Hi, I’m 20 years old and I just started sailing with the Merchant Marines. I went through there little physical and had no problems, but I want to join the actual Marines now. When I was younger I had a problem with my knees hurting. Sense I have grown my knees hurt no longer. I was wondering if this would be held against me if I try to join?
Most likely, it was Osgood–Schlatter. You were growing too fast for the patellar tendon to keep up and it gets a bit overstretched and irritated. Were you involved in any sports at the time?
Fortunately, there is seldom any real damage done.
I coach high school cross country and track and we have several kids go through this every season.
It is hard to say. You may pass the physical but you will end up humping with a pack up and down hills. This may bring past knee issues back with a vengeance.
I served as a grunt and walked a few miles. It might be different if you end up in another MOS.
edit because my cell phone hates me.
In practice, an enlisted service like the Marines only knows what you tell them. They will do the cheap and easy kinds of vetting, such as checking various databases for a background check, but the odds are basically 0 that they will check your medical records.
Your knee problem will only be an issue when trying to join the marines if you make it an issue by mentioning it. (or if it causes obvious problems the doctors at MEPs can spot)
If you mention this to a recruiter, generally they will discourage you from putting anything onto the forms.
With all that said, do you have a knee problem? Put on a backpack with some weights in it, to simulate the weight of all that gear they make you carry, and go walk 5 miles or so at a fast pace. How do your knees feel? If you got bum knees, you will have to live with the consequences.
I’m assuming US Marines, right? I’ll agree with what Habeed said above, although I went through MEPS before you were born. That was 1980. After your ASVAB you’ll see what MOSs you qualify for, and if you have your heart set on any of them, consider going in with a guaranteed contract for that specific MOS (if they still do that these days).
Good luck to you, and let us know how it turns out.
What they said.
Realize one thing. Many people are of the misconception that the military is the fall back for anyone and they’ll take anyone that comes through the door. It is far from the truth. Less than 30% of age eligible people can qualify. Lately they can be very selective. Some of the most common disqualifications are minor medical conditions.
I would never tell you to lie or omit anything. But know that if you mention problems with your knees at best they will send you to a bunch of doctors to clear you. At worst you will be disqualified.
What Loach said.
The military was the one place where I rubbed elbows with people from the most different walks of life: different ethnicities, different economic standards of living, different educational backgrounds, different criminal records (or none), and different places from where they grew up - both USA and foreigners. It was interesting and enriching.
Not sure if that’s more a statement of how it is in general, or of because I grew up in middle class caucasian suburbia in Upstate NY. And I’m not white, BTW.
I am curious, what are you sailing as?
sadly no I went to the doctors when I was younger and they found a small pin hole in my knee cap but as I get older and condition myself these problems have gone away
Thank you. Right now im not 100% sure on what it is I want to do but what I do know is it is going to be the marines.
Right now I am sailing as an apprentice through a program.
It’s not yet being an OS, nor is it being an AB, it’s below both but I do the same work. Sadly I get paid very little.
Wouldnt the Navy be more equivalent to the merchant marine than the Marines?
Only in that you might spend some time on the water.
Consider the Coast Guard.
Neither are close. the only thing in common is water and ships.
Maybe I dont know what a merchant marine is, then. Arent they sailors? Are they not concerned with the operation of ships? If so, how is that just as similar to the Marines as the Navy. I would have guessed that a particular job in the merchant marines would have a similar counterpart in the Navy. Not so?
Not really. An engine room on a Navy room may have up to 20 people per watch. On a merchant ship 3. Who they take orders from differ. My dad saw a 2nd assistant engineer pick a Captain up my the collar and the seat of the pants and toss him out of the machine shop, he had a bad attitude and forgot to ask permission before entering. Same on the bridge. How they do the job is much different.
Plus Marines only like to act like sailors when it suits their argument about how much more badass they are than Army regulars…