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What is better for joining the marines?

I am a high school sophomore and am looking forward to joining the Marines but i was wondering if members of the marines or a military personal could tell me whether it is better to join the marines straight out of high school or wait until after college? #college #military #marine

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Matthew’s Answer

There are basically 2 paths...enlisted Marines which you can join right out of HS or Officer of Marines which you would need a college degree in order to qualify. I would say, neither is really better or worse than the other. As an officer you will be leading junior Marines, probably living in nicer barracks and making more money. An enlisted Marine you could join sooner only commit for an initial 4 years and then potentially become an officer at a later date if you want to. There would also be programs as an enlisted Marine where they would help you pay for your college degree.

Thank you very much for the help Aidan B.

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Gary’s Answer

Great question and you have a great answer above too...I will add 2 other options as well, ROTC can help you - if you go to a college that has a Marine or Navy ROTC program, you can basically be in the military through college/ROTC and study for your degree...once you are done you are eligible for an Officer commission. Also, you can join the Reserves out of high school and go to basic/technical training, then serve p/t on weekends and summer, if you like it you can go full time in the military.
Good luck! :)

Thank you for your advice Aidan B.

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Jason’s Answer

I would also add that it depends on your intent for entering the service. If you believe that you want to retire from the military you might look at going enlisted, as it allows you to "test" the waters before making a longer term commitment. Depending on your job you may be able to complete some college courses while in the service, allowing you to prepare yourself if you decide the military is not going to be your career.

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Harold’s Answer

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I agree with the above, but also wanted to add that you need to know what you want to get from the service before you go in. I was motivated and ready to go, so they gave me the next billet that came up: Heavy Equipment Mechanical Engineer... sure, I had the aptitude for it, but it was far from my ideal path. Still, I do not regret the choice, because in many ways the Corps shaped who I am and how I face problems. I will always be a Marine and for that I am proud.

But go in with a plan. Don't let them sell you on the merits of being a (Cook, Administrator, Mechanic, whatever) unless that is something that genuinely interests you. If your MOS is something that you are fascinated by, you will go far and daily activities will be fulfilling. If you want to fly jets and opt to take an infantry billet, though, you may find your time a real challenge.

personally, if I could do it again, I would go the NROTC route, and come out as an officer.

Instead, I finished my time as a Sergeant and then went to school for my degree. The discipline I learned as a Marine made school a breeze. I think if I had just gone to college without any military guidance, I would have been a wash-out. Instead, I thrived.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

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Greg’s Answer

As a Marine veteran, I agree with the advice above. The great news is you can win either way! The key is to have a plan before entering the service but being open to letting the experience shape that plan as you go. I believe the best job in the military is as a squad or section leader which you can only earn as an enlisted Marine. You have a ton of responsibility but still touch the lives of 12-20 Marines that you lead everyday. I was an officer and loved my experience. However, I led 45 Marines at the minimum which made it less personal on an individual basis. Good luck and stay mission-driven!

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