T Nation

Marines?

I will be graduating college with a degree in computer engineering in a few months and getting married a month or so after that.
I have worked in the field of my degree for two years and have found that it’s not quite what I want. As such I was considering joining the marines.

One of my problems is I don’t know if I can pass the medical as I have a herniated L4-L5 disc. I never had surgery, and the symptoms have since gone away, due to physical therapy.

I also have retinal scarring due to near detachment in both eyes, my eyes work perfectly and I am not in any elevated danger of retinal detachment. So do you think these problems are sufficient to prevent me from joining the marines?

If I do get in I will be trying for intelligence or something in computers. Can anyone in the armed forces give me a little preview of what military life would actually be like? Or tell me what to look out for when I sign up? Or if this is just a really bad idea?

Every Marine is a rifleman. You’ll go thru the same basic training as any Marine, regardless of your eventual rate. The Marines also expect you to keep up that level of conditioning and marksmanship until retirement.

Honestly a recruiter is the best person to ask. Your education is a big advantage. My two cents, they’ll let you try and if your physical issues prevent you from making it, you’ll get dropped out.

I’m sure some of the jarheads on the board will tell you. You join the Marines to fight.

USAF and Navy might not be so difficult physically. Army somewhere in between the Marines and the other services.

I’m in the Navy with a degree in CJ and Psychology but decided to go the enlisted route for Spec Ops. Like u, I didnt like doing what my degree entailed. From what I hear, the Marines need more recruits, and with a degree u should be a shoe in.

If there is no documentation on your back and eye problems then u just dont need to tell ur recruiter. He doesnt care. All he wants is to meet his quota. Now, if there is documentation on ur eye and back problems and u still lie, when they do ur security investigation for intel or computers they will find it and kick u out. Hope this helps

If you are going to be an Officer, which you qualify for with your degree, then you will go to Officer Candidate School (OCS) (10 weeks long) and then The Basic School (TBS) (six months long), both in Quanitco Virginia.
If you are going to enlist, then you will go to Boot Camp (13 weeks) in either Parris Island or San Diego, depending on where you live, then Marine Combat Training (MCT) (4 weeks) or right to the School of Infantry (SOI) (7 weeks if you are an infantry marine).

If you enlist, you can select your MOS. Your recruiter will help you contract for an MOS.

If you go for a commission (officer) then you will not work with a recruiter, you will work with an Officer Selection Officer (OSO). Make sure if you are talking officer programs you are doing it with an OSO office and not a regular recruiter.
As an officer, you won’t be able to select a specific MOS unless you contract to be a pilot or a lawyer. At TBS you will learn to be a basic infantry officer and then submit for an MOS. You will compete against all the other officers in your class at TBS, so you don’t always get your first choice. The better you do at TBS, the better your chances of getting what you want.
Your disk is going to be a problem if you can’t carry weight on your back. If you go in as an officer, you will hike up to about 20 miles at a time at TBS with a full combat load. You will hike at Boot Camp and at your follow on training if you enlist, once again up to about 20 miles.

It is possible you will get medically disqualified, but you won’t know until you give it try. Good luck.
Both OCS and TBS have websites, you can look up information on those sites.

[quote]hedo wrote:
Every Marine is a rifleman. [/quote]

HA! You and I both know that is bullshit. I’m hard pressed to call a lot of grunts riflemen. It sure does sound good though.

mike

First of all, Marines don’t give a crap about what your degree is in. I had an English degree. The Navy recruiter said “no way”. They want technical degrees. The Marine recruiter, actually OSO (Officer Selection Officer), said no problem. Marines was leaders, not academics. Second, Marine Officer training is EXTREMELY physical, more so than regular Marine bootcamp. They train you to lead from the front. If you can’t run at least a 6-7 minute mile and do 15-20 pull-ups, you will have a lot of difficulty. Our OCS company had about a 40% attrition rate, all from injury (broken bones, twisted ankles, heat exhaustion, frost bite…)

I almost got thrown out because I broke my hand doing pugle sticks, luckily I was still able to climb the ropes and everything else with a cast on my hand so I got to stay. And when you get thrown out, you are gone. You don’t get recycled to the next class. With a bad back, the humps (hikes) will hurt you as well as the martial arts program, constant marching, log runs, and general lack of rest. Basically, you take constant physical abuse for 3 months, then move on to 6 more months of officer training at TBS that is a little less intense, but still very physically demanding. I recommend talking to an OSO in your area. Personally, I don’t want my kid to join the Marines. The other services are MUCH less demanding but get paid the same. Having said that, I wouldn’t trade being a Marine for ANYTHING in the world. Only 6 more years to retirement.

I wonder how long before the anti-military trolls start their crap on this thread.

Thanks for the replies. I am planning on going in as an officer. How stiff is the competition after The Basic School for a MOS of your choice, assuming I wanted something like Intelligence or an engineering MOS?

[quote]PGJ wrote:
I wonder how long before the anti-military trolls start their crap on this thread. [/quote]

We don’t have to… This country has fought a righteous war since WWII. Anyone dumb enough to join the military SHOULD join. Send him to Iraq :slight_smile: Let him find out what the world, the military, and our government is all about on his own.

My buddy the marine (Close Quarters Battle, room clearing, etc.) often says “I wish I’d never gone into the Marines. I want those years back.”

And he means it.

Enjoy, leatherneck. (hah!)

[quote]wires wrote:
PGJ wrote:
I wonder how long before the anti-military trolls start their crap on this thread.

We don’t have to… This country has fought a righteous war since WWII. Anyone dumb enough to join the military SHOULD join. Send him to Iraq :slight_smile: Let him find out what the world, the military, and our government is all about on his own.

My buddy the marine (Close Quarters Battle, room clearing, etc.) often says “I wish I’d never gone into the Marines. I want those years back.”

And he means it.

Enjoy, leatherneck. (hah!)

[/quote]
You must be quite popular in the great state of Missouri. My buddy is a Marine that came home recently with a purple heart from grenade shrapnel. He was clearing rooms. He says he’d do it all over again.

If you aren’t bothered by the medical issues, don’t tell the boys at MEPS(military enlistment proccessing station). Your recruiter will probably agree.

[quote]bluepulse wrote:
wires wrote:
PGJ wrote:
I wonder how long before the anti-military trolls start their crap on this thread.

We don’t have to… This country has fought a righteous war since WWII. Anyone dumb enough to join the military SHOULD join. Send him to Iraq :slight_smile: Let him find out what the world, the military, and our government is all about on his own.

My buddy the marine (Close Quarters Battle, room clearing, etc.) often says “I wish I’d never gone into the Marines. I want those years back.”

And he means it.

Enjoy, leatherneck. (hah!)

You must be quite popular in the great state of Missouri. My buddy is a Marine that came home recently with a purple heart from grenade shrapnel. He was clearing rooms. He says he’d do it all over again.

[/quote]

Ignore Wires. He’s a puss-ass leach on society. He occasionally pokes his head up to flame all things military or things requiring self sacrifice. He’s the guy who will gladly take advantage of all the freedom and liberty this nation has to offer but refuses to give anything back. He’s a twisted conspiracy theorists and pseudo-intellectual. He has nothing productive to say.

[quote]thehammerlord wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I am planning on going in as an officer. How stiff is the competition after The Basic School for a MOS of your choice, assuming I wanted something like Intelligence or an engineering MOS?[/quote]

I can’t tell you about the Marines when it comes to competition for MOS, but I can tell you that in the Army ROTC, the competition for MOS begins the moment you get your first college grades. When assessing MOS selection, they look at overall GPA, Military class standing, Advance Camp evaluation, PT scores, SATs, schools graduated (Airborne, Air Assault, Jungle Warfare, etc) and cadet evaluations and even your official military photo. While they try to match up your choice to their needs, only the top 1% are “guaranteed” (there are no 100% guarantees) to get their top choice.

Granted, you are going a different route - one where they might only care about your standing within your Marine class at OCS, but if you are equal to 2 other guys in every way quantifiable, they can go back and look at your academic history to separate you. One way of guaranteeing you get your top choice, however, is to make your #1 choice Infantry. That is always failsafe.

Never believe what a recruiter tells you about MOS selection. You are assigned according to the needs of the service, period, from day 1 to your very last day, no matter what has been promised along the way. That is in the small print of any military contract, but the recruiters don’t tell you that, you have to read it for yourself.

Whatever you do, good luck, serve well and be proud.

DB

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
thehammerlord wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I am planning on going in as an officer. How stiff is the competition after The Basic School for a MOS of your choice, assuming I wanted something like Intelligence or an engineering MOS?

I can’t tell you about the Marines when it comes to competition for MOS, but I can tell you that in the Army ROTC, the competition for MOS begins the moment you get your first college grades. When assessing MOS selection, they look at overall GPA, Military class standing, Advance Camp evaluation, PT scores, SATs, schools graduated (Airborne, Air Assault, Jungle Warfare, etc) and cadet evaluations and even your official military photo. While they try to match up your choice to their needs, only the top 1% are “guaranteed” (there are no 100% guarantees) to get their top choice.

Granted, you are going a different route - one where they might only care about your standing within your Marine class at OCS, but if you are equal to 2 other guys in every way quantifiable, they can go back and look at your academic history to separate you. One way of guaranteeing you get your top choice, however, is to make your #1 choice Infantry. That is always failsafe.

Never believe what a recruiter tells you about MOS selection. You are assigned according to the needs of the service, period, from day 1 to your very last day, no matter what has been promised along the way. That is in the small print of any military contract, but the recruiters don’t tell you that, you have to read it for yourself.

Whatever you do, good luck, serve well and be proud.

DB[/quote]

The Basic School doesn’t work that way. You are ranked based off of your performance at the school, against the rest of your class. The class is divided into thirds. The top guy of each third pretty much gets his choice of MOS, and so on down through the third of the class you are in. The top third gets more choices and gets more of their first pick MOSs. The top guy of the top third gets whatever MOS he or she wants. The last guy of each third gets whatever is left.
This system ensures a quality spread, so that the top performers and the bottom performers are spread evenly among all of the MOSs.
After TBS, you will go to your MOS school. The Marine Corps runs its own schools and also shares space at schools with the other services.
Enjoy.

[quote]thehammerlord wrote:
I will be graduating college with a degree in computer engineering in a few months and getting married a month or so after that.
I have worked in the field of my degree for two years and have found that it’s not quite what I want. As such I was considering joining the marines.
[/quote]

Marines would break your body down. Likely Army, too.

Join the Air Force. Become an officer, if possible. It’s a good gig.

BH6 is the best person to listen to, in my opinion. Always been a straight shooter.

Here is one thing that needs to be mentioned. You say you’re getting married soon, well brother, you better have a really fucking cool girl or what that can adapt really easily. It’s a helluva thing to start a Military Career as well as a marriage around the same time. You’re not going to be home much at all, period, and you need to make her aware of that and she has to be cool with that.

Don’t hide stuff from her like field ops, deployments, late nights, and the like. If you’re going to be an officer you’re going to be in charge, which translates into really fucking long days no matter if you’re in garrison or deployed.

Bring her up to speed.

B.

I think it’s going to be very hard to keep your new marriage going if you join.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
hedo wrote:
Every Marine is a rifleman.

HA! You and I both know that is bullshit. I’m hard pressed to call a lot of grunts riflemen. It sure does sound good though.

mike[/quote]

It’s supposed to read Every Marine is a BASIC rifleman…

I don’t see the marriage thing as a problem, as we have been dating for awhile.

As far as getting in shape for the Marines, I suppose just use a basic lifting program, a good diet, and make sure I can do a lot of pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups. Thanks for all the replies.

[quote]thehammerlord wrote:
I don’t see the marriage thing as a problem, as we have been dating for awhile.

As far as getting in shape for the Marines, I suppose just use a basic lifting program, a good diet, and make sure I can do a lot of pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups. Thanks for all the replies.[/quote]

Run. Run, run, run. I’m serious. If you can’t run 3 miles in 21 minutes it won’t matter how many push-up you can do, you will struggle. Cardio endurance is critical. You will be running around 6 minute miles by the time you graduate OCS.

The wife thing WILL be an issue. For one, you won’t get to see her during OCS until about week 5, then it’s only for brief periods on Saturdays. Then you go to TBS for 6 months where the day begins at about 6am and doesn’t end until about 8pm, not including many, many overnight trips to the field.

OCS and TBS doesn’t give a crap about birthdays, wife’s sore throat, family visiting…you will be in training. It takes a very special woman to be a Marine wife. IF you get selected into OCS, does she plan to come to Quantico with you?

I was in the same boat. I was in love with this girl and was serious about marrying her when I got accepted to OCS. I told the recruiter (OSO) about my plans to bring her along. He rolled his eyes and said that was a VERY bad idea. I took his advice. She ended up going back to her old boyfriend (dumped me in the middle of OCS) because she couldn’t handle the separation and being alone.

Glad I found that out before getting married, because you will be gone A LOT as a Marine Officer. The point is, you may have been dating for a while, but you really don’t know her that well and you don’t know how she will react to separation. DO NOT RUSH INTO MARRIAGE.