I’ll admit it – I was skeptical going into my week in Quantico, VA for a Marine Corps Educators’ Workshop. I wondered how intense the week of orientation would be and I wondered just how many job options there really were in the Marine Corps.
After my week in Quantico, I thought I’d share a few things I learned and some of the coolest things I’ve done.
-There are 40 MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) job fields available within the Marine Corps including logistics, engineering, public affairs, financial management, and communications.
-Joining the Marine Corps doesn’t automatically put you on the front lines – there are different ways to serve in the Marines – as an Enlisted Marine or as a Marine officer, leading your enlisted peers.
-The average age of a Marine is 23 and most enlist for a standard time of 4 years
-Tuition assistance is available for graduate study and/or professional programs
-There is an opportunity to be stationed in over 100 different countries
-Core values and skill sets (which many employers seek) include commitment; leadership; critical thinking skills; and decision-making
-You could start applying to the Marine Corps already – The Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) is a 10 week paid training session for rising seniors which lets you focus on studies senior year and then post-graduation, you become a Second Lieutenant
Coolest things I experienced with the Marine Corps:
-Completed a simulated ‘mission’ into the woods of Quantico holding a fake (but heavy) weapon, wearing a Kevlar helmet
-Rode in an Osprey helicopter with the back ramp open while practicing evasive maneuvers
-Won a fight with padded Pugil sticks (essentially, big Q-tips used in combat) – see below photo
-Did the Leadership Reaction Course (think American Ninja Warrior obstacles) and climb up a tree and across a branch 8 feet high
-Was awestruck by the precision and skill of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performing in front of the 32-foot tall Marine Corps War Memorial statue
Melissa Croteau is an Assistant Director of Employer Relations at Northeastern University. When she isn’t training with the Marine Corps or flying in an Osprey Helicopter, you can find her singing her heart out with the Boston Pops and the Metropolitan Chorale! Tweet at her about the Marine Corps @CareerCoachNU