The Marine Corps or the SEALs?
The Marine Corps or the SEALs?
I am constantly bombarded about this subject by young hopefuls wanting to join the military. Some do not believe that I did both and I am lying. There is nothing better in this world than a disabled veteran with 3 combat tours, being called out by people who are either in high school, never served or worse, literally couldn’t even qualify to join the military due to being overweight. But I digress, yes it is possible to serve in multiple branches. The question I ask most often is why? If you want to be a Marine join and be a Marine. If you want to be a SEAL, join the Navy and become a SEAL. If you are already in the Marine Corps, do not get out. Screen for MARSOC, build your operational reputation there. If you leave the Marines and fail out of BUDS there is no going back.
From my experience, the biggest ego shattering experience in life would be to go from being a Marine in any MOS to being in the fleet Navy after failing BUDS (you are fleet bound) to get ordered around by some fleet shoe fat bastard. Good luck with that. The likelihood is very great due to the sheer historical percentage of all who fail the program. Since 1943, roughly 17%-19% have graduated. To put that into perspective, more guys are drafted into the NFL every year than graduate BUDS. Currently, there are more Green Berets on active and reserve duty today than all the living men who have graduated BUDS. The numbers do not lie; the program is difficult at best and crushing at worst. The good news is there is a ton of info about BUDS today. There is no reason to not be physically prepared to take this on. The mental game and the water are a whole other animal. No one likes to be cold. To be in a constant hypothermic state, wet and shivering absolutely sucks! I say it all the time; "Anyone can carry a heavy pack and do land navigation or shoot on a flat square bay range, not everyone is able to handle the water." If you want to go to BUDS be mentally prepared to be wet and cold every day for 6 months. No, the Marine Corps will not prepare you for BUDS. I get asked this question all the time. Or I will hear “hey man, I’m going to do what you did, join the Marines and get ready for BUDS, then join the Navy”. My answer is always the same. I joined the Marines because I had to. I had a criminal record and drug use. I paid for my transgressions in the Marine Corps. I served in Artillery for 4 years doing back breaking work so I would have a clean record of performance to qualify for BUDS and to get a contract. I would never change it because of the experiences and combat in Somalia, but I do not recommend this route. Why? Because the Marine Corps does not exist to train BUDS hopefuls, its sole mission is to make Marines and support the warfighter. Nothing you do in the Marine Corps will prepare you for BUDS, other than cleaning the barracks and standing duty. From the moment you join the Navy you will feel out of place, because the Navy (while it is the military) is NOT like being in the Marine Corps. Here you can see how weak even Army boot camp is compared to the Marines.
This is why if you have been a Marine you can join any other service without going to boot camp again. However, if you want to be a Marine you must, there are no waivers or exceptions YOU MUST go through Marine Corps boot camp. Here is a link to Navy boot camp. It is basically a joke to say the least, and if you want to go to BUDS, you must endure possibly the worst part of the process…Navy boot camp.
...this is a short video with a small taste of BUDS. You will notice it’s not a “screaming at you program.” You either perform or you do not, that’s it. You make the standards or you are out. By their very nature, SEALs are a lot of things-but the rebellious, think-outside-the-box with a general disregard for traditional military discipline, is what makes SEALs…SEALs. It is exactly what the Marine Corps hates about the Navy and the SEALs, the two services and communities are basically polar opposites in every way. SEALs are their own animal, with a very small community. 30,000 people become Marines every year. There has not been more than 18,000 men to graduate BUDS since 1943, that’s roughly 232 a year