Why I didn’t join the Marine Corps.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Oh, here we go with another Air Force elitist.” But alas, that is not the case. I hold no discrimination specifically against the Marine Corps, actually. I hate all of the branches equally. With that said, let me help put into perspective my experiences when it came to joining the Marine Corps, and why I quit.

Growing up, I loved war movies. After watching them I would always get so inspired to go and fight for my country. I would go and do research on the Marine Corps and the Army for hours on end. Finding out about how to join, what the jobs were, and pretty much everything I could find. The most recent of which, was after I had gone on an 81 mile march with some marines in honor of the (approximately) 81 marines who died in the second battle of Fallujah. One of the marines who joined us during this walk was a marine who had been in for around 29 years. After going on this adventure, it was the thing that finally got me serious about talking to a recruiter in joining the military. Initially, actually, I had gone to the National Guard recruiter and scheduled a meeting with an Air Force recruiter, but after requesting information online for the Marine Corps, they had contacted me and had me come into the recruiting station to meet with me. After that… I was hooked.

I started going through the process, my recruiter being extremely helpful and understanding, making sure that I had all of the requirements needed in order to join the Marine Corps. Now, when we had gotten to allergies, I thought I told him that I think I’m allergic to cats. After telling him this, we stepped outside and he told me that I will have to put that on certain documentation and that it could lead to me being disqualified. He talked about how he had never seen a cat in all of his 10+ years of being in the Marine Corps, and the chance of me seeing one would be slim to none, so I had the choice to not say anything about it if I didn’t want to. If I did this however, I would have to make sure that I was consistent in saying this with telling my senior recruiter, MEPS, and the documentation. I took his advice, under the impression that he was thinking about my best interest, when in reality he just wanted to make sure he didn’t lose another potential recruit. Although it can be argued that he didn’t want something small like that to stop me from “living my dream” of being a marine, it was later on in and after the enlistment process that I found out what my recruiter was really like as a person.

After finishing up everything at MEPS, I had become a poolee. Now, later on in being in the DEP, I had decided that I wanted to go Active Duty. After telling my recruiter this, he pretty much just laughed at me. Although I was passing my IST, I wasn’t getting 20 pull-ups or 9 minute run times, which apparently was his standard for what anyone going Infantry should have. At PT (which we have 4 times throughout the week) he would mock me for my scores not being as high as he wanted them to be. “And you want to be  infantry?” He would say. In addition to this, he, along with the other recruiters, would humiliate me along with any of the other poolees whenever they could. Claiming that they were doing this to prepare us for boot camp, it was not what we needed. They would try to trick me into a joke, and if I didn’t take the bait and ignored them they would just mock me even more. I know that it’s worse actually being in, but I was not a marine. I was a poolee. They told us to completely trust them, after making some kind of joke about how we were stupid or something of that sort.

One time, a week before a Pool function (and Winter break) I had gotten sick. It was only a cold, but nevertheless I was sick. I had actually gotten sick from another poolee. I knew that people were shipping soon, so I told my recruiter that I didn’t want to go to the pool function because I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do the IST in this condition. He told me to just suck it up, once again mocking me for the fact that I wanted to be infantry. I knew that if I was in a situation, such as a combat situation where if I would have to fight, I would, but I didn’t want to risk the poolees shipping soon to get sick. I ended up showing up for 15 minutes to sign the paper to show that I signed up, then went back home to get some sleep. Not only that, but literally the night before I had found this website, and after reading articles all night, was extremely unmotivated to do anything involving the Marine Corps at the time. The next time I was at the station for PT, I explained to him that I did not want to get the other poolees sick, and that is the main reason why I did not show up that day. He then told me that he did not care if I had gotten the other poolees sick, as long as I showed up.

It was then, that I realized he did not have our interests or safety in mind whatsoever. He was only interested in what he could benefit from.

This, in concordance with what I had found out about many of the NCOs in the Marine Corps, I found out that my recruiter was another one of the sergeants that would treat their junior enlisted horribly and for no good reason. I’m not saying I found out any  information about his past to confirm this, but his personality fit the profile perfectly.

After signing my contract, I had to go and meet the “Commanding Officer” or whoever at the reserve station I would have been serving at. In meeting him, I learned more about the current situation with the Marine Corps than I did from any of the recruiters. You know how recruiters will tell you that you can go reserve, and then switch to active duty if you want to? Technically this is true. But the CO made it very clear to me. “If you are going in as a reservist initially, there is an extremely small chance that you will ever be an active duty marine. It just makes no sense for us to pay for an older marine with little actual training or experience to become an active duty marine when we can just get a new,  stronger person to come in initially as an active duty marine and fill that spot anyway.” Is what he said to me. Although I knew that recruiters would bend the truth to get me to believe things, this was a real life example that affirmed it for me.

So, after all of these experiences, my recruiters mocked me, lied to me, and showed that they didn’t care about me or any of the other poolees as long as we became their meal ticket.

This entire experience along with what I saw from the articles on this website showed that this was not the right place for me. Not only that, but I realized that the military in itself is a deception. We are constantly bombarded with shows, movies, news, etc. about how great our military is, but once you get into the roots of it, you find out how corrupt it is.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I wouldn’t fight. If there is a war and I truly believe in the cause of one of the sides, I would gladly fight. But to do so with an organization that is going to constantly tear me down and punish me unless I conform to the rigged system would be against everything I believe in.

I wanted to be the marine that I saw on TV, not the kind of marine I would actually become going into the Marine Corps.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about joining the Marine Corps, please take great consideration into what it’s actually about. You will be fighting for your country, but will you be fighting for the right reasons? Because you will get no say in the matter. Wherever the guys in the suits in ties who sleep comfortably in their nice suburban homes/small mansions will be the ones who decide who you fight and why. Not you. Amongst many other things, which this site brings to light.

Although these weren’t the only reasons I decided to do something different, they were strong motivators to run away as fast as possible.

If you are doing this because you need a job, or you need an education, or anything like that… Please don’t do it. Do what makes you happy in life. Even if it means you won’t make a lot of money, or won’t get an education (Not saying you would make a lot of money in the Marine Corps… you know what I mean).

Please be careful with this decision. You are risking 4-8 of your best years on this decision. Making the wrong one could mean dealing with regret for the rest of your life.

Submitted by: Home Alone

  • USMCFormer

    I’ll write this post in reference to “Home Alone” in regard to Marine Corps Recruiters, in general reference to recruiters of the Armed Forces and salesman in general.

    Based on my own life experience of a 40+ year old adult, you know that salesman in general are selling either a product or lifestyle, and really it is up to you to look after your own best interests because unless you pay somebody to do it for you ( a lawyer for example) you MUST operate under the assumption that they are going to screw you or rip you off. They only look out for own interests and really do not give a damn about yours- they are only interested in taking your money.

    Is this bitter and cynical? Well based on my own experience with a Marine recruiter, plus going the hassle of buying cars, going to job interviews and living in a city like Las Vegas ( you’ve heard the term “never give a sucker an even break”- well it is VERY true here) the harsh reality of life is that YOU MUST DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND LOOK AFTER YOURSELF.

    In the context of the USMC and the Marine Recruiting, I’ll relate my own experience, and looking back on it is a reflection about how gullible, naïve and foolish I was at the time. In 1991 I had watched the first Persian Gulf war on TV, was impressed with the US military, and was very gung ho to be a part of it. I gravitated toward the Marines because of their strong advertising campaigns. Initially I wanted to be an Aircraft Mechanic, but foolishly decided to change it to Infantry because I was suckered in by all the propaganda. Remember my conversations with my Recruiter SSGT Shores of F* W**th Texas in 1991, he told me a lot of lies about how grunts would be given the time to take college courses. “They send trucks out in the field to gather them up so they can get to their classes!” ( Hey- I did not know any better at the time, and I’m sure he laughed with his other fellow recruiters about that one!).

    Well, I was stupid enough was to leave a bag of personal possessions with him when I left for boot camp, under his promise that he would send it to me when I got to SOI. I was also stupid enough to leave some travelers checks in there ( in a safe), but wrote down all the check numbers.
    When I was at SOI and wrote to him asking me to forward my stuff, I did not receive a reply, then after repeated requests I went to my SOI instructors. I did receive a personal check from the SSGT in the mail for a certain amount, then got very suspicious, called American Express, and found out that all the numbered checks in the bag I left there had been cashed in!!

    Despite some of the hazing and harassment I’d been subjected to by the SOI Instructors, to their CREDIT they did realize that something was wrong, notified NCIS, and I was told to write out statements, was interviewed by an NCIS officer, and was driven to a nearby bank to help sort the problem out. The SSGT at SOI put it bluntly- “your recruiter dicked you over son”, and even with my limited part in this I found out that what my noble and honorable SSGT recruiter had done was rummage around in my personal stuff, found the checks, FORGED MY SIGNATURE, cashed them in, then lent some of the money to his brother who owned a roofing company and was struggling financially!!

    This SSGT did receive NJP for this, and my company First Sgt acknowledged it was a career killer for him, but looking back on this the only role I ever played was the part of the testifying “victim” and it was up to the Marine Corps to prosecute and punish this person ( I did get all my money back though!). Yes, I admit I did something dumb here ( the worst of it was believing that this recruiter’s word could be trusted!!) but I had a very limited role in determining his punishment, and I’m sure the USMC kept it quiet because it would not look good for them.

    I write this saying that life is full of hard lessons, and sometimes its only through the benefit of hindsight do you learn that if you are willing to believe what your told at face value, misplacing your trust in people you really don’t know that well, and not taking your time and doing research will ultimately lead to a very bad situation for you!

    And lastly, I’ll never forget that when I got to Boot Camp, the cynical and harsh words of my Drill Instructors- not only to me but to the rest of my fellow recruits- here are some quotes:

    “Forget what the Recruiters told you- it was nothing but Bullshit!”

    “You’ll do what the Marine Corps tells you to do and go where you are ordered- the job the recruiter promised you doesn’t mean shit!”

    “Well your Recruiter really dicked you. didn’t he you stupid Shithead”

    Fair warning to all the young people out there.

    • “Home Alone”

      Thanks for the reply. Yeah, unfortunately I’m the kind of person to give people the benefit of the doubt… and I did a lot of research.. but I guess I just wanted to believe it wasn’t true that recruiters are massive liars.

      My recruiter also told me that being Presidential Security Forces was a crazy job where you get special training and all this… and then when I went home and looked it up their were videos about how they guard the white house and articles on them guarding the president’s helicopter when he went places… lol.

      Glad I found out all this in time.

  • DoggoneNCOs

    You are a fucking naive piece of shit. Not worthy of this Beloved Corps. Should’ve joined the Air Force if you wanted flowers and rainbows. In the Marine Corps we always accomplish the mission, no matter what. You should have known that you are just another number, just a quota to fill as everyone who ever stepped into the recruiters off was.

    • madmike1968

      Why the fuck would anyone love a government bureaucracy no different from FEMA,TSA,IRS or the DMV? Why would you love something that treats you with absolute contempt? Anyone who loves the Moron Corpse must have some serious self esteem issues.

    • NINJA_PUNCH

      You love an institution that views you as nothing more than a number? You love an institution that you just admitted doesn’t give a damn about you? Seriously, you live, you die, and the marine corps just keeps chugging on like nothing happened, and you call it “beloved”. I’m not normally one to make assumptions about people’s lives based on limited information, but I have to agree with madmike, it sounds like you have some pretty massive self-esteem issues.

      Safety and Peace

    • “Home Alone”
    • S.

      Haha I love it when guys like you storm in here saying stuff like this.

      • free_bird

        Hes in the wrong website

    • free_bird

      Hey dude, I think MCRD is “that way.” You are on the wrong website my friend. YUT YUT KILL KILL KILL!

    • USMCFormer

      Your site is going to attract plenty of motards like this, and obviously he doesn’t much experience working with other branches of the Armed Forces. I live near an Air Force base , and their are plenty of airman who are disciplined, hardworking, committed and professional. Their career paths are far from easy, and they manage to get their mission accomplished without the same level of stupidity inherent in the USMC.
      And I’m sure his “Beloved Corps” won’t hesitate to deny his re enlistment because they are downsizing due to fiscal austerity, or find a petty nitpicking reason to cut his enlistment time down. This motard better have a back up plan when his Corps decides to fuck him over!!

      • madmike

        I used to live in Las Vegas several years ago and drove a taxi cab. In all my time dealing with airman from Nellis AFB(the huge ass air force base next to the city) I never once had a drunk airman in my cab. They were head and shoulders above the average infantry marine in terms of intelligence, education and maturity. They also had morale that was light years ahead of the corps. You never had a bunch of depressed losers who just wanted to get back to civie street as soon as possible. Did you know that the Air Force crime rate is so low they don’t even have jails on base? They literally send people to civilian jails because it is not financially worth it to have a correctional system like the corps has to.

        • USMCFormer

          I live in Vegas, but not close to Nellis. One curious thing I find is that you see Airman and soldiers off base in cammies, either at shopping malls or going to a gym. Sometimes its during working hours, and when I see that I have to suppress the former Marine in me to go up to them to confront them about it. I usually ask about what unit they are in and what their MOS’s are only for curiosity.
          The more mature I’ve become, the more absurd I think the policy is about not allowing Marines to wear their cammies to different places off base. What’s the sense in having that type of policy if its not uniform across all branches of the Armed Forces?? And I think of all the other stupid petty things that the Marine Corps rammed down your throat- shaving on the weekend, a haircut every week for example ( what’s wrong with every two or three weeks?)
          Hell- an avionics technician for an F-15 fighter can be outstanding at what he does without a high and tight haircut, and one of them is worth far more than a bunch of grunts!!

          • madmike

            I wouldn’t go so far as to say a Avionics Tech is worth more than a grunt especially since I was one and I’ve known a few really smart grunts. But I once got in a argument with a motard and he kept using the classic motard line “because that’s the way it’s always been!”. And than I had to point out that until WW2 black people couldn’t join the corps and even than it was only because congress rammed it down the marines throat and to make it worse they were restricted to only the most menial jobs. The moral of the story is that just because that’s the way it’s always been that doesn’t make it right.

          • USMCFormer

            I was an 0311 myself, and for the few smart people in that MOS there were also some absolute “rocks”. But I won’t get into a petty argument- the military needs infantry just as much as aircraft maintainers.

            But you should know that not a lot of funding is allocated to training Infantry- historically their survival rate on the battlefield can be measured in hours, so it becomes more of a numbers game. When I went to a career fair at Hickam AFB in 1996,(in conjunction with TAPS) my poor choice of MOS was reinforced by the fact that Air Force jet avionics personnel were being recruited by aerospace companies to go work in Saudi Arabia with a starting salary of $150,000 a year!!

          • madmike

            The Infantry contains the absolute best and worst people in the service and has them in the same squad. I picked grunt because I wanted to be a “real” marine but I definitely paid a price for it when I got out with a total lack of marketable skills.

          • S.

            Here is the thing most people do not realize about the benefits of being a grunt. Based off of your observations and experiences being a marine grunt, you learn a lot about people. One of the most important ones being that you learn how not to treat people, and how to let a boss throw his temper tantrum and yell himself out. There are a lot of other things, but they all mostly have to do with people, and people skills my friend, are the most valuable skills of all.

      • NINJA_PUNCH

        We’ve had plenty of trolls on the site, spouting all sorts of insults and nonsense. If they become totally obnoxious we may choose to ban them, but in most cases it’s preferable to let the community refute their arguments.

        • Knob_Gaudy

          honestly love watching and taking part in the rhetorical destruction of motards. just waiting for Cid motards to spout at my articles, that will make my day