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Really thinking about joining

Discussion in 'The US Marine Corps Forum' started by Trigger_Rush, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Trigger_Rush

    Trigger_Rush Paladin

    I think I'm gonna join the Marines.

    I was in the Air Force a couple years ago. I know AF basic and MC basic are two entirely different animals, but I like to think MC basic isn't going to be as stressful for me since I've already dealt with the screaming TI's during the AF basic. (not to say MC basic won't be very stressful)

    Still, I've got a couple concerns. I've heard DI's aren't allowed to swear or hit recruits. The swearing happens, I can deal with it. The hitting, does it happen and how bad would you have to mess up for that to happen?

    There's a video on youtube where a recruit gets mobbed by four very angry DI's. How do you deal with that? It sounds a bit like all he's doing is screaming 'Yes, sir!' over and over.

    Physically, I can push out 50 pushups in a sitting, 80-100 situps in one go, and I can run a mile in 11-12 minutes. Are these acceptable numbers going into the USMC?

    Are there any other suggestions anyone can give to avoid the ire of a DI? Or even share your boot camp experience. Help a young man settle some butterflies.
  2. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

    Jan 2, 2005
    Taylorsville, KY
    The only way to avoid the thrashing by the Drill Instructors, is to not go. Sooner or later, they're gonna notice you.

  3. Norman

    Norman Non nobis CLM

    Oct 29, 2004
    If you think this is the right move for you, go for it. As long as you have an honorable discharge, I think you'll be okay.

    I think your pushups and situps are fine, but you're going to want to get your mile time down to at least 8 minutes per mile. It takes practice. Ideally, it's more important to get yourself to be able to run 2 miles in 15 minutes or less. 3 miles in 24 minutes. The USMC will take care of the rest, I'm sure.

    <--- Not a Marine

    <--- Former Army
  4. BrazosCoTX


    Mar 10, 2008
    Bryan, TX
    Let's put the myth to rest-- you will not be punched, slugged, slapped, or similarly assaulted at recruit training today. In the 50's and 60's-- probably. No top notch NCO or SNCO would risk his career for the stupidity of hitting a recruit. They don't need to hit you-- their bearing, command presence, and professionalism are enough to intimidate most recruits.

    So you spent some time in the USAF. Some benefit there, but you will also be older than the average recruit, and you will need to show up in much better shape than you are in now. Many young men (and women) who are enrolled in the Delayed Entry Program are already faster and stronger than you are now-- and that's because their recruiters are PT'ing them in preparation for MCRD. Expect some verbal grief for having been in the USAF first, and not making the right decision the first time around. Only one reason to join our Corps-- and that's because you want to earn the title Marine.

    BTW--my son is USAF, and a veteran of OIF/OEF. I am very proud of him.

    Semper Fidelis
    USMC 1974-1995
  5. Trigger_Rush

    Trigger_Rush Paladin

    I'm only 24. I understand I've got 6 years on the average recruit, but the disparity can't be that bad.

    Also, I don't plan on going in tomorrow. I've spoken with the Marine recruiter here and they work out three times a week with the delayed entry folk. I'd definitely be working out with them to get my run time down.

    I think I'll easily be able to get in under time. When I joined the Air Force I was 19 and my initial PT test resulted in (an embarrassing) 4 pushups, 5 situps, and a Godawful run time (I don't remember it, but it was just as embarrassing). My final score was 42 pushups and 60 situps in two minutes, and 11:30 mile and a half. I improved all that in 4 weeks time. Hence why I think I'll get up to USMC standards.
  6. 03 Jarhead

    03 Jarhead Stiff Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    If you honestly want to be a Marine don't let a little apprehension stop you. You will definitely want to improve your run time before going in and work on your endurance. The new combat fitness test will probably be being run also by the time you go. Being prior service can help or hurt you, and a lot of that depends on you. I was a DI at MCRD San Diego from 85 - 88. I always expected more out of my prior service recruits since they should already know the basics. I would use them in leadership positions if they showed me they could handle it and really wanted it. Although some prior service got "special attention" all the time because they already knew everything and they were doing us a favor by enlisting. I don't want to tie up or hijack this thread, but that's my 2 cents worth. If you have more or specific questions, feel free to ask.
  7. Trigger_Rush

    Trigger_Rush Paladin

    You're not hijacking at all, this is the kind of stuff I'm looking for. No worries from me acting like a know it all. Had a couple guys in my basic flight like that and I know the thrashing my flight and I got because of them. The last thing I want is to be remembered by the DIs or the guys I'm in basic with (the platoon?).

    As a guy who will be obviously be working on his PT score before and probably during basic, would it be recommended to take a leadership position (is there a choice?) Or should I duck it when possible? I know that being in leadership is higher profile and as such makes you more prone to bonus PT.

    As a DI, what suggestions or pointers would you give me to get through basic as painlessly (relatively speaking) as possible?
  8. 03 Jarhead

    03 Jarhead Stiff Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    My advice would be to go to boot camp in the best physical AND mental condition as possible. You've already been through boot camp once so you know how mentally challenging it is as well. Not academically, but shall we say "mind games".
    This is the same advice I gave my son before he went to boot camp. He was a physical stud, but I wanted him to be prepared mentally as well.
    I would say to be confident but not cocky. Your military experience helps the DI's get some of the routine things done easier without stressing them out too much (which normally means incentive PT for you). Don't shy away from leadership positions such as squad leader or guide, and if you're selected just do the best you can. You may get fired a time or two, but if you do an overall good job it could mean a promotion for you at the end of boot camp.
    If you have any more questions feel free to ask and I'll give you the best answers I can from my experience.
  9. Teufelhunde


    Sep 25, 2008
    If joining the Corps is what you want, I say go for it. Just be aware that the Marine Corps is not a military service, it is a religion, and it will change you forever! We were not given the honor of being the foremost fighting force in the world, We have EARNED IT, over and over again. Being prior military, you will likely be singled out for a leadership position in boot camp. Embrace it and do the absolute best you can. Your drill instructors will expect you to supply direction for the other recruits.

    I don't know if todays DI's get physical with the recruits or not. I do know that in 1972, although technically not allowed, they did. I also know that they were not abusive, and the physical "mistreatment" went a long way towards building character and toughness in the Marines they were producing, and anyone afraid of a little pain should not enter Marine Corps boot camp.

    In the end, it is all about how badly you want to be called "Marine", only a very small percentage of the population measures up to that title.

    Semper Fi

  10. Trigger_Rush

    Trigger_Rush Paladin

    I will say I feel alot better about this. All in all being a Marine something I want to experience, and a title I'd like to earn and carry. Thanks very much to all who've contributed.

    Now, when I was in the AF, I was a 2A051C Avionics Sensors Technician. Frankly, the job sucked. I don't want to be in a dedicated maintenance position. So I've been toying with the idea of going in for either infantry or tank crewman. Are either of these recommended? What other jobs would anyone recommend?
  11. 03 Jarhead

    03 Jarhead Stiff Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    The MOS you choose is a very personal decision that you should put some thought into. There are a lot of things to consider such as what do you want to get out of it, are you looking for a skill that can be used on the outside, etc? There are a lot of different jobs in the Corps but they're not all for everyone. There is nothing wrong with either infantry or tanks if that's what you decide you want, but, put some thought into it before jumping in.
  12. Teufelhunde


    Sep 25, 2008
    I was originally and 0311 (infantry) and advanced to SSgt 0369 (Infantry small unit leader). I got out (after 7 years service) and went back in in less than a year. I was retrained as and Air Traffic Control Radar Technician (5953). I kept that MOS until medically discharged as a Gunny at over 17 years service.

    At 55 years old, I find that one of the things that we old farts tend to do is reminisce (sp?), and think back about what we could have done better. I will tell you that if I had it to do over again, I would never have gotten out the first time, would have remained infantry, and would have put much more into it than I did. As much as all Marines have my love and respect, infantry is what being a Marine is all about. I would suggest that you ask for an infantry guarantee, and once you earn the title, DRINK THE KOOLAID:supergrin:, give it every thing you have to give, and it will be returned many times over.

    Good luck.

  13. DWhitehorne


    Mar 16, 2006
    Get off the fence. Put your boots on and jump in the sand pit. You'll love it, once you're done. I was a 0351 Anti Armor Assaultman and then a Marine Security Guard. You're not going to get hit. Maybe an "accidental" bonk on the bridge of your nose by the brim of your DI's cover. Think long and hard about your career goals when choosing your MOS. It's hard to get out of the 03 field once your in for a while. Good luck and never quit, it will be the best experience in your life. David

    Oh and 21 years later my chow hall Boot Camp chant: Devil Dogs-Shock Troops-Blood Sucking War Machines, Ready to Fight, Ready to Kill, Ready to Die but Never Will, Bends and Thrusts Will Make us Mean, Spirit and Discipline Will Make us Marines. Spoken 3 times a day for 85 training days and it's still in my brain housing group.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  14. corpdriller


    Feb 10, 2005
    DFW TX
    Being a Marine is not something you "think about" doing. You want it or you don't. If you want it, go sign the stinkin papers and go. Your PT scores are not so bad as you think. The 17 & 18 y.o.s are going to run circles around you. Do the best you can and believe that your DIs will properly motivate you to be better than you ever thought you could be. Give it 100% and let the Corps do the rest.

    Get an MOS commensurate with your IQ. I am in no way busting on any MOS. You may become bored with what you are doing if it doesn't excite and challenge you mentally and physically every day you wake up.
  15. chauncey


    Aug 25, 2008
    I was an Air Force ROTC officer candidate before I enlisted in the USMC as a Grunt.

    believe it or not, I had to get a WAIVER to enlist in the USMC b/c I had been through a USAF version of "basic" training. urban legend is that USAF TI's go through a version of USMC DI school, and use USMC training principles.

    USMC Boot Camp ended up being the best 13 weeks of my life. a lot of the head games were the same, I knew how to polish my boots and short-sheet my rack (that really po'd my Heavy during "two sheets and a pillowcase on line!"), and I could strip and re-assemble my M16A2 faster than anyone else in my platoon (thanks to Army ROTC).

    at any rate, if all of us could do it, you can too, if you want to!
  16. You can handle the screaming. Marine Corps DI's hardly hit anymore. They get in trouble now, if they hit recruits. And when those DI's gang up on one recruit it is entirely for a show for the rest of the recruits. Just showing if you mess up this bad you will feel my rath and my other drill instructors too. Just live day by day. And think that other recurits made it through to be Marines, so can you.
  17. Teufelhunde


    Sep 25, 2008

    This quote says it all...........Another service OFFICER candidate had to get a waiver prior to enlisting as a Marine ENLISTED candidate:wow:.

    Sh$t or get off of the pot, you either have it or you don't (although, I see by the timeline on this thread, it is likely a moot point).

  18. chauncey


    Aug 25, 2008
    yeah, that really pissed me off, at the time. My recruiter told me that if I had up to two felonies, they could get me waived in 24 hours. b/c I had been in the USAF, it would take me two weeks.

    the other half of the story is I had to write my congressman to get the Army to release my medical records, after the Army medically dq'd me.

    i don't think my recruiter thought she was ever going to put me in. she was a big help up to a point, then saw the futility, and I kind of took the ball and ran with it, from there. I think they (the recruiters) were a little amused by it. I had three years of college done, was a little smarter than the average (17-year old, HS senior) bear, and was fighting the system to get myself in the USMC.

    of course this bit the USMC a little on the way out, when after EAS I wrote my congressman again, to get per diem the USMC had screwed my detachment out of, while in Panama. ended with a funny 10 am phone call from admin (woke me up, I was in college, again) to tell me "a congressional representative had visited, and I would be getting my per diem check, very soon." just so you know, my chain had fought for this per diem ad nauseum before I got out, and kept hitting a stone wall, so I wasn't stepping on any local toes.
  19. 2952


    Aug 31, 2006
    On the beach
    In high school I was a Company Commander (Captain) in Army Jr ROTC. In College I was in the Air Force ROTC and achieved the rank of Cadet LT. I got bored with College.

    I joined the Corps in 1961. At Boot Camp we were mentally abushed and physically abushed. Thump call was common with all 3 DI's hitting on us at once. I learned every foul word in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

    I still every once in awhile string 15 - 20 4 letter words together and make a sentence out it without repeating a single word.

    I earned the Title MARINE because I wanted it. Today those that earn the Title still want it. Things may have changed some since I was in, but MARINES are still earning the Title.

    Go stand by the gate and look at the bus that brings the new recruits to either SD or PI. The guys on that bus look the same as the guys on the bus going to AF, NAVY and Army Basic Training. The only difference is they want to become MARINES, the others want something else.

    We had a Pappy - 26 years old in Boot Camp. He got along fine because he wanted to be there and earn the Title.

    If you want to be a MARINE... Sign up and let the USMC worry about how tough it is.They will show you the way to earn the TITLE and give you every chance for you to earn it. You will still have to earn it.
  20. Trigger_Rush

    Trigger_Rush Paladin

    I'm gonna go for it. Methinks I'm gonna go talk to a recruiter tomorrow sometime. I've still got a month on my apartment lease so I've got some time yet.

    A thought occured to me. When a DI gets in my face, as it's bound to happen, where should I look? Just lock my eyes forward and stare over his forehead?