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Working at U.S. Marine Corps — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about U.S. Marine Corps pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at U.S. Marine Corps

4.2Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth5
Location3
Co-Workers5
Work Environment3

From Camp Lejeune, NC — 06/11/2010

The benefits are awesome. You get free health care while you're on active duty. I utilized it to get lasik eye surgery. The GI Bill is incredible. It pays full tuition at any public university in your state.

Camp Lejeune can be boring, but we still had some great times.

The work environment can be pretty harsh, especially if you're in an infantry unit. My best advice is to not go infantry so you don't have to be around all that stress.

Competence is really important in the Marine Corps, which means there's a lot of pressure to perform. Of course, that's what makes us the best branch in the military.

Getting promoted is pretty straight forward. Just stay out of trouble, complete your educational courses, get a high physical fitness test score, shoot well on the range, and you'll get promoted a lot. If you do all those things, you can make Sergeant in under four years.

The job security is solid. The only guys who get fired are those who get into serious trouble for committing a crime.

Respect is all about rank, which is good motivation to get promoted. The higher you're rank, the less people mess with you. The best part about the respect, though, is that your Marine Corps service will make you really competitive for civilian jobs. Employers know that a Marine will be dedicated.

The pay is actually not that bad when you consider the free health care, along with the fact that you can save up money during deployments. I deployed three times in four years so I was able to save a lot for civilian life.
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4.3Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Camp Lejeune, NC — 01/11/2010

I spent 6 yrs active duty and over 4 out since then. I can tell you the Marines was a better work environment overall then the civilian jobs I have had. Sure we went to the field a lot, I even went to Iraq. But it beats sitting in a dang cubicle all day filling out time sheets. All I heard while I was in was about that big civilian pay, well that is a lie. I made a LOT more in the Marines. So did all my buddies that have gotten out. And after you pay your dues, you will find you get more freedom and independence then you would at a corporation. I know if has its down sides too. I've done two deployments and they can get old. I've met the best and worst people of my life in the Marines (mostly other officers).

But if you are on the fence about staying in, think it through. The corporate world will not care what you did as a Marine. They also will not give you the opportunities to lead that the Marine Corps will. That's why 90% of us that are out wish we were still in. Enjoy it and be safe out there Marines! Semper Fi.
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4.2Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From CAMP PENDLETON, CA — 01/02/2010

OVERALL MY YEARS IN THE CORPS WERE SOME OF THE BEST OF MY LIFE 1986-1993
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect2
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment1

From Corunna MI — 12/22/2009

The significance of wages in the Marine Corps is often accepted as a misnomer, because in theory one is supposed to be serving their country no matter what the conditions. In other words, if you're joining for the pay, you've joined for the wrong purposes. That's what they say anyway, but anyone with a capitalist mindset can see right through that facade. The pay, however, was good enough for me since I was single. But mark my words: when the time comes for you to re-enlist, they're going to entice you with a re-enlistment bonus to keep you on. I never understood how the Marine Corps can be packaged as both a lucrative investment and a point of pride for living a spartan existence in the name of patriotic duty.

The aforementioned paragraph ties in with work/life balance, because you're told that this is not just a job, it's a lifestyle. But what I observed is that when the work day is done, most Marines' first priority is to get out of that uniform and distance themselves from anything resembling their jobs. It sounds good on paper to be a Marine 24/7, but it only fostered resentment in me.

Job security and growth rank high with the Corps, provided that you learn to play along. This is crucial, and it helps to be in a financial pinch (like having a baby on the way or being a newlywed) to justify being subjected to the rigors of the environment. They will give you a schematic to chart your career trajectory, and all you have to do is follow it. Co-worker competence is related to job security, but not a lot of people realize that competence in the Marine Corps is not synonymous with competence in the civilian sector. It's a different culture, and that's not a compliment. You truly have to unlearn all you know and train yourself to assimilate if you want to go anywhere in this occupation. Even if you do recognize incompetence in the Corps, it won't change a thing; you can't do anything about it.

Respect holds a different definition in the Marine Corps. It's a superficial concept that's usually manifested by actions, but rarely is either party truly convinced that there is a rapport and trust factor between them. The Marine Corps' version of respect is limited to obedience, proper greetings with superiors, and abject humility towards them. By doing what you're told and allowing them to talk down to you, you are showing them their version of respect. The good news is that if you stay in long enough, you will able to treat your subordinates in the same manner if you wish.

Encapsulating the work environment runs back to the philosophical ethos of the Corps. Not very many institutions assign such a lofty and ambitious mission to their employees. The uniform and haircut regulations rarely bothered me, because the intention of the Corps was to encourage their people to take pride in their appearance. Pride in one thing ultimately sparks concern and conscientiousness in other things, such as work ethic, respect, and doing one's duty. It is a sound theory, but that's all it is.
What bothered me was the claim of the Corps to be better than sliced bread, and yet having no food my plate to show for it. My experience in the Corps wasn't even mediocre. It was downright counterproductive.
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3.5Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect3
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment2

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.
Good luck
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3.7Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect4
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location3
Co-Workers4
Work Environment2

From Tulsa, OK — 12/18/2009

I'm apalled that there are so many of you who, for whatever reason, decided to join the Marine Corps. Prime example is that last (or first) post about the guy who went to a war that he didn't believe in. Then why in God's green earth did you join the Marines in the first place, you sackless chimp? I KNOW they don't hold a gun to your head when you enlisted, so obviously you put yourself in a bad position, not anyone else.

Pay... I find it to be pretty damn good. For you uneducated Leathernecks, go to your MOL and click on the PMCS tab. This will tell you exactly what you would be making in the civilian sector given all your benefits, free food / housing you get. As an E-6, I make the equivalent of $67,000 a year. Living in the Tulsa, OK area, this is a VERY good amount of money. Even as an E-3, you're making the equivalent of $40,000, so why are you whining about it? Stop spending it on strip joints and tattoos and you'll have more money than you thought you did. Those $1600 a month someone was complaining about? Guess what, that's all pocket money. Your rent / mortgage is paid for... your food is paid for... all you have to worry about is your car and cellphone.

Respect... as an E-6 Staff Sergeant, I had to put up with being an E-1 to E-3 just like the rest of you whiny little fairies, but guess what. If you act like a man and suck it up, you'll get to that E-4 that you used to curse and cry in your pillow about. You think you just GET respect coming out of boot camp? And how can you earn it by "walking away from a Lieutenant" (not that I like Lieutenants myself). You have to give it to earn it.

Benefits and Job Security? A+. There's no denying this.

Work / Life Balance... this is personally my only gripe. You WILL have to submit a lot of hours and sacrifice to do what you're supposed to, and the Marine Corps will demand a lot of your time, sweat and blood, but it will reward you just the same.

Career Potential / Growth ... If you put your effort in the work and uniform, you WILL get rewarded. I've never been an ass-kisser either. Ask my CO and my MSgt and my SgtMaj what they think of me, and they'll tell you I pull no corners. I take no shortcuts. And I don't pour anyone's coffee. Never did. But I got where I needed to be through hard work, and it has paid off tremendously.

Location ... This is mostly a luck issue. You can get sent to Hawaii just as easy as you can get sent to Jacksonville, NC.

Co-Worker Competence... For most of you cryers and whiners, you probably got that way from your idiot friends who brainwashed you into thinking the Marine Corps treats you too harshly. I personally have worked with a LOT of idiots myself, but I've worked with some of the brightest and respectful people that I could've ever met in the civilian world. You all that enlisted right out of high school must think that working in the civilian sector is also a bed of roses and that the old lady that'll be your manager will bring you cookies to your house every week. I can't wait until you get out.

Work environment... this goes along with the Co-Worker Competence. Your environment is dictated by the people you work with, because of all the real Marines who can take a little bit of an ass-chewing and can stand up to people tactfully when "picked on" are the real reason we join. To be surrounded by good, moral characters. By whining and crying to random anonymous people, you're not solving the problem. You're just another Code-Pink resolver.

Semper Fi
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth4
Location2
Co-Workers2
Work Environment2

From Camp Lejeune, NC — 04/15/2009

I was in college and broke. I needed an out so I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I realized my first night of boot camp that I had made a mistake. However, I was bound and determined to make the best out of it and thus far, three and a half years later, it has worked out well.

First off, yes, the pay is not that great. It is not, however, as bad as many Marines like to say. I make more than all of my bosses at Joe-jobs I've had in the past. The health benefits are not the best but they are also not bad. Just like any health insurance or dental insurance available to civilians, sometimes you have to ask more than once to get the treatment you want. You cannot beat the price. Averange benefits by comparison but the price is FREE.

People who think that there is little respect for Marines need to get away from either (1) military towns with installations nearby or get away from whatever anti-American liberal city they are near. I have met few people who don't at least respect me for wearing the uniform despite their political views on the war and our presence throughout the world.

I have one thing to say about job security. You have to try to lose this job. The only way out other than fulfilling the contract that you sign to enlist is to either get injured or commit an offense or offenses that would give you an other than honorable, bad conduct or dishonorable discharge.

Work/life balance sucks. No way around that. But in this job you are required to serve in order to accomplish the mission whatever it may be. I wake up before the sun and i don't get home until after the sun has gone. Ask your local plumber if he does the same.

This job has good career potential. This is the easiest job out there. All you have to do is show up where you are supposed to be with a shave in the proper uniform. Next thing you know you are recommended for promotion, put up for awards, and given the opportunity to compete on boards. All it takes to progress in the Marine Corps is a little initiative and patience.

Camp Lejeune and the surrounding area of Jacksonville is just like any other military town. Full of barber shops, tattoo parlors and "on the lot financing" car lots. I cannot speak of other duty stations but I imagine them to be similar. Not ideal I know.

Okay, just like any job from McDonalds to Microsoft, you may be smarter than your co-workers. Prove it to your bosses and you will be your co-workers boss. Simple as that.

Work environment varies from one Marine to the next. You could work in a shop, garage, office, motor pool, or out in the field. None of these are ideal compared to your house or room. Enough said.

So yes like I said I realize my joining was a mistake. I wasn't willing to let it ruin my life. I strived to be great at being a Marine and I have been. I have picked up rank and a few personal awards on the way. I have gotten to see parts of the world I never would have gotten the opportunity to see otherwise. I also have a family and have the whole time I've been a Marine. My wife and daughter are worth more than what the Corps can offer. That is why I am leaving. Lastly, an enlistment is just a contract to work and do what you are told. It is not a jail sentence. If you maintain a positive outlook then you will make it out a better person. If you treat it like a jail sentence and have a bad attitude and don't go with the flow, then there is a great chance that you will not enjoy your time in the Corps. If joining the Marine Corps doesn't show you what you would rather be doing for employment, at least it will guarantee you know what you do not want to do.
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3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth3
Location3
Co-Workers3
Work Environment3

From Everywhere, currently Okinawa — 03/30/2009

I noticed these reviews were done mostly by angry lance corporals who needed a place to vent. I can understand the frustration, for I as well have been treated poorly at times by those above me, and there is little to say or do if you want to keep your rank and pay. Im an E-4 who has been on multiple deployments and my time will soon be finished with the Marine Corps.

With that being said this is neither a largely positive or negative review, my marks are mostly neutral because for as many poor leaders who dont care about you there a excellent people who care about your well being. There are many days where I hate everything about my job, but in spite of that I continue to improve myself and strive for perfection.

So basically like evrything in life, it is what you make it and decisions affect your life greatly. For the belligerent and old individual who is 34 when he joined the reserves, that was a poor decision which was not improved by his poor attitude. Complaining on the internet is not going to improve your situation, but some of the points made were accurate. There are certainly negative things about this organization, and these negatives will be worse if you make poor decisions and decide not to better yourself. If you are a strong individual however, the Marine Corps cant hold you down. On a sidenote, the reserves is also the worst way of being in the Marine Corps due to poor promotion rates and mostly less than outstanding Marines, althlough there are exceptions. I have had largely poor experiences with reservists in the fleet, and that is how I formed this opinion.

The Marine Corps wont give you a great life, but on the flip side it will not ruin your life unless you let it.
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4.0Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect4
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location3
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From 29 Palms, Ca — 03/25/2009

Most of the people commenting are below the rank of E4 and have not experienced all the benefits of being a Marine. There is always bad days, and there are always retarded bosses, but there are also stellar people that become life long friends, and can share the same terrible times you had as a Private-Lance Corporal.

I am able to goto school full time (12 credits per semester) and own two houses (North Carolina, California) and two paid off cars (02 Suzuki, 07 civic), so in reality the Marine Corps only benefits those who are willing to take the time to investigate the hidden perks.

I dont love the Corps but I understand that for an individual like me it offers me alot of things.

Theres no way to beat around the bush, going to war sucks--theres no way around that. But your going to deploy ALOT no matter which branch your in.

ON a side note, I've had laser surgery for my eyes, a bad gall bladder removed, and my wife has had a reduction and braces put in for nearly free.

Semper Fi-
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4.7Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Camp Pendleton — 02/06/2009

I have been on both sides of the Marine Corps. Enlisted for 8+ years (Pvt to SSGT) and a Warrant Officer for -22 years. The Corps is what you make of it. The first few years is tough, because you are the snuffy. You get promoted when you rate to get promoted. If you work hard, get good Pro/Con marks and good fitness reports, you will get promoted with or ahead of your peers. The pay is getting much better, I started out at $200 twice a month cash in my pocket, but I finished making $9500.00 a month. Respect; I got the respect that I deserved, when I was a $#!tbird LCpl, I got crapped on a lot. I learned my lesson when WAY less qualified guys got promoted and I got to work for them as a LCPL! I got selected for a couple of choice billets, then made WO and retired a CWO5. I always take care of my Marines, and have had several of them chop the limb off I was standing on by taking care of them. Job Security is great, as long as you perform, same goes for growth potential. NO ONE would have dreamed that I would go as far as I did when I was a LCPL. Work Location::: can't beat SoCal!! I've been blessed with having great Marines around me, along with a few SB's, but they evaporate soon enough. I've had a couple crappy bosses too, but in the long run, they are all good for your character growth. Work/Life balance isnt as bad as some seem to think. If you take care of your business and ensure that your spouse knows the score, she/he wont be screwing everyone in town when you are gone. Sure it happens, but that person would do the same thing on the outside too. Long Story Short, Being a Marine is the best thing that ever happened to me. Semper Fi
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