Are you considering joining the Marine Forces Reserve? Perhaps you’re getting off active duty and you think the Reserve will make for a smoother transition into civilian life. That might be true, but MFR is currently facing a major recruitment problem and with good reason. And I, a Marine veteran and former reservist, want to make sure that you have full warning of the downfalls before you make the jump into the elite weekend-warriors.

Timing

No matter the event, holiday, or circumstance, a drill will always shit on your month. Here are some times to expect drill to occur.

  • Any major holiday
  • When she finally has free time for a date
  • Any wedding
  • When the weather is finally beautiful enough for a cookout

You get the picture.

Too much annual training

The Marine Corps continues to add required annual training every year, and the current PFT consists of a two-day event that’s essentially an entire drill period devoted to deciding you’re physically fit. But trying to jam pack it all into one weekend a month and two weeks a year is nearly impossible. This introduces the ideas of five-day drills — which means you’ll be pounding the pavement Wednesday through Sunday while your first born is being delivered.

Too little money.

Real talk: They don’t pay you enough to make it worth it. By the time that sweet, sweet direct deposit of $120 hits your account, you can basically pay off your cell phone bill and that’s it. When I was drilling and going to school, I was bartending on weekends, so I was basically losing out on hundreds of dollars while having to pay for my gas, tolls, and any other expenses from travel.

Now, I’m only pointing out the frustrating human elements. Truth is, the reserves are pretty great. You can’t put a price on being around the guys who humble you and remind you what community feels like. Also, any reservist who says that I’m wrong is stolen valor. Show me your DD-214, bro.

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