How to Become a Marine

It takes perseverance, determination and some research, but if you do it right, you too can become one of the Few and the Proud.


  1. 1
    Get in shape. In the Marine Corps, you must pass a physical fitness test (PFT) every six months. A perfect score (300) is achieved by doing twenty dead-hang pull-ups(no time limit), 100 crunches in 120 seconds and a three-mile run in 28 minutes.
    • You don't need to be perfect to enlist, but make sure you can do at least two pull-ups, 60 crunches and run 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in 12 1/2 minutes.
    • The stronger you are, the less torturous boot camp will be.
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  2. 2
    Decide what you want to do in the Marine Corps. Although "Every Marine is a Rifleman," there are hundreds of different jobs in the Marine Corps.
    • Each job is called a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). By doing a little research, you should be able to find what suits you.
    • The Marine Corps offers jobs in everything from infantry, to photography, to truck drivers. Eventually your contract will end or you will retire, so pick something you think will help you make a living in the civilian world.
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    Contact a recruiter by going to They'll see if you're eligible and guide you through all the paperwork. You can even do this first, before you do anything else, and he/she will guide you through everything.
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    Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This is the test to determine what jobs (MOS's) you are eligible for. Make sure you study for this because certain jobs in the Corps require higher scores than others.
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    Tell your family. Expect to hear some whining and crying. Stick to your guns. If you've decided to "man up" and do it, then do it. Just wait till they see you graduate boot camp and they're bawling their eyes out because they're so proud.
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    Go to boot camp. If you live east of the Mississippi you'll go to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, S.C. West of the Mississippi goes to MCRD San Diego, Ca. All females attend Parris Island.
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    Consider becoming a Marine officer. If you want a higher position and more respect go to college and contact a marine recruiter after you finish your freshman year. They will take a look at your grades and physical ability. If you're eligible you will be sent to PLC (platoon leaders class). This is for six weeks for two summers.


  • Do exactly as you are told. The Marine Corps has been turning kids into the best fighting force on the planet for 200+ years. Everything in boot camp -- EVERYTHING -- is done for a reason, from the initial shock of arrival and processing to the graduation. Don't question. Don't doubt. Execute and follow orders, and LEARN. All of what you learn in boot camp will be useful during your career as a Marine.
  • To finish Marine boot camp, all you have to do is want to finish. If you don't want it, you'll never finish. If you want it, you will succeed. Even if you are barely in physical shape, if you want it, your drill instructors will find a way to get you to finish. If you quit, though, they will surely make you wish you had never signed the dotted line.
  • If you promote teamwork and discipline within your platoon you'll be noticed by the DIs in a good way. That kind of recognition will get you at least a team leader billet if not the Platoon Guide position.
  • Yell at boot camp. You're going to get dirty, it's going to be less than enjoyable, but all you have to do is exactly what you're told to do and scream at the top of your lungs when you speak.
  • Don't just enlist "open contract." Make sure you know exactly what your job will be before you sign up. It's four years of your life that could be less than enjoyable if you let it.
  • Even if you don't join the Marines, support anyone (family member, friend, spouse... Etc.) who is in any branch of the military. Thank them for fighting to keep our country safe and protected.
  • History is important, but make sure you know present-date information as well.


  • Don't use your young age as an excuse for your behavior. You made an adult decision. Live with it and make the best of it.
  • There are no skin colors or ethnicity in combat. There are only Marines. If you have a problem with that, leave it at the door when you enter boot camp, otherwise you'll get it forcibly removed from you later on - the hard way.
  • The day you meet your DIs you'll think you died and arrived in hell. Do exactly as you are told, and you'll be fine. It will be stressful. You will be tested, to the breaking point and even further. Deal with it on a day to day basis. You will learn that the only limits you have are the imaginary ones in your mind.
  • Being in the Admin MOS means you have the same job as a secretary, only it is a lot less enjoyable.
  • The Air Wing thinks shooting badges, MCMAP belts and cadence calling is important - do your best, but don't put yourself above any other Marine. This is usually true with Marines who have deployed but have never been in any real danger. On the other hand, never forget that without air superiority, all wars are lost. All grunts put down the air wing until the first day it saves their rears in combat.
  • You might think you'll be tough going into the infantry, but you're going to have a less than enjoyable time for a while. Expect some pain and listen to your NCOs.

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