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Mom, I want to join the Marines


Replies to: Mom, I want to join the Marines

  • AdvMomAdvMom Registered User Posts: 275 Junior Member
    Thank you to everyone. I am feeling better about things today. In general, I do think a branch of the military would be beneficial for him. Does anyone know a good website where he can compare the different branches to figure out which is the best fit for him if he decides to go this route?
  • bookreaderbookreader Registered User Posts: 1,978 Senior Member
    My son is in the army. I totally get your concern. The more I have learned, the better I've been able to accept his choice and even come to be very happy for him.

    I do second the suggestion that he look into all of the branches to see which one 'fits' him best. They are all quite different. He needs to ask LOTS of questions. I wish him well! The profession of arms is a worthy profession.
  • AdvMomAdvMom Registered User Posts: 275 Junior Member
    I was only able to talk to him briefly last night, so I did not have a chance to discuss all of the issues people have suggested like the ADHD and a couple of other physical diagnoses he has had over the years. He wants to be a rifleman and wants to see combat. I know he is upset because he has a lot of debt. I have considered the possibility that this could be a ploy to get me to help with the debt, but I don't think that is it since he has been talking to recruiters on and off for a long time. Hopefully we can have a longer discussion this weekend.
  • NoVADad99NoVADad99 Registered User Posts: 2,291 Senior Member
    Tell him that even if he becomes a Marine infantryman, the likelihood he'll actually see combat is pretty low. Don't believe all the stuff recruiters tell you. Military life is highly regimented, and mostly consist of endless training, routine administrative work, cleaning up things, and boredom. Only very rarely will you experience something like being in combat or doing dangerous things. That said, those can be the best times of your life and the friends you make will be lifelong ones.
  • mcconnell29mcconnell29 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    As a service academy graduate with two sons who left college to join the military, one to join the Navy and one to join the Marines, here is my $0.02.

    For my son’s everything seems to have worked out. They have learned discipline, self-reliance, time management, and ability to handle pressure. They have also learned a valuable technical skill (both have advanced training in electronics repair.) They also have access to college-level education while in the service and the GI bill for education expenses for themselves or their (future) family. Many military personnel get associates, undergraduate and even master’s degrees while enlisted on active duty.

    I suggest your son do his research and consider all the branches including the Coast Guard. He should talk to the recruiters and take the ASVAB to identify the job categories he is eligible to enter, but DON’T SIGN ANYTHING HASTELY. The recruiters are like the admissions staff at college - a great source of information but they have the potential to be one-sided as the sole source of information. The internet has lots of info and it is always good for him to talk to military personnel he knows or at least who are not in the recruiting command.

    One last observation. You noted that he texted you after a bad day at his mechanics job and his boss didn't always treat him great. Marine Corps boot camp is designed to be 12 weeks of continuous bad days with several bosses who have been specially selected and trained not to treat him great. ;)

    Good luck. If he does go down this path I hope he finds it as rewarding as my family has.
  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame Registered User Posts: 3,007 Senior Member
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,906 Senior Member
    I have worked with young military families for years in a mental health provider capacity, with members from all four major branches. I believe the military provides the structure that allows many people like your son to succeed. While I don't have statistics to back it up, I would not be surprised if the percentage of enlisted with ADHD is slightly higher in the military compared to the general population. With the guarantee of adequate housing, health care, educational and a whole host of other benefits, your son may thrive. The dangerous parts are real, but it truly is an outstanding opportunity (albeit not perfect) for those who take advantage of all that it has to offer.
  • NJSueNJSue Registered User Posts: 2,840 Senior Member
    Several members of my extended family are current or former Marines. One is a young person whose youth sounds similar in some ways to the OP's son (ADHD diagnosis, etc.) This young man went to college for one year, dropped out, and informed his father that he had enlisted. It turned out to be a very good thing for him, even though it was very difficult for his parents (he was in Afghanistan and they were worried sick).

    He is still in the Marines and he is finishing his undergraduate degree in criminal justice. It has turned out very well for him. He has a strong sense of fairness, order, and purpose, partly developed though his experience with the Marines.
  • OspreyCV22OspreyCV22 Registered User Posts: 1,674 Senior Member
    I found about.com had some great write-ups about joining the military. If you have any specific questions turn to google and you might find some other forums.

    Your son will have to take the ASVAB. You can get a study guide for it similar to the ones for SAT. There is also an ASVAB question of the day app for smart phones.
  • aj725aj725 Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    Do you know -- or have you asked -- whether he wants to be a mechanic in any capacity, whether for the Marines or somewhere in the private sector? If yes and he's in a bad job situation, why not try switching jobs to see if there's a work situation/boss that works better for him? There seems to be enough demand right now that depending on where he lives, he should be able to get something. He doesn't have to do this to the exclusion of the military. He can switch jobs, hopefully be happier in his day to day life, and continue to talk to recruiters to figure out which branch works. When he's happier, it's likely the decision will be made with a clearer mind -- i.e. going to the military bc he wants to be in the military, not because he thinks it's his only option to get out of a bad job situation.

    He's only 20 -- is there some other trade or job that he's interested in? Is there a way he could try something else -- like working for a contractor/learning to be an electrician etc? Sometimes there can be some satisfaction in a trade where you are building something and can point to a finished product and say -- I built that house.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,764 Senior Member
    @NorthernMom61, I concur that those with mild ADD might well benefit from the military experience. My son was never diagnosed or treated for it but I'm quite sure he was living with it. I felt comfortable sending him off knowing that he'd have the basics provided for him. He thrives on structure and where better to get that? I'm sure he would have floundered on a campus and there was no way he could have excelled living out in the real world at 18 by himself. Staying home was not an option for us.
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