Questions on Joining the Marines
Questions About Basic Training
Questions on Becoming an Officer
Questions on Joining the Reserves
Marine Corps Aviation
The Marine Corps is one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. The Marines are a part of the Department of the Navy and operate in close cooperation with U.S. Naval forces at sea. The Marine Corps' mission is unique among the services. Marines serve on U.S. Navy ships, protect naval bases, guard U.S. embassies, and provide an ever-ready quick strike force to protect U.S. interests anywhere in the world.
To perform the many duties of the Marine Corps, approximately 174,000 officers and enlisted Marines fly planes and helicopters; operate radar equipment; drive armored vehicles; gather intelligence; survey and map territory; maintain and repair radios, computers, jeeps, trucks, tanks, and aircraft; and perform hundreds of other challenging jobs.
How are the Marines different from the Army?
The Marine Corps is the nation's 911 force. Thousands of Marines are always deployed aboard naval amphibious ships ready to respond to an international crises. This ability to mobilize quickly has allowed the Marines to become the United States' ready-reaction force.
The Army on the other hand is a much larger force and is used in larger and longer conflicts. At times, the Army will relieve the Marines after a period of time, much like what happened in Somalia.
The Marines also consider themselves to be a self-sustaining force bringing with it to battle its own air power, artillery and logistics support. Of course, Marines have to travel on Navy vessels in order to to get to its destination.
Marines also are proud to say that 'every Marine is a rifleman.' In other words, regardless if you are in the infantry, the air wing or a computer technician, you will given the proper training so that, if need be, you can perform as an infantryman if called upon. It is fair to say that this mentality does not exist in all of the aU.S. Army's support units.
The following are the basic requirements for joining. You must:
What's the ASVAB?
The ASVAB is a test that measures your aptitudes. It consists of ten short individual tests covering word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, general science, auto and shop information, mechanical comprehension, electronics information, numerical operations and coding speed. When you take the ASVAB prior to enlisting, not only do you receive scores on each of these individual tests, but several individual test results are combined to yield three academic composite scores: verbal, math and academic ability.
Officer candidates who did not receive a minimum score on the SAT or the ACT must take the ASVAB and score a minimum of 115 on the Electronics Repair composite.
Although the Marine Corps says that "every Marine is a rifleman," infantry units comprise no more then 15% of the service's total force. You will be able to work in one of 35 career fields which offer over 300 different jobs.
Some specialty fields available to you:
Use our job matcher to explore careers that match your interest.
Yes. The Marine Corps accepts prior-service people.
Only U.S. citizens or foreign nationals legally residing in the United States with an Immigration and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card ("Green Card" -- INS Form I-151/551) may apply. Applicants must speak, write and read English fluently.
No. The U.S. military cannot assist foreign nationals in obtaining admittance into the United States.
Regulations prohibit the forwarding of recruiting information through international mail, even to U.S. citizens living in foreign countries. Use our online form to reach a recruiter electronically.
Boot camp is 13 weeks, followed by three weeks of either the School of the Infantry or Marine Combat Training.
Recruit training is rigorous, demanding, and challenging. The overall goal of recruit training is to instill in the recruits the military skills, knowledge, discipline, pride and self-confidence necessary to be a United States Marine.
In the first several days at the recruit depot, a recruit is assigned to a platoon, receives a basic issue of uniforms and equipment, is given an additional physical, and takes further assignment classification tests. Each platoon is led by a team of three Marine drill instructors. A typical training day for recruits begins with reveille at 0500 (5:00 a.m.), continues with drill, physical training, and several classes in weapons and conduct, and ends with taps at 2100 (9:00 p.m.).
Yes. Ask your recruiter if you can get a copy of Recruit Regulations. During recruit training you will use the book when told to "study your knowledge." Pay particular attention to the list of items you cannot bring to boot camp, the 11 General Orders and the Position of Attention.
We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to prepare yourself for running and physical fitness training. It is recommended that you enter recruit training with the ability to run three miles in less then 24 minutes.
For tips on how to get yourself into shape for Boot Camp, see military fitness guru Stew Smith's articles.
There are a number of ways you can become an officer in the Marine Corps. In almost all cases you will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
Sources of commissioning:
All Marine officers will complete The Basic School (TBS) upon receiving their commission. TBS is six months and will cover leadership, land navigation, weapons qualifications, small unit tactics and communications.
A portion of Naval Academy graduates go into the Marine Corps. While at Annapolis, midshipmen have the opportunity to see firsthand the various fields open to them.
How do I apply to the Naval Academy?
To apply, you should have competitive Scholastic Aptitude Scores (SAT) and cannot have reached your 22nd birthday. Visit our service academy info page for more info.
Officer Candidate School is offered to college graduates or those in the process of receiving their Baccalaureate degree who want to become commissioned officers in the Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps offers two programs for those who qualify - Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and Officer Candidates Class (OCC). Training at both programs is at Quantico, VA.
PLC - For Freshmen, Sophomores, or Juniors in College. Candidates will complete either two six-week courses or the 10-week course before receiving their Baccalaureate degree.
OCC - Seniors or those who have already received their Baccalaureate degree will attend a 10-week course.
Both programs occur in the summer and do not interfere with your academic studies.
The 10 or 12 weeks of officer training is intended to measure your leadership potential, you must prove yourself. Upon graduation you decide whether to accept an appointment as a Marine Corps Officer.
We suggest you contact an Officer Selection Officer (OSO). The application process includes receiving a minimum combined score of 1000 on the SAT or a 45 on the ACT or a 115 on the Electronics Repair composite of the ASVAB. You must also pass your physical given at a MEPS. Your application package will also include an essay written by you and written statements of your references. The completed package will be submitted to a board, who will select the top candidates from the packages they receive. Please visit the OCS Home Page.
You can also receive a commission in the Marine Corps by joining Naval ROTC. Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NROTC) program offers tuition and other financial benefits at more than 60 of the country's leading colleges and universities. Two-year and four-year subsidized scholarships are offered. Participants receive a monthly cash allowance. Two-year and four-year nonsubsidized NROTC programs are also offered. These are referred to as college programs and provide for monthly cash allowances during the junior and senior years.
Yes. The Marine Corps has a number of opportunities to become a "Mustang" - someone who is commissioned from the enlisted ranks.
The Enlisted Commissioning Program
This program provides the opportunity for enlisted Marines with two years of college to apply for assignment to the Officer Candidates School and subsequent appointment as unrestricted commissioned officers.
Enlisted Commissioning Education Program
The Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program provides to selected enlisted Marines (who have had no college experience) the opportunity to earn bachelors degrees by attending a college or university as full-time students. Marines in this program who obtain their bachelors degrees and subsequently complete officer candidate training are commissioned as second lieutenants.
The Warrant Officer Program
Warrant officers are technical specialists who are assigned to duties only in their area of expertise. All other officers are said to be "unrestricted" and are assigned to a wide variety of assignments during their career. The Warrant Officer Program provides for the selection and appointment to permanent warrant officer those qualified applicants who are in the grade of sergeant or above at the time of application.
The Marine Corps actually receives their medical support (doctors, corpsman, nurses) from the Navy.
Yes. The Marine Corps Reserve is a part-time force of specially trained people who serve with the Marine Corps one weekend a month and two weeks every year.
You will have to complete the 12 weeks of boot camp but you will have the opportunity to train for one of over 300 different jobs.
The qualifications to join the reserves are the same as joining the active duty. You must:
Depending on the program, you will attend boot camp and training for your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Weekend or weekday drills are considered training. Active Duty for Training (ADT) is 12 days of active duty is required annually.
By law, as a member of the Reserve, you must, upon request, be granted a leave of absence to satisfy a requirement for military training. The Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act requires employers to provide Reservists with time away from their jobs to perform military duty. However, you must notify your employer that you intend to take military leave. You must be reemployed after completion of your military duty and return to your job within a reasonable time. You must be treated as though you had never left employment, including scheduled pay raises, promotions or credit for longevity or vacation. Your employer only has to hold a job open for 60 months if you accept voluntary orders. For additional information, see the Marine Corps Reserve Home Page.
Yes. Aviation is a key component in the Marine Corps' Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF).
Flight school candidates are officers who must pass a naval flight physical. Dental exam will check for cavities and other problems that may be affected by changes in air pressure during flight.
Vision requirements are also very stringent. Eyesight should be 20/20 or correctable to 20/20, no exceptions. Uncorrected visual acuity must be better than 20/200 in either eye. There are other limitations imposed based on the type and strength of the lens prescription. In addition, normal color perception, depth perception and field of vision are required.
When applying for a commission in the Marine Corps, you can opt for a guaranteed aviation slot. This means if you complete OCS and pass your flight physical, you will be guaranteed a seat at Naval Flight School after you complete The Basic School.
Flight school will last from 18-24 months depending on the type of aircraft you are assigned. After flight school, you will then spend time qualifying on your assigned aircraft before being assigned to your squadron. Becoming a pilot takes a lot of work and dedication. Do not go down this career path unless you are serious about becoming an aviator.
Sure. Visit the Military.com Recruiting Discussion Board.
Marine recruiters must present an accurate picture of basic training. You should be aware of all aspects of the military lifestyle. Be sure you fully understand the enlistment contract. You should ask about:
Complete this form and we'll get a recruiter in touch with you.
Visit the Military.com Uniform Center for details on Military Uniforms.