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Things to Consider When Choosing to Join the Marine Corps

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The Marine Corps has over 180 enlisted jobs, which are called "Military Occupational Specialties," or "MOS." Because the Marine Corps gets much of their non-combat support from the Navy, their job ratio is heavily weighted toward combat jobs, and thus, many are closed to women.

It's almost impossible to get a "guaranteed job" in a Marine Corps enlistment contract. When an applicant walks into a Marine Corps Recruiting Office, he/she is expected to " want to become a MARINE," with actual Marine Corps job a secondary consideration. A majority of Marines are enlisted in a general field (such as Avionic s), and will have their actual job (MOS) designated during basic training. For example, say you want to be an administrative specialist in the Marine Corps. You would enlist under the " Personnel and Administration Field," but you are only guaranteed to get one of the MOSs (jobs) listed in that field -- you aren't guaranteed any specific MOS.

Regardless of your MOS, all Marines are considered to be Riflemen first, and whatever MOS (job) they happen to hold, second. In fact, the Marine Corps has even been known to deploy Band members to combat zones, and use them on combat patrols (see Laying Down the Flute and Picking up the Rifle).

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