After boot camp a new Marine is given 10 days of leave. It is possible that they get Recruiter's Assistance, or RA, where they assist their recruiter in making their quotas. Once leave is over, SOI is the next step for every Marine. San Diego graduates go to SOI at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA and Parris Island graduates go to SOI at Camp Geiger in North Carolina. If a Marine's MOS, or job, is infantry they will attend ITB. At ITB they will learn the basics to do their job. Non-infantry Marines, will complete a short 4 week course called MCT. Here they learn basic combat training before going onto their MOS training specific to their job. ITB students from both bases will get weekends off and sometimes nights to call their loved ones [as earned] and may leave base as long as they have a battle buddy. MCT students at San Diego get weekends off and are also allowed to leave base [if it is earned] with a battle buddy but have more restrictions. MCT students in North Carolina will often get their phones taken from them at the start of training and won't get them returned until the end so unfortunately, you won't receive contact during this time except for possible letters. Graduation from SOI isn't as formal as boot graduation and usually isn't very high in attendance. After graduation from MCT, Marines will only get about a half an hour to an hour to spend with families after graduation before they are boarding the bus to the airport to get to their next destination - MOS school. ITB Marines, shortly after graduation, will set off for their new permanent duty stations -Sometimes given leave in between the school and PDS if needed.
Officers go through a different type of training.To start, both enlisted (going through the MECEP program) and ROTC go through the same Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia. The only difference between the two is prior enlisted go for 6 weeks the first summer they are in school, where ROTC usually go for 10 weeks the summer between junior and senior year of college. For priors there is a chance that they might have to go to the 10 week OCS if they didn't complete OCS due to leadership or some medical issues. After OCS comes TBS, also in Quantico. It is The Basic School where ALL Officers attend. It's a 6 month school, VERY intense schooling that teaches all Officers to be Infantry Officers. Most Officers won't find out they're MOS until about the 18th week of TBS. The only Officers that will know their MOS earlier are the JAG and Pilot contract Officers. However, they do have a competeive slot for Pilots and NFO (Naval Flight Officer- back seat driver) and it could be only one slot or more depending. For all other MOSs [they're are 28 MOSs total] you are ranked and depending on what rank you are and what you put down will depend on what your MOS is. After TBS you will go to your school for your MOS. The location for which vary by job.
MOS school is the next step in training for non-infantry Marines. MOS schools can last anywhere from a month to over a year. For a list of MOS School times check www.marineparents.com. Many MOS schools are currently backed up, meaning a Marine could be waiting for weeks to months to even begin his training. During this waiting period, a Marine will either come home for recruiters assistance or, more likely, stay on base and do working parties until there is room. At MOS, Marines will get nights and weekends free to go off base and call home, again - as it is earned. As students [and even as fleet Marines] these privileges can always be taken away from them. They may also get long weekends for holidays, and are able to take leave. This means if you are close to base, its possible they can come home to visit - if they get it approved. MOS schools are all over the US at Marine, Army, Navy and Air Force bases. After graduation from MOS, Marines may get leave before reporting to their duty stations.
When a Marine hits the fleet he is done with training, out of student status and at his duty station with a unit doing his every day job and training for deployments. Towards the end of SOI or MOS training, Marines will get to request which coast they wish to be stationed on: either east, west, or overseas. It is a good possibility they will get what they request but this is never a given, and if they are needed elsewhere, that's where they will go. [For a complete list of bases see the 'bases' link.]Spouses are now allowed to live on base if they chose or you may chose to live off base and receive a monthly housing allowance, or BAH. Other situations also can arise once a Marine is out of boot camp. They may chose, usually later in their career [if they chose a career] as a 'b-billet' job, to be a Drill Instructor or teach an MOS school or SOI school. They may chose to do Recruiting duty It is possible that a Marine will also go on Marine Security Guard or MSG duty. Marine Security Guards are responsible for providing security at about 125 U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Those on MSG duty are primarily responsible for embassy security. For MSG duty, dependents may not accompany a Marine until he has reached the rank of SSGT.
The D word. No one wants to say it, no one wants to experience it, but chances are, you will. Deployments last anywhere from 6-14 months. The average lasts around 7. There are many types of deployments a Marine might go on. Combat deployments are when a marine goes to Iraq, Iran or more commonly in these days Afghanistan. A MEU or Marine Expeditionary Unit is when Marines combine with the Navy on a ship and go to many different countries. The best way to stay in touch during deployments is via Skype and emails, writing personal letters and sending care packages, and motomail. See links for the motomail link. Deployments also bring a change in Marine's pay that vary greatly on the type of deployment and dependents involved. See our note on our Facebook page for a breakdown.
The first "formal" Birthday Ball took place on Philadelphia in 1925. Over the years the annual Birthday Ball grew and grew, creating a very strong and fun tradition. In 1952 the Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances. For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present. The second piece goes to the youngest Marine. The marine birthday falls on the 10th of November every year and the celebration of it falls very close to to this date every year. This year, 2010, the Marine Corps will celebrate their 235th birthday.