From Camp Pendleton, CA — 09/22/2008
Having been a reservist before being active duty, and having held a civilian job, I have a little different perspective on these things. For the respect issue, it goes both ways. People are more extreme with Marines. they love you, they hate you, and it gets a little unnerving. I've had people treat me like a rock-star, and other people pick fights. Oh well, their choice. The Benefits and pay, pretty damn good compared to a lot of people, not as great for some. I am college educated and enlisted. Could I make more money, sure. I make enough so it doesn't bug me too much. Job security, well I am from a law enforcement family. As long as people want to fight I'll have a job. The day world peace breaks out I'll get fired. Until then I help kill people for a living. Is it good or bad? Oh well, I tend to not care either way. Work/life balance, for those people obsessed with doing whatever they do, cool, this job might not work for you because we tend to work a lot and go on deployments to far off countries a lot. When I was a civilian I worked way too much, more than I do now, and my life and health suffered for it. Career potential and growth are interesting because our job paths are murky and obtuse. As an enlisted man I can go to the top of my field and still be subordinate to a person far less educated and intelligent than I am because he/she took a commision. On again, oh well. I avoid the stress of having to take final responsability and I get to sport some evil looking chevrons with a bomb in the middle. For the location I rated it high because I have only ever served in Pendleton. however I have trained back east and overseas and in 29 stumps. They are miserable places filled with miserable backwards people who steal from and hurt Marines at a prodigidous rate. At least here in Pendleton I can drive twenty minutes away and meld into the scenery. if anyone asks if I am a Marine I can say no, and my hair is low enough to pass for a fire fighter. Co-worker competence is iffy. If the platoon is bad or if it was broken when you got it, life will be hell. Fortunately I am an NCO and can avoid most of the badness my keeping the good Marines near me and isolating the dumb asses from my circle of trust. Seniors, a hit or miss proposition. My current Platoon commander and Seargent are awesome and even though we don't always get along they have treated us all fairly and with respect. My last platoon was different and we were cursed with possibly the worst command staff ever. to this day I hope those two die before they breed anymore and ruin our gene-pool. And finally, work environment. In my last job I saw more civilians die do to their own stupidity thatn I've seen Marines die in combat and civilian accidents combined. I've been very fortunate to have subordinates who listen to my words about safety, "get hurt doing something stupid and I will strangle you to death slowly." A little vicious, yes. However, in over eight years not one of my Marines has ever been hurt in a traffic accident, a fight, or been stopped for DUI. So, knock on wood I can keep that record for another two years. In summary, I do love my job, even after having been screwed over in some of the ways that has happened. I would still recommend the job to a young person who is interested. I would never disrespect anyone who didn't join as long as they gave me a little respect. That's it.