Marines must be ready to fight.
Marines must be ready to fight.

Joining a branch of the military, such as the Marines, means that you will receive quality education, physical training and hands-on skills such as self-sufficiency and teamwork. However, military enlistment is a long-term commitment that may require you to be away from your family for long stretches of time. While there are a variety of pros to joining the marines, there are also several cons that should be considered before you enlist.

You Must Obey Orders

Marines must obey orders.
Marines must obey orders.

Let’s face it—you’ll need to develop a thick skin and a submissive attitude to make it through boot camp and the duration of your enlistment. Part of the oath taken by every Marine outlines your willingness to obey: "I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the uniform code of military justice." If you are unwilling to follow orders and submit to your superiors, you may want to rethink enlisting in the Marines.

You Will Spend Time Away From Home

Be prepared to spend time away from home.
Be prepared to spend time away from home.

Part of being a Marine is making a long-term commitment to the Corps—four years is the minimum amount of time that you will commit, and you may be away from home for much of that time. Boot camp lasts 13 weeks. East coast recruits attend boot camp at the Parris Island Recruit Depot in South Carolina; West coast recruits attend boot camp at the San Diego Recruit Depot in California. Once you complete boot camp, you will attend an additional three weeks of training at Marine Combat Training or the School of the Infantry. After your training is completed, you may be deployed to an overseas assignment.

Marines Perform Challenging Jobs

Marines undergo intensive physical training.
Marines undergo intensive physical training.

If you're looking for an easy job, you'll need to look elsewhere. Not only do Marines undergo intensive physical training, you’ll also be trained to perform challenging jobs such as flying helicopters or planes, surveying territory, gathering intelligence, and maintaining equipment including electronics and vehicles. The Marines are considered “the nation’s 911 force”—always ready to respond to a crisis. As a Marine, you will be required to use critical thinking skills and adapt to rapidly changing situations.

Marines Stand Ready for Combat

Marines must be ready for combat.
Marines must be ready for combat.

Part of the commitment that you make is to "support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies." This may mean engaging in combat—as a Marine, you'll be in the thick of the fighting. Marines are widely considered to be the United States' "first line of defense." While there are many specialties within the Marines that may appear to be non-combative—such as mechanic or pilot—everyone is trained as a rifleman. No matter what your specialty is, you may be required to pick up a gun and fight.