Q. Hello, my name is Stuart Robertson, I am 15 and I
come from a big military family, I already know it is my destiny
to be in the military and for this I am glad, but my only problem
is that I am torn between two decisions, to either join the Army
or the Marines. I would rather join the Marines but I think that
my grandfather and father would rather me be the Army, while my
great uncle, a World War 2 Marine veteran would want me to be
in the Marines. If possible, email me with some advice. Thank
A. Thanks for writing to me. It is always a pleasure to
get email. I make it a policy to answer every email that I get.
First, let me say that your willingness to serve your country
is noble. I think it is every American's duty to serve at least
one tour in the Armed Forces.
But what worries me about what you said is that it sounds
like your motivation for joining stems from your family and
not from your heart. The first issue you must resolve is who
are you joining up for: yourself or your family? If the answer
is the latter, then you have some more thinking to do. It is
honorable to make your family proud and I derive a certain amount
of satisfaction from it myself. But they will not be there when
you are going through bootcamp, when you are going through the
rough times that you cannot even imagine yet. Your motivation
needs to be for your country and come from your inner self.
The need to satisfy or live up to your lineage is not enough
to allow you to excel. This is one time where you have to think
about what YOU want because it is your life and you will have
to endure the consequences.
Now, if you decide that you want to do this, you then have
to decide which service to join. I will not sway you either
way because you have to research what each one stands for and
align that with what you want to accomplish. Again, your decision
must NOT hinge on what the wishes are from your family. Now
that is not to say that you cannot go to them and ask what it
is like to be in one service or the other. In fact, that is
what you SHOULD do. Each service has its own beliefs and priorities.
You must discover what those are and which one you are best
suited for. After you make that decision, then you must go after
it with fury and violence of action, letting nothing nor no
one get in your way. Good luck.
Semper Fi and God Bless!
-- Lt Grose