Today's Military:

Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps was founded in 1775, even before our nation was officially formed. This elite group of men and women live by a strict code of integrity and ethics, producing not just strong warriors but people of exceptional character. The core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment inform everything a Marine does, on and off the battlefield.

The Marine Corps plays a major role as the first force on the ground in most conflicts. Today, 198,427 Marines are stationed around the world at all times, ready to deploy quickly whenever and wherever needed. The commitment ranges from three to five years of service, but as the saying goes, “There are no ex-Marines or former Marines, simply Marines in different uniforms and in different phases of life.”

Before Serving in the Marine Corps

To join the Marine Corps, an individual must be between 18 and 29 years old (17 with parental consent) and have a high school diploma. A small percentage of GED holders may be allowed to join each year, provided they score well on the ASVAB test. College students wishing to train for Marine Corps officer positions may enroll in their school’s Navy ROTC program as a Marine-option midshipman or should visit their local Officer Selection Officer (OSO) for information.

All Marine Corps recruits undergo 12 weeks of Recruit Training at Parris Island, S.C., or San Diego, Calif. This training is an intense mental and physical process that shapes recruits against the core Marine Corps values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Only the most elite make it through, and those who qualify have earned the right to wear the uniform.

See more entrance requirements

Marine Corps Benefits

The Marine Corps is unique among Service branches in the intensity of its intangible benefits. Marines are paid well and receive the same health care and lifestyle benefits as other servicemembers. Being a Marine is not simply a job. It is a calling, and only those who prove themselves during the rigorous training have earned the right to wear the uniform.

Marine Corps bases around the world
Compensation info

Marine Corps Careers

A Marine is, above all else, a Marine. As part of the world’s most elite fighting force, a Marine is primarily a warrior, skilled in the art of warfare. Still, Marines hold themselves to the high standards of the Corps, no matter what they’re doing. These career profiles are just a few examples of the work done by today’s Marines.

Explore career profiles
Post-military careers

  • You don't need to finish high school to join the Military.
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent to enlist.
See other Myths vs. Realities

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