Dating a Marine
What is it like to date a Marine? What should I expect?
Entering your Marine's world can be extremely confusing, full of new terminology and a strange way of life. Your Marine had boot camp to receive their indoctrination, but you have Before The Corps to get you up to speed. Please use this page and our other family pages to help you learn more of life around the Marine Corps.
Intro to the Corps
The first thing anyone will do when considering joining the military is look for information. The same can be said for anyone who is dating a Marine and is introduced to the confusing world of the Marine Corps.
Young men and women join the military looking to serve their country, opportunities in education, adventure, and so much more. Yet when you date a Marine, you are often looking for a relationship to bond with another individual of a like mind, much like when you date a civilian.
Once you decide to date a Marine you are introduced to a new language, a new routine, and many challenges which civilian-civilian relationships don't normally have to face. This page will introduce you to our crash course in Marine life.
Your Marine's Workday
The day to day for a Marine can be very confusing and will differ wildly across MOSs, however there are many commonalities to a Marines day across the force. Marines will have a complete workday which will average seven to nine hours, but may be as long as twelve hours depending on operations and training commitments. An average Marine’s day will normally begin with PT, or physical training, early in the morning. This is a period of individual or group workouts which is typically around an hour long. Next, they will have time to shower, change, and grab a bite of chow before a unit formation. At this formation they will conduct accountability, or roll call, then pass any information for the day. Marines will proceed to complete whatever training, maintenance, or operations dictated by their leadership for the length of the workday. Most days are ended with a final formation and Marines are released for liberty until their next work day.
The Unique Demands of Dating a Marine
Barracks Life - Every young, enlisted Marine will live in a barracks. At boot camp, this will be a large open space with 40-90 recruits in bunkbed style living. Once Marines make it to the fleet, they will normally be housed in a double occupancy room similar to a dorm room. They will have a a shower and toiler to share with their roommate and typically be provided with a refrigerator and microwave in their rooms. Marines' common areas will house laundry rooms, full kitchens, and game rooms when necessary. While living in barracks, Marines will be allowed limited visitors, but most will need to be out of the barracks no later than 10:00pm each day to ensure good order in the facility.
Deployment - Marines regularly deploy across the world for a variety of reasons. Whether in support of combat operations, humanitarian relief, peacekeeping, or a variety of other missions. These deployments come in many forms: SPMAGTF, MEU, MRF-D, and more. Marines can find themselves away from their family and homes for many months at a time. Don’t worry, this is normal, and though it can be tough, it is regular for the life of a Marine and their family. Deployments Marines could have little to no access to Thankfully, the good, reliable postal service will normally be available to Marines no matter where they are located, so they can always receive letters, gifts, and other things from home to keep them going.
Standing Duty - Once or twice a month, your Marine will have to stand "duty." Duty comes in many forms. It could be a post at a barracks ensuring the safety and wellbeing of other Marines in their place of residence, or your Marine could be assigned at a major unit to ensure equipment and facilities are properly secured and protected. Most duties last 24 hours though some could be for an extended period of days, normally no more than a week long. Your Marine will be able to tell you in advance, but occasionally operational requirements may result in some last-minute duty assignments.
Temporary Active Duty - Also known as TAD, Marines may sometimes leave home to attend courses or special unit training. These periods range from a few days to a couple months, mostly less time than a deployment. Your Marine will return with new skills and experiences which will allow them to better accomplish their day-to-day job in their MOS.
Permanent Change of Station - Also known as a PCS, Marines time at each location is temporary. Marines are assigned to each duty station for two to four years before being moved tot another installation or unit. This will allow your Marine to grow professionally and to proliferate his or her knowledge as they gain seniority. Orders will be issued to Marines one to six months prior to their scheduled departure and will allow Marines time to prepare for the next phase in their career.