Questions To Ask Your Recruiter

Here on we’ve quite often potential recruits come to this site saying something to the effect of “I’m thinking about joining the marines, is it really worth it?”. We’ve also had a few “motivated” marines come here saying “If you want to hear what the marine corps is really like, don’t come to a site called “iHateTheUSMC”! Go get a balanced opinion!” While I think our site does a pretty good job of being balanced and truthful, I agree that you shouldn’t have to just take our word for it.

To that end, I’ve compiled this list of questions that any potential recruit for any branch of the military should ask their recruiter before joining. I’ve organized the questions by category; however, be advised that there are some questions that overlap and could fit into multiple categories. Also, with many of the questions (especially #4) the actual answer your recruiter gives you is less important than the way your recruiter behaves while answering. If he’s visibly struggling to answer some questions (i.e. #13 and it’s Follow-up Questions) the odds are pretty good that he knows that the corps messed up, so he was going to paint a one-sided picture and get you to enlist based on propaganda instead of fact. The moral of the story, pay close attention both to what your recruiter says, and how he says it.

That  being said, here’s a list of some questions you can ask your recruiter (from any branch) to help you make your decision:

Questions About The Quality of People In The Marine Corps:

1. “There are two predominant images of marines in popular culture: They’re either swashbuckling womanizers that drink a lot or they are disciplined and elite shock troops that hone their craft of war-fighting all the time. They can’t be both of these, so which is it?”
2. “I’ve heard  that more marines die each year from vehicle accidents than from gunfire. Why is that?”
3. “Is it true that most people join the marine corps for patriotic service, but remain in for financial security?”
4. “Are female marines girlfriend/wife material?”
[Note: This is one the cases where the literal answer to your question doesn’t matter. The point of this question is to see if your recruiter turns into a sexist POS when asked about female marines. If so, I think you’ve learned all you need to know about the type of people in the marine corps.]
5. “Why is the divorce rate in the marine corps so much higher than that of other branches?”
6. “What is a motard?”
7. “Is it true that marines don’t steal? Then why are marines required to keep their doors locked, and the wall lockers inside their rooms padlocked? Who are they trying to keep out if it’s not other marines?”
8. “When I get out of boot camp, how many times a day will I hear my superiors complaining about the good old days in the “Old Corps” when they didn’t need to try to be a good leader because they could just beat the shit out of anyone who didn’t perform to their standards?”
9. “Is it true that it’s harder to be kicked out of boot camp than it is to graduate?”
Follow-up Questions: “Is it true that you have three chances to pass any boot camp graduation requirement before you’ll even be dropped back a week in training?” “Is it true that – if you injure yourself – you can be kept in a medical rehabilitation platoon (MRP) for a year until you recover enough to be put back into training?” “Is it true that you don’t actually have to complete any of the obstacles in the Crucible in order to graduate? Is it really the case that, if you don’t get severely injured, you’ll automatically pass?” “Is it true that your D.I.’s will do anything in their power to prevent you from being kicked out, even if you clearly don’t want to be there, clearly aren’t a good fit for the marine corps, and are consistently failing graduation requirements?” “What does it say about the quality of people in the marine corps, that many marines are being forced to continue even though they lost interest back in boot camp? Is that really a recipe for an elite force? Or is it more a recipe for a mediocre force of people who are trying to make the best of it, but would rather be anywhere else than in the marine corps?”

Questions About Life In The Marine Corps:

10. “How will I be treated as a new-join after boot camp? I’ll be treated with dignity and respect right? The normal rules of decency and adult behavior will still apply, right? I ask this because I’d like to be sure that I’ll be treated like a first-class citizen.”
11. “Once I get to the fleet it’s a normal 8-4 job right? I won’t ever have to work weekends, right? I won’t ever have to wake up at 5:00 in the morning just to go running would I? How often would I have to  wake up early and/or work on a weekend?”
12. “I understand that as the new guy I’ll usually be tasked to some of the less glamorous jobs in the corps, but they’ll at least be meaningful jobs right? I won’t be called up to the Battalion office because the Sgt Maj is too lazy to take out his own trash right?”
13. “What is a Weekend Safety Brief?”
Follow-up Questions: “Will I really be expected to stand there every Friday afternoon as my Commanding Officer tells me ‘wear you seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, don’t rape people… etc’?” “Will I really be expected to fill out an ‘ORM worksheet’ where I tell my command what  I plan to do this weekend, what the potential hazards are, and how I plan to mitigate those risks?” “Will I really have to have a superior inspect my car every Friday before I’m allowed to leave?” “Will some units actually expect me to sign a piece of paper stating that I won’t kill myself over the weekend before I’m allowed to be released from work?” “Why is it necessary to have such a paperwork circus performed every Friday afternoon? Is it that marines are conditioned to forgo their common sense to such an extent that they need to be reminded on a regular basis not to do anything stupid over the weekend?”
14. “What is a Safety Stand Down? Will I really have to sit through a PowerPoint presentation every year where my superiors explain that raping people is bad?”
15. “I’ve heard that they will take the money for meals at the Mess Hall directly out of my paycheck each month. So I am assuming that I’ll be guaranteed the opportunity to go eat those meals, since I already paid for them, right?”
16. “I like to put my hands in my pockets from time to time. Will that be a problem in the Marine Corps? What if I’m just standing there, not walking around?”
17. “If I get sick overnight and ask my supervisor to go to medical the next morning, is he going to ridicule me merely because I require medical attention?”
18. “If I wanted to bring a guest to visit me in the barracks, will there be restrictions? Am I allowed to bring people of the opposite sex into my room?”
19. “Will I get my own room in the barracks? How many roommates might I have? Roughly how big are the rooms? A rough estimate is fine.”
20. “I understand that the marine corps has a strict underage drinking policy, but once I’m 21, is the amount of alcohol I keep in my room going to be limited or restricted in any way?”
21. “I understand that I will be held accountable for my inevitable mistakes, and I agree with that, but is everyone around me going to be held accountable for my inevitable mistakes as well? Conversely, will I be held accountable for mistakes that others make, even though I couldn’t possibly have prevented them?”

Questions About The Marine Corps As An Institution:

22. “Aside from boot camp and the cool uniforms, why is the Marine Corps better than the other branches? Be specific. I stopped playing with my GI Joes over 10 years ago have no desire to fulfill any boyhood fantasies or play soldier. Are they smarter? Is their technology better? Is there greater retainment on account of more variety in their career options? What is it, EXACTLY?”
23. “How is “Hazing” defined by the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice)? Will my supervisors in the fleet find ways to bend the rules prohibiting hazing?”
24. “I’ve heard that it’s illegal for marines to take reprisals against a marine for Requesting Mast (reporting problems to the Commanding Officer and asking that they be fixed). Is that enforced, or will my superiors use intimidation and the threat of retaliation to prevent me from (or punish me for) reporting wrongdoings to my Commanding Officer?”
25. “Since the marine corps is a military institution, am I correct in assuming that all necessary deployment-related gear will be issued to me free of cost? I won’t be required to purchase a bunch of gear like ear-plugs, parachute chord, a rape whistle, an assortment of batteries, or a giant safety pin, right? If I need it, it’ll be given to me and that’s it, right?”
26. “What is the quality of healthcare provided by the USMC? Is it true that a Navy Corpsman’s (medic’s) job doesn’t translate to any civilian medical career?”
27. “Do we get hazard pay for working around hazardous material?”
28. “Drilling and marching formations were a crucial component of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, but now they’re completely obsolete. When I get to the fleet, am I going to hear some SNCO screaming at the top of his lungs about cover and alignment in a PT formation?”
29. “Reveille, Taps, and Mess Call used to be very important in signaling that it is time to wake up, time to eat, and time for lights out respectively; but in this age of alarm clocks and wristwatches, they’re also completely obsolete. When I get to the fleet will I really have to hear Reveille and Taps play every single day at 5:30 am and 10:00 pm respectively, and Mess Call played every single day at 6:00 am, 11:00 am, and 5:00 pm to the point where hearing those bugle calls becomes absolutely ear-shattering?”

Questions About Promotion:

30. “I’ve heard that Proficiency and Conduct Markings play a large role in being promoted to the ranks of Corporal and Sergeant. How familiar are SNCO’s and Officers with the guidelines for assigning these markings? Are the guidelines rigidly adhered to, or is the system that determines pro/con marks more based on whether I suck up to my superiors?”
31. “I’ve heard that my Rifle score and Physical/Combat Fitness scores also play a pretty big role in being promoted to Corporal and Sergeant. Does the marine corps have a system in place to make sure that they’re putting bright, intelligent, leaders into high ranking positions, or can any idiot become a Sgt Maj as long as he can do enough pull-ups?”
32. “I’ve heard that you have to take several Marine Corps Institute (MCI) courses (such as Leading Marines, Warfighting Tactics, Basic Grammar, etc) with proctored exams, prior to being promoted to Corporal and Sergeant  to try to prevent complete idiots from becoming NCOs. Is it true that everyone cheats on the tests by taking them in their rooms, with the book in front of them? Is it true that you couldn’t  even get a proctor if you asked your unit for one, because the unit is so used to turning a blind eye to cheating that they don’t even have an MCI proctor?”
33. “The promotion system is exactly the same for every Marine, right? How does the promotion system change?”

Questions About Your Superiors:

34. “Since the marine corps puts so much emphasis on leadership, am I correct in assuming that senior marines are very capable, competent, and efficient leaders who are able to easily adapt to any situation?”
Follow-up Questions: “My superiors wouldn’t prevent me from wearing cold weather gear during winter on the grounds that it was colder in winters of the Korean war right?” “My superiors wouldn’t order me to move entire pallets of gear by hand when there are a dozen forklifts sitting right in the heavy equipment lot on the grounds that ‘We didn’t use forklifts to move gear when I was a PFC!’ right?” “Since leaders in marine corps are so efficient, I won’t usually be sitting there with nothing to do all morning, and then have so much work levied on me in the afternoon that I will be stuck at work well into the evening, right?”
35. “Since I’m always being told how I’ll be serving my country, and protecting freedom, I should go to bed each night with a sense that I’ve really accomplished something right? I won’t feel like my biggest transferable job skill is adeptness at being a janitor, right? I won’t have days – or in fact whole weeks – where I don’t accomplish anything except mindless busy work, right?
36. “Since I’m younger, and less experienced, my seniors will handle most of the more hazardous jobs initially, right? I can be certain that I won’t be placed in harm’s way, such as the pointman of a fireteam as soon as I enter the fleet, right? They’ll at least make sure that I’ve had the chance to learn by observing more experienced marines first, right?”

Questions About Cleaning:

37. “How long does Field Day (weekly barracks cleaning) usually last in the fleet? 1 hour? 3 hours? 6+ hours?
Follow-up Question: “What’s the longest you’ve ever spent cleaning?”
38. “Will I really have NCO’s telling me that cleaning my window sill with a Q-tip will make me better prepared for combat?”
39. “Can I really be denied my weekend if someone decides that my room isn’t clean enough for their standards (fails inspection)?”
Follow-up Questions: “Can my room really fail inspection if I have water in my sink? If there’s water in my shower? If there’s trash in my trash can? If the edges of my rug aren’t duct taped to the floor?
40. “I don’t smoke. Since the marine corps is all about being responsible for yourself, I won’t be ordered to walk around the barracks and pick up all of the smokers’ cigarette butts right?”
41. “A marine on Barracks Duty won’t wake me up on a Saturday morning to pick up cigarette butts, or mop the floor, right?”
42. “How long does cleaning the shop take at the end of the day? Just an estimate will be fine. A half of an hour, maybe? Or are we talking about 4 or 5 hours of cleaning and re-cleaning the same spot over and over again until the 1st Sgt releases us to barely make it to the Mess Hall in time for dinner? That’s a direct question, and I’m asking you to give me a straight answer because I don’t like wasting my time.”

Questions About Your Recruiter’s Experience:

43. “Are you a happy individual?”
44. “Would you please describe your worst day in the Corps? You can’t possibly be this optimistic all the time. It makes me think you’re not being completely honest.”
45. “Do you have a quota of marines you need to enlist? How many people do you have to enlist? What happens if you don’t make your quota?”

Bonus Questions Just To Troll Your Recruiter:

46.”So . . . when did you slay your first dragon? Do you get another dragon every time you get promoted or is that a one-time deal?”
47. “On some days, when you wake up, are you ever reminded of your slave status by seeing that ridiculous haircut in the mirror?”
48. “Why do I get the feeling that you’re completely full of shit and that if I’m not careful I could make a serious error by believing you?”
49. “Why is it that most times when I see a Marine, he’s very excited about something but has no idea what’s going on or why he’s there? He reminds me of a puppy – a very excited but clueless puppy. Am I going to be trained to behave that way?”

Bonus Question – The Integrity Test:

50. Sit down to the table with your recruiter, take out a voice recorder, set it on the table in plain view, and turn it on.  Ask your recruiter any questions you like (They don’t have to be from this list, they can be any questions you want). At the end of your interview, turn to your recruiter and say “Since the marine corps is all about honor and integrity, my last question is as follows: If I join the marine corps based on what you tell me here today, and it turns out that you’ve lied to me, and the marine corps doesn’t live up to its reputation, can I be separated in 72 hours, and will you put this in writing?” As far as the marine corps is concerned, if you don’t get it in writing, it didn’t happen. So if your recruiter won’t get it put in writing, the he has no reason to be honest with you.

Think about it, if there are absolutely no repercussions if either the recruiter or the marine corps, lie to you, or fail to live up to its image, then what incentive does the recruiter have to be honest? If he won’t put it in writing then why would you think he was being honest? If the marine corps doesn’t allow such repercussions for failing to live up to its image, what is there preventing it from abusing you and deliberately putting you in unnecessary danger?

If you ask your recruiter some or all of the questions listed here, you will likely go in to the marine corps (or stay out of the marine corps) having a much better knowledge of what will be waiting for you in the fleet.  There will probably always be marines offering their experience on, but as I said above, don’t take our word for it, go ask your recruiter.

Safety and Peace

  • W

    I’m currently enlisted and I must say from my experience ( so far that is ) most of these questions are rather out of date with a few of them I’m not even sure what it is referencing. Also allot of those would largely be influenced by command I’ve heard of a number of those happening but never experienced them myself. However that being said I have had an unfortunate experience with the green weenie myself which basically boiled down to a three star being butthurt and having me njped

  • Jonathan684

    You keep doing what every Marine Corps SNCO does, beat around the bush and manipulate, you have failed to to point out any lies or propaganda, I am an Honorable discharged Veteran of the Corps. So when speaking. these are your brothers too. that have served and know what actually happens. So be a man Superior Officer. answer the question. where are the lies? I don’t see any. haven’t read one. they did forget being on duty for 48 hours with out rest. or being frowned upon for being around female marines while Snco’s can be around them give the females great pros and cons, and call it leadership, i guess the the green weenie is not the only weenie shes getting. there is no one hear you can hurt for speaking there minds. so with that said show me the lies and propaganda and I’ll stop convincing every person I see not to join the Corps. Hell I even walked around recruiting stations to tell the kids the truth. you guys are in malls and its a public space, good luck trying to stop me

  • exmarine75

    > Will I really be expected to fill out an ‘ORM worksheet’ where I tell my
    command what I plan to do this weekend, what the potential hazards
    are, and how I plan to mitigate those risks?

    WHOA they never had anything like that when I was in except maybe in MCT or something. Holy shit.

    • BrassNecked14

      Guess what, they do.

      When I first arrived at my squadron last year, they were still doing something called a METT-T form, which was pretty much the ORM sheet right there. However, the group that encased a chunk of the squadrons on this base, decided that it was stupid that Marines were getting NJPed for not following their plans for the weekend. For the first time in forever, they did one little thing right, actually letting their Marines conduct their own plans for the weekend without the fear of getting the Ninja Punch for not following a plan that they wrote on paper.

      Marines that are not so lucky in other units, have to continue filling that out. It’s completely degrading.

  • Once a marine always a marine

    You ignorant fucks. You would not have the luxury of internet or computers without people like the marines. I understand that some recruiters might say some stupid shit to try to recruit you, but its their fucking job. Respect the marines or stand in front. Its not their fault you didnt have the fucking balls to do what they do.

    • fukusmc

      God- its statements like this that speak for themselves how unbelievably stupid and self delusional some Marines really are!
      If you bother to read ( which I doubt you do very well) you’ll find that the history of the development of the Internet has never associated with the Marine Corps. If anything, I bet a WW2 Marine was probably too hotheaded and stupid to recognize the potential of a vacuum tube counting device, or conceive of a way to harness the power of the atom to make a destructive bomb! One of my fellow short timers summed it up well – “The Marine Corps is a stagnant pool in the river of progress”!
      On my time on active duty I had the “balls” to be a blindly subservient “Marine” to be sent to crap places to fight an unnecessary war, but I wasn’t stupid enough to stay in and being forced to do a shitty job like recruiting. Why put up with it when there are so many better opportunities in life? You could work the same hours and make a lot more, and your last statement reflects the asinine logic that people are stupid enough to want to be a Marine Corps slave?
      Marines are just another branch of the DoD. the Army can do your job just as well. There is absolutely no reason for you the DEMAND the blind worship of the American public.
      And if anything, I attribute my freedom more to smarter, intelligent engineers and scientists that developed our nuclear arsenal, air supremacy etc etc than JARHEADS who think spending up to 10 hours cleaning the barracks all night is a good investment of time!
      Go f**K yourself motard. I’m glad this web site ( ie THE TRUTH) makes life more difficult for recruiters and that piece of shit organization in general!


      “Once a marine, once is enough.” There fixed that for you.

      Now, since most of the people on this site did their four years in the marines, I can say with complete sincerity that don’t respect marines. I lived with them for four years, and I found nothing worthy of respect. Most are cowards who are too afraid of being yelled at to ever stand up for themselves, much less do anything actually heroic. So take your self-important drivel elsewhere.

      What a marine recruiter’s job should be is to identify candidates who would be good fits for the marine corps, and aid them in the process of enlisting. If a recruiter has to lie, or even merely omit certain truths, it can only be the case that they know that this person would not be a good fit for the marine corps, and wants to recruit this person anyway, because they know that the marine corps is not an elite unit, and will literally take anyone just as long as they have a heartbeat.

      Safety and Peace

  • Julian Reynolds

    Ninja pussy you are fucking scum sucking coward and turncoat. I wish I had the pleasure of slitting your worthless throat.

    • jeremias

      you wish. very interesting I sometimes wish I could be Spiderman but we all know that’s not going to happen…lol. I also find it a little more than interesting to call someone a turncoat?.. Although if he is a turncoat(-a person who deserts one party or cause in order to join an opposing one) what is the opposing party we joined? the army of France? Ha, If you didn’t know ,A person can still be very patriotic TO HIS COUNTRY yet not be loyal to the military, especially the Marines. Especially if he saw first hand the hypocrisy of what is called the USMC and the deception of a recruiter. I guess we all have to be loyal because we enlisted and signed a contract huh? well I can let you know that I signed that contract too and am not one fucking bit loyal to the corps. But hey man we ALL signed up by our own will and we were all motived, I wonder what made us change our minds? dick

      • Sgt Spring

        You sound like a piece of shit whining crybaby. I was lied to as well but proudly served in the Corps from 84 – 90. Did it suck at times yes! I got over it and did not re enlist. So be it that’s life. I still think it was a great experience and I’m proud of being a Marine.

        • private_givenofucks

          sound like a piece of shit whining crybaby. haha that’s a good one Sgt can you clarify that? or are you going to continue to use the TYPICAL responses of a NCO for anything or anybody that does not agree with your OPINION.


      I’m sorry that to trying helping people ensure that they make a good decision when it comes to deciding whether or not to enlist is so offensive to you.

      That said, I cannot help but wonder if your visceral reaction to the notion of potentially well-informed poolees, means that deep-down, you know that the marine corps is an unbelievably sub-par institution that lives and dies on the success of its own propaganda machine… I can think of no reason why would you be so opposed to well-informed applicants, unless you knew that no one in their right mind would ever sign the contract if they knew what a disappointment the marine corps actually is.

      Now, technically, I could ban you for making homicidal threats (which of course, is to be expected from the breed of children who typically inhabit the marine corps), but judging by the fact that you’re apparently too cowardly to even admit that you don’t think that the marine corps is really all that great, I feel safe in saying that your “threat” shouldn’t be considered credible. In fact I wager – should the opportunity for you to slit my throat arise – that you would most likely wet yourself and run away.

      Now off you go, grown-ups are speaking.

      Safety and Peace

  • TheThirdHelix

    Most of these questions could be boiled down to, “Will I be coddled in the Marine Corps? Will it be like peewee soccer, where we got trophies just for showing up?”

    I spent five years in the Marine Corps, and they were the best five years of my life. But, yes– there was hardship and the leadership wasn’t always perfect or fair, but I understood going in that this was a warrior culture and I was volunteering as an indentured servant within it.

    This site is run by people who are too weak and afraid to cut in the Marine Corps. Rather than admit that to themselves, it’s easier to pretend the fault is with the Marine Corps for being the Marine Corps than it is with them.

    • freeatlastfreeatlast

      Most of these questions could be boiled down to “Will I be a member of a team working toward mission accomplishment, or a belittled expendable asset at the mercy of alcoholic dipshits who control every aspect of my life because they can’t handle life on the outside?”.

    • private_givenofucks

      This site. was created to prevent poolee’s from enlisting who might not like the Marine Corps experience. to help a kid know what life is going to be like for him/her. Because a lot of 18 year olds don’t think about or have any idea what it is going to be like. nor do they think it through. you entered knowing that you where going to be an indentured servant most kids do not. Now too week and afraid to cut in the Marine Corps is bullshit because most of the guys on here are veterans with combat tours like the site creator. Also, to think that NONE of the fault is the Corps is idiotic since most people become happy and un-disgruntled once you remove the USMC from their lives. the ones who realize that the USMC is not for them are forced to stay as early as bootcamp because they signed your stupid fucking contract that NCO’s love to chant about.

    • fukusmc

      If you had bothered to actually read what’s written on this site ( that’s really stretching your intellectual capacity I know) the majority of contributors were good Marines disillusioned with how things were run in the USMC. I seriously doubt that Iraqi or Afghan vets fall into the category of “too afraid” to cut it in the Marine Corps- they just weren’t stupid enough to reenlist and make daily harassment a lifestyle for them!!
      If you want to talk about ‘coddling’ in the USMC, then I can discuss Retired on Active Duty senior NCO’s, unnecessary perks for Officers, unaffordable military pay raises- ALL WHICH GETS PAID FOR BY THE US TAXPAYER! If anything, long term active duty military can turn into quite a lucrative racket to get all sorts of benefits and freebies with the falsehood that you are “defending your country” in other words, making up meaningless and unnecessary work to try and justify why your job should exist. I’ve seen how government military bases operate, so don’t buy into this bullshit about how our military is ‘underfunded”.
      You yourself are also full of sh**t. If you want to willfully volunteer to be an indentured servant , then upon getting out you should have moved to Bangladesh to work in a sweatshop factory earning $100 a month! Because you are too much of a hypocrite and a COWARD to live the same way as the worlds poorest people live. That makes you a first class grade A WEAKASS!!
      Your just too afraid to admit to yourself that you only loved the Corps probably because you couldn’t really make anything of yourself without it! If anything, the people involved in this site were those who were intelligent and confident enough to expose the USMC for the mediocre and nonsensical inefficient government department that it is.
      The truth really hurts doesn’t it.