What should I know before I talk to a Marine recruiter?

I’m a junior in highschool, and I’m seriously considering signing up for the marine reserves once I graduate. I’m thinking of something along the lines of 4 years active and then 4 years reserve. Besides not to sign anything, what should I know? Do I have any choice in where I would be stationed?

Also I would really love to hear from any SDMB Marines.

Accept no verbal promises. If the recruiter tells you you will be able to get schooling, etc., tell him to get approval in advance and put it in writing before you enlist. Recruiters are salesmen and are under a tremendous amount of pressure to meet quotas. Assignments in the military are based on need before desire. You will be assigned where they need you most, with very little consideration of your wishes.

Are you enlisting in the Marines because of family traditions? It’s a fine bunch of folks to whom I would trust my life. However, the training and schooling opportunities are probably better in the Navy or Air Force, since job one there is not as a rifleman. Do your homework before committing.

The Army will let you choose your job and where you want to be stationed. They did when I signed up in '96 anyway.

Absolutely get everything in writing. Remember that nothing is final until you raise your right hand and sign the final paperwork at MEPS the day you leave for basic. If you want to have a lawyer read your contract, go for it. Take him to MEPS. I knew guys who went to basic thinking they got $30,000 for college and found out they didn’t when they got there. It was just tough shit for them. They had already signed. They only got half what they thought. Whatever a lawyer would charge to explain to you what you are getting is nothing compared to what you might be signing away.

Yeah, a lawyer seems a bit extreme, but recruiters will tell you ANYTHING to get you in. I knew a guy whose recruiter told him he could fuck hookers in foreign countries.

Job counselors will try to put you in a job slot that is short on personnel when you sign up. If the branch you join lets you choose your job, stick to your guns. My guy wanted me to be in Satelite Communications Equipment repair. We argued for 20 minutes before he finally gave me M1 Tanker.

I know there is an Armed Forces recruiter who is on the boards but I’m blanking on the name, hopefully he will be along shortly.

1Kbr Kid, as much as I love tanks, I would much rather do the SatCom repair MOS. There’s a skill that will make you some good money out of service and if you follow up with E Eng in college, you will have set a fine foundation for a prosperous life imho.

IMHO, YMMV, etc. ad nauseum

Locking off duplicate thread.