So, You Want to Join the Marines

This week we were able to interview Noah MacArthur, who has recently joined the Marines and will be entering boot camp in just a few weeks.  While his experience is limited, perhaps his thoughts on his experience thus far will help those of you who may be considering the military option.

Interviewer: What made you want to join the military?

Mr. MacArthur: I think it’s a few different things.  First of all, it’s always been a desire of mine, like the idea of it has always intrigued me.  However, the thing that really made me decide on it was the fact that I wanted to do something hard that would better me as a person, to improve responsibility and discipline within myself as well as be a part of something bigger.  Something where I could experience new things as well as protect people.

Interviewer: Why did you choose the Marines over the other areas of the military?

Mr. MacArthur: It comes down to the same reason I joined in the first place is that I wanted something a bit harder and I felt the marines was the branch that focuses on pushing me physically and improving my internal character.

Interviewer: What has been your favorite aspect with your minimal training so far?

Mr. MacArthur: I guess it’s the sense of belonging.  Like I’ve never felt more at home away from home than I am there.  I feel like I’m where I’m meant to be.

Interviewer: What has been the hardest part of your experience so far?

Mr. MacArthur: I would have to say MEPS, which is Military Entrance Processing Station. I guess what made it the hardest is that everybody there (besides your recruiter) is almost working as hard as they can to find a reason to disqualify you. You have to be willing to give up control in the sense that you aren’t the one to decide if you’re enough, you have to let them do that.

Interviewer: What are you most excited about as you approach boot camp?

Mr. MacArthur: Just to see where my limits are.  To see myself doing what I always believed I could.

Interviewer: What are you most worried about?

Mr. MacArthur: I guess just the idea of not being able to see my family and not partake in the luxuries of home.  For a while I was worried about not being successful, but the more I think about it, the more I recognize that I will be doing many things that I have done before such as hard physical exercise and following orders.  I just have to forget myself and do what I got to do.

Interviewer: What is the average salary available in the Marines?

Mr. MacArthur: It depends on your rank.  For what I’m going in as, which is a Private First Class it’s about $21,000 to $30,000/year.  As far as people who make a career out of the Marines it’s about $80,000 to $100,000/year.

Interviewer: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is considering joining the military?

Mr. MacArthur: I would say if you’re going in you have to know what you want.  The best way to succeed is to plan what you want, how you’re going to get it, and when you’re going to get it. You’ll have many people there to help you reach those goals, but there are no “what ifs” in the military.  The military is a career of action.