Joining the Marine Corps is a dream for many, but a reality for a very select few. It is what makes the Marine Corps so special. The Few The Proud. Are You Considering Joining the Marines in 2022?
I am here to talk about a few common reasons people fail to follow their dream of becoming a Marine.
The reasons described below were the very ones that almost stopped me from earning the title.
I stood in your very shoes when I was just 18 years old.
As I approached the end of my senior year of high school, I knew becoming a Marine was the path I wanted to take.
Joining the Marine Corps was something I had wanted from a young age.
I am honestly not sure when the idea first surfaced.
Maybe it was seeing pictures of them as a child or hearing stories about how badass they were.
Whatever it was, I was going to become one.
Not having a father growing up was challenging at times.
I’d see my buddies and the relationships they had with their fathers and I remember wishing I’d had that as well.
It taught me to be resilient and hard-working, but there was a part of me that was insecure and I always felt like I was missing something within myself.
It’s hard to describe.
I didn’t have a bad childhood by any means.
My mother did the best she could and busted her ass to provide the best life she could for my sister and I.
I respect the hell out of her because I saw how tough it was on her.
She’s the strongest women I know and one I’ll forever look up to.
When I graduated high school, my priority was going to speak to a Marine Corps recruiter.
I remember spending hours on the internet searching for every bit of information that I could.
The only resource I had was the Marines.com website.
There weren’t YouTube videos like mine (For The Corps Youtube), or a website like this for me to refer too.
I was going in blind.
I filled out the Contact form on the Marines.com website and within hours a recruiter by the name of Sergeant Shepherd reached out to me.
The next day he picked me up at my house and drove me to the recruiting station.
I hardly had any time to tell my mom.
She was pissed and rightfully so!
Here I was, her only son, wanting to leave everything behind and join the Marine Corps during a time when we were at the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To top it all off, I was choosing the Marine Corps.
She didn’t want me to join, but she knew there was nothing she could do to stop me.
The Recruiting Office
On the way to the Recruiting Office, I remember being nervous as hell.
He was pretty chill, but I had so many thoughts rushing through my head.
Was I making the right decision?
Am I about to ship out right now?
Shit, is it too late to back out?
I was freaking out.
At the office, there was a group of about 8 pools hanging out, shooting the shit with the other recruiters, playing Call of Duty, and hanging out.
I was introduced to them all and we all just clicked.
Everyone was cool.
We all had the same common goal.
It was then that all my worries started to fade.
I talked to Sergeant Shepherd for about an hour.
He answered all the questions I had, shared his experiences and stories, and told me everything I wanted to know.
I was given a shirt, a key chain lanyard, and a water bottle, and was told about their recruiting Physical Training schedule.
He didn’t try to get me to sign my life away, but rather wanted me to ease in to it and see if it was the right fit for me.
I came to a couple of PT sessions with the other Poolees before making my final decision.
Shortly after, my mom and step dad come with me when I decided to sign the paper work.
Next, I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) and pick my Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and had a ship out date scheduled.
Once all of this was completed I had about 9 months to prepare myself physically and mentally before shipping off to basic.
Life carried on as normal.
I had a sense of pride in being part of the Marine Corps Poole program.
My dreams were finally becoming a reality!
As each day passed and my ship out date got closer the motivation faded, fear started to creep in, uncertainty became a regular thought and it seemed like more and more people were doubting be and telling me I was making a mistake.
All of this negativity was overpowering me.
I began to question myself.
Am I good enough?
Was I making the right decision?
Could I even hack it?
I’d spend every day in my head talking myself out of it.
The ship out date got closer and closer and the reality of it all became so real that I was afraid.
I felt back into a corner.
All of those negative emotions and negative outside influences triumphed and I caved.
I decided to back out of my contract and give up on the dream that I had wanted for so long.
My recruiter and the others at the station were not happy and it was an embarrassing moment in my life.
I left with my tail tucked between my legs and my pride nonexistent.
The next few months were tough.
I had been trying to tell myself that I’d made the right decision, but deep down I felt deep regret.
Those around me questioned why I had backed out.
I gave them sorry ass excuses for my reasoning, but deep down it was because I let fear take over, I let my friends and loved ones talk me out of it, and I gave up on my dream.
It was a tough pill to swallow.
I had so much regret.
I decided that it was still something I needed to pursue because I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t.
Back in to the recruiting station I went!
Low and behold, Sergeant Shepherd wanted nothing to do with me.
Here I was trying to redeem myself and I wasn’t able to.
Could I blame him for not taking me back?
All that time he dedicated and for what?
In his mind I was just going to do it again.
There I was, rejected and unsure if I would ever have a chance again.
I didn’t give up.
This time was going to be different.
My motivation and my WHY were stronger than ever and I refused to take no for an answer.
I began calling and reaching out to recruiters all over my area until one was finally willing to give me a shot.
His name was Sergeant Stone.
To this day, I don’t know exactly why he did.
Maybe he could see the regret and sadness within me, but whatever it was he supported me and did everything he could to prepare me.
I showed up to every Poolee event, busted my ass in PT, and was one of the top PT studs at that recruiting station.
I was ready to go!
I’d retaken the ASVAB, picked a new MOS, And had my ship out date scheduled.
My goal was clear and I was prepared.
I’d spend hours studying Marine Corps knowledge, working out, and doing anything else I could to prepare for Basic Training.
Finally, the day had come to ship out.
I was taken to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPs) with my recruiter and my family.
Myself and the other Poolees did our final checkups and squared away any final paperwork before swearing-in.
Here we were about to ship out.
We said our final goodbyes to our families and loved ones and went to a local hotel.
That night was pretty wild.
Here we all were excited, nervous, and overcome with every other imaginable emotion.
Our dreams had finally become reality and we were finally shipping off to Marine Corps Boot Camp.
Why Did I Just Tell You All of This?
One of the most common themes I see in the comment section on my YouTube videos is uncertainty.
I see it time and time again from you guys.
Should or shouldn’t I join?
My parents don’t want me to join.
I want to join, but I’m scared and I don’t think I can do it.
All of this is bullshit!
These are all excuses.
If joining the Marine Corps is what you want deep down my opinion shouldn’t mean shit.
Your parents may not support your decision to join, but guess what?
They can’t stop you.
You are scared?
That’s normal and its a good thing!
Fear is a useful too when used right.
It means that your decisions are calculated and thought out.
Look, I’m not going to sugar coat it.
Becoming a Marine is not easy and neither is the Marine Corps!
But, it is absolutely the most rewarding thing I have ever done and I would do it all over again, every time, if given the chance.
Other people’s opinions don’t mean shit.
Your happiness should be your first priority!
If you aren’t truly happy with yourself and the decisions you make, how the hell do you expect to be of any value to those around you?
Look, I get it.
Not having support from your parents or loved ones is difficult.
But, I am telling you that you CANNOT let them decide your future!
You need to live your life on your terms.
What I Want From You
I want you to think about what the hell you want.
It doesn’t just have to be joining the Marine Corps, but anything you want in life.
Get a good grip on what you want for yourself and your future and just fucking go after it!
When it comes to joining the Marine Corps, it is probably something you’ve thought about for quite some time.
You’ve weighed all of your options and concluded that becoming a Marine is priority number 1.
I tip my hat to you because I understand what that feels like!
Now, go follow your dream.
I’m telling you from experience that if you back out for any reason you will 100% regret it at some point in your life.
You will forever be that person that says “I was going to join, but (fill in the blank).
Don’t let fear or others’ opinions decide for you.
Tune all that shit out and just believe in yourself!
Your thoughts become your reality.
Remember that shit!
Now get out there and achieve your dreams!
Grab your FREE copy of the Marine Corps Knowledge eBook!
Thanks for stopping by!
Sergeant (Marine Corps Veteran)
For The Corps
Before you leave, here are some Articles you NEED to Check out!
- What To Ask Your Military Recruiter? Ask These 20 Questions!
- Are You Considering Joining The Marines in 2022? | Don’t Fall VICTIM To This!
- Where Do Marines Live After Boot Camp? | Here Is EVERYWHERE You Will Be Going After Basic Training!
Visit the For The Corps YouTube Channel for more content!