If I enlist (Infantry MOS) what will I really be getting?

Hey there, I’ve been thinking about joining for a long time now (I’m about to be a senior in High School) and I’m wondering why I shouldn’t. I read the novel Jarhead, and like Swofford, I think I’m afraid that in civilian life I’ll faulter, and I see the Marines as a way to gain access into maturity and manhood. My family’s become distant, and I feel like I’m not really close to friends I’ve had, so the brotherhood aspect is also appealing. I have always had a strong sense of national pride and I think joining would fill me with pride, but I’ve read a few horror stories on here, so if I enlist (Infantry MOS) what will I really be getting? Are the aspects of the Corps that appeal to me merely hype? Also, I’m sorry if this is redundant. I have read many posts, but I wanted to see if I could get some direct responses, thanks.

Submitted by: Johnny2X4

NINJA_PUNCH’s Response:
Hey, no need to apologize, that’s what this site exists for. I can understand the concept of wanting maturity and manhood out of the military, after all that’s how they advertise it. However, what you’re more likely to find are people who joined because they “want to go kill people”. A good friend of mine once said “the military is a great place for people who never want to grow up: You always have someone who outranks you to hold your hand and make sure you get everything done.” That really is how it is. Every NCO, or Staff NCO will tell you “you’re a grown man I’m not going to babysit you.” But it won’t take long before you’ll find yourself wishing that this was actually true. In reality, even something as simple as cleaning your room, or exercising will be micromanaged to death. You have to stretch out in a group, go do exercises in a group, go running in a single-file line, because all of these “grown men” can’t be trusted to exercise and stay in shape on their own. You need to have a day set aside where the people who outrank you will breath down your neck as you clean every last speck of dust from your room, because “grown men” can’t be trusted to not live in squalor.

Furthermore, most people in the military will turn a blind eye to underage drinking, so they keep having “High School parities” then they turn 21 and they don’t have to worry about getting caught so they want to show off how they can drink and not have to hide it, and it just never stops. Pretty soon you have a 30 year old alcoholic who wears his alcoholism like a badge of honor, and everyone younger than him thinks he’s just so cool because he’s drinks so much!

As far as the Infantry goes, I was attached to an infantry battalion for my deployment, and it’s as if these guys never leave boot camp. Their Sgts yelled and screamed over nothing every bit as much as Drill Instructors did, and the “Senior LCpls” were constantly on the search for new and inventive ways of circumventing hazing laws.

In conclusion, yes, the aspects of the marine corps that you find appealing are almost entirely recruiting propaganda. If you really feel the need to join the military out of fear of failing in the civilian world, I would recommend joining the any branch of the reserves or the National Guard, just so you have some kind of job security while you get yourself on your feet in Civilian life.

Safety and Peace


  • DisG

    LoL As a boot, you get haze(they will find ways) and go on working parties. It’s stupid, but that’s how the infantry works. Don’t be a bitch and only go to BAS if there are bones sticking out of your body. Back pain, limping, coughing, fever, cold= pussy status And making excuses will lead to getting fuck with and duty. I know this because one of my peers got fuck with a lot. Good kid and could out PT most of the senior guys. His atitude and mentally( mind of 12 yr old lol) back fired. What sucked, there was only 4 of us boots in the platoon( no boot drops after my first deployment) and when he split, all 3 of us did all the f’n working parties. Day in and day out. Sandbags on my first deployment from start to finish. Can you handle that?!

    -Marine infantry 0311 3 deployments CAR certified. Been there, done that.

  • Uh Huh

    i love the Mod’s “i was attached to an infantry bn line, as if that gives you the same insight as to being an infantry marine. Weak Sauce.


      Well then if I’m wrong, why don’t you correct me?

      I was attached to an individual infantry platoon. I lived in the same tents as them and watched them interact, and they really do never leave boot camp. So if you have anything to say that is actually productive rather than trying to discredit me without providing any information to contradict me, please feel free to say it.

  • I spent 8 years in. My ending was a bit rough. Cant be a Man and not say I didn’t have a hand in it. But that’s not the point. I loved the Marine Corps. It is not a place for everyone. There are all honorable reasons why someone shouldn’t join the Corps!. I recently found out that at 33 with a BA in Mechanical Engineering they wont have me. I am too old. But I still would love to fix the past and mend the ways. I would go back in a HEART BEAT. But it is what I love and live for.

    It is extreme! Ninja examples are not to off. But he must admit it is not 100% like that. There were good NCO’s and Officers. We have a saying about the 10%. That would apply to the Marines mentioned before. I would say it maybe around 35% on avg.
    I seen my time and did my dime. I know what most works and what doesn’t. If you can find a balance with everything, be your own MAN and find your way and not subject yourself to the negativity of the ones who have quit inside already, you might have a great experience. However, you can say after your first option to stay or end your enlistment, you like all others can say, you are a US Marine. I was ready to do what was needed.

    It is really what you want out of life.

    Why infantry? Another saying “Every Marine is a riflemen”. At any time you can go from what your need to be doing to maneuver and fire. Maybe you want to do something techy; Get a good ASVAB score. that is your bargaining chip. Say you want to work on or what you want to do; and don’t settle for less than what you want. You are making that commitment so make sure you get what you WANT! for example if you wanted to work on the electronic maintenance for helos or jets or what every. They have jobs for it. If you don’t get a good ASVAB score the first time, WAIT, TAKE IT AGAIN, but better prepare yourself for it. Don’t let them say well its now or never; or once you are in, it is easy to switch over. Its not. If it was easy, then they would have no jobs at some places. They sell material for ASVAB prep. I really think you should get it and prepare your self. Get the score for the MOS you want. Get the MOS and hang on!

    Good luck with what ever choice YOU make.

    If you chose USMC, be a man, honor your word and life, the time will come you can say no more. Then at least use the EDUCATIONAL benefits! They are not bad. If you think it might now be for me, not to often, it might not be for you then dont. Nothing wrong with NG or NAVY or ARMY or AF if you just want to serve. Good luck!

    Semper Fi

    • S.

      I just wanted to express my appreciation to you for your ability to explain your positive thoughts about the MC without getting angry and disrespecting this site and it’s community. Well done, and thank you, kind sir. I wish we had a lot more people like you visiting this site. You offer fair advice.

    • I recently found out that at 33 with a BA in Mechanical Engineering they wont have me.

      A bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering is called a BS—–not a BA.

  • weee

    It’s tough. Ironically enough, you can have the lowest ASVAB score and be in the infantry so it shouldn’t be a surprise that most infantry units will treat boot junior Marines like children. Reserve infantry is not too bad because you can work on your career and school at the same time.

    • Cronks

      This is false, Supply is the only MOS that qualifies with the lowest ASVAB score.

    • Chris

      Disagree. I’d imagine Bulk Fuel would qualify, too. One marine I knew failed the ASVAB repeatedly before passing, and ended up in Logistics. What he did there I have no idea, but when we were in Falluja, he was with CLB 6.

  • Lcpl Underground

    hey man. I’m a new lcpl going into my c school, I’ve been losing alot of motivation lately feeling like i’m the only person who notices alot of the problems that you point out really well, and I can honestly say you’re site, as well as your really good way of explaining the whole side to the usmc has really helped me out in a time where i’m feeling the most down. Please keep up the comics, stories and everything else to help people completely understand what exactly their getting into.

  • USMCFormer

    Heres a quote from an “Old Corps” Marine, who made the mistake of joining the Infantry in 1992:
    “Marine Grunts are like mushrooms- they are kept in the dark and fed a lot of SHIT!”

  • MMelgar

    This False, in my opinion. I am a poolee from North Center. When I went to MEPS in Chicago, the front desk in medical asked if I failed my ASVAB and I said “yes,sir”, then he asked “what was your score, young man”, I then responded “49, sir”. He then said “you passed”. and the only MOS that was available for me was Infantry.

    • What led you to believe that 49 was failing? If you actually made it to your physical after having failed the ASVAB then shouldn’t that have raised a red fag i your mind?

  • jim

    Always funny reading about something that the writer hasn’t a clue about.

    • Billiam201

      Sure is.

      Tell me more.

    • usmcf*ckoff

      Really? I spent four years in the Infantry MOS (0311) , and can say that what’s written above is quite a realistic assessment. If I could go back and do it all over again I wouldn’t have WASTED four years of my life in essentially what amounts to a DEAD END job with no long term future!
      I don’t discount the fact that war, guns, the violence and excitement of combat would appeal to kids, but what the USMC won’t show you is the abusive and harassing treatment, pointless long hours of cleaning, working parties and ‘busywork’- along with the low pay, terrible lifestyle and 24 control!
      I strongly recommend to any high school kid now that they don’t do what I did- DON’T JOIN THE USMC- especially in a ‘low end career path’ like being in ground combat. Its almost like willfully volunteering to go to PRISON.
      How could the USMC ever claim to turn ‘boys into men’ when they treat you like a FIVE YEAR OLD?
      A real man doesn’t need someone to constantly micro manage him, spend long hours being bored to death by politically correct ‘safety briefs’ inspired by Social Justice Warriors, or be berated and belittled by CAREER ALCOHOLICS and LOSERS who only stay in because they are too stupid or lazy to get educated or confront the realities of the REAL WORLD?
      Infantry is a waste of time.

    • Chris

      Then post some real points, man. Maybe you have a different experience, or a different POV. By just saying, ‘this guy’s a dumb idiot who don’t know nuthin’,’ you’re not helping people who actually would come here and look for answers.