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The difference between any special forces person (for all of the services) is that they are single minded and focused on their goal. I had a friend that was Recon in Vietnam. He had half of the calf muscle on one leg blown away from a grenade. They told him that he would never stay in the Corps because of his injury, that it was medically impossible for him to run the 3 mile physical fitness test under the max time. He stayed in until he retired.

When I met him we were going through Recruiter's School and we did the standard Drill Instructor's runs at that time, along the beach and through town, 5 miles was the norm 3 times a week. I was in my early twenties and ran a 1st class physical fitness test (PFT) score all the time. He was in his 30s and he beat my 3 mile run time by several minutes every time. I asked him how in the heck he could outrun me being 10 years older and missing half a calf muscle, he said you just run as hard as you can without worring about the pain, your body will let you know when you've run too hard. I asked him how he knew he was pushing himself beyond his body's abilities, his answer was typical of any special forces service member;

"You keep pushing until you pass out"

That's the mindset you have to have if you want to succeed in that environment.
 

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You need to ask yourself if you can take another persons life and not let if affect you. I sat across the table in a lonely bar one night in 1968, on Okinawa, talking to a Marine Corps sniper who had recently returned from Vietnam. At first the killing didn't bother him, he said, but as the number of kills started adding up, he started thinking about his victims and their family's and taking his kills personally. He was in need of professional help which I could not provide. The only thing that I could do was listen to him pour his heart out. I still think abut that night from time to time and hope that he was able to get the help he needed and find peace.
 

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Anyone considering a Marine career is missing out if he doesn't go air wing. After nearly sixty years, I'm still convinced that air-wingers are the best class of Marines.

HMM-265, MAG-26 '62-'65
 

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I worked with fellow who was Marine Corps air wing when he was in, and he said the same thing.
 

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Swing with the wing?
I wouldn't know. Spent my hitch with Comm Platoon and Kilo Company 3/2.

OP just remember every Marine is a rifleman but every job in the Corps is to support the 0311. And don't listen to Sbird lance corporals like danthman said. Good luck to you young man.
 

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Anyone considering a Marine career is missing out if he doesn't go air wing. After nearly sixty years, I'm still convinced that air-wingers are the best class of Marines.

HMM-265, MAG-26 '62-'65
I hope that was humor.
In my career as a winger I worked around some of the best and some of the worst people in society, I know that the worst were a small minority unfortunately quite a few were senior officers and enlisted.

A short list of some of the dirtbags that I worked with;
  • A MGySgt that was sent to Leavenworth for raping two little girls (he was the NCIOC of the Avionics Division).
  • The Major in charge of Ordnance that was forced out for his collusion with several drug dealers on base.
  • The MSgt and SSgt that frauded a benesug that was my invention.
  • The OIC and NCOIC that sent me to the first Gulf war simply to clear the path for a friend to bed my fiance.
  • The Cpl. that beat his Cpl. wife to death and sodomised her in front of their 9 month old daughter. We found her body in a shallow grave in the desert and I watched them pick some of her teeth out of the drywall in the baby's room where he pounded her face in to the wall while he sodomised her.
  • The Sgt Air Traffic Controller that pimped out his mentally deficient wife.
  • The Sgt that was busted and kicked out for cheating on his wife with another guy and building a beastiality web site starring himself.
  • The MSgt that had two wives, one live in Quantico and worked at HQ Marine Corps and the other lived in Japan.
  • The GySgt with three wives, one in California, one in Okinawa, and one in Japan.
  • My ex-wife who married a guy and lived in town with him while she was stationed at Okinawa, while she was still married to me.
  • The SSgt that put himself in for and received a Bronze Star for plugging in a coumputer.
  • The coward SSgt that refused to report for deployment to the Gulf War that I had to escort from his house to the SgtMaj. He finally decided to deploy after the C.O. threatened to court martial him, he ended up being my NCIOC while we were deployed and he submitted himself for a meritorious promotion to GySgt and received it. He eventually got kicked out of the Marine Corps after we returned for the attempted rape and blackmail of an 18 year old female Marine.

And that doesn't include all of the aggregious stuff that I personally saw or was directly involved with while I served my time. Like most things in life, we can separate humans in to three classes, the worst 30%, the best 10%, and the rest of us. The sad reality is that the group of the worst is larger than the group of the best. In the greater picture I don't believe that the Airwing is any worse than the ground side but I also don't believe that the Airwing is any better as a whole and neither are any different than the civilian world- as I said before, the military is a reflection of the civilian world, no better and no worse.
 

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Swing with the wing?
I wouldn't know. Spent my hitch with Comm Platoon and Kilo Company 3/2.

OP just remember every Marine is a rifleman but every job in the Corps is to support the 0311. And don't listen to Sbird lance corporals like danthman said. Good luck to you young man.
Once you become a real professional SNCO (as opposed to the careerists that are just in for the money and retirement) you learn that everything in the Marine Corps is designed to support that grunt in the field, he is the tip of the spear and whithout him nobody else has a reason to exist. Airwingers usually have a supperiority complex, I know, I did my first few years in the Corps. I always thought that Intermediate level Avionics Marines were smarter than anybody else in the Corps and without us the Marine Corps Airwing couldn't exist. Then I realized that the Airwing doesn't need any repair unit, they simply need supply. Supply can order what's needed. In the end, it's the grunt that matters most.
 

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What they said 👆. Me?I barely made to out of 0311 heaven with First Class PFT’s and Expert Badge. 😆. So for you young fellow, go on with your bad self. “They dont promise you a rose garden”😂
 

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An old Welsh proverb says there's a bad potato in every sack. I've always said there's 5% of any group ( your family, your school, your job, your church) that ain't worth the powder it would take to blow them to hell. That being said, I think you'll find more of them in the civilian world than in the military. Don't be discouraged by stories of bad people. I think most of the men that join the Corps want to make the world a better place, or at least make themselves a better version.
Congratulations on choosing to join our beloved Corps.
So, what now? What can you do NOW to improve your future? Start developing YOU into something better. Smarter is better, so start reading some books. Starship Troopers, by Robert A Heinlein, is a great book about leadership. Written in 1959, and I think its still on the USMC recommended reading list for Sgt and below. Ignore the movie. Hollywood wrecked the whole concept of the book. Its not about fascist military or alien bugs. Its about leadership. Next, read With The Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa, by E.B. Sledge. The HBO series "The Pacific" is partially based on this book. Its makes you realize what our forefathers went through, and you'll realize you don't have it so bad. Miracle at Belleau Wood, by Axelrod, to learn more about our history. If you have time later, read Battle Leadership by Adolf von Schell, and The Soldier's Load and The Mobility of the Nation, by Col. S.L.A. Marshall.
Get a study manual for the ASVAB! The higher you score the more likely you are to get into a school you want to be in, both now and later. To some extent this score is looked at like an IQ score. If everything else is equal between a few hard charging Marines requesting a slot, the smarter one is most likely to pass the tests at the school, so he gets sent.
Can you do Advanced Placement classes at your school through the local college in order to get some college credits? Off duty education COUNTS for points for making rank.
Are you in Boy Scouts? This is all about training leaders. You will get practice leading your peers. Read that sentence again. You will get practice leading your peers. You can show yourself that you can improve yourself, make rank, learn new skill sets (merit badges), adapt to hardship, and also have fun doing it. Merit badges like Camping, Hiking, Orienteering, Rifle Shooting, First Aid, Swimming, Lifesaving, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Climbing, and Wilderness Survival (and the knots) will teach you skills that will help you no matter what field you end up in. And you'll start with a leg up on your fellow Marines at any school you attend.
Print a copy of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If", and tape it to your mirror, along with Theodore Roosevelt's quote about the credit belonging to the man in the arena, not the critic.
You said you have a year before you can join. Spend this time preparing your mind and body. Learn that old boring Perseverance, to study when your friends want to go to a party. Learn that old miserable Toughness, to keep pushing when your side aches on the run. Learn that old mind-numbing Dedication, to keep improving yourself and your grades when you're having self-doubts. Just keep at it. You have decided you're going to enlist and embark on a few years of training and military schooling..... what can you do for the next one year to work for that same goal?
I hope this helps. I tried to think of things I wish someone would have told me before I joined the Marines, things that would have helped me early on. Now, I'll qualify my remarks a little here, and tell you that if anything I say contradicts RAMMAC, then listen to RAMMAC. He's a recruiter, and he will tell you what the Corps is looking for. Do what he says.
 
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Thank you sir! I want to do something with my life I can be proud of not walk around town with a recon or scout sniper shirt on everywhere and brag about or anything but just think back and say it was the best time of my life. Thats why I want to be a marine. My dad was just army and he doesnt talk about his buddies or basic training or anything much and when he does he talks like it was awful and he never even saw action. But my uncle was in beirut in 83 and he talks about the Corps every chance he gets and its always fond memories and he still keeps up with his buddies and always says he wished he hadnt went to the army. My cousin joined the marines around 7 or 8 years ago and he always says its great and ive always felt there is a lot of honor and integrity associated with the marine corps and I hold them above any other branch.
Always remember that Marine is a proper name and is always capitalized. It is Marine, not marine.
 

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I was highly motivated when I joined the Corps and I incorrectly thought everyone else would be just as highly motivated. There were those who shared my motivation level, but there were those who the Corps would have been better off without. It was, however, in time of war and the Corps needed a lot of bodies and I'm certain that played a role, but I encountered a lot of staff NCO's who joined the Corps in the 1950's and had ridden a gravy train through the peace-time years until 1965 and they knew no different and always acted in a CYA mode and seldom did their jobs. So don't be disappointed when you find yourself in a situation where you are the only motivated Marine, though Recon likely will have a lot of motivated Marines.

And if you are going to commence a reading program I suggest you first read OPERATION BUFFALO by Keith William Nolan. It is a very well written book that describes in great detail the encounter of B/1/9 with the NVA in The Trace in July 1967. Bravo was very nearly wiped out. It is a sobering book.
 

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Doing your best and then the extra one for the Corps has helped a multitude over the years. As a lowly 6216 and only served 1 tour I still hold the Marine Corps close to my heart. You will learn motivation and goal setting at a pace you never imagined possible. Be yourself and go ahead of the flow and you will do well.
 

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Pleas don't get me wrong here, I loved my time in the Corps, I'm 64 years old and would go back in if they'd let me, but I wouldn't have blinders on and assume that every person in the Corps is a hero, they aren't. That doesn't mean that they aren't good people, they're just people, some good and some bad. Unfortunately I don't believe that most people join with the idea of making the world a better place. In my experience most people join because they want to prove something themselves of somebody else. Later, if you become a professional, you become committed to taking care of your fellow Marines and doing the job better than anybody else.
 

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Rammac, the Marine Corps of sixty years ago was a far different reality from what I'm seeing today. About the only similarity is the uniform. Much of current official personnel policy and standards of conduct would have been unthinkable back then. My squadron has its own veterans organization and we have a reunion about every two years and attending these are some of the finest people I know who withstood the challenges of service in Southeast Asia. Discipline and standards in general, in all branches, have taken a nosedive and among my closest friends are Marines who took early retirements as a consequence. May God help us if we enter a tactical confrontation with a first-rate military power. The deterioration I've described is as bad or worse among our allies as frequent visits to Europe have shown.
 

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Rammac, the Marine Corps of sixty years ago was a far different reality from what I'm seeing today. About the only similarity is the uniform. Much of current official personnel policy and standards of conduct would have been unthinkable back then. My squadron has its own veterans organization and we have a reunion about every two years and attending these are some of the finest people I know who withstood the challenges of service in Southeast Asia. Discipline and standards in general, in all branches, have taken a nosedive and among my closest friends are Marines who took early retirements as a consequence. May God help us if we enter a tactical confrontation with a first-rate military power. The deterioration I've described is as bad or worse among our allies as frequent visits to Europe have shown.
I agree, I've met a lot of current Marines and to tell you the truth I'm appauled by the attitudes of quite a few of them. The marksmanship standards have fallen through the craphole, the general attitude seems a lot like a gang mentality rather than a professional military. I had one young Sgt tell about a SSgt that put a gun to the Sgt's head and played that movie crap of asking if he was loyal to the SSgt, and this was in Afghanistan. I asked if he pressed charges against the SSgt and he said that he couldn't because he was outranked, I told him he was a puzzy. Rank doesn't matter, an illegal threat and conduct unbecoming is what it is and you can prefer charges regardless of rank, not to mention that I'd have shot the bustard for threatening me. When I was a Rangmaster I saw a lot military people at my range and I was shocked by how many thought that shooting an AR at 25 yards was being highly skilled. I ridiculed one guy that was impressed with his 25 yard, chest sized group and told him I could do just as well at 100 yards with my long slide .45. He was shocked when I proved it.

No, I understand that decades of war has taken it's toll on our services but I'd still go back in try to take care of my Marines, the ones that report directly to me. If some other group or unit wanted to be a bunch of azzhats then that's on them.
 
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Must be a reason they are testing 16,000 Marines for LSD use. I think I might even have to take drugs to cope with the current situation, just to get by.
 

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The rot starts right here at home and is carried on into the services. Our kids are taught that they do not have to do anything to be "special". Everyone gets a medal for breathing. No incentive to better themselves. Can't fail them if they do not do the work or prepare for an exam. The world owes them what ever they desire. "Welfare" is the way to go, why work for anything if you can get a "free" check from the government? And it for sure is going to get worse now. The decay in the Marines is bad but no more so than in any other service in fact, I think that it actually is less than you can find on any street corner. They still have more good guys than average just because they demand more. $.02 worth every penny.
 

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As I said, the military is a reflection of our society. And since the last two Commandants seem to have been focused on political correctness, things haven't changed for the better. "Woke" Marines? I can't think anything worse for unit cohesion and combat readiness. Even the whole tattoo issue was ridiculous and resolved wrong. Marines are not an "Army of one", they are a team and anything that interferes with that mindset is counter to combat effectiveness.
 

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During my first week in Boot Camp the Sgt Major spoke to the new recruits, and he told us a joke.
Capt Samuel Nicholas was ordered by the Continental Congress in 1775 to raise two battalions of Marines. So he goes down to Philadephia, recruits the first Marine, and sends him into Tun Tavern. He gives him a coin and tells him to have a drink on the Marine Corps. A few minutes later, Capt Nicholas recruits the second Marine and sends him into Tun Tavern, giving him a coin and telling him to have a drink on the Marine Corps. The first Marine looks at the second Marine and says, "Son, let me tell you how it was in the Old Corps!"

Don't be discouraged by stories of the old days vs the new days. You do you. Learn leadership. Excel.
 
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