"Why join the Marine Corps? What's in it for me?"
These are probably questions that any teenager that has ever been approached by a recruiter has asked. I'm sure that recruiters have hundreds of canned responses to every question, or objection, that potential recruits can offer. Here's a few of mine.
For me, joining the Marine Corps was one of the best decisions that I ever made. It has changed my life in so many positive ways, that trying to list every detail wouldn't be possible. Anything that I look back on in my civilian days as being negative, has been improved by my experiences in the Corps.
Before I joined, I was severely lacking in self-discipline. I didn't have much direction, or purpose in my life. I had a fondness for taking the easy route...things that took effort and hard work were not on my list of interests.
The Corps has made me different in several ways. I'm much more focused, I have a much stronger desire to be successful, and I find hard work rewarding.
Physical fitness has been an additional benefit. Not only am I in pretty good shape, but I've seen other young men join the Corps and lose 90 pounds.
Of course, the Corps has forced me to make a few changes, but the results of those changes are fantastic. It's not an easy life, but it's not supposed to be. It is, however, a very rewarding life on a personal level. I'll also leave the Corps with many qualities that employers value, such as discipline, dedication, initiative, integrity, and a strong desire to win. My college education that the Corps is paying for won't hurt either.
It might not be a cake walk, but it has made me better, and prepared me for just about anything that life can throw at me. I look back at what I was doing before I joined, and wonder, "Why in the hell did I wait as long as I did?"