Life After MARSOC and ITC

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JrodBones

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I would like to start off by saying that I am not getting a head of myself, and do not want my question to come off that way at all. I am looking into other possibilities within the Marine Corps, and SOF has always been an interest of mine. The main reason that I did the Marine Reserves is so I could pursue my degree. My question is about life after A&S and ITC. By asking, I am in no way implying that I will make it through even A&S, but I would like to see if it is something that I should seriously look into.

What is life like being an operator in MARSOC?

I understand that with any SOF there is going to be a LOT of training. Is the training mainly conducted overseas or out of state (from your normal duty station)? I am not referring to going out to the field for days or weeks at a time as that is not an issue. I have a friend that was a SEAL and he said they would go on 6 month deployments and then come home for about a year, but out of that year, they were out of the state or country training for 8 months.

The main reason that I ask is because I have a wife and a 4 month old daughter. I do not mind deploying, in fact, I have not been able to as of yet so am really looking to. However, I do not want to be away from my family for 8-10 months out of a year constantly.

Any answers from MARSOC operators with a wife and kids would be great as well.

Thanks in advance for the responses.
 

0699

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Here's my two cents; applies to the entire military IMO...

If you want to set limits on how long you're away from home
However, I do not want to be away from my family for 8-10 months out of a year constantly.
then the military (even the Guard or Reserve) is not for you. In the Corps we call it being "world-wide deployable". My last four years in the Corps, I was deployed for 21 months. One of the biggest reasons I retired was because I wanted to spend time with my family and no longer cared to live my life at the whims of the Corps or a training schedule.

When I first joined the Corps, I LIVED to be gone. I loved being overseas, being in the field, being dirty, everything about being gone. I HATED being in garrison. But after 23 years I was ready to be home on a regular basis, so I retired.

Now I get to see my youngest almost everyday in the morning before he leaves for high school. Hell, last year we used to go to the bus stop in the morning and got to spend 5-10 minutes talking before he got on the bus. I never experienced that quantity of time around him till last year, because even when I was home I left for work between 0500-0530, long before he woke. I never got to experience that with my oldest child.

Maybe you can volunteer in your local community, get a satisfaction of service to your community, and still be home when you want.
 

JrodBones

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0699 Thank you for your response and for the personal story.
I appreciate it.

I have been in the Marine Corps Reserves for about 4 years, and have not deployed as of yet even though I have put my name out there quite a few times.
My best friend that I joined the Corps with went active duty infantry. He is getting ready to get out, and in his 4 years of service he did about 4 months in Japan; 4 in Afghan; and then about 6 months in Thailand.
That rotation isn't too bad. On the other hand, I have other friends that out of their 4 years of service deployed almost every year.

I guess it is something you just cannot plan on.

I have also heard that the SOF community is a different field.

I love the Marine Corps, and do not think that I'll get the same satisfaction any place else.
That is the main reason why I'm trying to find a balance.

Thanks again for the post.
 

AssadUSMC

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I'll chime in... I've been more deployed AFTER the Marines than when I was in. If you're in any kind of SOF organization, expect to be gone. A lot. I have a ton of friends from across the SOF spectrum and all can recount stories of 330+ days/year deployed. Hell, I did 300 days last year and I'm just a "civilian". That said, I'm a little burned out and looking for something else. You need to prioritize what's important and then do it. Do you have a family yet? Do you want one?
 

JrodBones

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You need to prioritize what's important and then do it. Do you have a family yet? Do you want one?

Thanks for the response.

I do currently have a family.
I am married, and my wife and I have a now 4 month old little girl.

I am currently in the Marine Reserves and sit behind a desk for my civilian job....and it drives me crazy.
I KNOW that I want to do more in the military, but am not sure in which aspect.

I want something challenging both mentally and physically but fun/exciting at the same time.
While I do not have to be gone 330 days out of a year like you mentioned.
I do not want to put that strain on my wife and kid(s).

Personally, if I were not married with a kid, I would not mind being gone so much.
 

Dru33

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I'm with Marsoc support group and right now I'm attached to a company. we were gone a lot just for workups and they were out of state for a month at a time. this is just workups too, the operators have to go to schools in between these exercises dude and most of them are like 2 weeks to 3 months. It's crazy what they go through. The cool thing is though is that sometimes you can actually bring your family with you and they can stay in a hotel while you're out training. Then on days when you're not going to any schools or training or nothing, theres a 90% chance you'll go home early that day.
 

ISO

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Dude, you want to be an operator with a wife and a baby? It is either you want to put your life on hold with them for 5 years and do some cool shit and possibly die or stay with them. Im not a operator but i've spoken to some; it puts a strain on a marriage not everyone can do it, and like others had said its constant training. You have to decide what you really want and if your wife supports you then go for it.
 

JrodBones

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Thanks again for the responses.

That's exactly where the tough decision is.
I know my wife will support me, but from what I understand I understand is I would be gone A LOT.
Probably more than I'd like.

It just amazes me how much training is off site and in other states or countries.

Deployments are deployments, and I expect them to roll around.
I expected them to come around more often in the reserves than they actually do.
However, mixing them with the constant training is where it gets tough.

Thank you again for all of the advice.
 

Teufel

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All I have to say is there is a reason they used to call it 1st Divorce Recon Company.
 

JrodBones

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All I have to say is there is a reason they used to call it 1st Divorce Recon Company.

Thank you for the input.
That actually reminded me of a coworker that told me, "good luck, the divorce rate in the Marine Corps is 110%"
I had to say, "well that's because Marines always do things to the max....and then some."

My wife is very supportive of whatever decisions I make. At least that's what she said.

It's hard with all of the different options out there, and then trying to add in the balance of family and something you love doing makes it that much more difficult.

I do know two things though.....I'm ready for my contract in the reserves to be done, and that I want to do something better. No bueno.
 

ovicidal01

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My wife is very supportive of whatever decisions I make. At least that's what she said.

I'm going to (try to) join with the forces here. I have 150% of my gf's support. If the forces accept me, I'm single...

You might have the support, but she might not follow you... For me, it's one of those "if that's what you want to do, do it, but I'm not going." She just doesn't want that lifestyle. Find out before hand how far that support extends. Let her know about the possibilities surrounding your choices, and give her time to weigh things out before hand.
 

Teufel

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Thank you for the input.
That actually reminded me of a coworker that told me, "good luck, the divorce rate in the Marine Corps is 110%"
I had to say, "well that's because Marines always do things to the max....and then some."

My wife is very supportive of whatever decisions I make. At least that's what she said.

It's hard with all of the different options out there, and then trying to add in the balance of family and something you love doing makes it that much more difficult.

I do know two things though.....I'm ready for my contract in the reserves to be done, and that I want to do something better. No bueno.

My marriage survived my time with force but it wasn't easy. There was one year where I was no kidding only home for two to three weeks because all of our training was off site and I left the country three times. It was awesome training, but my wife wasn't that thrilled about it.
 

0699

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It's not about the Corps, it's about the woman, you, and your strength together. If your relationship is strong, the deployment (IMO) will strengthen the marriage. If your marriage is weak, deployment will destroy the marriage.

In the first 24 months of my marriage I was on exercise or deployed for 17 of them. 21 years later, still married to the same woman. Hell, we considered deployments a break from each other and they made us value each other more when we were together again. I've seen civilians get divorced because they were tired of each other.

I'm not trying to be all romantic, I'm just tired of people blaming the Corps or deployment when their marriage fails. But I guess that is a sign of modern America. It's always someone/something else's fault...
 

fox1371

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I would suggest getting yourself onto a deployment before you make the decision to try out for MARSOC. I would try my hardest to go active reserve for a combat tour. Find out what units are deploying and see if you can't get on the pump with them. This way, you can see how things are when you're gone in a combat zone for 7 months or so, and you can see how your relationship holds up. Then you'll be able to make a more educated decision about whether you want to be away from home, based off of YOUR relationship and not others. The other plus with doing this, will be that you won't go through all of the training for MARSOC, only to find out that it's not the lifestyle you want. Active side of the Marine Corps is a different world than the reserves. You may or may not like what all it entails. Not to try and put you down at all, but there is a difference in being activated for a few weeks for training, and living it day in and day out. In case you don't pay attention to current events, there is plenty of stuff going on in the world and there will be plenty of work for MARSOC for years to come. No harm in taking some time to work your way up to it.
 

JrodBones

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0699 thank you for your input.
The way that you put it definitely shed some new light on the subject.
What you and Teufel both said show that even though it is hard, it is possible.

I would suggest getting yourself onto a deployment before you make the decision to try out for MARSOC. I would try my hardest to go active reserve for a combat tour. Find out what units are deploying and see if you can't get on the pump with them. This way, you can see how things are when you're gone in a combat zone for 7 months or so, and you can see how your relationship holds up. Then you'll be able to make a more educated decision about whether you want to be away from home, based off of YOUR relationship and not others. The other plus with doing this, will be that you won't go through all of the training for MARSOC, only to find out that it's not the lifestyle you want. Active side of the Marine Corps is a different world than the reserves. You may or may not like what all it entails. Not to try and put you down at all, but there is a difference in being activated for a few weeks for training, and living it day in and day out. In case you don't pay attention to current events, there is plenty of stuff going on in the world and there will be plenty of work for MARSOC for years to come. No harm in taking some time to work your way up to it.

Fox1371
I have been trying to get on a deployment, but with a unit of 400 it is difficult. In fact, I was suppose to be going this next year but everything keeps changing (don't want to be too specific). I am also trying to work my way up as you suggested because I know that even if I tried to get into MARSOC I probably couldn't at this point.

I understand that active duty Marine Corps is completely different from the reserves, in fact, I am glad that it is. It is the reserves that I want to be done with...not the Corps or the military in general. Which is also why I have not limited myself to looking into other options ONLY within the Marines.

Also, I do not what you said as a put down at all. I appreciate all advice given.
 

buffalo61

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Have you looked into IMA? There are always billets open for deployment, you just have to keep your eyes open for one that you qualify for.
 

JrodBones

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Have you looked into IMA? There are always billets open for deployment, you just have to keep your eyes open for one that you qualify for.

I haven't heard too much about IMA.
After reading your post, I looked up as much info as I could find.
I am going to try and contact our career planner and see what he has to say.

The only thing that I have really been able to find are billets through MARFORRES, but have not been able to find anything accepting my rank or MOS.

Thanks for the tip.
 

EmbracetheSuck

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Jrod,
There are plenty of IMA billets that run with an 8014 mos(I believe thats right) which almost every Marine qualifies for check out II MEF they have a lot of opportunities
 

JrodBones

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Jrod,
There are plenty of IMA billets that run with an 8014 mos(I believe thats right) which almost every Marine qualifies for check out II MEF they have a lot of opportunities

Thank you for the tips.
I just checked out both the IIMEF and IMEF IMA billets.
I also have been looking into the MARFORRES billets available.

I have heard of non-infantry Marines with no deployments getting the opportunity to attend A&S then going active for 3 years upon completing ITC.
However, there is just something that tells me having deployment experience may help.
 
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