Joining the Marine Corps or College?

My ultimate question:

I am a nasty civilian attending his first year of college. I can attend the first round of OCS next year or I can take two years off from college and enlist in the Marine Corps Reserves--attending OCS and finishing college after my deployment to the combat zone.

I want to join the Marines cause they are the best. I haven't told my parents but they want me to stay in school and finish my degree. I don't have the heart to tell them that I'm such a failure at life that I might not be able finish my degree without going crazy. I feel as if I need to do this to honor my God (who I constantly shame), my Country, and my Family.

I know I could make it through enlisted training if I continue to work at it. I don't know if I would be able to tackle OCS without any prior training (I currently can't swim and never been on a sports team in my life). However, if I enlist I might die in combat before OCS.

What should I do: enlist, just train for OCS, or neither? Thx

19 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    You can be a Reservist and got to school at the same time. If you get deployed, oh well, that's why we join right?

    Going you OCS with prior service and knowledge will be a whole lot better than not knowing anything about the Marine Corps. Of course you can join NROTC and get your commission upon graduation. To finish OCS and know you've conquered both Recruit Training and OCS is a great acomplishment many can't do. If you're an officer with prior knowledge, service, and have the ability to lead, your subordinate will have greater respect for you.

    Trust me... enlisted training is basically a mind game (OCS is a mind game); you'll get through it just fine. Swimming, thry'll teach you how to swim. All it is is swim 50 m, jump off a 10' platform, tread water for 4 minutes, and swim another 50 m. Then you weave around the pool with your pack, jump off the platform with helmet-pack-and-rifle, and swim to the other side. After all that, you swim 100 m with your flak and then you pull another Marine 50 m. Simple, really.

    It's all up to you man, go talk to an OSO (officer selection officer) not a recuiter. They can be found at MEPS.

    Source(s): LCpl UnderGround
  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, go get a 4 year degree and become an officer. The way you are treated in the military being enlisted is in a small way like being a slave and the officers are the owners.

    They get paid twice as much, have many more liberty rights, and get first rate attention to all of their needs. For example an E5 (enlisted) with 10 years of service gets paid $2551 a month an 04 (officer) with 10 years of service gets paid $5602. Both of these pay grade are realistic for the Air Force..Staff Seargent E5 after 10 years and 04 Major after 10 years.... Its a no brainer...DO NOT be an enlisted troop.

    THERE IS NO WAY I would go back and do it all over again UNLESS I went in as an officer. After 20 years I get about $1700 a month in retirement. If I was an officer I would be getting closer to $4000 a month plus have all of the extra money I was paid as being an officer for 20 years.

    All you need is a 4 year degree in underwater basket weaving and you can become an officer. Trust me college is easier than the military anyway. I went in the Air Force as a High School Goof off with C's and D's on my report cards. When I went to college after the military I graduated with a double major with a 3.94 GPA and Honors.

    After you spend 3-4 years in college you will have a better understanding of what you want to do in the you can always change career fields while you are in the military.

    If you think you cant afford college, your wrong, you can get cheap student loans and or you can join the ROTC and have them pay for your college.

    Trust me...or call me at really need to go in the service as an officer if you go. I would be happy to answer your questions and/or speak with your parents if needed. Sincerely, Richard Thor

  • 1 decade ago


    (I currently can't swim and never been on a sports team in my life). Every college has a fitness program, some even have

    activities that include developing one's potentials in such as

    outdoor adventures: suggest you devote a year to developing your fitness and such.

    Study what is below:

    There are four primary ways to earn a commission. They are: the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC), Officer Candidates Course (OCC), Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps - Marine Option (NROTC) and the United States Naval Academy (USNA).

    PLC (for college freshmen and sophomores) consists of two six-week training sessions between school years at Officer Candidates School. For college juniors, PLC is one 10-week training session at the end of the junior year.

    Seniors and college graduates go through OCC, a 10-week session at Officer Candidates School. For both PLC and OCC, you are paid for your time in spent training.

    With NROTC, you'll receive substantial financial assistance at many colleges and universities throughout the country. You'll spend your first two summers learning about the Navy and the Marine Corps. In your third summer, you will spend six weeks attending Marine Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia.

    The USNA is a professional college for future Navy and Marine Corps Officers. Those accepted must serve five years on active duty after graduation as an officer in the Marine Corps. (Source: USMC)

  • 1 decade ago

    You can do both. There are many colleges and universities who provide educational opportunities for active duty personnel. There is an instance of a cadet at one of the military academies getting a leave of absence to attend the other academy. (Back in the days where there was only two military academies) I looked at several options when I was your age and it was right in the middle of Vietnam. What was suggested to me was that I finish college and then enlist, go through basic and then OCS. By the time I could do that we were getting out of Vietnam and were in a draw down of people.

    You might try talking to the officer recruiting officer for your area and explain your dilemma and see what they recommend.

    Source(s): been there
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  • 1 decade ago

    Wait until we are out of Iraq before you join the military, or go in to a branch of the service where you will not be exposed to snipers and IEDs. The Navy and the Coast Guard, maybe the Air Force. But if you enlist in the Army or the Marines now, you will likely be on the ground in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    Source(s): I watch TV.
  • 1 decade ago

    Go to school.

    Like many civilian corporations, the military is putting more emphasis on eduaction. You could still enlist w/o a degree, but your chances of promotion and a career in the Armed Forces are low if you don't have one.

    BTW, Why can't you join the Reserves and go to school at the same time? I am am AF Reservist AND a full time student!

  • 1 decade ago

    Why go OCS? You are in College go ROTC. You will get a college degree and then get your commission.

    If you enlist there is no guarantee you will ever go to OCS. Once you are in you do what is best for the military. And you have to apply and be accepted into an OCS slot. If a recruiter is telling you any different he or she is lying to you.

    Generally, you have to be in for TWO years minimum before you are allowed into OCS.

    Source(s): Four years active, four years reservist, and attended OCS (should have done ROTC)
  • 1 decade ago

    I am reading your words and finding concern. Your statement, "I am such a failure in life" is my concern. Until you fix what is obviously making you feel this way, then neithe college/ocs or enlisting in the marines will help. You will likely struggle through anything you do. I recommend talking to someone that can help give definition and meaning to your life...then decide what fits your future best.

    I spent 23 years in the military, but I didn't join because I was a failure at other things. I never thought of myself failing, just meeting obstacles and attempting to overcome them. I didn't always overcome them but that didn't make me a failure either...

    People enlist, some make it through basic training, and some don't. In your frame of mind.... you may end up being one of the ones that don't make it. So please seek professional guidance.

    Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    I suggest the PLC (i think its what you meant) this is when you do the officer training in the summer while your still in college. After you graduate college then your a 2nd Lt. in the finest military force in the world the USMC. Thats what I'm planning to do, although i did go through the enlisted ranks my freshmen year. Talk to an officer when they go to your college, normally they are 2nd or 1st Lts; they will inform you on how to go through the system way better then any of us could.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I say join the Marines if you really feel it's something you could do. You will never be more proud of anything you've ever done in your life or ever will do. The Marines train you so well and you are more than prepared to go to battle if you have to. My friends have been on many tours to Iraq and they have not died. Most don't even see any action. Usually they tell me how bored they are and who won at sand football. It's not what people think, you go to boot and then to school and then you do your job. I can't even tell you how great the marines are, I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone in any branch, but especially the Marines. OooRah!!!

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