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