Marine Corps Vs The Army


Connor Tomlinson

A marine and an army recruit face off in front of the American flag

Connor Tomlinson, Staff Writer

The school year is coming to the end of the first semester and the class of 2019 is closer to graduation, along with the juniors and sophomores moving up in their high school career. These students have to decide what they are going to do after high school, and one option students have is enlisting into a branch of the military. Choosing a career such as this is a big commitment and anyone who decides to enlist needs to be well informed if they are going to be happy with their choice. A common conflict people have when enlisting is choosing which branch to join. Most of the branches have significant differences between them, the Navy is the branch that protects the sea and the Air Force is the branch that protects the skies, but the difference between the Army and the Marines is not quite as clear.

Many people who consider enlisting are conflicted with the choice of joining the Marines or the Army. Out of all five branches, the Marines and Army may be the most similar, but are still very different from each other. One of the first notable differences for someone who is enlisting, is where the branch has boot camp (also known as basic training in the Army.) For both branches, where someone lives in the America effects where recruits will go. For anyone going into the Marines, if they are a male and live to the west of the Mississippi river then they will go to boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego, California. However if they are a female anywhere in the U.S. or a male to the east of the Mississippi they will go to boot camp at the MCRD in Parris Island, South Carolina.

However if someone enlists in the Army, they have more bases where they hold basic training than the Marines, and their gender does not affect where they go for basic training. The Army holds basic training in four locations, Fort Benning in Georgia, Fork Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Where a recruit goes to basic training for the Army also has to do with what MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) they choose when enlisting because their job training starts right after their basic training. Boot camp training itself is also different for each branch. The Army’s basic training is only nine weeks long while the Marines boot camp is 12 weeks long. The main difference between the training is the Marines training is more rigorous and physically difficult, and also includes swimming training. Physical ability is also something for recruits to take into consideration. It is a given that any branch of the military someone joins will require a high level of physical fitness, but some branches require more than others. Not only does the Marine Corps train harder, but contract length is also different. The shortest contract offered in the Army is two years while the shortest contract offered in the marines is four years, so anyone joining the marines would be making a bigger commitment as opposed to someone only going two years in the army.

Both branches have over 150 job opportunities in similar fields including infantry, aviation, military police, dog handlers, tank operators, truck drivers, cooks, musicians, and more. Minor differences between some of the jobs are simply the title and equipment necessary. For example, when soldiers and Marines are put into platoons, they both have the same duties as a platoon but the weapons and communication devices they use are the only differences between them, as well as how many people are in a platoon. Some of the main differences between jobs in the branches are the Marines have more options for amphibious combat jobs, and all Marines go through training for amphibious combat regardless of their MOS. The Army also more commonly works independently than the Marines do, who sometimes work closely with the Navy.

Neither branch is better than the other, as both branches risk life and limb for the American people and push moral ethics on each other, each branch is just different  in the way they protect and train. Deciding on which branch to join simply comes down to why a recruit is joining the military, and what they want out of their career and experience in the military. A good way to make a decision is to talk to recruiters from each branch to get information on both sides, and while the recruiters will obviously be biased towards whatever branch they are recruiting for they are not going to lie to a recruit. Talking to recruiters is one of the best ways to get information and lead to a decision if someone is on the fence between two branches.