Talking to a Recruiter
THE FIRST STEP
GOING TO SEE THE RECRUITERS
The recruiter is going to be your advocate for all things regarding enlisting. Their job is to help you pass all the screening processes, sign a contract, and ship to your Depot. How and when should you meet with a recruiter? How can you contact one? How can you make sure your family is on board with your decision and supports you?
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT A RECUITER?
YOU CAN ENLIST STARTING AT 17
You can enlist at 17 years old with your parents' permission or 18 years old without it. You will need to be a high school graduate, or in the process of graduating high school to sign an enlistment.
Depending on your goals, you should reach out to a recruiter about 6-12 months before you are ready to start your journey. The earlier you contact your recruiter, the more options you will have regarding contracting into a particular MOS field, selecting a ship date, and overall preparation.
You can reach out to a recruiter earlier to start training. Generally, we recommend reaching out to a recruiter around 16 and a half or 17 years old if you're in high school. If you're out of high school and considering enlisting, reach out to a recruiter whenever you want to learn more.
HOW TO CONTACT A RECRUITER
SPEAKING TO A RECRUITER DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO JOIN THE MARINES
Sitting down with a recruiter is the first step to learning exactly what your options are for signing up. They will help you understand if the Marines are right for you, if you are right for the Marines, what contract options are available, and when you can ship.
IT'S A BIG DECISSION, SO SLEEP ON IT
Marine Recruiters are everywhere - you'll see them at the mall, at sporting events, at your school's career day, and more. In your first conversation with a recruiter, the recruiter will be trying to get to know you and understand who you are. They may tell you a bit about the Marine Corps but won't try very hard to actively recruit you.
This is because recruiters don't just want whoever walks into the office - they want to make sure they only invest their time in prospects that are capable, serious, driven, and genuinely have the potential to become Marines. After a brief conversation where they will assess your desires and goals, they will send you home with some pamphlets and other information to review.
If you are serious about becoming a Marine, follow up with the recruiter after your initial meeting with them.
During this conversation, recruiters will seek to understand why you want to join and learn more about you. Do you have any diseases? Do you have a history of drug use? Have you had any serious injuries or anything else that may disqualify you from service?
You'll be shown benefit tags and asked to select the top 2 or 3 that explain your interest in joining. Recruiters will use these to tailor their pitch to you and educate you on how they relate to the Marine Corps. For example, if you choose “leadership and management skills,” the recruiter may tell you how a sizable percentage of the Fortune 500 CEOs are former Marines. If you choose “travel and adventure,” the recruiter may tell you about all the exotic places Marine serve.
Following this discussion, the recruiter will begin working with qualified and interested prospects to get them started on contact documentation and screening.