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Becoming a Marine can be a life-changing decision, and it’s perhaps one of the first adult decisions your son or daughter will make. Talking about it will help you understand his or her reasons to become a Marine.

Here are several questions to ask and responses to listen for during your discussion. Read through the questions, then download the applicable PDFs at the right to guide your conversation with your son, daughter or student.


Why is he or she considering the Marine Corps?
Pride associated with the Prestige and Legacy of the Marine Corps
“First to fight” as our nation’s Force in Readiness
Only a few have what it takes to become a Marine
Serve others and defend our nation
Want the chance to rise to a challenge for a greater purpose
Ready to take control of his or her future

What are their goals for the future?
Serving as a Marine gives young people a chance to make a difference
Marines are focused and equipped with the character and leadership abilities to succeed
Skills learned in the Marine Corps help Marines prepare for the professional world
Marines are leaders on the battlefield and in their communities
The Marines and College are not mutually exclusive. The Marine Corps encourages college during or after service
Many Marines choose to have a career in the Marine Corps

Has he or she spoken to a Marine Corps Recruiter yet?
The Recruiter’s Role is to support you throughout the decision process
Recruiters are experienced Marines
Recruiters have information on Marine Corps careers and jobs
It’s important for parents to talk with a recruiter as well
Recruiters know the roles of Marines, both active and reserve

Can they make the initial commitment of four years of service?
Commitment to defending our nation
Uphold freedom for future generations
The Marine Corps will teach the skills necessary

What skills, abilities and qualities do they want to gain as a Marine?
Marine Corps Values, including Honor, Courage and Commitment
Marines build character and develop countless individual abilities, such as confidence, focus, and physical and mental strength

Is he or she capable of completing 12 weeks of intense training?
Recruit Training — informally known as “boot camp” — is extremely challenging, yet greatly rewarding
Motivation, determination and selflessness are key elements for success
Marine recruits should prepare for Recruit Training before leaving home
Before Recruit Training, recruits can work with a recruiter to prepare.
Recruits experience accelerated personal growth because of the example set by their drill instructor

Are they prepared to live and serve as a Marine in a foreign country?
Marines may get Assignments in any part of the world
Marines go wherever they are needed
Marines have fellow Marines to rely on

When will you be able to see them?
Marines receive 10 days of leave (the military term for vacation) after graduation from Recruit Training
Marines get 30 days of paid leave per year

Does the Marine Corps offer College Assistance?
Marines are given the opportunity and resources to pursue a college degree
The Marine Corps has many financial assistance programs, such as the GI Bill and Tuition Assistance, available to all Marines

What Benefits does the Marine Corps offer?
Salary, housing, health care, recreational facilities and more
Support of the Marine Corps network

Download the applicable PDFs at the right to help you guide an informed conversation with your son, daughter, student or recruiter.

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Comments (36)

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Maureen McNamara Avatar

Mother

My son left tor Parris Islamd less than a week ago and his grandmother passed away yesterday. He was very close to her but we have decided not to tell him until graduation. Is this the best way for us to handle it? I doubt he would want to leave training and start over again so it doesn't make sense to burden him with the news since there is nothing he can do. Our feeling is it would only make training that much harder.

Posted by: Maureen McNamara on 01/20/2013

Helpful?

42

 
 
 

Julie Rojas Avatar

Mother

As a parent, will we receive information on graduation day well enough in advance to make plans to attend? My son leaves for San Diego in Feb or Mar 2013.


Proud Recruit Mom!

Posted by: Julie Rojas on 11/25/2012

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19

 
 
 

Jeannie May Avatar

Mother

My son is enrolled in an accredited high school. He is in the dual enrollment program, meaning he takes courses community college and meets with an instructor for high school classes once per week. Because it is an independent study program, he needs 15 units of college classes, which I understand. However, I cannot seem to get a list of what those credits need to be. He has, at this point, 3 hours of English, 4.5 units PE, 20 units of Automotive. He is currently enrolled in 4 units of Science and 3 units of Arabic.

We are trying to of these will count towards the 15 units? We've spoken with the office on the phone, but they won't see him until he has the college units complete. We need to know so we can plan to pick up what units he needs next semester, as he graduates high school in June.

Is anybody else dealing with this? His only goal for years has been to become a US Marine, and he'll be great at it, but I'm very frustrated with the lack of assistance from the recruiter.

Thank you!

Posted by: Jeannie May on 11/13/2012

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3

 
 
 

Sandy Wootton Avatar

Mother

I apologize in advance if this is not the appropriate format but I'm desparate to find some answers. My 20 year old son has made the decision - he wants join the Marines. He spent a year in college and realized it wasn't for him; his calling is the Marines. He spoke with a recruiter today and was advised he must be off ADHD medication for at least one year before he can even be considered. He is devastated. Can anyone tell me if there are any guarantees that even after waiting the one year - that he will be accepted? He plans to focus all time and energies for the next year on getting more physically fit (he's already in very good physical condition). I don't want him even more devastated a year from now to find out he still will not be accepted. I plan to talk with a recruiter myself but would also like some input if anyone can offer any words of wisdom (good or bad). Thanks so much.

Posted by: Sandy Wootton on 09/25/2012

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todd glenn Avatar

Former Marine

To all the parents out there who have recruits/marines in boot camp or in the fleet as we speak i appauled you for your comitment. I have 2 sons in the Marine corps. and i am a former Marine myself.
the road ahead is not easy for you or your Marine keep the faith there is a saying we used to use hurry up and wait. so this means there will be times when you are concerned and cant seem to find answers.
but remember your Marines main focus is the Marine corp at this time its like evrywere else in the world the more effort he or she puts in the more they get from it.


former Marine
SEMPER FI

Posted by: todd glenn on 06/13/2012

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38

 
 
 

lori judd Avatar

Mother

My son left for parris island on April 22 nd. I finally got a letter hes in platoon 1053 co.A is there anyone else else who's son maybe in this platoon. Also how long does the mail take?

Posted by: lori judd on 05/12/2012

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43

 
 
 

diann  lively Avatar

Mother

My daughter is schedduled to leave for Paris Island on March 26th. Any advice on what to expect during recruit training. (For both of us) She has seen a few websites are they accurate?

Posted by: diann lively on 02/08/2012

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90

 
 
 

Jeannette-Nichole Cain Avatar

Supporter

I have a question. Can an unmarried couple live on base? I ask this because my boyfriend plans to go into the marines and we are going to get married after I graduate sometime.. I don't want to be too far away from him, is there anyway to make arrangements so that he is at least close to home after basic?

Posted by: Jeannette-Nichole Cain on 02/08/2012

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129

 
 
 

lisa dg Avatar

Mother

My son had been talking to a recurter for over a year now and he was ready to sign up for the Marines when he grad high school. he grad last year. everytime my son called the recurter he said he was in a meeting and will call him back and never did or he just didnt answer the phone. not sure why this is going on. He wants an answer on if they will let him sign up or not. He took a pre asvab test and they told him that he did exelent on it . He has never been in trouble. I have never seen him want something so much in my life. He wants to follow in his grandfathers footsteps and become a Marine. He does have what it takes to be a Marine if givin a chance. Not sure what to do or say to him. Should he talk to another recurter? Any help would be appreciated. Thank You

Posted by: lisa dg on 01/27/2012

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90

 
 
 

Morgan Villarreal Avatar

Other

I'm going to be signing up for the marines really soon, but i dont know how to talk to my parents about it. everytime i bring up the military the look at me like im kinda crazy or they will just start crying. so right now, i honestly am at a loss of words to them about joining

Posted by: Morgan Villarreal on 01/08/2012

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108

 
 
 

chelsey  zamitalo Avatar

Current Marine

yeah i have many friends in the marines the army and stuff like that and i have heard of people who have there spouses living with them on base even though they are not marrried and it is a great honnor to be a marine because it take disapline and dedication and this is something i have wanted since i was little so i am thrilled to be a part of the marine cor family and to have such an extended family and to be welcomed in so generously because they are not big tough jocks lyke most people think they are really mean and they arent they all are sweet down to earth people who are kinda in a way big softys they love everyone but they will be tough when they have to be

Posted by: chelsey zamitalo on 01/04/2012

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77

 
 
 

Rachael Vires Avatar

Spouse

My boyfriend wants me to come live with him when he gets stationed. Is there any chance of that happening since we aren't married and don't plan on it any time soon. He said something abut not living on base at first but everything i've read says new marines do. Please help me.

Posted by: Rachael Vires on 12/03/2011

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135

 
 
 

Darlene Alizna Avatar

Mother

Any advice for my daughter who is interested in becoming a Marine?

Posted by: Darlene Alizna on 09/10/2011

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164

 
 
 

Lisa Warren Avatar

Mother

Our son just recently signed into the DEP program. Even though he is at the beginning of the Marine process, we are so proud of him. Is there anything we can do, as parents, to help get him ready to leave after his high school graduation in June 2012? Thanks.

Posted by: Lisa Warren on 08/30/2011

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160

 
 
 

Kathleen Eannottie Avatar

Mother

My son, Alexander left for Parris Island on August 8th from Jacksonville MEPS. We did not recieve a phone call, but we did receive a "form" letter with his new address. We just received a letter from him last Saturday. He is in Platoon 2088, 2nd BN Hotel Co. Of course his letter expressed his doubt as to what he got himself into, but we called upon family and alot of friends to write him and encourage him and remind him why he wanted to be a Marine. i would love to hear from other people who has a son or daughter at Parris Island presently. Thanks.

Posted by: Kathleen Eannottie on 08/23/2011

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144

 
 
 

Francis Acosta Avatar

Mother

My daughter also left to Parris Island on August 8th. My daughters letters were also the same, but being the 1st time away from all of us, I knew it was gonna be hard. I cried when I rec'd her 1st letter, it was so depressing, I knew she was miserable. But after writing to her everyday and her friends/family her letters are alot better. She gets so excited now and tell me everything that's being planned for her, for that week. And also the countdown for graduation. I also had to remind her in the letters that being a Marine is everything she talked about and not to give up. I am so proud of her.

Posted by: Francis Acosta on 09/02/2011

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136

 
 
 

Tom Jackson Avatar

Father

My daughter just left for paris island on october 16th. We just received her form yesterday with the address to send her mail.She has been gone now alittle over aweek and we all are very proud of her .We don't really know what to excpect in the next cpl weeks but we are all going to write to her as much as possable .

Posted by: Tom Jackson on 10/27/2011

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90

 
 
 

Diane Ellis Avatar

Mother

I was wondering if you could give me a website to go to see the calendar of the boys day to day tasks. My recruit is at San Diego. I was on the Parris Island website earlier. I didn't know if they have the same schedule or not. Thank you for you time in this matter.


Posted by: Diane Ellis

Posted by: Diane Ellis on 07/29/2011

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155

 
 
 

Edward Kaufmann Avatar

Father

My son Edward left for parris Island on july 18th. He is one of 8 children we are so very proud of him. too all of the other parents here God Bless you and your children.

Posted by: Edward Kaufmann on 07/20/2011

Helpful?

139

 
 
 

Chase Faris Avatar

Other

I want to know what kind of roles there are I want to be a leader like a Sargent so what kind of stuff should I start to specialize in? I only have 3 more years :))))

Posted by: Chase Faris on 07/13/2011

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138

 
 
 

Carla Fi Avatar

Family

Graduating HS Student joined the Marines. We're all thinking "graduation gifts" but.... What would be useful? Basically nothing for his boot camp period; looks like they don't really want them to take anything but their bodies. LOL

After basic training, tho, would they be permitted more leeway? I'm thinking of the limited space and weight of things they'd want to haul around, so I'm looking at a Kindle or net book or inexpensive android tablet that would be multifunctional and useful. Or maybe a small digital photo frame? Something with long battery life that would let him stay in touch with friends and family but not be a nuisance to haul around.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Posted by: Carla Fi on 04/23/2011

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175

 
 
 

Andrew Perks Labbe Avatar

Supporter

I was wondering if it was possible for an Canadian citizen to join the Corps. I've searching for answer but haven't come across any concrete answers.

Posted by: Andrew Perks Labbe on 04/12/2011

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161

 
 
 

Community Manager Avatar

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Andrew,
You must be a United States citizen or legal immigrant to enlist in the Marine Corps. Once a Marine, non-citizens are eligible for naturalization, and many general naturalization requirements may be diminished or waived for qualifying service members. You can find more information on citizenship and military service at http://bit.ly/hFpH4T or contact a Marine Corps recruiter at http://bit.ly/eDsX6R. />
-LifeAsAMarine.com Community Manager

Posted by: Community Manager on 04/12/2011

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153

 
 
 

Kaden Slater Avatar

Family

if i am 15 and a sophomore in high school is it to early to apply for nrotc and Marine Corps?

Posted by: Kaden Slater on 04/09/2011

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167

 
 
 

Darron Bartlett Avatar

Father

At what point during boot camp, is the company honor man selected?

Posted by: Darron Bartlett on 03/14/2011

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193

 
 
 

Angela King Avatar

Other

As a female, is it possible to become a sniper as a marine?

Posted by: Angela King on 03/03/2011

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191

 
 
 

Kirk Smurawa Avatar

Former Marine

I believe it's possible. It might help to get with a unit whose command staff looks at results, motovation and determination instead of gender. I had the honor of serving with several female Marines. I would have followed them anywhere. Best of luck!

Posted by: Kirk Smurawa on 03/08/2011

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165

 
 
 

Julie Jones Avatar

Mother

Is there a way to know exactly when a recruit will graduate? My sons recruiter told us to just count 13 Fridays from the day he enters boot camp. However, I need to put in for vacation and I don't want to guesstimate this date.

Posted by: Julie Jones on 02/01/2011

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193

 
 
 

Community Manager Avatar

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Julie,
For information on Graduation at Parris Island, take a look at http://www.mcrdpi.usmc.mil/graduation/ceremony.asp and fo MCRD San Diego, take a look at http://www.mccsmcrd.com/Graduation/Graduation_Events.aspx where you can see the schedule and learn more about travel, lodging, ceremonies, and the graduation packet and vehicle passes. You can also read a story from one mother of a recent Parris Island graduate at http://bit.ly/fscH81. />
-LifeAsAMarine.com Community Manager

Posted by: Community Manager on 03/03/2011

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200

 
 
 

Chase Faris Avatar

Other

Well which camp is better Parrish or Diego?

Posted by: Chase Faris on 07/13/2011

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137

 
 
 

Tony Knight Avatar

Supporter

Can an applicant who is 33 sign an age waiver if the age qualifications are 17-29?

Posted by: Tony Knight on 11/27/2010

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227

 
 
 

virgie shabazz Avatar

Spouse

hi im a newlywed wife and my spouse invited me to a very special formal occasion how formal please direct me in other words please help if it consist of very formal or ballroom formal

sincerely intense spouse
mrs. shabazz 11 5 2010

Posted by: virgie shabazz on 11/05/2010

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221

 
 
 

Community Manager Avatar

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Kanoe - The Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program (DEP) allows young men and women to commit to becoming Marines even though they may not begin recruit training for up to a year. They will also prepare for the challenges of recruit training. Marine Corps Recruiters will help them prepare physically, and will provide information to help them adjust to their future in the Marine Corps. For more information about DEP and Marine Corps Recruit Training, visit http://www.marines.com/main/index/making_marines/recruit_training.

Posted by: Community Manager on 09/13/2010

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242

 
 
 

kanoe williams Avatar

Other

I want to know if there is a pre training before doing the 12 weeks of training

Posted by: kanoe williams on 08/31/2010

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255

 
 
 

Kirk Smurawa Avatar

Former Marine

For me, my pre training was almost all mental. Meditation and finding internal peace, it might sound cheesy but the boot camp experience is to make a new you. Stronger in both body and mind.

Posted by: Kirk Smurawa on 03/08/2011

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192

 
 
 

Edith Ross Avatar

Mother

This information was very helpful to me. My Daughter left for boot camp on Monday and I was a little worried about her leaving home for the first time and flying on an air plane. I'm glad she decided to join the Marines and I feel good knowing that she's in great care.

Posted by: Edith Ross on 08/13/2010

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