A Day in the Life of a Marines-Enlisted

The Marines must be ready at a moment's notice to defend their country. As a Marine, you could be sent to any part of the world on assignments that you may find incredibly exciting, depending on where you're sent and what you enjoy doing. Marines command respect from their peers, and maintain an aura of discipline as their commanders lead them in a regimented structure all day, every day. Those of you unwilling to conform to standard military procedure or take orders will probably not be happy any branch of the armed forces, and much less so in the Marines.

Paying Your Dues

As in the rest of the armed forces, the life of an enlistee in the Marine Corps can be a tough one. "Once you've walked through fire and survived, little else can burn," the Marines’ website’s homepage proclaims. The training is indeed physically tough, reputably tougher than any other branch of the armed forces barring special elite units. The Marines of today emphasize "teamwork, pride and confidence." To enlist, one must be a high-school graduate of no less than 17 years.

Present and Future

The Marines have served their country well in the last 200 years. In 1801 Thomas Jefferson ordered the Marines to defeat the Pirates of Tripoli, which they did with the aid of Naval forces. In World War Two, the Marines were the first infantry unit to attack Japan on land, successfully invading the island of Guadalcanal in 1942, and landing at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945. In the 1950s, when young recruits were asked why they had joined the Marines, a whopping majority declared the reason to be that they had loved John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima. While there is no equivalent for the modern generation, today’s Marines are comprised of dedicated and impressionable men and women dedicated to protecting their country.

Quality of Life


The Marines can place a high-school graduate as a specialist in any one of 34 occupational fields, including Maintenance Management (the organization of military gear for field use and storage), Field Artillery Radar Fire (identification of target), Data Systems (computer programming) and Avionics (a wide range of aircraft-care jobs). The Marines they are the only branch of the armed forces which utilizes the technology of all the others branches. Marines can become Naval pilots if they so desire and qualify.


By this time, a Marine should be finished or nearly finished with his or her tour of active duty. Perhaps he or she has earned a promotion with increased responsibility, pay and privileges. Perhaps not. If one decides to remain with the Marines, this branch of the armed forces boasts more than 200 technical schools available to train enlistees for other work when their tour of duty is up.


In order to join the Marines, enlisted personnel have to sign an enlistment contract, which in most cases involves a commitment to 8 years of service. Depending on the terms of the contract, 2 to 6 years are spent on active duty and the rest spent in the Marine Reserves. The enlistment contract obligates the Marines to provide the agreed-upon job, rank, pay, cash bonuses for enlistment in certain occupations, medical and other benefits, occupational training, and continuing education. In exchange, enlisted personnel must serve satisfactorily for the specified period of time. So, generally speaking, enlisted personnel do not remain in the Marines for this long. But those who want to make a career out of enlistment can put in their time and eventually wait out a promotion to a job in a quieter, rear area section until they qualify for retirement.