Information for Family, Friends, and Partners

For the family members of Marines, Poolees, and the young men and women considering the Marine Corps, this page is for you.

We want to help you understand if the Marine Corps is right for your loved one, how to manage the decision making process, getting ready for your loved one to enter training, and understanding how you can help.

Click the section header or photo in each column to learn more!

So your son or daughter, spouse or significant other has come and told you they want to join the Marines. You will have a lot of mixed feelings about this. Here are some things to think about when talking with your loved one.


The Recruiter or Officer Selection Officer will be the Marine who helps your loved one from civilian to enlistee/officer candidate. Their job is to ensure any qualified applicants complete all necessary paperwork and join the institution. They are also your main point of information through the process. Make sure you understand the process and how to deal with your loved one's recruiter.

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It's no secret we speak in our language, between all the acronyms and weird phrases. We have created this dictionary to help you learn the basics of speaking Marine.

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Dating a Marine

Whether your boyfriend or girlfriend is just joining the Marines, or you're getting into a relationship with someone in the Corps, here are some basic things you should know.

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Marine Families

Everything you want to know about raising a family in the Marines as well as how to be a supportive sibling or parent to your Marine.

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What do Marine deployments look like? Explaining the differences between exercises, rotational forces, MEUs, and combat deployments. What to expect and how to show support while your Marine is overseas.

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Leave and Liberty

When can you see your Marine? How is travel authorized? What is the difference between a regular weekend, a 72, and a 96? Leave versus Liberty? We have all of that broken down for you here.

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One day we all hang up the uniform for the last time. Here's what you should know about transitioning out of the Marine Corps back to the civilian sector.


What does the process of considering the Marine Corps look like? What should you expect your loved one to be going through? What stressors and challenges will they (and you) encounter along the way?

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Your soon-to-be Marine is going to start working out a ton, and having to prepare mentally and spiritually. What are things you can do to support them in their journey from civilian to earning the title, no matter the route they are taking?

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Boot Camp, Officer Candidate School, School of Infantry, The Basic School, and MOS Schools. Which ones have graduation ceremonies and how can you show your Marine love and support?

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Life of a MilSpouse

What is it like being married to a Marine? What is the expectation of being a Marine spouse? What about your own career?

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Duty Stations

What is it like when your Marine gets to a fleet unit? Where can they be stationed?

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Keeping in Touch

Keeping in touch with your loved one through Boot Camp, OCS, follow on schools, the fleet, and deployments.

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How can you ensure your Marine makes the most of the education benefits afforded to them while they are in the Marines? Making sure they take maximum advantage.


Visiting Your Marine

Marines can get stationed in some pretty cool places. Japan, Hawaii, California are just a few. If you want to visit your Marine where they're living, here are some tips on how to make that happen.

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