Demands on the Family
Transcript:>> KELLEY SHAW: I think having a Marine is a challenge to a family because you know that they're potentially going to be in harm's way. It's a mix of fear and a mix of pride. >> RITA STIGALL: But you have to understand that they're there to do a job, and you have to trust that they're equipped to do the best job that they can. And they're going to get it done, and they're going to come home. >> STEVE TALLENT: I did take comfort in at least knowing that Cody was not going to suffer from lack of being taught. He wasn't going to be--he wasn't going to suffer from a lack of direction, okay, because that's what these guys do. They--they provide this incredible, intense direction. >> LAURA SCHOOLCRAFT: When Doug enlisted, it's like we all enlisted right along with him. And I made sure that I was very informed about what he was going through. I tried to connect and encourage other parents as well. >> JULIE SIMON: Once he actually deployed, I realized that, for me, knowledge, being engaged is just much more therapeutic for me personally. 00:01:03:10 >> LAURA SCHOOLCRAFT: I do believe I have come out of this whole experience more educated, more aware of the emotions or the experiences that other families go through. >> KELLEY SHAW: When they form a bond with another person, somehow you form one just because that's your child, and you love your child. And I think that the things that they go through are all so common. It does, it binds us all together. We have a connection because we raised our sons, and they're all Marines, and they take care of each other. So we feel that we have to kind of take care of each other a little bit too. >> ALOMA HARRIS: We had parents from the area come, and we just talked about our concerns, questions. And the Marine Corps has been good about answering those questions. >> PATRICK HARRIS: They really encourage other parents to talk with one another. >> PATRICIA PURDY: You start to make a connection. As--and as time has gone on, now I meet with a bunch of moms, other moms, 00:02:03:10 and we get together for lunch once a month. Next Sunday, we're going. And it's great. We are like one big family. >> LUIS CASTRO: What we do as parents is we support our kids. We've visited with them on base. We've visited with them overseas. I don't see where that's a demand on my time. I think it's a privilege of mine. >> HERMAN WALLACE: We have tried to encourage her to be the best she can. And so far we haven't had any regret. >> KELLEY SHAW: I think I keep it in focus the person that he's become because of being a Marine and the confidence he's gained and the fact that he's happy with what he's doing. He's happier than I've ever seen him. 00:02:48:10
In order to support the decision to serve, you and your family must consider the realities of life as a Marine: selfless service, the potential to see combat, and time away from home, in addition to the many benefits of Marine Corps service.
First and foremost, your son or daughter is making a decision to serve selflessly and will put the well-being of fellow Marines before his or her own in order to defend and protect our way of life. In addition, the “every Marine a rifleman” philosophy demands that all Marines are trained and prepared for combat, no matter what field they work in to support the mission. There is no such thing as a Marine who “only works with computers.” If the country and Corps need non-combat personnel to serve in a combat role, your Marine will be assigned to one – and will be prepared to succeed in it.
In total, becoming an enlisted Marine is at least a 3-, 4-, or 5-year commitment, depending on the enlistment program. During Marine Recruit Training your recruit will be away from home for a total of 13 weeks, including processing and graduation. After Recruit Training graduation, he or she will be granted 10 days’ leave (the military term for vacation) to return home before shipping to Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Training (MOS is the term for a Marine's job). After MOS Training, your Marine may be away on assignment for periods lasting up to 24 months each. He or she will receive 30 days’ leave per year to use as they choose.
In total, becoming a Marine Officer is at least a 4-to-6-year commitment. Officer Candidates School, the equivalent of enlisted Recruit Training, will take place in 1-2 summers during or after college. You must be prepared not to have your officer candidate at home during this time. Upon completion of Officer Candidates School and then The Basic School (TBS), he or she will attend MOS Training, which can last for many weeks or months. Officer duty assignments generally last 24 to 36 months. Your officer will likely complete one to two of these assignments to fulfill their commitment to the Marine Corps. He or she will receive 30 days’ leave per year to use as they choose.
The amount of contact you will have with your son or daughter will vary throughout their experience. Contact during Recruit Training is intentionally limited, to allow recruits to focus. At the beginning of Recruit Training, you will receive an initial phone call. This is a short, scripted call to let you know he has arrived safely. You will be in touch only through handwritten letters until graduation, which we encourage you to attend. Graduation weekend includes family time and activities scheduled for you and your new Marine. After graduation, Marines can call, email, text and otherwise stay in touch on their free time. Officer Candidates are granted liberty from Officer Candidates School on weekends after the fourth week of training. During MOS training and deployment, Marines have various levels of contact with their family, depending on their assignment. Many have the ability to email or call from where they are stationed.
Many recruit and Marine family members find support and friendship in other Marine moms and dads whose sons and daughters are also away. This is the benefit of belonging to the Marine family. Some meet as they drop their sons off at the bus to Recruit Training. Others meet through online Marine Parent forums and groups. And many meet at official Marine Corps functions and events in their area. See Supporting Your Family for more detail. Also, the Marine Corps may assign a Family Readiness Officer to a unit to connect with families if there is a need. Your local recruiter can be another great resource for your family during this time. See The Recruiter’s Role for more detail.
The Demands of Service:
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