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View Full Version : How I found my place in DEP...



FooDawg
09-07-06, 10:43 PM
I couldn't think of much of a title, but hey we'll try this. This thread is more for everyone to tell their tough stories of getting into DEP and the hardships they went through in order to get to the point all us wannabes are at now. I hope people are willing to share their stories because it might help motivate a few people who need a little motivation.
Thanks to Echo_Four_Bravo and Jinelson for recommending I start this thread. Hopefully it boosts someones morale.


Anyways, my journey to get into the Marine Corps started in late 2003. I had started speaking to a recruiter when I was nearing my first college ending. I went to a technical school in FL called Full Sail to attain a degree in Software Development with a focus in 3d development towards simulators and video games. I was always interested in joining up, just never had the balls. So I went and talked to the recruiter and he ended up sending me to a METs station to get me tested in the ASVABs. I got a 99 score on the ASVABs with all my line scores maxxing out the max required for any enlisted job. So that felt good. But I started getting nervous and questioning whether it was for me.

I moved away from FL back to CT a few months later and decided it was for me, but wanted to check out other branches just in case. Only thing that appealed to me was the Army's WOFT flight program. I wouldn't mind flying helicopters as I grew up with my dad working in Sikorsky Aircraft all my life and had quite a few jobs there in the past myself. So helo's are definately ingrained in me. The recruiter for the Army was a douchebag and was intent on getting me to enlist and never wanted to help me get into WOFT. This just went to prove his agenda and turned me off. Never did anythign to help me get medical records or anything. So I said screw that and went back to the Marine Corps recruiter I spoke to in CT since I knew it was a no BS situation. The recruiters are cool and honest and dont BS you and actually made the effort to help me get to where I wanted to be. I just wanted to make sure it was actually what I wanted and I have never been happier with the decision to enlist with the Marine Corps. I ultimately plan on trying to get into a flight program after my initial enlistment since I want the military experience first, but again, thats in the distant future and am not planning my present based on that. Hopefully it'll pan out, but im excited to be 03XX.

Anyways, after getting DQed about 5 times, the recruiters and MEPs were beginning to give up on my medical background. First, I had Hodgkin's Disease stage 1A when I was 14 years old. Its a type of lymphatic cancer. I had chemotherapy and radiation, lost all my hair, almost died, all that crap. But I stuck it out and in a year I was fully healed. Thankfully after scouring the documentation I could find online, I found a provision that said specifically that that type of cancer was allowed to be put through unwaiverable as long as I had been "cured" for at least 5 years. Good Stuff.
Then I find out I have Right Bundle Branch Block (RBBB) which can be disqualifying in the Service.
The MEPs dr helped me get through all that and really pushed his credentials for me after talking to me and seeing my motivation.
I was born with my tounge split in half also. Nowaays there are rules against that if its self inflicted. All these douchebags that I guess do this for fun gave me a bad name and I had to go scrounge up medical docs from like 20 years ago and find my pediatrician who was like 100 years old and have him vouche for it. Pain in the a$$ to say the least. But we got that taken care of.
I had a few other things as well not so necessary to go into depth, but we all know we are supposed to report every surgery adn such, so like surgeries I had in the past and crap.

Anyways, moral of the story, after like almost 2 years of pushing forth and researching provisions and all that stuff, I finally got DEPed in a few months ago. Like 3 weeks before my ASVAB scores ran past their 2 year expiration. HAHA, i'd have been real pi$$ed if I had to take them again.

I am now slotted to ship sometime in Dec/Jan timeframe. Hopefully Dec.
I am now currently taking 20 credits in college in NJ this semester and working.

I know exactly what it feels like to lose motivation, but if you recognize it and take it and use it to help you push yourself forward, you can accomplish anything. I also had the oppurtunity to work with a company writing simulation software and attend a conference in Orlando, FL in 2004 that is called IITSEC. Anyone interested in the technological side of the military would be recommended 100% to go there and check it out. All flight simulators and tank sims. Humvee sims, scout/sniper sims, range sims, all sorts of stuff. They have one day open to the public. I got to fly an F/A22 that day at the Boeing booth and another booth had these Apache sims with the real flight mechanics of the Apache.

Anyways, I hope this helps motivate some. I've been personally trying for over 2 years now to get in the Marine Corps and am almost at my goal. I have NO support structure behind me. My family hates the idea. They are just afraid of me getting killed obviously, but they are now at a point of acceptance and are kinda beginning to support me. Other then that, everyones always bashed the idea, so it was always just personal motivation. So for me, it worked and I got to this point. A few more hurdles and i'm there. For others, it might just be too much. But I hope my story can somewhat be helpful and help prove that you can do it if you put your mind too it.

Id love to hear all the other tough stories of getting to this point.

hawks
09-07-06, 11:23 PM
What is your mos you are interested. Good read.

Last year around this time, I was a sophomore an the University of Iowa. All I did was go out and drink and eat. I went from 250 to 270 in one semester. Deep down I wanted to join the military, join the Army to be exact. But then, the day after Thanksgiving I weighed myself and i was something like 270.5 or 271 and all I said was ****. That night, I saw the movie Jarhead. And it has been Marine Corps ever since. I am now down to 198ish and running 3 miles eveyr day and lifting. I can do about 7 pullups now, more crunches, and push myself harder and harder every day running. I kind of pussed out on enlisting last spring, I had absolutely no support structure behind me. But now, I am older and more mature and want to do this and am finally going to go to MEPS on tuesday and hopefully get my split option as an 0311.

FooDawg
09-07-06, 11:45 PM
I am currently enlisted for 03XX.

You wont be able to get 0311. Youll get an 0300 contract and correct me if im wrong someone who knows better, when you get to SOI I think they put you where they need you within the 0300 subfields (I.E. 0311, 0321...).

But when you sign your contract at MEPS, you will sign a 9800 I think is the number. OPEN enlistment (meaning the Marine Corps chooses what MOS you get). Dont let this scare you. Your recruiters should help you get the field you want (I.E. 03XX) after you enlist. Just MAKE SURE you vocalize your desire to your recruiter. Its all based on what they have to offer for the fiscal year and if they have nothing whether another office in the district wants to trade or not. But the fiscal year is just starting so you should be good to go with 03XX, but be prepared to ship soon.

But keep up the spirit and let us know how MEPs goes. Its not really bad at all.

hawks
09-07-06, 11:50 PM
If you enlist in the Reserves you get to pick your exact MOS, because the unit has to fill certain spots, so there might be 10 0311 opens, and 1 0323, etc.

FooDawg
09-07-06, 11:54 PM
If you enlist in the Reserves you get to pick your exact MOS, because the unit has to fill certain spots, so there might be 10 0311 opens, and 1 0323, etc.

My bad, didn't realize you were thinking reserves. I don't know ANYTHING about the reserves, so thats pretty cool, thanks for the insight.

jinelson
09-08-06, 12:24 AM
Thanks Alex moto thread I hope it helps those who lose moto get it back and keeps others from giving up!


http://www.shareaphoto.info/uploads/91b0960092.jpg (http://www.shareaphoto.info)

dodint
09-08-06, 01:03 PM
Last Thanksgiving I was 295 lbs, I finally got disgusted, and by Easter I made it down to 235. It really wasn't that hard when you have genuine Moto.

As for MEPS, I was able to enlist with Integrity, by taking a chance of being DQ'd for revealing my anti-depressant use when I was 14. I took a chance and the USMC gave me the go ahead, so I can go to Boot Camp with no skeletons in the closet. Side note that the USCG DQ'd me for the same issue, their loss.

Now that I've DEP'd in I still haven't chosen an MOS. I sent in for Aviation Operations, Media, and Enlisted Flight Crew. They took a look at the choices, and sent them back, asking me to first take a look at Intel. With my ASVAB/GT (96/139) scores so high they'd like me to at least think about it. I'm glad they did, as I hadn't realized how interesting of a career I can have with Intel if I apply myself. Now I'm going to go take the DLAB on Monday and see what else I can qualify for.

If all goes well I'm going to sit down before boot camp and write out a 5 year life plan so I can stay moto and make the most out of my first enlistment.

Good luck everyone else.

Osotogary
09-08-06, 02:12 PM
Best of luck to all of you. Your shared experiences are truly motivational. You are conquering yourselves. Good work. Keep it going.

FooDawg
09-08-06, 03:57 PM
dodint, great story. I was checking out Intel as well, and wanted to take the DLAB's, but was told only way I could was if I was going to seriously consider a job they were required for. Shame, I woulda liked to have seen what I would have gotten in an interpretive language exam, but I definately wanted to go 03XX to get my initial military experience. I guess if I have a true passion for it later on, I can figure out a way to pursue it, but my biggest goal would be to get into flight as I love flying. Again, thats down the road and I have a long way to go before that.

Thanks for the contributions everyone, I hope we can get some more on here.

Echo_Four_Bravo
09-08-06, 11:47 PM
I don't know if they've changed things, but they made me take the DLAB in boot camp, so you might still get your chance FooDawg.

WJason777
09-09-06, 01:22 AM
Ever since I was about 9 I wanted to be in the Army because of the storys my uncle use to tell me about Vietnam. When I was about 13 I started to visit my grandmothers house very often. Talking to my grandfather alot I found out about a branch called the Marine Corps. This is very funny because here I am about 13 years old and never really heard about the Marine Corps. After talking to him about the Marines for about 2 years. I decided to go talk to a recurter, they gave me some books and all that other waivers about about the Marines, after reading that I knew for sure that this is what I want to do. My 10th grade year of high school I started looking into becoming a Marine officer. But after taking the SAT I lost all my moto for doing the officer thang. Here I am its my senior year of high school I will be done with school in January 07. I signed up for the Marines over the summer took the ASVAB and made a 35, went to MEPs past the physical but got DQ for me being on the acne medcine Accutane. Now I have to wait 60 days with a letter from my doctor stating that I am off the pills, I was so mad that day when I went down there. I turned in the waiver from my doctor to my recuriter and now we are just waiting to hear from MEPs so we could give this another try. Ever since I signed up there hasnt be a day that I didnt think about being in the Corps. So I know this is what I want to do with my life, I cant picture myself doing anything else but this. Whenever I go back down there I hope everything goes well. Because I dont think I can stand to wait just to get sworn in. I know for sure that I want to do something in 28XX feild, I am very good in computers, but I know my test scores are not even going to let me near a computer. So I am just gonna have to wait to see what I am qualified for. I just want a job thats going to do very well on the outside world.

Well that is my story

Future5711
09-12-06, 09:05 AM
I came a long way to finally get to this point, where I am sworn in and property of the US Gov't. I first tried to enlist after Christmas in 2003. I wasn't really thinking, and I wasn't really ready, but my b/f at the time was being very supportive, and my life wasn't really going anywhere at all. I was unemployed, not going to college, and just being a bum in general. I spoke with a recruiter and decided that I might as well go for it and figure the rest out later. I took the ASVAB, scored a 91, and passed the physical. I was in the waiting area waiting for the liason to call my name. Unfortunately, he never did. I was told I had to come back to MEPS for a second day of "hurry up and wait." I sat there for probably 6+ hours waiting for my name to be called to get the OK to get sworn in. Again, my name is never called. On the drive home, I ask my recruiter what the hold up is and that they can just tell me when to come back and I'll be there, instead of sitting around waiting all day. Apparently, my liason officer neglected to inform me that I had been disqualified.

When the recruiter told me I was disqualified, I couldn't think of a reason why I would be, I had passed everything with flying colors, even the famous "screen-out." At the time, I had two tattoo's, one on my lower back of a rose with a tribal design, and one on my upper back of an iron cross. The iron cross was below the collar line, so that wasn't the issue. Apparently they did not like the content of the tattoo. I basically had no recourse. My recruiters suggested writing my congressman to see if they could help out, but with no luck. I was told that "off the record" I could get the tattoo changed, but I would still only have a 50% or less chance of getting in because they know what was there before. I was devestated by this for a while. In conjuction with everything else that was going on in my life at the time, I can't say I was surprised.

Fast forward two and half years later, around April 2006. Things seemed to be better, I have a good job where I make good money, I bought a house, I suppose I was advancing in life. In actuality, things were not as good as they appeared. Unbenounced to me, my b/f was stepping out on me with another girl, there had been increasing stress due to family stuff, and my job was starting to loose it's excitement. Around this time, I walked back into the recruiters' office, and most of the staff had changed, but one recruiter remembered me from before. His name is Ssgt. Noboa. I sat down and talked to him for a while, mainly to see if any of the tattoo policies had changed since I tried to enlist last. He said we could give it a shot and the worst they could say was no. Well in about two days after they received a photo of my tattoo, they said no. Again, I was faced with changing the tattoo in order to get in. I still had all the usual doubts, will I like it, will I even make it through, what is my family going to think, etc. I told the recruiters I would think about it and make a decision. Luckily the RSS by me is not very pushy at all, they pretty much let me be. I continued to stop in every couple weeks just to check in and show that I was seriously thinking about it. I started making preliminary plans for joining. I decided I would finish up the two classes I need to complete my associates degree in the fall semester. Around mid-July, the s*it hit the fan in my personal life. I found out my b/f had been seeing someone else since March, which completely broke me basically, and still does to this day. I was having an increasingly tense relationship with my father, and nothing seemed to be going right. I went into the recruiters' office and sat down with Ssgt. Noboa. I explained to him what was going on in my life, and he says, "it sounds like you need to get away from everything and everyone for a while." I responded, "if it was just that easy." He basically told me if I get my tattoo changed, it would be. At the end of July I decided I would get it changed, because I really need to do this for myself.

After getting the tattoo changed, from an iron cross, to a dagger looking thing, I re-submitted it to the higher-ups for approval. I now have 4 tattoos, 2 more than I had the first time I tried to enlist. Luckily, my additional tattoos were not an issue. I had to write a total of 5 tattoo statements, take pictures in the PT uniform, Charlie uniform, regular clothes, everything. Everyday, my recruiter was calling with a new thing that was needed. It was very frustrating and exhausting. I thought I would never get in, all because of a stupid tattoo. Finally, I thought I was on my last step, I had an interview with the commanding officer for New Jersey RS. Two days before the interview, my recruiter calls me and says he has good news. I don't need the interview, they've cleared me to enlist. I couldn't believe it, I actually thought my recruiter was messing around with me. The next step was to go down to MEPS and actually do the deed. I scheduled for a Friday night ASVAB and a Saturday medical. I scored a 96 the second time around on the ASVAB with line scores all at 120+. I passed the medical with flying colors, and the liason officer finally called my name. When I was waiting to be sworn in with the other people who were there, it dawned on me, you can't back out now, you're really going to do this. YOU are going to be a Marine. I walked up to the swear in room, swore in with six others, and started to make my way back to the liason officer. I had tears in my eyes as I walked out of that room. I knew I had made the right decision for me regardless of what others may think.

I walked out of there with my recruiter and a red Marines T-shirt in tow. I didn't get a Welcome Aboard packet though. Now the next step is deciding on an MOS, I am looking at Intel, Logistics, Marine Air/Ground Task Force, and NBC. The next big step will be dropping the news on the family members that don't know what's going on. In closing, it took me a long time to get to this point. I'm hoping the Marine Corps will change my life for the better, and give me the confidence, self-esteem, and backbone that I want. I also look forward to being a part of something that will always go on. I hate to be cliche, but The Marine Corps will live forever, so in turn, when I die, I will live forever.

FooDawg
09-12-06, 10:29 AM
Thanks for the contribution Future5711. We really appreciate it and hope it motivates some of the other wannabe's having problems swearing in. Congratulations.