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  1. #1
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    Looking for advice

    Hello everybody, I'm in a bit of a bind and looking to get some advice so i can make a better informed decision on how i want to move forward.

    Little back story I'm 19 years old and eager to enlist in the USMC I've been going through waivers and paperwork since early October 2014. I'm finally close to being able to enlist however i have 2 options in front of me and I'm not sure how i want to proceed any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    okay so I've been trying to enlist for a little over a year now and I'm quite eager to finally be able to get it done with. I've decided that i wish to have an mos of 13xx with 1371 being my favored specific. the two options I'm trying to weigh are:
    A. Join reserves and be guaranteed 1371 (there are openings in my locality for that mos) and be fully enlisted within 2-3 months and finally have the waivers and paperwork behind me (my recruiter is really pushing for me to go this route and is saying i will have an opportunity to go active duty later)

    B. Wait 5-9 more months for spaces to open up so i can go active duty as a 13xx (hopefully 1371)

    my ultimate goal is to go active duty and make a full career out of it 20+ years but i have a lot of pressure on me to get get in as soon as possible I'm currently unemployed and I'm in an economically depressed area with very few job opportunities. I'm extremely blessed that my parents are allowing me to live with them, but i feel guilty for not being able to help them out or support myself. I'm not really sure what i should do, going reserves seems like a good choice as I'll be able to get enlisted much sooner and finally have started my career but I'm really unsure about the switch from reserves to active duty I've read a lot about people saying it's not easy and it's not a good idea to go reserves unless you want to go to school or have a second job. (of which I don't really want either I'd rather fully dedicate my time to the Marine Corps) I have spoke a lot about this with my recruiters and they keep pushing me to go reserves and they talk about how it will all work out i just need to get my foot in the door and stuff like that but I honestly feel like I may be being misled but I don't know because I know very little about how everything works in the Marine Corps.

    Any information that can be given will be appreciated i know that ultimately it is my decision on how i proceed but I'd like to get as much knowledge as i can so i can make the most informed decision possible so that i don't screw myself over.

    Thanks for taking the time to read through my post.

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  2. #2
    Squad Leader Platinum Member Zulu 36's Avatar
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    Wait and go active right from the start. The Corps is not taking very many people from the Reserves (if any). You'll just have to take your chances at becoming a 1371. The recruiter is blowing smoke about the reserves to active business. They obviously have more reserve slots on quota than active slots.

    Being a reservist does not bring a lot of money in monthly either.

    You're young, no age issue to worry about, just take the 5 - 9 months and use it to PT into very good shape.

    Also, don't count on going for 20. Re-enlistments are very competitive right now. You could be a perfect candidate to re-up, but not get a boatspace. As long as the military is in a draw down, slots will get tighter.


  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, i thought my recruiter was blowing smoke but didn't want to go pointing fingers wrongly. The Marine Corps is all about honor, courage, and commitment you would think that recruiters would be more honest about enlistment options and try to actually help people out instead of misleading them into possibly screwing themselves over. I'm not entirely against going reserves but as i said i do wish to be active duty so i suppose it would be stupid to try and go reserve then switch to active with how tight the slots are getting. Wish me luck I'll have my fingers crossed for 1371 but i don't think i would be disappointed with any of the other mos's in that field they all seem to appeal to me slightly at least.


  4. #4
    USMC 2571
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    Zulu 36 is known for his good information. But PM josephd, who is in the reserves as we speak, just to see if he has anything to add to this discussion. Maybe, maybe not, but check and see.


  5. #5
    USMC 2571
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    Disregard, I did it for you, to save time, as I see him on the site right now. I don't know who else is actually a reservist who is on this site besides him. Maybe no one else.


  6. #6
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    Thanks for the reference, I have come to a decision however as i am wanting to get all my paperwork done asap i figured asking here would be faster than searching all over online for answers. I've run across this site multiple times searching for info but finally created an account and it was well worth it. I feel more confident asking people than i do finding random information all over the internet I'll be sure to make some posts as i go through the enlisting process.


  7. #7
    josephd
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    wait it out IMO

    yes joining the reserves will get you out of a hard situation earlier but will send you back to it after boot, SOI, and MOS school and then you'll be stuck in a contract for 6 years going to drill once a month. I see to many new guys checking in that are extremely disgruntled because of this exact reason, coming back home to a garabage situation that they wanted out of.

    so what if you don't get 1371, the 1371 MOS is so wide spread that you could very well end up not doing anything you are being told or thinking(blowing stuff up and building stuff. You could end up one of a a few other 13xx MOSs that will give you opportunities to do cooler things than many 1371's.


  8. #8
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    yeah it would be grand to go reserves and get in now and be a 1371 then go active after a year but the chances seem slim to none and i really do not want to be stuck doing a weekend every month for the next 6 years I'm sure reserve work is great for some people but I'd personally prefer full time duty. Demolition isn't the only reason I'm interested in the MOS however (of course who doesn't want to blow stuff up) I'm really into construction and building things as well which is why i think i could do well in any part of the field i just prefer that over the others.


  9. #9
    josephd
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonahC View Post
    then go active after a year
    not going to happen, it's not as easy as "just switching" over as most think


  10. #10
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    I was aware it wasn't as simple as just "I wanna go active now" and bam it's done but I was being told it's not that hard to do so i got a little confused about it all, turns out my suspicions were correct in that it isn't an easy process


  11. #11
    joseywales
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    "thank you for all the help, josephd"


  12. #12
    josephd
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonahC View Post
    it isn't an easy process
    no it is not, I have been through it twice now...alot of paperwork to be approved and then there is still not guarantee once its approved


  13. #13
    Wait and go active. The reserves is doesn't pay enough to sustain you financially. There is no way you can be a reservist without a civilian job and afford rent, bills, etc. Reservists almost always have civilian jobs that they do alongside their reserve commitment. Also, the chances of going active from the reserves are slim to none; seriously, it probably won't happen unless we're talking maybe a deployment or something. Going reserve to full active though, nope, not gonna happen. As stated earlier, wait and go active.


  14. #14
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    yeah one of the main things that made me feel more inclined to chose reserves was the fact that i was told being in reserves i would be getting ~$600-$700 per month (I'm not solely interested in pay but since i wish to make a career out of this i certainly do need to make sure I'm making enough to support myself) but i looked at the pay charts and that's certainly false


  15. #15
    To get to $700 a month as a drilling reservist, you need to be an E-8/E-9.


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