Second, stop watching so many movies.  The only REMF's I am seeing currently are those that are avoiding current conflict.  As an Officer of Marines, you lead from the front.  Not everyone is combat arms, but it makes their job no less important.  Think about it, you mention working in an armory, but the armory is probably not near where the doors are being kicked in.

If you want to join the Marines, you must talk to a recruiter.  As has been said many times before, get it in writing.  If you want to be an Officer (assuming you are in or have graduated college), talk to the MOI at your school, or an Officer Selection Officer.  Numbers can be obtained at www.usmc.mil.  

You also must have some intelligence to join the service.  The old adage, that Marines, Army, etc will dumb you down is false.  There are very few billets/jobs available to the high school drop out.  More personnel of all services are obtaining college educations, and for Officers, Masters degrees are become more normal, much of this paid by the service.  

I think it might be easier to answer your questions after you have explored your possibilities with a recruiter.  There are hundreds off possibilities.  I found mine after being asked if I had 20/20 vision and then got a job offer based off that.  And whether you stay for 4 or 40, USMC or otherwise, you will mature and benefit from any service.
Link Posted: 2/12/2005 10:18:08 AM EDT
[#4]
I have a long family history of the Corps. When it came time for me to make a descision, the choice was clear. I joined the Air Force. I like working on cars, guns, mechanical things. I wanted somthing more than the Corps could give. I became an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist. I worked A-10's, F-4's, etc. I know how to tear down a M61A1 20mm gun, slap it all back together, and make it work in an F-16. The Air Force gets a bad rap sometimes because of the percieved lack of discipline. Infact, IMHO, it is much tougher than any branch. You have the freedom to perform on your own, with very little direvtive. The catch is that you are held responsible for your own actions. It all starts in basic training. Wouldn't it be crazy to leave basic trainees alone after just 2 or 3 weeks of training? We do, we want to see if you can perform your  tasks with little or no supervision. When I was working on the flightline in Kuwait, for example, I didn't wait for my supervisor to tell me to fix somthing I found broken. I have been empowered to utilize all of my resources to complete the task, personel, materiel, time, etc. Personel in the Air Force are indipendent confident workers working toward a common goal, the mission. Plus, all your tech training is college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. We are the ONLY branch you can earn an associated degree in your career field (AFSC). TSgt Valentinehug.gif
Link Posted: 2/14/2005 2:25:50 PM EDT
[#5]
DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

Go talk to all of the branches, see which one will fit your long term plan the best. Don't be like me and join the corps because I thought the uniform would get me laid. ( It did though)

 I did 4 years in the Corps at Camp Pendleton. I have alot of good memories and I don't regret it at all. But after 3 years in the civilian world, I joined the Army. In hindsight, I wish I had joined the Army first. Don't get me wrong, I'm still proud of being a Marine and to this day I correct people when they call me an "ex-Marine" I just could have gotten alot more out of 4 years in the Army.

Bottom line, look around befor you decide.
Link Posted: 2/15/2005 5:34:26 PM EDT
[#6]
It is a question only you can answer after dilligent research.  Talk to recruiters (not just one but several for each service) and dont believe a word any of them tell you.  It is their job to screen you, but also they have quotas to meet and would happily talk you into anything.

On a side note:
Air Force, Army, Navy Recruiter ------   All said something like (What can our particular service do for you?)
Marine recruiter ----------------------  Said (What can you do for MY Marine Corps.)

I felt that the Marine Corps in general is more loyal to it own than the other services and only wants you there is you can do something to better the Service.

Go with what your research and gut feeling tell you to do but dont make any quick decisions.
Link Posted: 2/16/2005 5:04:58 PM EDT
[#7]
Never known a Marine that regrets it and everytime I mention having served the response is always the same by my non Marine friends. "I should have. " Those that did never say that.
Link Posted: 2/17/2005 6:04:49 AM EDT
[#8]
Here's my .02 worth. Figure out what it is you want to do. Talk to all the services and see who will give you what you want. Get it in writing. If it is not written down you're not getting it. Think long and hard and decide if you really want to do this. Now for the mother's side...... My husband and I are both prior service. Our 18 year old is now enjoying basic training at Ft.Leonardwood. He researched the branches he wanted to go into,talked with the recruiters and at 17 wanted us to sign. No problem I would not sign for the Marine Corp,but if he really wanted to go in he could wait until he was 18. Hubby would not sign for the Navy. That left him Army or AirForce. Which I should also point out from both of our families we cover every branch of the service. So we know the upside and downside of them all. Our son chose the Army and combat engineer,which we did try to talk him out of that career choice,but it is something he really wants to do. Now I was not going to try and talk him out of something that both his parents have done,and a long list of family members that have served. I can understand your mothers hesitation,but ultimately it is your decision.Take the advise that has been given to you,do your research,talk to the recruiter,and see if you still really want to do this. The military is not for everyone. May be your mom will come around if she sees your really serious about it. I wish you luck in whatever decision you make.
Link Posted: 2/17/2005 11:33:57 AM EDT
[#9]
I am in my 3rd year of college and right now I am thinking about joining up with the army after I get my degree. I have not told my parents yet but they would flip out if i did. But the way I look at it is that it is my choice so it does not matter what they think. And believe me it will be hard becuase I have alot invested at home.
Link Posted: 2/18/2005 10:19:14 AM EDT
[#10]
If you have to ask,should i join the Marines the answer is no! You are either a Marine by nature or birth right. join the army and do us proud or navy or air force. In the Marines you deal with tough shit and do it with less. I loved it. We are a breed not what can you do for me group. No rose garden here buddy.tell someone you were in the army and they say"really". tell some you are a Marine and they"NO SHIT?". I've been out for 8 yrs and if a Marine knocks on my door he can rest easy. because i'm family and he will be taken care of......
Link Posted: 2/23/2005 5:03:28 PM EDT
[#11]
You either want it or you dont. There is no 1/2 ground. If you want it go get it.

Semper Fi.

0311/ 6030-32 '90-'98

Link Posted: 3/3/2005 8:52:46 AM EDT
[#12]
It all depends on what job you get when you get in.  I was a computer programmer while in the Corps and it was just like any other job you could have as a civilian.  I just happened to wear a uniform.  Hell, all of my supervisors were civilian government workers.

Just be aware that boot camp is no joke, especially in the Corps.  I'm sure it's not as bad as it used to be, like before the 80's or so, but be prepared  Let me give you some boot camp advice, no matter what service you join.

1.  Keep your mouth shut.
2.  Do what you are told.
3.  Show some effort, even if you can't do something the first time.
4.  Realize that the drill instructor's JOB is to be an asshole while instructing.  It's his job.  It's not personal.
5.  Make sure you qualify as an expert on the range.  That will get you bonus points with your D.I's and commanders.

I guess it's true, to some extent, that some guys get "brainwashed" in boot camp and come out changed people.  It wasn't true for me.  I'm pretty strong minded and when I got out of boot camp, I really didn't feel any different than I did before I got in.  To me, boot camp what just a requirement that I had to finish before starting my job.  I knew what my job was going to be before I went in.

Working in the armory is pretty cool.  I worked down there for a couple weeks in Quantico.  In Quantico, everyone that isn't an E-4 or above has to do "work parties" around the base.  Clean-up detail, armory assistance, whatever.  The guys in the armory work in their own little world all day long and noone bothers them.  It can be fun, but it can be boring handing out and processing range weapons all day long.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that the Marine Corps experience is A LOT different, depending on what your job is.  I sat behind a desk all day and did the same work as the govt employees and only went out into the field once a year.
Link Posted: 3/5/2005 6:31:54 AM EDT
[#13]
It's simple really you join the Marines because you want to be a Marine. You do or you don't.
Link Posted: 3/5/2005 6:33:01 AM EDT
[#14]
My mind is damaged.
Link Posted: 3/5/2005 6:35:43 AM EDT
[#15]
I am not a Marine....but I think if you have to ask yourself this question then the Marines are probably not for you.
Link Posted: 3/5/2005 7:16:08 AM EDT
[#16]

I've always wanted to join the USMC


If you don't pursue this, than there's a high probability that it will haunt you for the rest of your life.  

Additionally, the biggest REMF in the USMC has still done more than you at this point, so quit talking smack.  

The more I think about it, everyone in every branch of service has done more than you.
Link Posted: 3/10/2005 10:13:12 AM EDT
[#17]
Anytime I ever talk to anyone they always say "I wanted to join the Marines"

Well I did and I am glad I did, after 4 years and 10 months I am leaving this fine gun club, it isnt that i want to go it is just my time to go.

I may be back btu I want to try something else first.

You really have to decide if you want to be an armorer or an Officer, two completly different things, and I was/am (primary MOS 2111 but am doing my Bmos of 8151) the first one and taught the other.
Link Posted: 3/10/2005 10:37:34 AM EDT
[#18]

Quoted:
I've always wanted to join the USMC.



Then join the Marines.  

Be an infantry man.  Get out and go to school and become an officer if that is still what you want to do in 4 years.

Same advice I give people for joining the Army.  If you are joining the military, get a job that lets you do MILITARY stuff!  Blow shit up, jump out of a plane, etc.  it is a once in a life time chance.  If you are planning a career and switch jobs later then that is all good, but few things will prepare you better than a solid foundation in the Infantry.

If you start factor things in like Pay, Quality of life, Promotion opportunities, etc.  DON'T JOIN THE MILITARY!  Your head in in the exact wrong place.  Got to college, get a job, be a productive member of society in a nice safe, well paid environment.  It boggles my fucking mind that people would join the military in a time of war and then devote all of their energy to trying to get the cushiest, best paying job they can...  you're joining the fucking military,  be in the military!


Link Posted: 3/10/2005 3:40:00 PM EDT
[#19]
Sorry to disagree with the AF dude above but.....
The discipline Marines get in bootcamp allow them to turned loose with little to no supervision. I've seen E-4 in the corps do the jobs of lieutenants. There were lieutenants in Iraq acting as governors of towns.
In the Corps we call what you describe "commanders intent" and thats why when a Lt is killed in combat  every Marine left knows the mission and can still carry on, even without the Lt.

Tougher? maybe tougher academically (some Marines have the exact same job as you describe, plus are trained as riflemen) but not physically or mentally.
Not baggin' on the AF but I think your comparisons are not quite right, we have a totally different job and our training is just completely not comparable!
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 7:34:54 AM EDT
[#20]
"I've always wanted to join the USMC. I would like to become an officer, but not a remf. As a far second choice, I would like to be an armorer, being that I already enjoy learning about a rifle's "weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel." My dad was an officer in Vietnam, is glad he went, but sometimes has negative flashbacks. My mom hates the idea of me joining. I should mention that my parents are divorced, so that might have some influence on her opinion. She says that "I'm too smart to join" and that the military will mess with my head. She also claims that the Marines are the worst when it comes to damaging minds. I think that all of her reasons are b.s. because she doesn't want to risk the possibility of me dying. I wanted to get some advice from some veterans. I figure that you know everyuthing that I need to know and that you could steer me in the right direction. All advice, experiences, etc. are truly appreciated. Thanks."

I wouuld recomend the military to anyone interested.  I spent 6 years in rapid deployment units, 82nd, 75 Rngr Reg and 2 ID.  I think you should look at what you want to do for your country.  The career of an officer is challanging but attainable.  Dedication, determination, honor.... all come to mind.  I would talk with an officer recruiter for all branches.  If you are into physical training, deployments away from family and friends, or sleeping in the mud and rain, then look into the more "hard core" jobs/mos's.  Almost all branches have some type of elite soldier.  Air Force has PJ's and CT's (some of the most hard core soldiers I have ever met!!!!).  Army has Rangers (Ranger lead the way!!!) Special Forces (Green Beret's) or Delta.  Marines, well almost all of them are hard core.  If your into cable TV, nice living quarters, time with family, etc then look into another job with the military.  I know guys and galls that have spent their entire career without a single deployment.  You can find those jobs in all branches also.  

As the son of a Marine officer (pilot), I can tell you that you WILL spend a considerable amount of time deployed with the Marines.  They are the front line of almost all major engagements.  You will have a tough family life, but it is managable.  My parents never divorced, but it was tough as a kid to watch daddy go away for a year at a shot... several times.

If your not married and can handle the time away from family, then do what you believe you can handle.  Not everyone can be a marine.  Thats why they are elite.  If you believe in your heart that you have what it takes, go for it!  You can always reclass and change jobs if you get married (keep in mind that almost all marines deploy at some time in their carrer.  I dont know of anyone who has not).  I was days away from becoming a marine officer after I ETS'd from the army and finished college.  I was going to be a pilot.  At the last minute my wife and I decided that the deployments and time away from her and my daughter were not worth it.  

Marines will let you pick a job as a pilot before you enter the service, but thats the only job you can pick prior to entry into OBC.  Once in, you will line up in class standing several times, but only the final time counts, and they put you in three lines.  There is a private room that the lead person in each line goes into one at a time and they pick their jobs from a list of available jobs in the Marines.  You may not get what you want.  A good friend of mine wanted Infantry.  When he went through, it was not available.  He took a job as a motor officer (Transportation).  Thats how it was about 5 years ago when I was looking into it, and it may have changes.  A recruiter can tell you for certain.

If you have college, DO NOT settle for anything less than what you want.  If you want to be an officer, talk with an officer recruiter.

As far as your parents go, I recomend you talk this over with them.  I would have all of the available information ready in case of questions.  If this is what you want, they will either support you or not.  If they do, great.  If not, take their advise and think about what you want to do.  Ultimately it is up to you.  That's what I did.  As far as "messing with your head", well some of that is true.  You will be pushed physically, challenged mentally and come through it a stronger person.  There is nothing like being up of 48 hours and have someone screaming at you.....but you get through it.  You learn that your body can do more that your mind believes it can.  Just remember that others have gone through this before you and made it.  Others will go through long after you and will make it.  It's all up to what you can do mentally and physically.

The life of an officer is tough.  But there are those that have done it before you.  Some have done it well and others have not.  You need to be certain that this is what you want.  Once in, your locked in for the agreed upon amount of time.  You will need an Honorable discharge if you decide to get out.  

Hope this helps,

James S.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:56:32 AM EDT
[#21]
Very good insights James.
The MOS selection has changed slightly, it's complicated and to be honest I don't know how it works exactly.
If you pass the ASTB (aviation selection test battery) you can get a guaranteed flight contract, you can also get law guaranteed, I don't know how though.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:38:09 AM EDT
[#22]
The assignment of MOSs to Officers is based on a process know as the quality distribution spread.  Each TBS class’s ground officers are divided into thirds depending on class standing. MOS are also split roughly into thirds.  The first officer in top third gets to choose, than the first officer in the middle third and than the top officer in the bottom third.  After the top officer in the bottom third selects, than the officer ranked 2nd in the top third chooses, followed by the middle, than the bottom.  This process continues till all the officers have been assigned a tentative MOSs.  

The Staff of the TBS class than sits down and does some horse and compatibility trading; they want to ensure that if a guy has absolutely no business in an MOS he doesn’t get it.  The hope is that those who demonstrate at the TBS they shouldn’t lead troops aren’t put into a position to even if that is their desire. However this isn’t perfect and a few do get by.  What has been the case in the last several years that almost everyone gets something in their top (3) 5 of their dream sheet.  

The criteria for the Lt dream sheets vary by company, some companies have you list every MOS they would like in the order they desire them, some companies have them put in only 5 or 4.  What they all require though is all officers put in at least 1 combat arm or one support MOS.  The SPC already have a pretty good idea of who wants what and the dream sheet also tend to reflect this.  If a Lt doesn’t want combat arms, the one combat arms they choose is something like tanks or amtracs, because each class only has a couple billet for each.  So in the case the SPCs are taking into account desires there are only a couple of those slots.


The only real variables are the “uniquely qualified” and the desire for diversity on combat arms.  Some MOSs like, intel, sigint and MPs, will take into consideration if a member has a special skill, like he is a polyglot or already has a TS/SCI.  The desire for diversity started years ago when it was acknowledged by Gen Mundy that very few minorities (black) went into combat arms, because of this a designated minority who selects Infantry or Artillery as their combat arms choice have a much higher chance than a non-designated minority.

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:46:53 AM EDT
[#23]

Each TBS class’s ground officers are divided into thirds depending on class standing

This is what they just recently changed from what I hear from some buddies at TBS right now. Like I said I'm not sure how it works now...
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 10:10:13 AM EDT
[#24]
The best officers, many Marines feel, enlist first and then apply to OCS through MECEP. You will have to prove yourself as an enlisted man first. It's the hardest but most rewarding path, I think.

Otherwise, go to college. Apply to PLC while attending college. It's the path with the most options, and if you wash out of OCS you are not obligated to serve. It may also alleviate your mother's fears about Marines messing with your head if you've gone to college and had the chance to see other opportunities.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 10:20:40 AM EDT
[#25]
MECEPS great, thats the program I'm in now...
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 10:27:51 AM EDT
[#26]
I am currently applying to PLC-Aviation, if you have any questions about PLC, feel free to ask.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:13:39 PM EDT
[#27]
I spent 20 years in the navy because that is what I wanted to do.  If you want to join the marines, join the marines.  If you want to be an officer go to grad school and apply for either the academy (the NAVAL acadamy, or go to college) and then the marines.  If you want to be an armorer, then plan on sticking around the corps for a while because they don't let just anyone work on their weapons.  If you are serious about this then the best thing to do is what you want to do.  Don't worry about the opinions of anyone including your parents.  
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 6:02:02 PM EDT
[#28]

Quoted:
I spent 20 years in the navy because that is what I wanted to do.  If you want to join the marines, join the marines.  If you want to be an officer go to grad school and apply for either the academy (the NAVAL acadamy, or go to college) and then the marines.  If you want to be an armorer, then plan on sticking around the corps for a while because they don't let just anyone work on their weapons.  If you are serious about this then the best thing to do is what you want to do.  Don't worry about the opinions of anyone including your parents.  



2111 (armorer) is an entry level MOS, it's not really hard to get into the MOS.  But I would counsel most who want it, that is really isn't what they think it is.  The MOS is mostly issuing and recovering weapons and doing paperwork.  

Most Lts don't have graduate level degrees, they have basic BAs.  I am not sure if you are old enough for a graduate degree you would be accepted at the academies.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 6:11:42 PM EDT
[#29]
RON is correct. Being an armorer would not be much fun, better to be a true 2111 though than company level armorer, which is just some03 who got screwed. Grad degree is not required, however if you make a career out of it you'll probably get a chance to get one either at the war college or Navy post grad school in californa....cant remember which base..starts with an 'M'.....
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