Lance Corporal rank insignia for the United States Marine Corps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So I have decided to clear up what your recruiters may or may not have told you about the Marine Corps. I do wanna start by saying that while I don’t see eye to eye on some issues that happen in the corp that doesn’t affect my views on it or that fact that I will say that they are the hardest branch in the Armed Forces. They have instilled many values in me that I will carry outside with me to my next chapter in life.
The reason for this article is that because I want to give somethign back to my Corps. Not many know that I am indeed a U.S. Marine. I have served my contract honorably, however I have seen a trend leaking into my beautiful Marine Corps. The quality of Marines is still the same, but it does seem that many didn’t seem to fully understand exactly what they were signing up for. While this article is mostly soposed to be humorous, it does have truth in its words. I figured what better way then to make it known and hopefully cause better quality of people to join my Corps.
If your recruiter asked if;
- You are good at cleaning?
He or she was not lying, as a junior Marine and as a recruit you can expect to clean something everyday. If you think it’s sweeping the floor or picking up trash, you are wrong. Everything for some reason has to be polished to a mirror shine. On that note if you are OCD or a neat-freak you may not go very far in the Marine Corps, but it will help keep those who will out rank you off your back.
- You wanna kill the enemy?
If this is the only reason you joined and all you are looking to get out of it then you have a VERY slim chance to achieve your goal. Unless you are a grunt (infantry) or in a special operations unit you can pretty much kiss that good-bye. Even if you do deploy then most likely if you’re a POG (Person Other-than Grunt like myself then you can count on staying in the safety of the base.
You would not think that in such a fine organization that drugs would be an issue, but I will tell you that they are, I have seen many good Marines make a mistake and give into temptation only to find themselves kicked out on the street and having a hard time getting a job. If you love drugs my advice is don’t join the Corps. When they say they have a zero tolerance policy they are not lying. It doesn’t even matter if someone drugged you at a party or if you were too drunk to remember, if you pop your out.
Now I know what you muscle-bound monsters are thinking, ‘Free gym!’ As great as it sounds note that even if you’re built like a brick shit house the Marine Corps has a very rigorous height and weight standard. I have seen many Marines get put on the “fat kid program” because they have too much muscle weight.
- Marines never lie, cheat, or steal.
You will most likely be told this in boot camp, well let me help clear up why they say this. This is the example of a stellar Marine, someone who is a prime example of what everyone should be, honest. BUT…this is not the case, you have to understand that all the Marines come from different backgrounds, places, and situations. So while you may be an honest person, that doesn’t mean that everyone around you is.
- Do you like waking up early?
If you are the kind of person who wakes up in the morning and says, “I’m ready to tackle the day!” at 0300 or 3am, then you will have the time of your life. On a typical work day I wake up before the sun is even a thought in the night sky. So I hope you are a morning person, if you can wake up without an alarm clock every time on time, then even better.
I hope you do because as a recruit you will be running EVERYWHERE, and I do mean everywhere. Then going through combat training, you will be running with ALL your gear on (Weighs around 180 lbs) especially if you are in the back or have little legs, anytime they decide its time to go on a hump (hike). Don’t think for a second that you can take as many breaks as you want. Nope they tell you when you can have a break.
You might think this is a strange question for the recruiter to ask you, but aside from getting more pay. You also have to reason this:
- You will be stationed most likely on a base.
- On this base is MANY Marines (mostly single)
- You maybe away from home a lot.
- You wife/husband may get lonely
- A lot of the members are VERY smooth talkers.
- Your spouse may feel overwhelmed
- Your spouse may get depressed
- Your spouse may cheat.
- Your spouse may treat you as an ATM
- Your spouse may get pregnant by other members
So if you think about it being married just adds a whole new stress upon military life. I have seen many marriages get torn apart due to these factors. I’m not saying don’t get married, just saying that if you do or are. Plan and discuss these things openly so you have a plan, also get legal documents drawn up in advance just encase the worst does happen, so both people know exactly what to expect.
Physical or schedule? BOTH! If you can tie yourself in a knot, kiss your free time goodbye and still feel happy then join the Corps. In the Corps I can tell you the most common saying you will hear when you need to get something moderately important done is “Do it on your own time.” What they seem to forget is that by the time you get off work all you wanna do is go to sleep. BUT if you are always flexible (semper gumby) then you will be able to find the time to do almost anything.
- Are you good at standing?
If you are the kind of person who loves being on your feet, or has a fear of chairs, then the Corps will be that much easier for you. You will be standing a lot of formations (looks like a box made of humans), or on patrol, on guard duty, at work, outside, inside, etc. These will all give you MANY opportunity to practice and hone your standing skills.
If you are the kind of person who enjoys seeing box shapes, or being a part of them. Well then your dreams are about to come true. In the Corps you will have the privilege of being a part of some of the largest four-sided figures ever created by man (meaning that its made of people)
- Are you good at filling paperwork?
If you can look at a 13 page forum and say, “Pffft, piece of cake!”, in the Corps you will start right off by giving you a HUGE thick stack of these goodies right in your lap starting before you are even in. How did that make your burning desire to spread ink till your fingers are stained?
- Do you believe you are always right?
you do? Well your wrong then because until you have either lots of time or rank, your opinion doesn’t matter. In fact you basically have none at all. Even if you KNOW what is the correct way to do something you don’t rate to say it.
Good, because your first few years are gonna make any sort of alpha dog status disappear like your pack just got over ran by a t-rex, or you will get ‘weeded’ out.
Are you a professional taste tester? Do you enjoy mom’s cooking? Oh well, because your about to meet the most tasteless food ever. You never had chicken that tasted like nothing? Ok, go get a piece of blank paper wad it up and shove it in your mouth. Taste good? Congrats you have now been adapted to eat military food.
- Do you enjoy being micro managed?
If you always had confusion about how shoes go on, or how to eat, or shower. Well then you’re in luck because Uncle Sam has an awesome program for you to learn all this knowledge. They will make sure that by the end you know how to do all these things and more, down to how to lace your shoes.
- Do you like having a phat paycheck?
I hope not because you will be getting paid just above shit. it works out like this starting pay ~$600 / 15 days / 24 hours a day = $1.67 an hour. Remember that they can work you all day and night. even if you’re getting paid to sleep it still doesn’t work out too much.
If you answered ‘Hell yes!’ then guess what you can travel to such awesome places such as Baghdad, or Afghanistan, or maybe even some other shit hole country where everything smell like a donkeys bum hole. Hope you brought your beach umbrella.
If you slap hands faster than a horse running from a glue factory then, again you’re in luck. You will have the honor of being forced to meet people from all over the world! Some you may even get to kill. Ain’t that just nice? Most you will be in a human box while they talk…and talk. While you get the have the privilege to listen.
Yes? Of course you do who wouldn’t, if you have an itch on your trigger finger that just can’t be soothed with a BB gun or violent video games then you will love the Corp. Many things revolve around them, shooting, killing, cleaning, waiting in line for them, classes on them, cleaning them again, mounting them, and spitting rounds out faster than you have ever seen, followed by taking them apart, and cleaning them…again. No? Then the Corp is not for you…
All this being said the Marine Corps is what you make it. If you are willing to serve your four years (or more) with honor and diligence. You will find that your time will be fairly drama free. This is not a reflection of all Marines or even most, there is a very small number of Devil Dogs that actually fall in with drugs or cheating. The sad part is that the ones that are doing things right are not the ones you hear about. I hope this has either given you a good laugh or opened up your mind to what you will be enjoying.