From Cincinnati, OH — 12/18/2009
I have to agree with the last comment. I have been out of the Corps for about 5 years and was in 9. I would say that for me personally, it grew a bit old once I got older. Still, the time I was in was memorable and it helped me become successful. I got to live in good and bad cities, go overseas (the ship was terrible, but ports were a blast), my college is more than paid for (I just switched to the 9/11 MGIB), but more than anything, I learned what real hard work is. The Marine Corps is only a terrible place if you are not acknowledge that you swore to obey orders. Once you make peace with your decision, it's a matter of just doing what you said you would. By the way, this is also true in the civilian world. If you are whiner now, you'll be a whiner when you get out. Plain and simple.
Some advice: Recruiter duty stinks, but is one of the most marketable skills the Marine Corps can teach you. With what you learn (and if you have any talent at all) you can make a six figure salary within a few years. Plus, it will allow you to make some connections in the community if you know how to network. Again, I hated recruiting for the Corps, but if I had taking a job doing Avionics after I got out, I would be making half what I do now. Not that it would be terrible.
Get yourself promoted. If you are like me, and not great at the "Marine" stuff (PT, yelling, uniforms), you can still get promoted. I made SSgt in 7 years, granted I had a good MOS. Use the stuff you are good at and keep using it. This is not a public service announcement for recruiting, but they will promote you. Don't kiss ass. It doesn't work. Once you make Sgt, life changes. Cpl in the Wing was no big deal, but I still look back at being a Sgt as something of value.
If you haven't signed up for the MGIB, do it now. Not tomorrow or the next day. You have no idea what an amazing benefit it is right now.
Look out for your fellow Marines once you get out. You may hate them now, but after you get out, you'll realize what a big deal it is to do what you do and you'll like having some Marines around.