When I first walked into my recruiting office in Bristol, CT, I didn’t have a clue what to expect.I had seen military recruiters sometimes at my high school, but hadn’t approached them or asked questions. They looked intimidating.
After 9/11, that changed: those Twin Tower images drove me, like many other young men and women, to join the military.
But when I walked through that door, I had no idea how the military worked, what the requirements were like, or where I’d end up. I just walked in.
This is a brief list of the things I wish I’d known before I opened the door and signed on the dotted line.
The following slides won’t answer every question, but it should provide some basics before heading in to see a recruiter.
The Marine Corps is a service branch within the Department of the Navy. The Navy and Marines work hand in hand on many military operations.
To join, you need to be a U.S. Citizen, legal permanent immigrant, or physically living within the U.S. with a green card.
If you are a non-citizen, however, job choices such as Intelligence or others needing a security clearance will be limited.
You need to be a high school graduate to join. The Marines will only accept a limited number of enlistees with GEDs or home study.
There are lots of job options: infantry, engineers, administrative specialists, cooks, aircraft mechanics, computer techs, or firefighters. Recruiters will have the full listing.
If you have tattoos, they need to be cleared by a recruiting station if they are very large or on the hands or neck.
There's going to be medical requirements as well. A military doctor will check you out and clear you for enlistment.
You don't have to go right away. The delayed entry program gives you time to prepare before going to boot camp.
The last hurdle is the initial strength test. For males, you need to do 2 pull ups, 35 sit ups (in 2 mins), and 1.5 mile run under 13:30. Females need to do flexed arm hang for 12 seconds, 35 situps, and 1 mile run in 10:30.
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