How to Become a Marine Reservist: Career Information

Research the requirements to become a marine reservist. Learn about the job description and duties, and see the step-by-step process to start a career in the marine reserves. View article »

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  • 0:04 Marine Reservist Career Info
  • 1:03 Complete High School
  • 1:48 Meet Physical Requirements
  • 2:02 Pass the ASVAB Test
  • 2:40 Undergo Recruit Training
  • 3:03 Finish Specialty Training

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Video Transcript

Marine Reservist Career Info

Marine reservists are members of the Marine Corps who lead civilian lives but are available to assist the active Marines when needed. For young people interested in the military who still want to pursue their own educational or career goals, this path is a suitable fit, though it requires an 8-year commitment. Marine reservists go through the same basic training as all Marines. This training lasts 12 weeks and is very physically intensive. Though Marine reservists live their lives as civilians, they must be ready to step into their role in the military when necessary. They are called to deploy overseas and/or serve in active combat.

Education Level High school diploma or equivalent.
Training Twelve weeks of training in athletic ability, combat, and operation in a military unit.
Key Skills Discipline, marksmanship, strength and stamina, teamwork skills, knowledge of hand-to-hand combat, and the ability to operate and maintain weapons
Salary Pay for military members ranges based on rank and number of years of service.

Sources: United States Marine Corps

Complete High School

In order to be accepted by the Marine Corps, new recruits must have either finished high school or passed the General Educational Development (GED) test. This shows a basic understanding of math, science, and other principles necessary to succeed in entrance testing, and to comprehend specific concepts taught during training.

Because physical fitness is an important part of the training process for any member of the armed forces, high school students can enhance their physical fitness by participating in physical education classes or joining one or more sports teams. Aspiring marine reservists choosing not to attend high school can still condition their bodies by dedicating themselves to a routine workout plan.

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Meet Physical Requirements

New Marine recruits are men or women and must be between the ages of 17 and 29. Additionally, they must pass a physical exam ensuring they are healthy enough to undergo the Recruit Training for all recruits.

Pass the ASVAB Test

All candidates must pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test before entrance into any segment of the armed forces. It determines math and verbal skills, and is designed to predict qualifications for certain occupations in the military. The score received on the ASVAB test is the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score, which must be a minimum of 31 for Marine candidates. Receiving a higher score also qualifies recruits for a more skilled occupation outside of the military.

Undergo Recruit Training

Marine reservists must complete 12 weeks of Recruit Training, or 'boot camp,' just like all other enlisted Marines. This training process is comprised of basic physical and technical training, such as bayonet training, martial arts, gas mask training, and marksmanship. It also has non-physical components, including training in academics, Marine core values, and first aid.

Finish Specialty Training

Following the completion of Recruit Training, Marines participate in a graduation ceremony and go on to Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) training. At MOS school, each Marine receives training in the occupational specialty they were assigned based on their AFQT score.

To recap quickly, Marine reservists go through the same training as regular Marines, meaning they must earn a high school level education, pass the ASVAB test, and undergo recruit training.

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