Army or Marines? - Page 9




 
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March 22nd, 2007  
Big_Z
 
 
Infantry is Infantry like PJ said. Once the **** hits the fan your uniform insignia wont mean a thing. I personally joined the NG to finish my college and get a deployment as an enlisted Infantryman. This deployment I have coming up will determine if I go RA Officer or not.

Spend some time around some Army Infantry guys fresh from Iraq and ask yourself if you think the Marines are better. You will realize that Combat Arms are their own little branch of the military nomatter if your Marine, Army, or NG. I wouldnt worry if the branch is going to be hardcore enough, you will be a cupcake compaired to the rest when you first get there.
March 22nd, 2007  
PJ24
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitmapman
And, not to be rude or presumptuous, are the Marines really all they're played up to be? I know their whole thing on the commercials and information on their website is that they are the best; The Few, The Proud, The Marines. But are they really that much better?

Please don't see this in any way as belittlement of the Corps, I am honestly curious. Do keep in mind that my perspective is totally civilian, and I am asking these questions hoping for an affirmation of the Marines' reputation.

Because, if that is the case, and the Marines really are the best, then perhaps the unpleasant time spent aboard a ship would be worth it.
Have you ever thought about the purpose of recruiting commercials? It's to sell something. Watch a car commercial, there isn't much difference between the two. Their job is to sell you a branch of service by attempting to appeal to something you desire or have a drive for.

The Marine Corps sells its esprit de corps like no one else. That doesn't mean no one else has it, they're just not as vocal and "oorah" about it.

If you are looking for the best, then you're going to search for a long time. There's no such thing.

Like I said, infantry is infantry. Marine infantry or Army infantry, the job is still the same. Kill people and break things. While there will be differences between the two, the foundation (ie, the job) will remain the same.

And yeah, you'll do floats on ships as an infantry Marine. Just like if you're airborne infantry in the Army, you'll jump out of planes.

March 23rd, 2007  
Bitmapman
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ24
Have you ever thought about the purpose of recruiting commercials? It's to sell something. Watch a car commercial, there isn't much difference between the two. Their job is to sell you a branch of service by attempting to appeal to something you desire or have a drive for.

The Marine Corps sells its esprit de corps like no one else. That doesn't mean no one else has it, they're just not as vocal and "oorah" about it.

If you are looking for the best, then you're going to search for a long time. There's no such thing.

Like I said, infantry is infantry. Marine infantry or Army infantry, the job is still the same. Kill people and break things. While there will be differences between the two, the foundation (ie, the job) will remain the same.

And yeah, you'll do floats on ships as an infantry Marine. Just like if you're airborne infantry in the Army, you'll jump out of planes.
I appreciate the input.

And yes, I have thought about the purpose of commercials. And that is precisely why I asked. I wanted to know if what is portrayed in the Marine commercials is really true, or just propoganda to get me to want to join.

I apologize if I sound like a bratty know-nothing who doesn't really understand what he's talking about. If I sound like that, it's because it's the truth. I can make no claims to really know anything about military service, since I have yet to experience it. The only combat experience I've had is with GI Joes. And that is why I'm here, asking you guys who have had military experience what is fact and what is fiction.

I would HATE to be deployed aboard a ship for a long stretch of time.

However, jumping from a plane sounds great to me.

So, seems like my original decision is the way to go. Again, I greatly appreciate all your help, especially your toleration for my ignorance regarding this issue. You're a great resource and a great help.

Thanks,
Luke
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March 23rd, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
Luke, talk to an Army recruiter about an 11B ABN Opt 40 contract... it sounds like this is what you're really after from reading your posts. Its what my lil brother is doing (as in just started) right now.
March 23rd, 2007  
DTop
 
 
Bitmapman, let me just put my 2 cents into the mix. First, stop apologizing. You're in the right forum to ask questions from a newbie's perspective. I am no expert on the USMC or on being an officer of any type other an Army career noncom. I spent my life in the Army Infantry.
My advice would echo that of others here. I would say find your personal motivation. Decide why you want to be in the military at all and what you think you can contribute in terms of personal strengths.
If I was in your position and from what you have said, I would seriously take your desire not to be aboard ship for long periods of time into consideration. I don't think any Marine should expect not to have that duty at some point during his career. If, on the other hand it's just a preference and you can live with such an assignment although it might not be your first choice, then that too should be considered.
What are your strengths? Are you a natural leader? Do you like physical activity? Are you naturally disciplined and self-motivated? Do you like to be in the outdoors, etc...
All these may sound like simple questions but I couldn't begin to tell you how many people I have run across that would have been much better suited to another job than an infantryman. It's not an easy life regardless of which branch you choose to do it. When you're infantry, you won't be in search of challenges for very long.
As far as those commercials are concerned, they are just commercials. Don't give them any more credence than they deserve.
Each of the services (and I mean every one) has a sense of pride, an esprit de corps. I don't know anyone who has honorably served who was not proud, and rightfully so, of their branch.
The "coolness" factor will quickly fade as a concept once you begin your career. It'll be more a matter of how much effort you are willing to put into your job than what a civilian may think of your uniform color or your shiny boots that will determine what you get out of it.
Go ahead and ask whatever questions you have. At the end of the day, I'm sure that whatever your decision is, you'll discover that your commitment and dedication to becoming the best soldier you can be will be what's most important to you and to those who serve with you.
March 23rd, 2007  
Bitmapman
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTop
Bitmapman, let me just put my 2 cents into the mix. First, stop apologizing. You're in the right forum to ask questions from a newbie's perspective. I am no expert on the USMC or on being an officer of any type other an Army career noncom. I spent my life in the Army Infantry.
My advice would echo that of others here. I would say find your personal motivation. Decide why you want to be in the military at all and what you think you can contribute in terms of personal strengths.
If I was in your position and from what you have said, I would seriously take your desire not to be aboard ship for long periods of time into consideration. I don't think any Marine should expect not to have that duty at some point during his career. If, on the other hand it's just a preference and you can live with such an assignment although it might not be your first choice, then that too should be considered.
What are your strengths? Are you a natural leader? Do you like physical activity? Are you naturally disciplined and self-motivated? Do you like to be in the outdoors, etc...
All these may sound like simple questions but I couldn't begin to tell you how many people I have run across that would have been much better suited to another job than an infantryman. It's not an easy life regardless of which branch you choose to do it. When you're infantry, you won't be in search of challenges for very long.
As far as those commercials are concerned, they are just commercials. Don't give them any more credence than they deserve.
Each of the services (and I mean every one) has a sense of pride, an esprit de corps. I don't know anyone who has honorably served who was not proud, and rightfully so, of their branch.
The "coolness" factor will quickly fade as a concept once you begin your career. It'll be more a matter of how much effort you are willing to put into your job than what a civilian may think of your uniform color or your shiny boots that will determine what you get out of it.
Go ahead and ask whatever questions you have. At the end of the day, I'm sure that whatever your decision is, you'll discover that your commitment and dedication to becoming the best soldier you can be will be what's most important to you and to those who serve with you.
Thank you kindly for your wisdom.

As for the excessive apologies, I got the impression from some of the earlier responses that I wasn't being as respectful as I should be. That's all I was trying to do, show that I do hold military service in the highest of regards.

And I am set on some form of Infantry, regardless of branch. I can't see myself enjoying anything else very much.

I didn't mention this before, but I'm an Eagle scout, and I love the outdoors. I go on long backpacking trips in the wilderness all the time. I do feel I have natural leadership qualities, especially under stress. I keep a cool head under pressure (in stark contrast with my mother).

I've been giving it some thought, and perhaps the whole ship thing wouldn't be so bad. I had what you'd call a "bad experience" with a boat when I was much younger, and they still make me a little nervous, but I don't doubt my ability to get over it.

Also, from my painfully civilian perspective, the Marines hold a certain mystique for me. I know their reputation for being tough, proud, and disciplined, and I don't think that reputation would materialize from nothing. There must be at least some truth to it.

While I understand that all branches have pride in what they do, there's something attractive about the strong brotherhood aspect of the Corps for which they are so reknowned. It's something I really want to be a part of.

Alright, here's my revised plan:

I'll attend Marine Option NROTC at first (no scholarship attempt), and if I don't like it, I'll head over to Army ROTC instead.

I can do that, right? Leave one program since I have no obligation and then head over to the other? Not that I'm planning on it. I have a feeling the Marines are what I really want.

And I find that it's sometimes better to go with your gut feeling.

When I began looking into the military a few months ago, I started out looking at the Marines. But I thought Temple only had Army ROTC. Now that I know I can become a Marine through Temple... maybe it's best to go with my first choice.

Again, I greatly appreciate the assistance. You guys have been great and have told me exactly what I've wanted to know.

Thanks,
Luke
March 24th, 2007  
PJ24
 
 
I just want to second what Top said about asking questions. Your questions aren't silly and easily answered by research, you're looking for feedback. That's smart. Don't apologize for wanting to make sure you understand something you will be giving up years of your life to do.

Quote:
Also, from my painfully civilian perspective, the Marines hold a certain mystique for me. I know their reputation for being tough, proud, and disciplined, and I don't think that reputation would materialize from nothing. There must be at least some truth to it.

While I understand that all branches have pride in what they do, there's something attractive about the strong brotherhood aspect of the Corps for which they are so reknowned. It's something I really want to be a part of.
A strong brotherhood exists in just about all facets of military life, Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy, and yes, even the Coast Guard. Any job that puts life at greater risk like combat arms does forges very strong bonds.

It seems though, that the Marine Corps is your first choice and if that's the case you should do as much research as possible before jumping in. You don't want to join one program only to switch out in a few months. (This is something you want to do with anything you do in life, btw).

You need to start being firm in your decisions now, you do that by having confidence in your choices.

Good luck to you.

March 24th, 2007  
Maytime
 
 
One [not so] quick note regarding switching ROTC programs*

I don't know how the Navy deals with its "contracting" or obligation process, but all the Navy and Marine option midshipmen I know have been obligated (i.e. contracted) since they were freshmen, on a scholarship. However, in the Army program, you can wait until your junior year to contract, but that is more difficult than taking the Military Science I and II classes beforehand (either as a civvie or winning a scholarship/SMP option).

That being said, one of my best friends was a midshipmen, and due to extenuating circumstances, he chose to separate from the Navy. This would have been impossible to do without either paying ALL of his scholarship $$ back, or being forced to enlist. Fortunately, he knew an admiral who helped him, out of respect to the recent passing of his father, a former Navy CPO who was a very close friend to the admiral.

Now, it wasn't as simple as he didn't want to be in the program because he didn't like it; he was a train wreck when his father died and literally could not function as a leader any longer, so it was in his best interest to separate.

One more thing: I've found that people don't switch ROTC programs just because they don't like it (even if that's the case); they switch because they are failing to meet the standards, or can't cope with the responsibilities inherent in the program. I have seen people who were forced out because of injury, then joined another program once they were healed, but that is rare.

Good luck!
March 24th, 2007  
Bitmapman
 
I've been doing a bunch of research over the past couple weeks.

Just today I watched a couple of documentaries about Marine boot and Army boot, and I noticed something peculiar: there was little to no discernable difference.

I thought the Marines were supposed to have much tougher training. I could barely tell the difference. Both experienced the same things: yelling drill sergeants, strenuous physical activity, extreme conditions, long hours of marksmanship training and classroom time, etc.

Granted, a documentary can be taken with nothing more than a grain of salt, but I still expected to see a fairly substantial difference between the two.

Perhaps the whole Marine thing really does lie merely in the bravado.

Hm... I'm going to have to research and deliberate on this decision a lot more before I really decide.

You know what bothers me a bit? The Army never gets any credit on the media. All you ever hear about is how the Marines took this place and that place. I almost never hear about the Army. They deserve a lot more credit.

Thanks,
Luke
March 25th, 2007  
PJ24
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitmapman
I've been doing a bunch of research over the past couple weeks.

Just today I watched a couple of documentaries about Marine boot and Army boot, and I noticed something peculiar: there was little to no discernable difference.

I thought the Marines were supposed to have much tougher training. I could barely tell the difference. Both experienced the same things: yelling drill sergeants, strenuous physical activity, extreme conditions, long hours of marksmanship training and classroom time, etc.

Granted, a documentary can be taken with nothing more than a grain of salt, but I still expected to see a fairly substantial difference between the two.

Perhaps the whole Marine thing really does lie merely in the bravado.

Hm... I'm going to have to research and deliberate on this decision a lot more before I really decide.

You know what bothers me a bit? The Army never gets any credit on the media. All you ever hear about is how the Marines took this place and that place. I almost never hear about the Army. They deserve a lot more credit.

Thanks,
Luke
Here's where you aren't understanding. The Marine Corps isn't selling false bravado, they are selling a reputation that has been hard earned in blood.

That said, the Army has the same reputation, only it isn't as vocal about it.

Again, infantry is infantry. A Marine unit or an Army unit, you're still infantry. If you doubt the esprit de corps of an Army infantry unit, visit Ft. Bragg or Ft. Campbell sometime. You'll see plenty of it.

Remember when you learned in school back in the 2nd grade not to judge a book by its cover? Same thing applies.

Also, if you're just looking for a image, one of toughness and "hardcore-ness." You are joining for the wrong reasons. Regardless of which branch you join you are going to be faced with challenges that could break you; physically and mentally. Both services will provide you with enough challenges to fill your plate.