No Marine Corps for Me Afterall

Short story…
I’m not joining because I realized infantry wasn’t the best place for me at my fitness abilities so I requested intelligence. They didn’t have that job available so I dropped. Basically, my ambitions outpaced my motivation.

Long story….
I’ve trained hard far the last 5 months. I’ve lost 35 pounds, gained a lot of muscle and had to replace my entire closet.

My pant size went from a 40 to a 33!! My shirts went from XL to M-L. Pull-ups from 1 to 14! Sit-ups from 44 to 105 (in under 2 minutes)… and infinite amounts of pushups, flutter kicks, etc. I recall complaining to my friends that I couldn’t run just 1/4 mile non stop, let alone being timed on it. Now of course, I can run 2 miles in 18:30.

It’s not good enough though, I needed to run 1.5 miles in less than 13:30- no matter what the weather outside. I can’t yet run very well in the cold. And of course, the last several run tests I took were in the cold-to-freezing-cold.

Here’s the thing about Marine recruiters… they will help you and work with you. If they see you’re pushing yourself, they’ll let you join anyway (as long as you come close to the time). No doubt they do this because bootcamp will get you in much better shape anyway. Will they let you join anyway because they need quota? Maybe a little, but I don’t think that’s a huge factor with them (I saw them turn people down regularly) when I was at their office.

Unfortunately while I was training and pushing harder for a better run time… I realized the infantry job I chose isn’t the best fit for me. Did I woose out? Sure, a little. And While I have good reasoning (I’ll be 29 next month so my body isn’t what it used to be)- my recruiters believed I could make it so I’m really just making an excuse, accepting defeat even.

Yesterday I chose to request a job change from infantry to intelligence (the only other military job that has ever appealed to me). Sadly, they didn’t have one for the reserves available… so I dropped from the program and will not be shipping out to recruit training on March 1.

Once I turn 29 next month, I will no longer be qualified for the Marines… so I’ll likely regret my choice for the rest of my life. But that’s okay- life is filled with a lot of things and regret is just one of them.

As of right now, I feel relieved. I really don’t think that level of athletics was right for me- I’ve never been an athlete (save middle school basketball). I spent 5 months gathering info in the USMC delayed entry program and learned a lot just being around those guys. I learned how they commit to missions/ tasks, got a small taste of mental toughness, and I even made a couple good friends.

I felt some healthy nervousness about bootcamp, but a lot of un-easyness about the job I chose (more and more so with every mile I ran). And then I felt completely at peace (my favorite emotion) about switching to intelligence and was very prepared to ship out for it. Ultimately though, I decided not to go for the job I initially chose and I’ll learn to live with that choice- even with the feeling of regret.

I have a ton of envy and respect for the guys who do this job, and will forever be appreciative of the people who choose that path. I will be sleeping very well tonight, knowing the caliber of people who are defending me.

Semper Fi