SHOULD YOU JOIN THE ARMY OR THE MARINE CORPS?

  • Does size matter?: The Army plus the Army Reserves, plus the Army National Guard has about 1.1 million total Soldiers. The USMC and USMC Reserves has only about 185,000 total Marines (2014). As a result, the Army will have a lot more to offer you in every sense since they have much more funding. More schools for you, easier/quicker promotions, more opportunity for advancement, more possibility to make a career out of the military, more relaxed rules, better housing, better equipment, better facilities overall, etc etc etc. This doesn’t mean that what the Marine Corps has is crap. It simply means that what the Marines Corps has is not the same as what the Army has in most cases. To some being a part of a small group will mean more, while for others it wont matter. It means a lot to me that I served in a group that not many can enlist into due to size. That is just how I see it. Since the Army is nearly five times the size of the USMC, those who serve in it can indeed say we are The Few, The Proud, The Marines!
  • Make the military a career: If you want to make the military a career with a family and all that crap, then I highly recommend the Army to you unless you want to serve one enlistment in the Corps and then try to join the Army. In the USMC you are not guaranteed the opportunity to be able to stay in since it is so small and there is less demand for people and much more competition for each position as you move up in rank. You actually are not guaranteed the chance to stay in in any branch, but simple common sense tells us that the bigger a branch is, then the more room there will be for you as you move up. That is why the Army stresses keeping its members in, while the USMC doesn't need to do this. You can make a career with a family in any branch, but understand that the Army makes it much easier since it is so much larger when compared to the other branches. And be advised that roughly 3/4 of first term enlistees in the Corps will leave the Marines after their first contract. In simple terms this means about 75 out of 100 new Marines will leave the Marines once there contract is over for one reason or another.
  • So you want to be a tough guy: The Marine Corps relies heavily on its “tough guy” image to get you to enlist, and it works. Who doesn’t want to be seen as a bad ass? The USMC offers you more pride in your branch, more pride in yourself, more sense of belonging, more of a brotherhood, more overall discipline, and higher standards in areas such as PT, and marksmanship.You need to clearly understand that an image is just that. If you are a soft person and join the USMC, then you will be a soft Marine. The Corps doesn't just make anyone who serves in it into a bad ass. That may be the image it sells, but understand it doesn't work like this. Overall as a branch the Marines have that bad boy reputation and many Marines are bad asses, so make sure you clearly understand this stuff. You can join the Army and be a bad ass also. The difference will be that overall as a branch, the Army isn't seen in the same manner as the USMC. Keep in mind that this image stuff doesn't really do you any good in real life, so be careful what you wish for.
  • Different mind sets: To me the main difference between a Marine and a Soldier is the mind-set each one has hammered into him during his initial training. Nothing wrong with either one, but be well aware that they are very different. Most Marines will get out after their first enlistment and with that they are set up for life. In some ways many who enlist into the Army do it for the sake of just having a job and this is the attitude they have during their enlistment. And I am not saying all Soldiers are this way. Many Marines also joined just to have a job, but you will find many more who joined just to be employed in the Army.
  • Comparing apples to oranges, silly kids: The masses and many Soldiers often use their elite units such as the Rangers or Special Forces to compare themselves to any Marine in general. It’s as if the Army itself sees their “non combat Army jobs” as sub par or not as worthy as those other units. That is unfair to the Army and unacceptable. I will guarantee you that a Marine cook will always be in much better shape and will be much prouder then his counterpart in the Army. To say they are equal is not correct since just being a Marine means a lot to those who serve in it and you will be held to higher standards in the USMC regardless of your job. Yes a cook is a cook no matter where he serves, but because a Marine cook has graduated USMC boot camp and infantry training, and because he has to live up to the standards of being a Marine day after day, this is why a Marine cook will usually outshine his counterpart.
  • Hooah pride: In the Army there is also pride, but it is very often only found in certain units, while in the USMC their is overall pride in just being a Marine and we keep it until we die. Pride can be found in any job. It is up to each of you to earn it. If you think that by just enlisting into the Marines or Army that the world now owes you something, then you are an idiot. There are many Marines who I do not respect. I tend to respect each person for who they are and not for labels they attach to themselves as they go through life.

  • More opportunity in the Army: Even though much more is offered in the Army as far as schools go, this can diminish that accomplishment since anyone and everyone can ask to do it, or so it seems. If everyone is walking around with jump wings, then it must not be to special or difficult to earn it. And just because a branch has more to offer, this doesn't mean as a Soldier you will raise your hand and get to do as you wish. I guarantee you there are many bullshit restrictions in the Army just like in the Corps. The difference is that in the Army you will have more opportunity and it is always up to each of you to take it. It is funny to watch many teens say they are enlisting into the Army because of all the opportunities. I guarantee you most of these people wont ever try out for any of these "opportunities" while serving. For some odd reason, things seem to go very differently then you had envisioned once in your unit.
  • Airborne: If you wanted to jump out of aircraft, then the Army is your best bet. Yes, in the USMC they also jump out of aircraft, but only a few select Marines will ever get the chance to do this. The Army has entire units dedicated to this skill, and they are the best when it comes to airborne operations of that type.
  • Ranking up: Ha ha, that is not a real military term, so don’t use it. “Getting promoted" is the proper terminology. To some being promoted quickly is not something to be proud of. Some prefer to actually earn their rank by serving time and not having rank guaranteed or issued to you before you even start boot camp or basic.  Graduating basic as an E/3 or higher is not uncommon in the Army, while in the USMC only one Marine will graduate as an E/3 if he is awarded this rank.
  • Better training: Neither branch is trained better. Infantry is infantry; driving a truck is driving a truck; mechanical work is mechanical work, stacking sleeping bags is stacking sleeping bags, and so on and so on. It is the USMC attitude, environment, and mentality that makes them unique in what they do no matter the job.
  • Deployment lengths: The Army deploys for much longer then the USMC. This is due to the difference in missions and nothing more. Keep in mind that during peace time, the USMC continues to deploy while the Army does not. They may have one or two units who may go train elsewhere, but the Army does not deploy like the USMC does during peace time. Marines are the only units found all around the world ready for combat 24/7/365 war or peace time. The Marines deploy on ships out at sea and patrol various hot spots all across the world. While doing this, they train in many areas of the world with different Soldiers from all across the globe. The Army also trains with others, but they do not deploy out to sea on Navy vessels. In the USMC you are guaranteed at least two deployments in infantry/combat units in your first enlistment no matter peace time or war time. That is a fact. This is not so in the Army.
  • Public perception: The USMC is seen differently by many Americans and by people all throughout the world. This is a fact not many can or will admit. I have experienced this first hand. Just like the Yankees, Lakers and Harvard are seen differently by many, this doesn't mean they are the best or any crap like that. It is just an image based on the reputation of that group and on public perception. Whether its reputation is true or not is for each of you to decide only once you have served a few years.
  • So you want action: The USMC does not see more action then the Army. It is all about who is available, and since the Army is much larger then the USMC, the Army will always see more action. As a result more Soldiers will always die in wars. "First To Fight" is a slogan that applied to the Corps many years ago and this is not so today. If you take a look at when the surge began in Afghanistan in 2010, it was mainly USMC units who made up this surge and here is why: Marines were basically done in Iraq and they stopped deploying there while the Army remained there and continued to deploy there. As a result USMC units were now available for this surge. The Marines were used for this surge for two main reasons. 1) It was a perfect mission for the USMC in the sense of how it was conducted, and 2) the Marines were available. And I am not saying the Army was not involved in this surge. Not every Marine will fight or even see combat. You must be in a unit that is tasked with actual combat missions. Just being in the infantry does not mean you will see action, or even deploy to the Middle East. And the Marines are not the first to fight or the last to leave and neither is the Army.
  • Too many awards: The Army awards its Soldiers for passing basic training with an award to wear on their uniform. The USMC does not do this. The Army gives more awards/decorations to its Soldiers to wear on their uniforms. In the USMC they don't wear badges to distinguish units and unit types. The USMC likes to be seen as one Marine Corps and not a Marine Corps made up of many units.               
  • Who gets paid more: Benefits and pay are equal seeing as all branches are paid the same and are given the same benefits. The Army National Guard is where you get different benefits.
  • Boot camp, basic training: In the Army you have several basic training sites and the level of difficulty varies from place to place according to their own Soldiers. And some places train both males and females together. In the USMC this does not happen and no matter where you go train, male or female, you will be in for the hardest basic training program America has to offer. For some reason most Soldiers will deny the fact that USMC boot camp is tougher. And they very often try to suggest that Marines think they are tougher just because of boot camp. Boot camp is simply where you learn your basic skills. If we looked at each basic and boot camp very closely, any unbiased person will clearly see Marine Corps boot camp is of a much higher caliber. Even if both places were of equal lengths, USMC boot camp would still be tougher because of the higher level of intensity, stress, discipline, etc etc. Bottom line: Do not measure a branch by its basic/boot camp.
  • Fat and happy: You will find more out of shape people in the Army. That is a fact. Even if both branches were of equal size, there still would be more fatties in the Army because of the attitude and standard differences. This doesn’t mean the USMC is better, it simply means it has different ways of doing what it does.
  • I want to be Rambo: When it comes to special ops, the Army has a lot more to offer you and your chances are greater to get into these units since they are so freakin massive when compared to the USMC. This doesn't mean the standards are lower in the Army, it just means when there are more slots for you, then your chances are greater then if very few slots are available. If you want to be in special ops, then the Army is your best bet.
  • Who runs the schools?: The Army runs many of the schools that Marines will attend. This is because the USMC doesn't have the budget to create schools for all of its MOS's.
  • From hooa to ooh rah: Many Marines leave the Corps and join the Army for various reasons the exact same way many Soldiers leave the Army and join the Marines. Each person is different, so don't put to much weight on anyone who bad mouths either branch because I guarantee to you all branches have their pros and cons. I have trained with Army units and they basically are the same as far as what goes on. The main difference will always be the attitudes and the styles in which they accomplish their missions. It is wrong to expect the Army to be like the USMC and vice versa since both branches have very different missions.
  • This gear sucks: Don't buy into the bullshit about how the Army has all brand new gear while the Marines are given the Army leftovers. This is not true. The Army may spend more on gear/equipment, but once again, this doesn't mean that what the USMC has is crap. No matter the branch, you will be given what is needed to perform your mission.
  • Who has better food, barracks, etc etc?: If you are seriously worried about barracks, food quality and crap like that, then you may not want to join any branch let alone the Marine Corps.

  • Marines have huge egos: Yes, even in the Army many Soldiers also have huge egos just like Marines. The thing is that when a Marine does something bad, the world loves to exploit this since it is a Marine. All branches have their idiots and their professional warriors. What is the problem with having the mentality that you can not be defeated? Would America and the world rather have our Marines walking around with their heads down wondering if they have what it takes to accomplish any mission? You can't expect non-Marines to understand the mentality instilled into each Marine, and this is why you get so much negativity from non-Marines. In most cases it is misguided juveniles who bad mouth each branch and they base all of their ignorance on what they have "heard". So learn not to get all bent out of shape when a teenager acts like a teenager.
  • The USMC is all about PR: Many in the Army love to say the USMC is all about "PR" and that this is why they have the reputation they have. Well first off, the USMC has this reputation because they have earned it. Next, how exactly would a Soldier know what does or does not go on in the USMC without serving in it? I don't know either, but day after day you have Soldiers who are all experts on the USMC. And lastly, if it was all about PR, then why wouldn't the Army do the same? The reputation of each branch is earned and not given, so think about that when you pick a branch to serve in. I happen to think that seeing Soldiers on the Price is Right, or at the beach in their "war uniform", this is the ultimate PR stunt. And coming in at a close second in the PR category are those cool "arcades" the Army sets up in malls and then denies that these are in place for recruiting purposes. 
  • Am I an E4 or an NCO????: The Army has two ranks of E/4. In some USMC units, E/3's and below have much more responsibility then their counterparts. And in the USMC, an E/4 is an NCO. Could this be the reason why you advance rank quicker in the Army?
  • Enlistment standards: Since the Army needs many more people to fill its ranks, it can afford to lower its standards of enlistment as it pleases. The Army offers GED programs, basic training between 11th and 12th grade, and other interesting things to its enlistees. The USMC doesn't care to help you get enlisted and you sure as hell wont ship to boot camp until you have graduated high school. All branches tweak their standards every now and then to meet the needs of the military.
  • Oh goodness: The Army allows its members to wear their work uniform "cammies" out in public as they wish. This is why you see them all over the place wearing their work uniform. In the USMC they do not allow this.
  • Berets and trousers: In the USMC they do not wear berets and they do not tuck their trousers into their boots. This is the easiest way to distinguish between a Marnie and a Soldier. Plus Army uniforms tend to have much more awards/decorations on them then USMC uniforms.
  • But you're part of the Navy: How many times have you heard that the Army is the only branch that can do it all on their own. Well, for starters it is not the Army defending America. It is the Armed Forces as a whole who all work together to protect us. And just in case some of you were unaware, the Marine Corps has its own jet fighters and the USMC MEU units can sustain combat for a period of time without any support. Last time I checked, the Army has no jet fighters and relies on the Air Force just like the Marines also rely on the AF and on the Navy. It's a joint effort and not branch versus branch.

WATCH A VIDEO OF YOUR FIRST TWO HOURS OF USMC BOOT CAMP: CLICK HERE



  • If you choose to serve in any branch, and if that branch is not seen in the same manner as the Marine Corps, this isn't a reason for you to disrespect that branch.
  • At the end of the day if any Soldier including any Ranger or Special Forces troop wanted to enlist into the Marine Corps, he must first pass USMC boot camp in order to earn that right. This doesn’t mean the USMC is tougher then those elite units, it simply means the USMC has higher standards and wants all Marines to have gone though the process as equals. Any Marine who wishes to enlist into any other branch does not have to go through their basic training or boot camp.
  • Passing boot camp for any Marine is a life changing experience no matter how long you serve or what you do in the Corps. With that I am truly happy that I went through the experience. I would not want to live life serving in the military always thinking about what USMC boot was like and if I could pass it. That is what being a Marine is all about.
  • Do I think that I am better then a Soldier? Well, I could care less about that crap. I do know I was well trained and well equipped to get the mission done. I am very secure in who I am and I don't need to put others down to make myself feel superior. I do understand that the masses (public) often get carried away with putting Marines on a pedestal that seems impossible to get to. I do understand why many non Marines are bothered by how we are perceived, but this is not the fault of the Corps. Like I said earlier, America and the world needs a US Marine Corps and it must maintain its image in order to carry on with the plan of the day.
  • I can guarantee all of you one thing: If I had served in the Army or any other branch, I would still be here today filled with pride and with a quiet lethal chip on my shoulder. My pride resides within and the Corps touched it, solidified it, and therefore perfected it.
OOH RAH and Semper Fi Future Jarheads and Future Power Rangers!!