Posted on May 28, 2018
Sgt Armory Chief
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I'm joining that Army shortly after my deployment. I'm looking for others that have been in my situation that can give me advice on what to expect, or adversities they faced when transitioning.
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SSgt Robert Prest
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Edited 1 y ago
First thing you should learn before you get there is how to execute the command
"Counter Column, March"

My first day in the Army after changing over was a Friday morning BN run. Some how I ended up Squad Leader for HQ PLT fourth squad. After Right face, I was front right corner of the column. The command was given by the BN SM and I had no idea where to go. Needless to say I F-k it up royal. Next thing I hear is the SM " Who in the hell f-k up my formation?" So much for low crawling till I figured out how shit was done the Army way. :) That was the first day of my ten year run in the Army.
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CPT Corporate Buyer
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In short, the combat arms side of the Army (I can speak for the Infantry) is not vastly different from the Marine Corps. The big difference comes when you leave the combat arms and head elsewhere. The Marine Corps holds every Marine to the same rigorous standard. Not so in the Army. The farther you get away from Combat arms, the more the standards slack. However, the Army has more money, better equipment, and better training facilities. The lingo is slightly different but nothing you can't quickly grasp. Most of the former Marines I know do very well in the Army. It's not a bad gig at all.

Get ready for people to look at you funny when you say things like head (instead of latrine), deck (instead of floor/ground), bulkhead (instead of wall), etc. Oh, and "aye, aye sir". I still have trouble with that one.
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SSG (Other / Not listed)
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Edited 1 y ago
The following is my experiences after leaving the Marines in late 2005, having a large break in service, and then coming back into the National Guard in 2010. The Army and the Marines line up fairly well. There are a lot of surface differences, but you will find that there are a surprising number of former Marines in the Army, and the Army has BAMCIS and SMEAC just like the Marines, but with different names.

I also came back in at the same time a former Army infantryman was re-entering , and both of us were transitioning from infantry fields. It helped a lot to have someone experienced in Army life for me to talk to. I've now been in the guard longer than I was in the Marines, but I still find myself raising my hand and asking stupid questions in meetings, or whispering them to the person next to me. 95% of the time it is about what an acronym means. Don't hesitate to ask these questions. The more you ask them, the more quickly you'll be able to communicate and do your job. The Army actually uses both more and different acronyms than the Marines.

The biggest surprise I had during my transition was how much money the Army had. Even a guard unit has more money than a Marine unit, and this equals training. Active duty Army has even more than guard. You can get advanced schools in the Army, the kind you would only see as a re-enlistment incentive in the Marines.

The downside to that is you need to go to these schools. The Army has schools for everything: scuba, jump, mountain warfare, sapper. You name it, they have it (except maybe MOUT). In the Marines we'd be trained in things, but it was rarely a formal school with a graduation certificate (I think the Marines have gotten better with this). They'd just train us on things as a unit. In the Army, without that formal certificate they look at you as untrained, and a lot of that is for safety reasons.

Promotion has been a pain in the Army. It may have been easier if I'd switched to a similar MOS, but I went to a new one. Because of this I couldn't get the courses needed to get promoted quickly until after I'd been trained in the new MOS. I also lost all my time in grade with the transition, and you'll notice that a SGT in the Army doesn't have anywhere near the authority as a SGT in the Marines. I know they used to bump people up a rank if they kept their MOS, and they should probably bump them up two. Even now, after nearly 8 years in the National Guard and one promotion, I don't have near the same level of responsibility as I did in the Marines, though part of that is because there is a buildup of E-6s and E-7s in my unit.

Your number one asset is your attitude. Soldiers love working with Marines and former Marines so long as the Marines play nice. We get things done and are willing to work. So long as you keep up your Marine attitude and stay flexible, you'll do well.
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