Questions about joining the Marine Corps
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  1. #1

    Question Questions about joining the Marine Corps

    I've been wanting to go into the Marine Corps, but I don't​ know much about it. None of these questions are decision making/breaking. I've already made my decision. These questions are simply out of curiosity. I'm just going to combine them all into this thread, to avoid creating spam.
    One question I have is what are generally the stationing assignments right out of ITB? I understand the Marine Corps doesn't have the installations of other branches, but I only know of three post locations in the Marine Corps. That would be Pendleton, Lejeune, and Okinawa. I've heard of some others, but do boots get sent to the other locations, generally?
    What is family life like? I've read, and heard some mixed responses, obviously, because experiences will vary. But, what is the general take on it? Are there maybe some pointers and such, between being married, and possibly a child? Are there ways to help improve it?
    Thank you for any help.

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  2. #2
    The 4 big Marine Corps bases in the US are K-bay in Hawaii, Pendleton in socal, 29 Palms in the mojave desert, and Lejeune on Coastal North Carolina. Marines also rotate through Oki, but typically it is more like a deployment rather than a duty station. You may be stationed any of those places, though most guys I know wound up at either Pendleton or Lejeune.

    Marine Corps infantry is not great for families... Many Marines wind up divorced. HOWEVER, a lot of this is because these guys marry their girlfriend at 18 years old to get to move off base and be able to live together. Most relationships in general aren't highschool sweethearts. If you are mature about your relationship, there is no reason it should fail. That said, the USMC is demanding of your time, deployments aside, so be prepared for that. I know guys who did 20+ years active duty and stayed happily married the entire time, so its certainly doable for a mature couple. Your situation will dictate. If you are 18, don't marry your sweetheart so you can live together, give it some time. If you do, as most ignore this advice and do, at least don't have kids the first 4 years or more, to make sure it's going to work out.

    Also, don't marry any girl who lives within 250 miles of a major military base.


  3. #3
    I've known​this girl for quite some time now. Been out of school for a few years. While, I understand, and completely agree with you, fortunately that's not the case for myself. We've already talked about it prior to myself wanting to go into the Corps. I believe she and I are mature enough to handle it. I'll probably wait until after I get out of Boot Camp and ITB, just in case. Also, what are generally the allowences like? Does it go by Rank, TIG, and TIS like the payscale; or is adjusted to the cost of living?

  4. #4
    The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance prescribed by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status.

    Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS):

    BAS is meant to offset costs for a member's meals.

  5. #5
    You really need to go sit down with a recruiter. They are trained to answer all your questions, can show you the pay and benefits charts, and talk to you about jobs (MOS). Your primary MOS will be based on your ASVAB score, security clearance, and needs of the Marine Corps (not your needs).

    You need to understand infantry slots are the first to disappear and recruiters only have so many to start with. Your recruiter may not have an infantry contract to offer you or, it may be a reserve contract. It takes 10 other Marines, in various MOS's, to support just one grunt.

    Besides the major installations like Camp LeJeune, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa, and Kaneohe Bay, infantry Marines are also assigned to Security Forces out of ITB and a small handful air hand-picked for the Silent Drill Platoon, presidential security at the White House/Camp David, and aggressor forces at 29 Palms CA.

  6. #6
    Would I have a better chance of picking up 03xx if I waited until the beginning of the fiscal year? I've been searching around here, and have seen that commented. That's truly the only field I'm interested in. While I'm willing to pick a different, but related field, I would very much prefer infantry. I've spoken briefly with a recruiter, and plan to speak more to one in the near future.
    On with the marriage thing. Tennessee Top, were you married? Have you known people who have been successful throughout their career? If so, do you have any tips you would be willing​ to pass on?

  7. #7
    Waiting for the new Fiscal Year on October 1st may work to your benefit, and it may not. Remember, there are current poolees all over the country who are waiting too and have been waiting. Who gets the first shot, you, or these poolees who will have been waiting a lot longer than you have come this October? If I were a recruiter, I know who I would give those contracts to - those who have been waiting around the longest. So, get in line as soon as you can, don't expect any favors, and keep your fingers crossed. If things don't work out the way you want them to, you need to have plans B and C ready to go.

    I'm not the right Marine to ask about marriage. Yeah, I was married, until I went to Japan and Jodie came knocking on my ex's door while I was away. She left with him when I came back home (he was a scuzzy civilian). Occupational hazard. Saw it happen to many of my friends but of course, never thought it would happen to me (I took my marriage for granted and paid for that mistake). Some will tell you to at least wait till you pick up some rank (mostly for financial stability). I was a sergeant when I got married, and on my second contract. Waiting was no benefit for me. Lost my appetite for marriage after that, and never got married again (still single today and plan on remaining that way). Now, many of my friend's marriages survived so it can happen - just not for me. I'm the wrong person to ask for tips about marriage because mine failed. You need to get tips from Marines who have had successful marriages.

    Let us know how your meeting with your recruiter goes and good luck.

  8. #8
    I'll probably call the recruiter tomorrow, so I can get the ball rolling, so I can get the field I want. I have some others career fields in mind​, but I really want an 03 field. Only time will tell, though.
    I'm probably not going to wait for a while after boot camp and SOI to get married, due to financial reasons. Which will be fine. Based on my observations, the majority of new Marines stay on the coast they train on. I would stay on the West coast, most likely. I live in Arizona now, so fortunately I won't be too far from her. I'll be able to visit and such fairly​ often. I'll try to make observations to see what others are doing, or not with their spouse. Whether right, or wrong, I should learn a thing or two.

  9. #9
    Sounds like a plan. Come back and let us know what the recruiter says about an 03XX contract. They may tell you they can get you one, but with a reserve unit and not active duty. Recruiters get their mission (quotas) from their district headquarters. This quarter, the mission may be females. Next quarter, it may be reservists, and so on. If your recruiter seems to be pushing you in a certain direction, it's because they are following guidance from higher headquarters - they don't just come up with stuff on their own.

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