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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2013, 1:06 PM
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Default Highly motivated younger cousin wants to join the Marine Corps

Hello Calgunners,

I thought this part of the forum would be suitable for my question.

My younger cousin who is 28 is very interested in joining the Marine Corps and I think for the right decision. He loves America and is 2AUSC this and that. A couple problems he was thinking of when he told me he wanted to enlist was lurking in my mind. When he was 18, he tried enlisting into the Marine Corps but failed the hearing test at MEPS by a hair. His recruiter was able to get him a waiver but he decided to follow his career in the automotive field instead of doing it in the Corps because of a great opportunity he was given. He also has this big tattoo on his stomach that is mistaken as a gang tattoo, but in reality, it is just his last name. The tattoo was questioned as being a gang tattoo but he assured his recruiter and MEPS that it was just his last name. Another issue is that when his recruiter was able to get a waiver for his hearing, he had smoked marijuana once and only once supposedly because he had a migraine (He has remained drug free and has only smoked marijuana once and had a bad experience and I believe him). The last issue that haunts him probably the most is one of his previous employers. He was terminated because of internal theft at a department store he once worked at. I've wanted to contact his older brother in Japan (who is a Captain in the Marine Corps) and see what advice he could give to his younger bro but he's pretty busy and lives in a different time zone.

Other than the stuff mentioned above, my younger cousin is a real go getter and overall great person and I think he would make a good Marine.

-Proficient in using firearms
-Can run half marathons anyday. His mile time is about 6:34
-Can do 20 pull ups
-He is an auto technician and very skilled at what he does and has very little formal training on automotive technology. He's truly come from the school of hard knocks when it comes to auto mechanics.
-No criminal record

After his career he can always fall back on his automotive field and expand his knowledge. I think the thing that is really bothering him and what he wants to know is if it is possible for himself to enlist if his recruiter and MEPS knows of his past problems (smoking weed once, getting terminated).

One last thing, he is interested in being active duty working on LAVs or tanks or being a combat engineer.

Any advice folks would be greatly appreciated

Last edited by Old Spice; 10-21-2013 at 1:44 PM..
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Old 10-21-2013, 1:08 PM
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The only thing I can say is make sure he gets a good job. Don't want to end up in the infantry unless you want to be there.
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Old 10-21-2013, 1:13 PM
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Originally Posted by frankm View Post
The only thing I can say is make sure he gets a good job. Don't want to end up in the infantry unless you want to be there.
He says he'd like to be driving an LAV or being the gunner

He showed me this video and I thought "Damn, that is your dream job right there" lol

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Old 10-21-2013, 1:35 PM
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It is a tough row to hoe when you join the military at the advanced old age of 28.
My son Joined the Navy at age 29, he is like the old man going through boot and A and C schools.
He is way more mature than everyone else he is competing with which gives him a technical edge it just is weird for him dealing with a bunch of teen agers at his age.
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Old 10-21-2013, 1:40 PM
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It is a tough row to hoe when you join the military at the advanced old age of 28.
My son Joined the Navy at age 29, he is like the old man going through boot and A and C schools.
He is way more mature than everyone else he is competing with which gives him a technical edge it just is weird for him dealing with a bunch of teen agers at his age.
That is one issue that I brought up to him. At his current job, he is actually one of the shop managers and is highly respected as a mechanic. His co-workers are oh around 24, 37, 34, 52. He trains and looks over people who are younger and older than he is. So, age to him is not really an issue.

I kind of did think it was weird because when his older brother was 28 he was already an officer and had passed OCS.
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Old 10-21-2013, 3:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Spice View Post
That is one issue that I brought up to him. At his current job, he is actually one of the shop managers and is highly respected as a mechanic. His co-workers are oh around 24, 37, 34, 52. He trains and looks over people who are younger and older than he is. So, age to him is not really an issue.

I kind of did think it was weird because when his older brother was 28 he was already an officer and had passed OCS.
True, but a majority of people going through OCS are not 17 and 18 years old. When I went to bootcamp in the summer of 01, the majority of recruits were 17-20 years old. There was one or two who were 26 I believe, but I hear if you go during the winter, you tend to get older recruits.

Good luck to him.
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Old 10-21-2013, 4:41 PM
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I would not his age get in the way.

My son just went thru boot camp and one of the recruits was 34. He ended up a honor grad. He might be older, but will be smarter and be able to handle all the mind-games so much better.
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Old 10-21-2013, 5:08 PM
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The FY15 project numbers came out. Instead of the steady state 190K, there is a push to reduce the force to 175K. If he's going to do it, he better fast.

The Army just released new tat regs that made them the most restrictive in the DOD, don't be surprised if the Commandant in his push for more professionalism or a garrison Marine Corps pushes even harder. Tats covered in PT gear are OK, but since USMC recruiters are graded not on guys signed up, but people who make it through MCRD you don't want to give them any reason to DQ you.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2013, 5:18 PM
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First, nothing i seen listed would be anything that would detract from him becoming a member of the armed forces. If he says a tattoo isnt gang related, it ISNT. No criminal record definately is a huge plus because even with a slight waiver issue he still is a better candidate. I would encourage him to listen as hard and focus as well as he can during the auditory testing portion so he doesnt require a waiver for that again.

It does not matter how old you are when you decide enlist, only that you took the step to join a less than half percent family.

Do not get butthurt that someone younger has a higher enlisted rank, i know they give incentives for a higher rank on initial entry so try for that. They may also have a civilian to military program to give rank for experiance that directly relates to an mos he is applying for and the military has needs for.

Interesting that he would like to become a combat engineer. Its typically not even an mos other people know about yet alone want to do. I am a currently serving combat engineer so i think its awesome he wants to be mosq in my job.

I can answer any specific combat engineer questions if he likes. My advice is to go with what your heart truely wants no matter what, even if the mos you really want comes with no initial advance in rank, etc.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2013, 5:24 PM
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With the cut backs, they are only taking the most highly qualified. If his Marijuana use was not recent (looks like it was 10 years ago), he shouldn't even mention it. As long as he wasn't charged for the theft, he should have a clean record. I'm pretty sure the store he was fired from isn't allowed to say why he was fired. So that really only leaves the tattoo. As long as it's not visible in PT gear (shorts and a short sleeve shirt), and he can convince tham that it's not gang related, he should be OK. If he's doing 20 pull-ups and a sub 7 minute mile, he's already physically way ahead of most of the younger ones who join.
Tell him to try. And don't answer any questions they don't ask.
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Old 10-21-2013, 5:32 PM
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If his stomach tatto is his only one, it shouldn't be a problem as it would not be visible in PT gear; it will be documented however. There is no hurt in trying to reenlist again.
no criminal record gives him a +1

0314 (LAV crewman) is a small MOS, and you don't get to move around a lot. I know a SSgt whos been at 2nd LAR for 14 years....
yea go during the winter/spring time to be with the older crowd, summer/fall is packed with kids who just got out of highschool
My concern would be for his hearing; hearing doesn't get better with time so that my be his only hurdle.

also, keep in mind that the Marine Corps is very selective now. we have dropped from 212,000 to 174,000(ish) active duty, and the plans are to get down to 145,000(ish). So if your cuzzo does get in, good on him. best of luck and semper fi.
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Old 10-21-2013, 6:19 PM
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Don't take the military hearing and vision tests as the last word. I failed the depth perception test at MEPS and was forced to pick a career field I didn't want.

Turns out, there has never been anything wrong with my vision. I have since had multiple tests with much more modern and thorough technology and passed with flying colors. I had never had vision issues before that time.

The MEPS testing is done on ancient equipment and done in a HURRY.

I would recommend going to two seperate hearing specialists prior to MEPS and bring the results to MEPS with you. MEPS is the last place you go where you can still make a fuss and demand things before you become U.S. property.

Good luck to your cousin.
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Old 10-21-2013, 7:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germz View Post
If his stomach tatto is his only one, it shouldn't be a problem as it would not be visible in PT gear; it will be documented however. There is no hurt in trying to reenlist again.
no criminal record gives him a +1

0314 (LAV crewman) is a small MOS, and you don't get to move around a lot. I know a SSgt whos been at 2nd LAR for 14 years....
yea go during the winter/spring time to be with the older crowd, summer/fall is packed with kids who just got out of highschool
My concern would be for his hearing; hearing doesn't get better with time so that my be his only hurdle.

also, keep in mind that the Marine Corps is very selective now. we have dropped from 212,000 to 174,000(ish) active duty, and the plans are to get down to 145,000(ish). So if your cuzzo does get in, good on him. best of luck and semper fi.
Mine has improved over the years after I got away from the constant noise. I lost a lot my first year in, then stayed about the same for a few years, but it got better when I got away from the noise. Not as good as it was before, but better than it was at its worst.
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Old 10-21-2013, 7:59 PM
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I also suffered some hearing loss when I was in the service. Subsequent testing has shown that most of it has come back.

Getting off the flightline was a plus for my ears. Some hearing damage is permanent and some temporary. The younger you were when the damage took place, the better.
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Old 10-21-2013, 8:01 PM
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Officer or enlisted. The best decision any patriot can make, best decision I made. Brotherhood of the world's greatest fraternity. Semper Fi.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:21 PM
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Marines, a choice you'll never regret.

Nothing wrong with the infantry, I did that. Tanks are great too, did that in the reserves. But the most important thing is the title, "MARINE".
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:44 AM
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LAVs are a very small MOS. I've seen them doing their training though, and it looked like a blast. They would get going about 35-40 and then slam on the brakes and take off again and go through tank traps and other obstacles.
He should also consider tanks or amphibious armored vehicles (AAVs). I think it's a little bigger field than LAV's. If he wants to keep turning wrenches, there are all kinds of things in the Marine Corps to work on; LAVs, Tanks, aircraft, heavy machinery, and all kinds of other vehicles.
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Old 10-22-2013, 6:53 AM
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I joined the army at 17, served 26 plus. Very good opportunities, went from enlisted, to Nco, to warrant, to ocs, to college and finally retired at veterinarian. Went from no college, to 4 degrees.

I was the oldest, and highest former ranking in ocs. I did well as even though others were younger, most Americans are fat and lazy, so they maybe younger, but they tend to give up earlier and give you an excuse why it was the right decision (my ocs cycle started with over 400 we commissioned 48).

So, may wish to think army.

Also, if you have a medical problem, like hearing, at meps, you can go to a civilian Dr and bring in those results if it shows meps was incorrect.
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Old 10-22-2013, 1:10 PM
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If my cousin does get enlisted say an AAV or LAV MOS, what are the chances of him deploying?
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Old 10-22-2013, 1:55 PM
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In the AF, if you're not a pencil pusher it's almost a certainty that you'll be deployed at some point. Dont know about the Marines.
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Old 10-22-2013, 8:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Spice View Post
If my cousin does get enlisted say an AAV or LAV MOS, what are the chances of him deploying?
IIRC, the way it was in the Army, it was by Unit Rotation, and also luck / chance.

Upon Infantry OSUT graduation, everyone who went to Ft. Lewis had to get their gear and get ready for deployment because their unit just deployed. ( I have no idea how that works, like delayed deployment or something? ) I guess you can say that's good or bad, depending on how you view it. The others that went to Fort Knox, didn't deploy until next year.

I'd say the chances of him being deployed are fairly big.
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Old 10-22-2013, 8:24 PM
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At 28, the hardest part will be putting up with the 17 and 18 year old dickheads who've never seen a California sunset. Friggin' rocks!
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Old 10-23-2013, 6:33 AM
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Its so different now. When I was draft age (and it was the only lottery I ever won), the goal was to stay OUT of the Corps. Then try to stay out of the Army. Navy and AF were volunteer. So that's where I ran, blubbering like a baby to get a recruiter to get me in the AF.

He did.

And you know what? I STILL wound up TDY'd to a sh1thole assignment, in-country. It was a freaking bummer. But then I ended up spending 12 years in the AF. And it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me.

The military can be a great experience, aside from all the frustrations. Now, in retrospect, I wish I'd spent the 20 and got the retirement.

Tell your young cousin "congratulations" for me. I'm sure he will do well!
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:02 AM
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The only thing I can say is make sure he gets a good job. Don't want to end up in the infantry unless you want to be there.
Yea, god forbid you do the job our entire military exists to support.

If anything he has job skills and is in great shape he should do something hell never be able to do on the outside. Nobody thinks "oh man motor t driver is so badass" they see grunts on the front lines and think "wow that's awesome"

It doesn't really matter regardless though, he is 28, has tattoos, already been to MEPS, and the MC is downsizing.

He will need a favor from god to get in.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:34 AM
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Good luck to your cousin. Jarheads are the best of the bunch.
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Old 05-06-2014, 9:44 AM
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Tell him to do it there are waivers for everything and 30 is the cut off age



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Old 05-06-2014, 12:51 PM
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LAVs are a very small MOS. I've seen them doing their training though, and it looked like a blast. They would get going about 35-40 and then slam on the brakes and take off again and go through tank traps and other obstacles.
He should also consider tanks or amphibious armored vehicles (AAVs). I think it's a little bigger field than LAV's. If he wants to keep turning wrenches, there are all kinds of things in the Marine Corps to work on; LAVs, Tanks, aircraft, heavy machinery, and all kinds of other vehicles.
If he decides to go to tracks(assault amphibian vehicle or AAV) make sure he is going as 2141(mechanic) and not 1833(operator) he will be much happier there and his skills will help him excel. In my opinion avoid AAV at all cost. It is a dying MOS they are trying to phase out. Their lives suck too. Ask me how I know?? If I had to do it again I would shoot for some sort of aviation mechanics/electronics etc... those will be up his ally and pay big bucks if he goes back to the civilian world. Good luck.
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Old 05-06-2014, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Spice View Post
If my cousin does get enlisted say an AAV or LAV MOS, what are the chances of him deploying?
LAVs and AAVs(I was in 3rd tracks until 1 march 2014) will deploy frequently. It wont always be to combat. Tracks are not combat approved at this point. They only used them in Iraq for a couple years and they will never go to Afghan because of the steep grades in the mountains. Tracks attaches to a grunt company of every MEU and also does 6 month rotations of UDP in Okinawa. Its all random, guys I went to the school house with did 2-3 deployments in 4 years, I did 1. Trackers(as with many mos) can be pulled from their units (sometimes voluntary) to fill positions in truck platoons,rifle platoons, you name it. So just because you are a certain MOS a Marine can be rotated into a deploying unit at any time.
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Old 05-06-2014, 3:50 PM
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Does he want to work on LAV's(mech) or destroy them(crewman)? I strongly oppose becoming a crewman...morale is at an all time low at 2nd. Can't speak much about 1st or 3rd.
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Old 05-06-2014, 3:53 PM
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Training is fun at times, but most of the time it becomes an ammo dump..and it gets boring really quick. Driving sucks for the most part, but you do get to bash some skulls if your gunner/vc/scouts talk too much.
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