My son wants to join the DEP
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  1. #1

    My son wants to join the DEP

    My son, just turned 17, wants to join the DEP. According to his recruiter he scored exceptionally high on his asvab test. I have zero military experience in my family so I'm clueless. As a parent I wonder if this is best for him at this age. He still has a year of high school and a lot can change in a year. He's wanted to be a Marine since he was 5 years old. I don't really think he WILL change his mind but there is always that possibility.

    1. What is expected of him during this next year?

    2. He eventually wants to get into special forces. Is it better to go to college first and do ROTC and then enlist?

    We are leaving the decision up to him. This is the biggest decision of his young life and he's not taking it lightly. He's my baby boy so of course I'm worried. Proud, but worried. I know this will open up a lot of doors for him. Doors that small town life will never have.

    Any advice for me to help him with this decision? Not that I think he really needs help lol. Any advice for ME to reassure ME?


  2. #2
    Marine Free Member ChuckH's Avatar
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    Administrator Platinum Member Rocky C's Avatar
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    Tammy,

    You are not alone here with all the other parents feeling the same way and asking the same questions. The best suggestion I can give you at this time is to sit down with Your Son and his Recruiter and ask all the questions you want.

    Others here will give advice also.

    Good Luck.


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  5. #5
    Rhode Island is right my sons recruiter acutualy came to our house and talked with us my wife realy felt much better with my sons decision after that meeting and is behind him 100%


  6. #6
    You can pretty much say "Hey, this isn't for me" up until are raising your right hand at MEPS just before you ship off to Boot Camp.

    The only things ROTC will help with is picking up PFC at the end of Boot Camp (something that can be done with referrals, college credits, or meritoriously at boot camp/mos school) instead of having to wait 6 months to pick it up and I believe promotions as an officer.

    I told me recruiter I was thinking of doing college first and he made a valid point. "Why would you go to college for 4 years then join the Military who would have paid you to go to college 4 years and paid the expenses for it?"

    Plus what if he goes to college for 4 years, then joins the military and gets put in a MOS that is completely different than what he went to college for and loves it? When he gets out, he will still need to go college for that job and will have wasted 4 years and thousands of dollars on nothing.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebecker View Post
    You can pretty much say "Hey, this isn't for me" up until are raising your right hand at MEPS just before you ship off to Boot Camp.

    The only things ROTC will help with is picking up PFC at the end of Boot Camp (something that can be done with referrals, college credits, or meritoriously at boot camp/mos school) instead of having to wait 6 months to pick it up and I believe promotions as an officer.

    I told me recruiter I was thinking of doing college first and he made a valid point. "Why would you go to college for 4 years then join the Military who would have paid you to go to college 4 years and paid the expenses for it?"

    Plus what if he goes to college for 4 years, then joins the military and gets put in a MOS that is completely different than what he went to college for and loves it? When he gets out, he will still need to go college for that job and will have wasted 4 years and thousands of dollars on nothing.
    Very good point! I'm starting to get used to the idea now. It's funny but I'm already noticing changes in him. He walks a little straighter, has more confidence and has such pride on his face when people ask what he's going to do after high school. "I'm going to earn the title of US Marine". Almost makes me cry!


  8. #8
    My son joined when he was 17, he turned 18 during boot camp. His recruiter came to our house sat down with us and talked for about an hour. He was very gracious and direct which we appreciated very much. In fact he has also become a very good friend of the family. Don't be afraid to talk with his recruiter. If he is doing his job well, over the next year he will prepare your son for the mental and physical challenges that he will face during boot camp. And there will be many. Good luck to you and your son.


  9. #9
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    Understand what you mean by "he has wanted to be a Marine since he was 5 " Mine was 12 when she came and told me she wanted to be a Marine.

    That said, you mentioned ROTC and college. My question is does your son have a desire to be an officer or does he just want to enlist? Part of that same question is what type of student is he. Is he on a track where going to college is expected or is this something he just not see himself doing?

    Serving as a Marine Officer is a very different world than serving as an Enlisted Marine. This is a queston you shoud ask your son before he signs up for anything.

    Dad of a Marine 2nd LT


  10. #10
    talk to his recruiter and ask all the questions you want to you can change your mind clear up till you raise your hand and swear in
    as a parent you have all the reasons to be nervous but consider this he will be with the best of the best we take care of our own...thats what we do
    if he sticks with it and makes the grade he will be changed forever ..he will always be a Marine
    Semper Fi and good luck to you and your son


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Popsicle View Post
    Understand what you mean by "he has wanted to be a Marine since he was 5 " Mine was 12 when she came and told me she wanted to be a Marine.

    That said, you mentioned ROTC and college. My question is does your son have a desire to be an officer or does he just want to enlist? Part of that same question is what type of student is he. Is he on a track where going to college is expected or is this something he just not see himself doing?

    Serving as a Marine Officer is a very different world than serving as an Enlisted Marine. This is a queston you shoud ask your son before he signs up for anything.

    Dad of a Marine 2nd LT
    We did talk about that and he has no desire to be an officer.

    And an update- he went to MEPs yesterday and has been sworn in. He doesn't leave for basic training until July 16,2013


  12. #12
    Tammy, when I was 17 I told my mom that i wanted to join the Marine Corps, after telling her for, like 10yrs, she told me NO! So 3 days later I turned 18, and joined! Fast forward 13 weeks my MOM is at MCRDSD, sitting in the blechers with pride on her face, allow your son to make the best choice that any American can make by being one of THE FEW OF THE FINEST FORCES IN THE WORLD, A UNITED STATES MARINE!

    Maurice


  13. #13
    I too am a parent of a future Marine. He is turning 17 on the 20th of this month and his recruiter is taking him up to MEPs the week after. As a parent, I am nervous, scared, yet proud. I too have NO military background so all of this is uncharted water for me. It seems like we will be going through this process at the same time. I would love to share experiences, questions, etc if you are open....

    Sherri


  14. #14
    Marine Free Member AAV Crewchief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainchic View Post
    My son, just turned 17, wants to join the DEP. According to his recruiter he scored exceptionally high on his asvab test. I have zero military experience in my family so I'm clueless. As a parent I wonder if this is best for him at this age. He still has a year of high school and a lot can change in a year. He's wanted to be a Marine since he was 5 years old. I don't really think he WILL change his mind but there is always that possibility.

    1. What is expected of him during this next year?

    2. He eventually wants to get into special forces. Is it better to go to college first and do ROTC and then enlist?

    We are leaving the decision up to him. This is the biggest decision of his young life and he's not taking it lightly. He's my baby boy so of course I'm worried. Proud, but worried. I know this will open up a lot of doors for him. Doors that small town life will never have.

    Any advice for me to help him with this decision? Not that I think he really needs help lol. Any advice for ME to reassure ME?
    Be supportive unlike my career Navy dad was NOT when I wanted to join. After my initial physical and visit to MEPS where I took the first oath, I boarded the bus from Richmond, VA back to VA Beach and on the way home my dad cussed me out and denigrated my decision. I had to wait until 18 because he refused to give me permission to join at 17. Then I ended up not actually going in until 9 months after my 18th birthday....that was my fault because of a "female" with some persuasive ability. LOL. She broke up with me right before Christmas and I was in the recruiter's office signing up the day after New Year's. In between I was "drowning my sorrows" with alcohol.

    There is no "special forces" in the Corps. He needs to eliminate that mindset from his brain housing group. After becoming a Marine and trying out for Force Recon/MARSOC and actually making it, he might actually be assigned to a Joint Special Operations detachment depending upon the deployment. There he will have to shed some of his arrogance that he will have rightfully earned getting his designation as a Recon Marine to work well with other branches of the military. All of the push towards integrating the elite forces began after the debacle at Desert One in 1980 when Jimmy Carter's ad hoc attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran ended in the deaths of some of our best forces. A lot of that had to do with the lack of training and coordination between the services. That no longer exists as fundamental changes took place where that would never be a limiting factor again in missions of that sort. If he does become an officer, the joint ops billets will be bases that he has to touch for promotion as well since we're all integrated pretty tightly. There might be a time when he is placed on a team that has him riding an Army Aviation SOAR helo into an area with a ETAC Air Force Combat Controller, a partial team of Seals/Green Berets, and various other personnel from unmentionable three letter agencies that also work in national security to pull off a mission.

    Good luck to him. He needs to be in the best physical shape of his life and I sure hope he can swim like a fish.


  15. #15
    Of course your sons could "simply" become Marine Corps Infantry. No foreign power has ever defeated us, enemy armies tremble in fear when they realize they are facing us on the battlefield, and we are the ones that have made the Marine Corps famous throughout our history.


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