By MordeaniisChaos 11 Comments
This probably seems a bit... out of place for this particular community, but I'm not really "part of" another community, and I kind of felt like sharing my experience so far and try to reach out to anyone who might be thinking of a military career, especially with how easy it can be to do for the wrong reasons or with the wrong expectations. While I have immense respect and admiration for the Marine Corps, and it was the branch that I picked to go for, I am by no means looking to sway towards any one branch of the military, nor the military at all. The Marine Corps, I believe, was the right choice for me, but the men and women serving the United States are all service-members, and that is all that matters to me. I know people in pretty much every military branch out there, and they are all people I greatly respect both as individuals who have made sacrifices for my country, and just as people who have been good to me and those that I care about. I'll probably poke a few jabs here and there at various bits and pieces of the wonderful military culture, but that doesn't mean I actually think that the Army's basic training is anything to scoff at, that airmen are glorified couch potatoes, or that the Coast Guard- well, chances are I mean just about anything I say about them, but I also probably won't say anything about them so, we'll just leave it at that.
Again, I am not a member of any branch of the military, I am simply making an effort to achieve that, and documenting and hopefully conversing about the experience as I go. I am not speaking for any branch, particularly the Marine Corps. I am not an official source of information, and you should ALWAYS confirm anything I say with a recruiter or other reputable source should you feel the desire to go that far.
What the hell do I aim to achieve by doing this?
It's pretty simple really. I want to explain the process of joining the United States Marine Corps as I experience it. It as been a long and difficult road for me, often for reasons of my own fault, and just as often for reasons out of my control. It was a journey that took me 6 months just to decide to begin, and ultimately will end with about the same amount of time training to become a Marine, to become a combat ready Marine, and to prepare me for my MOS.
I'd like to give anyone out there who is thinking of joining a service, particularly those who like me, are younger, and are still in or just out of high school, a decent idea of what it means, and what you need to do and know and some context to help them decide if such a huge decision is really worth it for them.
The decision to join the military, even if you never end up deployed in a combat zone, is a big one. When you leave boot camp, you have an obligation that will last years, and there are significant penalties if you do not fulfill that obligation. I am enlisting for 4 years of active duty, and 4 years of reserves. That's 8 years of my life where the Corps will be a part of my life. Half of that time, it will be most of my life. I may be shipped to a combat zone such as Afghanistan, and have to survive the hazards of such a deployment. It is not a decision you come to lightly.
Where to start?
The question I have right now is where the hell should I start this off? While I certainly know the things that I wanted to know, I don't know what other's want to know. Do I lead off with the obligations and the complications and the consequences of my decision, and risk sounding like a martyr, or scaring folks off? Do I start with the possibilities and the perks and benefits of service life, and risk sounding like a recruiter? Do I start with a checklist of things to do in order to get the ball rolling and an explanation of how the process went for me, and risk boring the socks off of all of you? I'm not really sure just yet, I think maybe I'll start with WHY I decided I wanted to join the military, and what drew me to the Marines, and hopefully I'll get some input on where I should start after that, and then really get into the meat of it.
Please, give some feedback! I know I'm probably not going to get a lot of bites with this, being as the community is what it is, but I know there are some service members out there in the community and so there must be those who are looking into joining or might be open to the idea, or who might just be curious about the process and the experience. Let me know if there are particular things you want to know, questions you want answered, or just need a pep talk to help you get up and get your ass to a recruiter and start walking down the path. Or hell, if you want me to convince you why you SHOULDN'T join the military, I can probably muster up a good few reasons too. I'm just trying to help educate people, and share my experiences with you all.