When I began my four-year degree program at North Carolina State
University, I wanted something more in life than just a 9-5 job. I had this
clear vision of leaving a positive impact on the world, this grand plan that
through selfless sacrifice and pure love for my country, I could once again
restore the patriotism that has been lost and over come the anti-American
sentiment that had become so prevalent in the United States as well as the
world. I wanted my future wife and children to be proud of what I had
accomplished, not a false sense of love and lack of respect because I have a
well paying job and I can buy shiny things, so I found the United States Marine
The day I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, the first thing I did, the
VERY FIRST THING was drive to the local Officer Selection Office in Raleigh,
North Carolina. I immediately began the paperwork process and challenged myself everyday to lower my run time and increase the maximum amount of pull-ups I was able to preform. My initial PFT score was around 250, with a
horrible run time. Within a few months, the score increased by nearly 30 points, with me doing well over 20 pull-ups; something I’ve never been able to do in my life. I was running almost every day at a local park that had great terrain for pushing my endurance to the max.
While I was enrolled in the Officer Selection Program, the Captain told
me very bluntly that I would not be able to participate in Active Duty OCS
since the USMC cancelled a few training sessions for them due to the budget
cuts. The USMC was downsizing drastically and the only thing I would be able to join (at my age 27) was the officer reserves. Although my heart was
set on active duty, I decided that my best bet was to join the ranks of the reserve
officers as he had suggested. I continued to train on my own time and worked as much as I could to save up money after college. After a year went by, the Captain told me that it would be hard to get me in the USMC at all.
I told him that this was something I really wanted, so he suggested I
talked to an enlisted recruiter. Upon his advice, I spoke with a Staff Sergeant who got me going with the enlisted paperwork. I told him that my wish was to go Intel, but he said that the job slots for that were taken, so he recommended I signed for a job that was available and he could make the switch later. I signed, like a naïve fool, believing the words of this marine; after all, marines don’t lie,
right? My ship out date was originally scheduled for December 15th
In August of 2014, my girlfriend was forced to move to Woodbridge, Virginia
by her parents. I followed her with the consent from both Captain and the Staff Sergeant. In September, my package was finally submitted to face my first officer selection board. I had high hopes because I thought I had proved my dedication to the Marine Corps by enlisting, making the package shine that much brighter. I called Captain about a week later and he said that I was not selected.
While I was upset, I still had hope: there was another selection board in
November. In the meantime though, I kept in touch with the enlisted side, asking them nearly every week if they had the Intel job for me yet.
Finally, November rolled around and I called Captain up and asked him about the board. I should have known something was wrong when he said “I haven’t heard from you in a while; you still are trying to join?” after explaining to him how much I have been training, he told me he would let me know the results of the package as soon as he hears anything at all. I never heard from him again; instead, it was the staff sergeant who informed me that I did not make the cut and I was very upset.
So, going with plan B, I asked the staff sergeant if he had secured my Intel slot. He replied “No, but I’ll make it happen before December”
About a month before I shipped out, I had already put in notice at my job, told my landlord my last day that I would be living at my residence and even sold my car to pay off the remaining debt I had on my credit card; my confidence and trust in the staff sergeant to secure my Intel slot was so strong because he was a United States Marine. He was the symbol of honor, courage and commitment; he was a hero to me along with all the other men and women who wore the eagle, globe and anchor.
December 9th, I drove down to North Carolina to get ready to leave for boot camp. My family was so proud of me, and my girlfriend was too; she supported the hell out of me and still does to this day. I love her with all of my heart and soul.
I spoke with a new staff sergeant of Cary, North Carolina. The first thing he did was apologize to me for the previous staff sergeant who was there. I was told that he never once tried to reserve my desired Intel job, and that I never got it, but I was given a reassuring “Don’t worry, Avionics is a great job field, you’ll love it”
At this point, several red flags popped up, and I felt sick.
I thought to myself “I gave up everything based on the words of this Marine, and I was lied to. I have no job, no place to live and no vehicle aside from a motorcycle to ride in the beginning of winter near DC. What am I going to do?”
Reluctantly, I went to MEPS and prepared to ship out on Monday, the 15th. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t enjoy myself…I even started smoking…something I’ve never done before in my life, but it helped a little with the massive amount of stress.
Monday eventually came, and I found myself sitting in a chair at the processing center, asking myself “What the fuck am I doing? Do I want this? Can I trust these people?!” The answer I concluded was “No, I can’t trust anything unless its documented on paper”.
I spoke with the MEPS liaison and told him if I can’t get Intel, then I will still join, but as a reservist only. After many attempts to convince me to ship out under my Avionics contract, including promises of “I’ll make a personal phone call just for you when you get to Parris Island and I’ll make sure you get Intel myself”, I turned them down and said I wouldn’t go unless they promised me in writing there that I would be given Intel. Needless to say, they wouldn’t do it, so they
called Ssgt over a speaker phone while I was sitting and waiting, “What
do you mean that stupid mother fucker won’t ship out?! That fucking piece of
I should have known right then and there what character he was…but again, I
wanted to believe in the uniform and its meaning, so like an idiot, I chalked it up to him just overreacting out of stress, or frustration and I didn’t take his words serious. Hell, we’ve all taken things out of proportion when they don’t go the right way…so I wrote it off.
I left MEPS, contacted my former employer and landlord and they graciously
helped me out in my situation.
Before I left to go back to DC, I stopped at the enlisted office in Cary, NC to get going on my reservist contract. When I arrived, Ssgt greeted me warmly, apologizing for the problems. When I told him I wanted the reserves, he tried to convince me to stay active duty. I told him it was either Intel or reserves, so he actively sought out an Intel contract for me while he said he was working on my reserve paperwork. I was told that I would ship out on March 3rd, 2015 for the reserves as an open contract out of NC.
When I left North Carolina, my father wouldn’t speak to me. He viewed me as
a fraud and a coward (although he has never served in any branch.
My mother and I went for a walk around the local park, and she began crying, saying that she wanted my existence to be special, and she really thought I was going to join and how proud she was of me. I told her that I still was joining but as a reservist if they could not get me an Intel contract. Seeing her cry broke my fucking heart and mentally ruined me for the next two and a half months before I joined. I felt like the piece of shit my father made me out to be, so I started drinking heavily and continued the tobacco use.
My girlfriend drove me back to Virginia, saying that she loves me no matter what path I choose in life. I knew she was disappointed as well, but I knew her love was strong enough to overcome anything as it has so far proved to be.
I left North Carolina with about 300 dollars in my bank account and lived dirt poor, not even being able to pay my landlord for the first month of me returning. Him being enlisted Army personnel understood what I went through; he is a good man.
When I arrived back in Virginia, I visited an officer selection office based on the recommendation of my girlfriend to see what exactly happened with my officer package. I’m glad she convinced me to go, because I found out, through the Officer Selection Office in Fairfax Virginia, that my Officer Package was NEVER EVEN SUBMITTED! Captain was lying to me about sending it. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was because my GPA was a lousy 2.1 when I graduated, rendering it not very competitive, or because I was now living hundreds of miles away from the Raleigh Officer Selection Office. You know, I would have been upset if he said he didn’t want to submit it, but I would have gotten over it and worked with the enlisted side. Instead, I waited a year and a half for nothing. I wasted time and effort. I didn’t actively seek out a career with my degree based on believing that I would become a marine in the very near future; instead I waited tables, barely scraping by. That’s not Captain’s fault though; I should have sought out a better paying job. I was just stupid. Had the Captain told me that I was not going to be accepted, I would have done something with my life, whether enlisting or finding a private sector career, rather than playing the food industry game.
On January 12th, Ssgt contacted me saying he got me the job I wanted. I signed my job SOU and felt great. I saw what I wanted in writing and I proceeded to believe him. I told my landlord and employer once again that I had a new ship date set for February 9th.
When that weekend finally rolled around, I once again came back to NC, and my father thought I was going to back out again. I ignored him, and spent as much time with my family as I could, as well as my girlfriend. Since I didn’t have much money, I decided on selling more of my possessions. When I shipped to Parris Island, I felt scared as hell as if i made a horrible decision, as most recruits probably do.
Once on the Island, within 24 hours, I was told that I did not qualify for Intel because of past drug use, which I had waivers for. Before I left, when I first told the enlisted side I wanted Intel, I asked them many times about these waivers, ensuring they would not hinder me from getting the job I wanted. They lied and said they wouldn’t as long as I was honest, which I was. There were no moment of truth discrepancies, nor any information from them, which I tried to conceal; I was open and honest since day one.
While on the Island, I was told I was given the new MOS of Data, and that although it was a four year contract for that job and since I signed a 5 year MOS contract for a job I never received, I was obligated serve a 5 year contract. This bullshit was later reversed by a gunnery sergeant allowing me to serve a 4 year term instead.
I requested to be a reservist and explained my situation with what I had to deal
with, but he denied it saying “I’ll give you a 4 year contract, but I’m not allowing you to become a reservist.”
Since this happened, I’ve lost nearly all motivation to succeed. Who can I trust? The organization that I once thought stood for such high principles such as honor and trust has been shattered. I wake up everyday regretting my stupidity for not using my God-given logic and detecting the bullshit when it is clearing being observed by my five human senses. Now, I’m stuck. There is no reversing it, there is no way out until my time is up without potentially fucking my careers in the civilian world.
I’ve since contacted a military lawyer, seeing if there is anyway for me to become a reservist, but there seems to be no clear option for it.
While at MCT, I’ve asked my combat instructors for help, but it fell on deaf ears; they didn’t care either. Is that what the USMC is about? This once shimmering image of righteousness, tarnished by the majority of marines I’ve come into contact with makes me question the very essence of human compassion and the belief that man is born good (in the sense that a man will use his goodwill to fight off selfish temptations and self promotion when a sacrifice of innocence must be made to achieve it). Perhaps they thought what they were doing was right, that I would become a better man out of this experience (maybe I will…I’m just disillusioned and bitter now), but my better judgment tells me different. I know better now. I know that a uniform or a symbol does not make a bad person good.
So now I’m stuck in Twentynine Palms, California, training for a job I really have no desire in learning except for when I get out, there will be a well paying job in the private sector waiting for me. I’ve tried to convince myself that I want to go Officer still; but I don’t. I don’t even work out anymore like I used to. Hell, I am 5’9 and was 170lbs and 10-12% body fat before I joined and I have photos proving my fitness. Now I’m a meager 155 and struggle during every PT session. My fucking soul has been ripped apart from my body, amalgamating it into a conglomerate of 18-year-old children who have no self-discipline and are constantly ruining my freedom for me by screwing something up, resulting in mass punishment.
I’ve become an empty vessel, and no matter how much I try to pull something
up inside me, I find nothing, Void begets void.
This is my experience so far in the USMC.
So what would make this all better? What would turn my life around and make
living enjoyable once again? Being given what I was promised isn’t enough anymore. I don’t want Intel. I don’t want the 5-year commitment. I don’t want anything but to either be given the option of being a reservist or just getting out. That’s all I want; that’s what I feel I am entitled to based off of the lies and games I’ve had to put up with since my feet stood on top of the yellow footprints.
But hey, that’s life right? You can’t always get what you want. And as another
marine put it: “The USMC is a shit-sandwich. Yeah, they’ll dress it up for you
sometimes by throwing on lettuce, tomatoes, maybe some bacon…but you’re still
eating a shit sandwich.”
Only 3 and 1/2 more long years left.
Whoever created this site has done a wonderful thing for all of my fellow marines
who have no one to relate to or vent to. Really, thank you.
“Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris”
Submitted by: Abdiel