Looking for an answer: joining as a spouse with dependents
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  1. #1

    Question Looking for an answer: joining as a spouse with dependents

    Hello all,
    I'm a Marine wife and mother of two children. A few years ago I began looking into joining the USMC, but now we are ready for me to take the plunge. I'm 28, so this is the last year I can join without an age waiver.

    I've already been in contact with my local recruiter. It took him two weeks to figure out if I could join with depedents since my husband is also in the Marines (SSGT, currently DI at MCRD PI). He said I could join, it would just be a simple waiver and form signed by my husband saying he was ok with joining. We began the process of getting my medical papers processed (I have a screw in my coccyx). Two and a half months later my papers were cleared.

    Now, after three months of waiting, my recruiter has told me he was mistaken and I cannot join active duty unless I give up 100% of my custody of my children to someone else. We have a care plan in place, my mother is moving back in and will receive temporary guardianship of the kids while I'm gone and my husband makes enough to financially support us. We're all already enrolled into DEERS so we're not creating a huge financial burden on the USMC. Heck, they don't even have to fly me to PI because I'm right here. I have enough college credits to graduate as a PFC.

    So my question: Does anyone know if a temporary guardianship should be enough to allow me to join active duty?

    My recruiter said he would look into it, it's been over a week with still no word, so I'm trying to look in to it myself to get an answer ASAP. I'm running out of time to join, not to mention I've been sitting in limbo for three months and am getting anxious for an answer!

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  2. #2
    wow, wish I could help but I am totally ignorant in this area, I know this is a shoulda, woulda, coulda, comment but it would have been much easier to join before having kids and then had them while on active duty... just sayin'

    someone with a ton of more knowledge about these things should be along...

  3. #3
    Yes it would have been much easier to join before kids! After the accident that resulted in the screw in my coccyx (and 4 hip fractures 1 pelvic fracture) I didn’t think I was able to go into the military anymore. I was an air force poolee at that point in time and my recruiter told me he doubted I’d get in after my accident. Years later, after kids, when I got really into fitness I realized my hips weren’t holding me back after all. By then I recognized that there are hardly any Air Force bases by Marine bases so we would probably get stationed apart. And honestly now the only branch I’d be willing to risk getting separated from my family for is the Marine Corps.

  4. #4
    Like Pat, I am Zero on knowledge on this issue. However, I am surprised at your age and your medical History, that you would be considered for enlistment. I do respect your determination. Hang in there.

  5. #5
    seems to me, now that I've been thinking on this for a bit that a while back we had another person in somewhat the same circumstance, and it seems that all they needed to do was to transfer legal guardianship... I don't see why that wouldn't be suffice...

  6. #6
    So far, according to the recruiter it has to be done through the court system. That is a much longer process, and the court can deny the change, or refuse to reinstate me as legal guardian afterwards. I’m not sure I’m willing to take that risk. My recruiter gave me the information to another SSGT he has been getting his answers from. She took down information on my physical fitness levels and my reasons for wanting to join and brought it to her Master Sergeant to see if there was any way around it. I contacted her to check on it today and the Master Sergeant is still waiting on an answer.

  7. #7
    This is an old regulation; I am not sure if it is still current. This is why the recruiter is not helping you.
    MCRCO 1100.1 dated 9 Nov 2011, paragraph 3231, 3b:

    b. Relinquishing custody does not terminate dependency. Recruiters are
    prohibited from having any involvement in an applicant’s decision to consider
    relinquishing custody of a minor dependent, or in acting upon this decision.
    Recruiting personnel will not advise, imply, or assist an applicant with
    regard to the surrendering custody of a minor dependent. If asked whether
    they would become eligible by surrendering custody, the recruiter’s correct
    response is that enlistment processing cannot begin until 90 days has elapsed
    from the date of custody transfer and that it is not the intent or the desire
    of the Marine Corps for any person to relinquish custody of a dependent for
    the purpose of enlistment. If an applicant has already surrendered physical
    custody of their dependents for personal reasons, the only MCRC recognized
    custody transfer is a valid court order that transfers physical custody and
    does not show intent to return the custody back to the applicant after a
    temporary period of time. Single parents that transfer physical custody of
    minor dependents must be advised that enlistment processing cannot begin
    until 90 days has elapsed from the date of custody transfer. Refer to
    paragraph 3233 of this chapter.

  8. #8
    Here is some other information that might apply and result in delays:

    NOTE: Applicants whose spouse is currently an active or reserve service
    member (includes members of the DEP, one or both), must forward the following
    information to MCRC G-3 for an administrative review prior to enlistment into
    DEP or direct ship onto active duty/active duty for training:
    NAME/RANK/SSN/MOS/DUTY STATION of the Member, Projected Active Duty Date
    (PADD)/PEF Code/QSN applicant is enlisting for.

  9. #9
    It seems to me it would be easier to join the USMCR.

  10. #10
    Actually, the recruiter and another SSGT, as well as their Master Sergeant have all told me I can give up custody to join active duty. They never mentioned the 90 day wait period though! My issue with the reserves is that my mother would have to quit her job to stay with our kids while I trained, but afterward I would not be able to keep paying her to watch them so she would have to find a new job. Then I would also have to find care for the kids during drill. My mom would be able to help most of the time, but during the two week drill she may have work, and since my husband is active duty he could be unavailable as well. We move every few years, so it’s not like I can easily lock down a trustworthy child care provider.

  11. #11
    Seems like you may have 2 many obstacles to become a Marine. Of course one of our sayings is "overcome, adapt." Just saying.

  12. #12
    TolzerVman, it looks like that is still the current regulation. I’m glad you posted that because it doesn’t seem like my recruiter was aware of that information and I certainly wasn’t. It also answers my question about whether temporary custody would work or not. I tried, but it looks like the official answer is no, I can’t join. Giving up 100% custody of my kids isn’t something I’m willing to do to get in.

  13. #13
    you are probably better off not enlisting, sooner or later, you would most likely find yourself in a situation where you and your spouse were assigned duty stations thousands of miles apart for an extended period of time... not really a good thing to foster a long relationship...

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