To join the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman or, as that military occupational specialty is known in this branch of service, rifleman, you need a general technical score of 80 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The general technical score is calculated by adding your word knowledge and paragraph comprehension scores to your arithmetic reasoning scores.
Prepare for the ASVAB. You can take an online practice test that will reveal what areas you need to focus on as you study. To gain confidence for test day, become familiar with the test format and the types of questions that will be asked. Bone up on any trouble areas by purchasing an ASVAB study guide or borrowing one from your local library. Pay close attention to the math and reading sections as you study, since these scores will determine your eligibility for the rifleman military occupational specialty.
Look into other military occupational specialties. In the Marine Corps, every recruit is trained and may have the opportunity to serve as a rifleman should it be required in a combat situation. Choose another MOS to allow you to cross-train in another area, as this may help you advance in your military career or find civilian employment once your enlistment is up. With the same ASVAB GT score of 80, you could also qualify for a MOS as a machine gunner or mortarman, or with a slightly higher score of 90, you could be a field wireman. Bump your GT score up to 105, and a wide range of options open up: intelligence specialist, reconnaissance man, field artillery radar operator or cryptologic linguist, to name just a few.
Explore different branches of service. Each branch has its own recruiting goals, so there is a chance that if you're not accepted into the Marine Corps, you may still be able to enlist in the Army or Navy. As an Army infantryman, you'll need a combat score of 90, this score being determined by the sum of your ASVAB scores in arithmetic reasoning, coding speed, auto and shop information and mechanical comprehension. The Navy does not have any equivalent to the infantry, but a combined mathematics knowledge and auto and shop information score of 96 could get you started as an engineman or machinist mate.
Consider becoming an officer candidate. If your ASVAB scores are decent, and you want to earn a college degree at some point, speak to a recruiter about officer candidate training. While many officers begin their careers after graduating from a four-year college or service academy, you can also advance through the ranks from an enlisted position. If you don't have a degree, you can obtain one through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, which enables you to attend a four-year college as a full-time student while maintaining active-duty status and pay. You must, however, have completed three years of active Marine Corps service, hold a rank of corporal or above and be between the ages of 21 and 30.
Exercise to prepare your body for boot camp as well as studying for the ASVAB.
Keep out of trouble. Criminal convictions and drug use will prevent you from getting into the military.
- Military.com: ASVAB and Marine Corps Jobs
- United States Marine Corps: Test Prep
- Official Site of the ASVAB: Sample Questions
- Baseops.net: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
- United States Marine Corps: 'Every Marine a Rifleman' Begins at Recruit Training
- CNN Money: Getting Into the Military is Getting Tougher
- Military.com: ASVAB and Army Jobs
- Military.com: ASVAB and Navy Jobs
- United States Marine Corps: Paths to Become an Officer
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