How to Join the Marines


Honor, courage, commitment and a motto of "Semper Fidelis" -- latin for "always faithful" -- are the driving core values of the United States Marine Corps. You can choose to join the Marines as either an enlisted soldier, an officer or a reservist. Certain items, such as explicit tattoos, serious medical conditions, criminal history, drug problems, and alcohol addictions can be disqualifying factors. Locate a military recruiter in your area to start the application process.

Joining as an Enlisted Soldier

  • Enlisted soldiers must be between the ages of 17 and 29 years old, provide proof of legal residency, pass a physical fitness test and have a high school diploma. Qualified applicants will be scheduled to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) exam, and must successfully pass in order to continue the process. Enlisted Marines are expected to have the highest standards of moral, mental and physical strength.

Becoming an Officer

  • If seeking officer status, you must be between the ages of 20 and 28 years old, be a U.S. citizen, pass a physical fitness test, and have a high school diploma and bachelor's degree. Qualified candidates will attend Officer Candidates School (OCS) and The Basic School, which is a six-month course that develops essential leadership skills.

Reserve Status

  • Marine Corps reservists are subject to the same eligibility requirements, application processing and initial training as active duty Marines. Reservists -- committed to an eight-year service term -- undergo regular training periods called drills, which typically occur one weekend per month along with two weeks every summer.

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