possibly becoming a marine family? — The Bump
Military Families

possibly becoming a marine family?

my dh is seriously considering enlisting in the marines. his job is good but the company isnt doing so great. he is 26 and we have a 14mo dd. im looking for any advice/words of wisdom from those of you who have experience. he regrets not joining after high school and told me he thinks about joining 2-3x/week and recently it is on his mind every day. he would make a great soldier. his personality and work ethic would be fantastic for the military. i also have a few questions:

ballpark annual income for a new marine?

do they only station marines at marine bases or any military base?

how long are marine deployments usually? 

will he be at a disadvantage by joining so late? 

he is meeting with the recruiter next week to take his practive asvab and talk with him. he had a long phone conversation with the recruiter last night. i support him 100% with this decision. thank you ladies :)

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Re: possibly becoming a marine family?

  • Hi there! I wish I had insight for you, but I wanted to say good luck to your DH!

    I came in to my boyfriend's life after he was medically retired, but if he could go back and fight he would! He went to Pendleton for training and was stationed at Twentynine Palms, CA since he was in 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Baker Co. He was also apart of Force Recon (maybe something your DH could try for?)

    Keep us posted!

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  • Hi there- my DH was enlisted in the Marines for 5 years AD.  He is now in the process of going back in as an officer with the AF.  I can't answer all of your questions but here are some things..

     1.  You can find the income for all service members online.  I would google it, and you should find a link to the chart.  As a PFC, they make crap.  He would of course be able to get some add-ins for having a family and housing allowance.

    2.  My husband was at a Marine base in NC, but the marines are an arm of the Navy so my guess is that it could happen.  He trained in FL on a Naval base. 

    3.  My husband did 2 deployments and they were both 10months-12months.

    4.  I don't know if he would be at a disadvantage for joining so late, but he would definitely be taking orders from people that are younger than him- so that is something to think about.  A lot of people join up right after high school so by the time they 23, they've been in for 5 years and are Cpl.'s and Sgt's.

    I think it's great that your husband wants to join, and I myself and am looking forward to being "back" in (I was never a wife with a child in the military, just a gf).  There are many ladies on there that can probably give you some more insight than I can.

    Good luck with everything!!

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  • My husband's been in the Marine Corps for 10 years, so this is a little of what I know: 

    You can google the annual income by typing in something like "military pay chart 2011" and it should be a www.dfas.mil site that brings it up.  It won't be much as a new marine.

    I think Marines are generally stationed at Marine bases or Navy bases, but it depends on what they do.  Once Marines reach a certain rank, I know they can be a recruiter, an instructor, or do embassy duty (overseas).  Those are the only positions that I know aren't necessarily at a Marine base.   

    Deployment times vary greatly.  My husband has been deployed 4 times and they were all different lengths.  Also, there are "mini-deployments" that they might have to go to for training exercises, etc., which can be shorter (like a month or two).  On a side note, the only reason why my husband has only been deployed 4 times in 10 years is because he was an instructor (non-deployable position) for 3.5 years in Pensacola (Navy base).

    I'm not sure about the disadvantage thing since my husband joined when he was 18.   We know only one Marine that joined later and I don't think he had many issues, but sometimes if you're older, it might be physically harder, but then again, it really just depends on the person and what type of shape they are in.


    Best of luck! 

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  • My husband has been in for 2 1/2 years, and we met a year and a few months ago, just after he got home from his first deployment. He would be deployed right now if he hadn't been in a humvee accident during training just before his unit redeployment. Both of these deployments were 7 months long and 10 months apart....

    That said, he is a grunt (infantry), and their deployments usually tend to be on the side of being 7 months rather than 10-12 months or longer. He is also in the most deployed infantry unit of the Marine Corps, hence why his unit deployed 10 months after getting home. If he isn't infantry, the deployments will probably be longer, but probably not as frequent (neither of those guaranteed though, you really never know).

    The pay is not great, I will admit. But, you are guaranteed benefits and a place to live, and for me, that makes it worth it. I don't know what his income is now, so I would look it up and compare it to what he makes now and your bills and such. Also think about whether or not you will be working.

    The age thing: PP that said he will likely be taking orders from someone younger than him is correct. This will be true in any branch though because of most people joining at a younger age. It is something your DH is going to have to consider on whether or not he will be able to handle someone younger than him having authority over him.

    Even though I know MH's job is extremely dangerous, I love being a Marine wife, I'm extremely proud of who he is, and if he reinlists (he'll be moving out of infantry if he does), I know he will be doing it for the security of his family.

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  • Weve been a Marine family for almost 5 years, my husband is finishing his first contract and will be re-enlisting in May, he has worked really hard and has picked up rank quickly despite it being difficult in his MOS because its ALWAYS closed for promotion ... we have loved every minute, we have been stationed at Marine Corps Air Stations because my husband is airwing .. it really REALLY is what you make it. The "family" you form with other military families is like no other you will ever have - my best friends are military wives we have met along the way 

    The benefits are 100000 percent worth it, the pay is what it is but LOTS of families make it work for them ... personally I also work so we have extra income, but I have also NOT worked and we did just fine ..

    Housing is also a plus .. We love this life and couldnt imagine it any other way ...

    My husband joined when he was 20 and had no problems. He actually joined mid-college and has been able to continue taking classes easily while working ... all paid for by the USMC.


    I did want to make one small comment because it drives me crazy, Im a nut ... Marines are NOT soldiers, they are Marines - ha most people dont realize "soldiers" is not a blanket term.


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  • I'm not sure about the Marine life since we are AF but I just wanted to say Good luck!!!
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  • Hello! My husband is a Navy Corpsmen (Marine Docs) and he joined when he was 24. He said he's glad he waited until later to join rather then like most people who join at 18. He said basic was a breeze, although Marine's basic is a whole lot harder so I cant comment on that one but still your husband is a LOT more mature then most 18 year olds so he should be fine. Yes my husband has officers that are younger then him that he has to listen to but he just does his job. Basically everywhere you go you can be older then your "boss" right?! Stick out tongue   In Feb he will hit his 6 year mark, last October he re-enlisted for 6 more years so we have 5 left! He says he loves what he does and is glad that he has a job with ok pay but great medical!! I have not worked since we've been a military family. My husband left for basic in Feb 06 and our son was born Sept 06. (he was in DEPP for 5 months before shipping out.)

    One thing you need to look into is how long the wait time is before he goes to basic! From what I hear all the branches are full so there is a year wait to get in. One of my friends just left in Oct for Army's basic and she signed the papers last year. Guess the economy has really scared a lot of people into joining the military, and the military is actually cutting a lot of people out. The Marines are getting ready to get rid of 22,000 Marines alone!! The Navy is getting rid of 3,000, Army and the Air Force is also getting rid of a lot. (yeah we wont start this topic of why we have to get rid of all these military people!! ugh)

    Good luck if this is what you two decide to do!! Just remember that this is a JOINT decision!! Every decision from here out is a joint decision!! My husband NEVER EVER makes a decision without talking to me. Everyone doesnt understand why he does it (99% of the people he works with are single) but he says "no he wont make any decision without talking to his wife". It seriously helps out with the stress of everything! We were also married for almost 2 years before he joined..that helps a lot too! We know way too many people who get married then divorced within 2 years cause the service member makes a decision on their own. 

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  • Good responses from PP.  Here is my situation:

    ballpark annual income for a new marine? go to marinecorpstimes.com and find the paycharts they explain a lot.  Being already married with a child your H would receive BAh and BAS with dependents.  BAH is based on where your husband will be stationed.

    do they only station marines at marine bases or any military base? Marines are stationed based on their MOS [job] we are at a Marine base but H is infantry and is limited to where he can go.

    how long are marine deployments usually? My husband has NEVEr deployed longer than 7 months.  Again he is infantry and they can get extended on a deployment by a month or longer.  Also if he goes on a ship the deployment could be longer.

    will he be at a disadvantage by joining so late? My H joined at 26 and the only disadvantage I see is 1.) his chain of command might be younger than him 2.) he is expected to be more mature than the others in his rank.  He was not the oldest Marine is his graduating class though.

    My H did get more responsibility from the door and maybe that was based on his maturity or work ethic but I am not 100% sure.

    We are stationed in Camp LeJeune and will stay here since I have a good job.  He went to boot camp at Parris Island, SC and School of Infantry here at Camp Johnson.  We are originally from NJ.  

    Good Luck.  They are very picky right now with taking new guys in.   

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  • I agree with PP about it depending on their job about stationing. He will most likely be on a Marine Corps base (we are also on Lejeune), but thats not always true. He'd be likely to be on a Naval base next probably and then wherever they need him.

    The age may work as an advantage also... If he is really that much more mature than others in his rank, it could help him get promoted faster.

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  • My husband is a LCpl (lance corperal) in the USMC he is 23 has been in about a year now. he is in and Infantry unit and he was told to expect ot be deployed 2 times during his 4 year contract so infantry deploys often. he sounds young but he is acctually considered the 'old guy' in his company because 90% of the guys are 19 or younger and he takes orders from them so your hubby needs to be sure he can swollow taking orders from a pomle faced kid for a while lol.4 he is on his first deployment. I will give you as much insight as i can... and best advice as a wife is if your husband thinks of it that often support him in it if he doesn't at least try he may always regret it and be unhappy.

    Deployment is generally 7 months long it is shorter than Army which is usualy 12 months they can be extended to 10 months or longer at times.

    they will be stationed at a Marine Corps/Naval base unless he has an odd job where he is attached to some other branch. most USMC bases are along the coastal states as they fight by air land and SEA lol so if you are in the midwest expect to be far from home.

    here is the breakdown of the current pay chart in the USMC based on time and grade (time in service and rank basicly)

    assuming he is goign in as an E-1 or PFC (private 1st class) with no degree or eagle scout or anything that could cause him to be a higher rank his monthly pay before taxes is going to be $1,467 however this does not include:

     his BAH (basic housing allowence which is different per where he is stationed/cost of living) does not incluse his BAS which is basic allowence for subsistence (food) etc. there are different 'allowences' for different things in the military so that first number is only a base pay.

    If you really want a really good idea of what your going to expect and need to learn I am more than happy to send you a pkg in the mail that EVERY Marine wife needs in order to stay sane lol let me know and I can sent it to you. my email is [email protected]


    hope this helps!


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  • image29PalmsMarine:

    assuming he is goign in as an E-1 or PFC (private 1st class) with no degree or eagle scout or anything that could cause him to be a higher rank his monthly pay before taxes is going to be $1,467 however this does not include:

    E-1 is a Private. E-2 is a PFC. 

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  • ballpark annual income for a new marine?- He will come out of boot camp as an E1 or E2 (sometimes even an E3). You can google military pay charts. That will give you a good estimate. It's not a lot. You'll eventually get BAH (if you don't move into base housing) and BAS. BAH & BAS are non taxable, so whatever you see there, you get. 

    do they only station marines at marine bases or any military base?- They can station them anywhere. From a Marine base to an Army base. 

    how long are marine deployments usually?- 7 to 12 months. The rumor that Marines deploy for shorter times is just that: a rumor. There are deployments that are longer than 7 months for Marines. It just depends on the unit and their rotation. There is no way to know how long he will deploy for until he gets to his assigned unit after boot camp and SOI or MCT.

    will he be at a disadvantage by joining so late?- He shouldn't be. If he's in shape and motivated, he'll be okay. If he has issues with those younger than him being in a higher rank than him, he won't have such an easy time. My H didn't join until he was 21, so he had 19 year olds in positions of rank above him. But it's not necessarily about the person, but the rank he learned. 

    "So if you decide to date the guy from Applebees instead will your new SN be "mypearlshisapron?" Your new sig can be "putting the ho in nachos.""- DNBeach12
  • imagekiranata:

    Navy wife, where Marine stands for "My @$$ ride in Navy equipment" but that's just cuz it's true.

    I personally don't know much about deployments. DH is still training so we have yet to cross that road. Depends where he goes for the length of the deployment. 

    My main purpose for comment was the question about being at a disadvantage. Like many have said, he will have to take orders from his superiors, be they younger than him or not. However when I personally went through boot camp, there was a sailor who was I wanna say like 32 (we called him Old Man all the time) but he said boot camp was a breeze. Because he was that much more emotionally mature than the 18-20 year olds going through. He had been out on his own, it wasn't as much a culture shock, all that stuff. So that is also something to look at.

    Yeah, it's gonna suck, cuz it's like confinement from the real world for however long boot camp is, and when I was in DEP omg the Marine recruiters scared the heck outta me. Like they had a baby IFA right in the swear in room at MEPs for the new Marine DEP people.  But if that is what he wants, just support him 12 million percent. It is a great choice, especially with the economy what it is.

    I'm super confused by this, if you were/are in, how would your only experience with deployment be if YH has gone or not? 

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
  • imagemummyofsix:

    Navy wife, where Marine stands for "My @$$ ride in Navy equipment" but that's just cuz it's true.

    Yeah, that is true. Whenever the Marines need to go actually fight someone, the Navy always gives them a ride there. Super helpful!  ;)

    H took a bunch of AF planes over this time. He hasn't been on a ship that wasn't a museum in like 6/7 years. 

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
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