Posted on Dec 6, 2014
Capt Byron Chen
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I saw this question on Quora and was about to answer it, but wanted to get your take:

"I am 16 and have been seriously considering joining the Marines, the few people I have shared this with have supported me, but I am still hesitant. I come from an abusive upbringing and have never had much in regards to self-esteem and assertiveness, and I want to feel like I am part of something important and have a sense of pride in myself...What reasons do people who have served in the Marines have for joining and what would they consider to be good reasons?"

My reason -- pride. I wanted to be a part of the storied tradition of this revered organization. While all the services has this, I felt that the Marine Corps was the toughest service that I could join. Even it's detractions - limited resources, smaller size, fewer bonuses -- were made out to be badges of honor. They ask, "Can YOU be a part of this?", not, " Do you want these benefits?" I was a company commander at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, the Marine Corps' boot camp. I saw this same motivation from the majority of the recruits. When I asked them why they joined, the frequent answer was, "To prove I can."

Regardless of the reasonings, I would also tell this kid that none of the services care about your upbringing. If you can take on and live the values that each branch tries to imbue on its members, then you will find a supportive family.

What are your reasons for joining and what would you tell this kid?
Posted in these groups: 20130227 usmc US Marine Corps (USMC)
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Responses: 6
GySgt International It Pmo & Portfolio Manager
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To be the best. I wanted to be a Marine since I was 10 years old. My brother in law was a Marine. I knew other people who were Marines when I was growing up. There was one guy who, in the small redneck town I grew up in, was hugely respected and left alone. He was tough but he was fair. And what kept me in for 20 years was the true brotherhood. To be part of an organization that believed down to their bones that we were walking in the steps of our forefathers and that we could not let another Marine down. Every Marine a rifleman and every Marine in the Corps believes in that. The young troops today are saying the same things we said when I was a troop . . . . which brings me pride that the Corps is continuing to march on.

Semper Fi Marines!
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Cpl Jeff N.
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I was raised in a military family. My Dad was a career Air Force, retired at 27 years as a Chief Master Sergeant so I was comfortable around the military growing up. I was in high school when the Iranian hostage crises was occurring. There was a group of us that decided to go enlist because we were sure a fight was coming. Most people thought that would be the case circa 1980. I went to see the 4 service recruiters. After visiting the Marine recruiter there was no doubt where I was going. My Dad could not believe it. I remember him telling me "son, the Marines treat their people worse than any other branch, you have no idea what you are getting into but I will sign the paper for you".

My older brother enslisted in the Air Force and my younger brother followed me into the Marines. My oldest son also enlisted in the Marines and just completed his first 4 year enlistment and is transitioning to the active reserves now.
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SFC Mark Merino
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Great question. We all have our individual reasons for choosing our branches. I've met some several family Marines who served in their beloved corps going back to WWI. For them, there was never a doubt as to which branch they were going to join. My family was Army, Navy, Merchant Marines, and the Peace Corps.....lol
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