Videos: Today's Military
  • Marine Corps

    The Marine Corps Recruiting Process(2:10)

    Sgt. Hodges, a Marine Corps recruiter in Boston, discusses with potential applicants the career opportunities available in the Marine Corps. Applicants are encouraged to share their goals, and recruiters can help them identify a career in the Marine Corps that best matches both the applicant's goals and the needs of the Service.

    After a person enlists, he or she will either leave for Recruit Training or enter the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). Through DEP, a recruit commits to Recruit Training at a time in the future, generally within one year. This is especially popular with recruits who enlist before completing high school. During this time, the recruit has regular and frequent contact with the recruiter, who starts preparing them for Recruit Training by holding physical training sessions and teaching them the General Orders and Marine Corps customs and courtesies.

    Talking to a recruiter does not obligate you to join. Anyone considering military service is welcome to speak with recruiters from multiple branches, and parents are also invited to talk with a recruiter and ask questions. It is a recruiter's job to answer all the questions a potential recruit — and his or her parents — may have.

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Sgt. Hodges: My name is Carlton Hodges, and I'm in the Marine Corps, of course, and my rank is a E5, which is a sergeant, and my job is a recruiter. Hey, Thomas, how was your day today at school?

Thomas: It was pretty good, you know. It's tough, but...

Sgt. Hodges: When they come in, we just basically, we talk to them, find out what they want to do with their life, try to find out what type of programs the Marine Corps offers as far as supporting them going to college, or if they just want to start their career off, find out what type of jobs that the Marine Corps has that's in the particular field that they want to go into. Let me go to my Marine Corps opportunities book. That way you can see it in black and white, exactly how we're going to help you get that professional development that you're trying to get.

Thomas: All right.

Sgt. Hodges: A lot of times, people have this misconception that all we do is kick in doors and blow stuff up. They don't know all the programs that we have out there. They don't know what the TA program that we have, tuition assistance program that we got.

Thomas: He really just enlightened me about the Marine Corps, made me feel a lot better about the career opportunities, the challenges it puts in front of me.

Sgt. Hodges: Take your time, and I'll figure out which ones is most important to you, from your first down to your last. So make sure that they get something out of the Marine Corps versus them just going there and saying, "Hey, I wanna join the Marine Corps," but they're not really getting anything out of it. Make sure that they look at all the avenues.

Thomas: All right, I would say those are my top five.

Jamal: My name is Jamal Coffield. I've already depped into the United States Marine Corps.

Sgt. Hodges: After we've already talked to the individual, the applicant, we set the appointment with them. They come in. They do the interview. If they decide they want to commit with us, we set up a date where we take them to MEPS, and then they take the ASVAB. They get medically and physically qual'ed, and after they pass that, they get sworn in. After they get sworn in, that's when they come into our DEP program, which is the Delayed Entry Program.

Jamal: Sgt. Hodges, once he came in, got real close to him, really cool guy. Checks in with me all the time. He's, he's the man.

Sgt. Hodges: A lot of times, I talk to parents. I let them know, just, hey, just support your son or daughter. This is the goal that they've got set up for themselves, and we basically help, can help them get there. We let 'em know, hey, we got a mom and dad, too. And they sat in that chair just like you did, and you know, we went through the same thing. Let 'em know we're human, you know? We're not robots.