Posted on Jul 14, 2019
Sgt Assistant Detachment Commander
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Hello everyone,
I’m looking for some advice or personal stories about switching from Marine Corp to Army. I’m wanting to switch branches because I feel my career in the Marine Corps is very limited. It seems like my options are to knock out my SDA (Drill Instructor or recruiting duty) or wait until I get onto the HSST list. Additionally, I’ve been working for base in Okinawa which, is nice because the relax environment allows me to go to school however it’s taken away from my MOS credibility. I would appreciate any career advice.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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I have a lot of friends in the Army who have made the switch and are happier for it. Their biggest complaint was that their options in the Marine Corps were limited, their missions sucked, and they had limited funding. In the Army we have a broader mission selection (we are tasked with almost every type of mission), more funding, better promotions, more locations, and a better personnel management system.

Some pros: You can be stationed almost anywhere in the world. You can easily never be stationed in the same place twice. Or if you like a location, you can request to stay. We have broadening assignments (your SDA) outside of Drill and Recruiter. We have diverse assignment opportunities. You could be assigned to a combat brigade, to a Reserve unit as an Active duty liaison, the Pentagon, various Special Operations units with different mission sets, some other DOD organization, an Engineer unit, etc. We have better utilization of our personnel. The USMC is notorious for filling higher slots with lower ranking members. Jim Mattis even remarked about this issue when he was SECDEF. Our promotions are better because our organization is larger and there is always room for growth. Some jobs have terrible promotions, but most still promote at a faster pace than their counterparts in sister services. Our personnel administration is better managed. Our promotions up to E6 are managed at the unit level every month. We have an indefinite reenlistment program for NCOs. There is no chance that some commander with a grudge will deny you retention at 15 years, as is possible with other services. We have more schools, and we run most of the interservice schools for enlisted, as well.

Some cons: The Army is freaking huge. The USMC has a culture, the Army has several, depending on where you are and who you're with. We don't have a defining voice, we are affiliated more with our specific units, which is why we have unit patches. You study USMC history, we study the history of our specific unit. Because of the culture difference, the discipline and military bearing can vary wildly from one unit to another. With that culture difference, there is also a huge difference from one unit to another in physical training standards. I have been to units where everyone is fat, and I've been to units where everyone is as fit as a professional athlete, and the whole area in between. You as a Soldier have the opportunity to rise to more challenging units and assignments, but you may also find yourself in an assignment where you are just underwhelmed by the people in your organization.

With all that, I have never known a Marine who switched over to actually regret it. They all did very well and excelled once they had a hang of the Army way of doing things.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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From what career field to the next?
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Sgt Assistant Detachment Commander
Sgt (Join to see)
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I’m currently utilities in the Marine Corps so sticking with that would be nice. So repairing generators and AC units. But honestly switching to a different career field wouldn’t bother me.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
MAJ (Join to see)
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What would you like to do instead? Is this to prepare for a long career or a short career?
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Sgt Assistant Detachment Commander
Sgt (Join to see)
3 y
I’d prefer to go into electronic maintenance on computer hardware
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SGT Javier Silva
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Sgt (Join to see) I'm going to give it to you straight - DON'T DO IT. There a huge difference in culture from the USMC & USA. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but it isn't.

Let's go with this simple question - how do promotions in the USMC work?
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