Posted on Jul 6, 2017
Sgt Vernon Fulmer
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I would like to advance my military career in special operations, but the gap is closing because of my TIS in the Marine Corps. I do love my Marine Corps, however, it might be time for me to take my desires and experience elsewhere. I'm using this time to finish my degree, and explore my options. I was hoping there was someone who could give me some insight.
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MAJ Corporate Buyer
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Edited >1 y ago
I was an E5 in the Marines and switched to the Army. I love the Marine Corps and it will always have a place in my heart but the Army has proven to be a better experience.

These are my opinions as I witnessed them first hand. Others may have different views.

Marine Pros: Best uniforms and highest esprit de corps hands down. All Marines, regardless of MOS, are held to the same standard and that standard is rigorously enforced. Marines stress the importance of history.

Army Pros: The Army has much better equipment and gear and much better training facilities. The Army has much more opportunity for schools. I've seen in the comments where people have asked you why you don't join Force Recon. I'm sure you would like to. I would have liked it too when I was in, but the fact of the matter is that in the Marines that kind of thing is much harder to come by. In the Army I got to go to Airborne school, Air Assault school, and Ranger school without even asking for it, it was just standard. Two were because I was an Infantry officer and one because of where I was stationed. I never saw those kinds of opportunities for anyone in the Marines. Where will you be stationed in the Marines? East coast, west coast, or Okinawa right? For the most part anyway. In the Army you've got everything from Korea to Italy. Germany to Kentucky. Alaska to Colorado. New York to Louisiana. The options are abundant. I mentioned training facilities earlier. In the Marines, MOUT training consisted of clearing conex trailers with windows and doors cut out of them. In the Army we had entire cities complete with streets, alleys, government buildings, burning cars and civilians acting as locals. And when I was deployed our unit was right next to a Marine unit and I can tell you that we did the same job day in and day out. Both with expert efficiency. Just with a little different lingo. If you're wanting to do Spec Ops, the Army would be a much more likely place for that to happen in my opinion.

Army Cons: The combat arms side of things (specifically the infantry since that's what I can speak to) is very similar to the Marines in standards and esprit de corps. But once you get out of the combat arms, standards drop. Not trying to offend those not in combat arms, but it's what I saw.

It was hard for me to switch from the Marines to the Army because the Marines do a great job of pounding it into your head that Marines are indestructible and everyone else sucks. Well, that's just not the case. There are numerous combat tested and battle-hardened units in the Army. The history of the Army, like the Marines, is nothing short of awe inspiring.

Good luck with your career. If you have any specific question let me know.
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Sgt Joe Avary
Sgt Joe Avary
7 mo
I could not and would not make that change - but everyone has to make the decision of what's best for themselves. Semper Fi
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Sgt R Scott
Sgt R Scott
3 mo
I had a good friend in the Marine Corps, he was asked to attend Ranger school and he and I went through jump school together and several other schools together. He eventually ended up joining Recon at Camp Pendleton. I believe he got the best of both worlds. Marine Corps all the way! Semper Fi, do or die and Oorah!!
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AB Roger Zauner
AB Roger Zauner
2 mo
In layman's terms, finally quit laying around and get to do some real work.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
1 mo
SSG Joseph VanDyck - Now the 75th is in a class of its own, but the 101st is still pretty true to its Airborne heritage. However, the toughest non ranger Infantry guys I ever met were in the 10th Mountain. I will say that my experience is about 40 years out of date.
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LTC Jeff Shearer
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SGT one of my best friends in SF was a former Marine. He was on an amtrak, hope the spelling is correct. After years he started jumping for the Golden Knights then helped establish the Black Daggers. I am not a Marine, I do have the upmost respect for them and worked with them a good bit over the years. I went to SF School with a Force Recon Marine Officer who was attached to the Special Warfare Center.

Sorry I got distracted.

If you feel like you would like to venture into Special Operations, you know that MARSOC is loaded with some knuckle dragging barbarians badasses. However, I spent 20+ in SF and I would not trade it for anything. I traveled the planet, sometimes with a unit sometimes not with a unit.

I lived in South America, worked for the Embassy but was rarely in the Embassy. I loved it. So the bottom line is no matter the service I love special operations.
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MAJ Jpm Mcg
MAJ Jpm Mcg
3 y
CAPT (Join to see) - You were one of my students!! You guys brought the right attitude to the training. It was an absolute pleasure working with you and your teammates!!
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CW3 James Ives
CW3 James Ives
9 mo
I was a former Marine Cpl.(E4) in RVN after 10years serving as an LEO I joined the FLARNG Reserve and obtained the rank of CW3 I was attached with the 18th.AB Field Artillery Brigade during operation Desert Storm in Iraq. I was assigned as a FWD Detachment commander Combat support team. I loved the Marines, but I can agree that the ARMY has far more opportunity for advancement than the Marines.
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Pvt Patrick Sanders
Pvt Patrick Sanders
7 mo
One of my Best friends did 4 years in the Marine Corps and then joined the Army and went SF he is now a Colonel in SF. COL. Butcher.
My Dad was an embassy guard in the late 60's in Marine Corps in Balivia and in Canada.
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CPL Theodore Moore
CPL Theodore Moore
2 mo
The Marines are the point of the spear. They establish the beach head. The army holds the field. The army is more of a long term mission and can't maintain Marine style intensity. I was maritime army and cross trained with every body but the air force.
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SFC S2 Intelligence Ncoic
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For somebody who is thinking about switching from "The Marines" to the Army, be prepared to be surrounded by level-headed individuals who don't talk about how awesome they are all the time, haha. Just kidding, I have many, many, Marine friends so I'm pretty well informed on how the USMC differs from the Army.
Pros: - More opportunities to advance through more career programs (PSYOPS, SF, Ranger, 160th
SOAR, etc and etc)
- Faster promotions on average (bigger force, more room for advancement)
- Way more opportunities to travel with over 50 Army bases in the continental US alone
- Super cool uniforms
- More money for better equipment and schooling
- Depending on the unit, perhaps a little bit more laid back than what you may be used to
Cons: - Ton of bureaucracy
- Constant uniform changes
- Lots of Creeds that must be memorized just in case you forget how to be an NCO or a soldier
(not sure if this is the same in the USMC)
- Although the Army may be a bit more relaxed, it leaves room for soldiers to become
insubordinate and lack giving the proper military courtesy to their superiors.

Hope this gives you somewhat of an idea. I didn't wanna type forever and bore you with all the reading, haha.
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SSG AH-64D Armament/Electrical/Avionic Systems Repairer
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>1 y
I totally agree with you SFC Liedtka. I retired in 2017 and I recall when in the early 2000's so many different creeds began to pop up. I know the NCO creed and the army song and I never tried to learn anything else.
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SP5 Ed Nolan
SP5 Ed Nolan
2 y
SFC James Liedtka - Creeds??? Hell the only thing we had a creed about was where the closest place to buy beer was, got out in 1977, sounds like things have really changed. Oh, and I hate the tan boots and the sloppy "fatigues" or whatever they are called now. Starched fatigues and spit shined jump boots looked so much sharper.
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Sgt Sidney Lange
Sgt Sidney Lange
2 y
I was a marine before college and worked with army officers who started out in the marines. They switched because of the family benefits which were inadequate in the marines. Something to think about if you get married in the service. Semper Fi.
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SFC S2 Intelligence Ncoic
SFC (Join to see)
>1 y
PO2 Hubert Linker sorry for just now responding to your comment, Sir. I have to be honest, even though yes, our Aviation units are a soap opera, they are still cush assignments (served with 2nd and 3rd CAB) and enjoyed it.
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