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Thread: Question about being a firefighter and being in the Marine Corps Reserve

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    Default Question about being a firefighter and being in the Marine Corps Reserve

    I want you guys opinion of doing firefighter full time and also being in the Marine Corps Reserve. I am currently going to college for fire science but after I graduate I want join the Marine Corps reserve.

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    do one first than the other

    why do you want to join the Marines??? I am all for service to the country, I think everyone should serve.

    It is hard enough to do both, especially getting hired full time fd

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    Default USMCR Firefighters

    I recently retired from the USMC Reserve and was a Marine firefighter for 15 years. Here's the basics:

    1. The only USMC Reserve units with firefighters are in Miramar, CA, Minneapolis, MN, and New Jersey. Unless you are within 100 miles of one of those places, forget it.

    2. USMC firefighters are part of the air wing and respond only to aircraft emergencies (ARFF-Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting). Occasionally they respond to mutual aid or handle structural response when deployed, but it is rare.

    3. In the Reserves, you will rarely get to do anything ARFF related on a drill weekend. You will spend 90% of your time on BS-physicals, maintenance, mandatory training on suicide prevention and sexual harassment, uniform inspections, etc. Out of 24 drill days and 14 days of annual training, you will be lucky to spend 4 days in a firefighter mode.

    4. Reserves have no money and the ability to get advanced training is limited.

    5. If you were to get accepted, you are looking at 3 months of boot camp, 1 month of Marine Combat Training (MCT), and approximately 4 months at fire school. You will lose a year of college time.

    6. If you want to become a Marine, do it. If you are looking for free firefighter training and GI Bill, run away. Air National Guard is the way to go for that. If you are looking for vet preference or a leg up on municipal hiring, you need to go active duty. They won't care what you did in the military, so go be infantry or something where the experience will be worth the time.

    Okay, you got me. Just go to the following page and enter "gunnyv" "7051" or "USMCR" in the search field, and you'll find where I tried to warn off about a hundred other guys like you.

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/f300...avg&order=desc

    Good luck.
    fire49 and zusmc like this.

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    What he said

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    Do you want to fight fires in the military or do you just want to be in the military? Why the Marines? Why reserve? Gunnyv explained his experiences being a Marine Reserve firefighter. He's telling you what a recruiter won't.

    There are a lot of things to look at. If you are young(er) without a significant other active duty is great. If you have a significant other or kids they need to be factored into the decision because there will be a lot of time away from home, deployment and hardship tours. The military isn't know for a low divorce rate.

    Take the chance to see the country and the world. Do stuff you will never get a chance to do again, things most people can't even dream of. When I talk to people about the military I always tell them to sign up for what they think they want to do. Many MOS's have a civilian application. If you love it you have training and experience to apply when you get out of the military. This makes you very marketable. If you don't love it you didn't spend your college money to find out and you may also have a job skill that can help you pay bills while going to college.

    Each branch has its pro's and cons. When I was looking at the military I checked out the Marines but they haven't cut the apron strings and still need Momma Navy to put on their band aids and I was going medical. Thought about the Navy but I'm not impressed by the ocean and didn't want to be stuck on a ship. The Air Force is known for taking care of their people and then thinking about the mission which means they have a good standard of living. Gave it a lot of thought because that was my Dad's branch. They also couldn't guarantee me a specific MOS and their college plan wasn't comparable to what the Navy and Army offered. Didn't really think about the Coast Guard but they do real life missions every day.

    Chose the Army and did 4 years active as a medic. Transferred to the National Guard and wound up with a total of 21 years between the two. I don't regret the decision.

    Explain your thought process a little and we'll see what we can do to help you out.

    Good luck,
    Walt
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    www.kvfd.net

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    I don't get the impression that he wants to specifically be a firefighter in the Corps.

    We have a number of members at work who are in the reserves, and our department is really good about working with them. That being said, most of them went into the reserves after serving at least 4 years full time in the armed services.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I don't get the impression that he wants to specifically be a firefighter in the Corps.

    We have a number of members at work who are in the reserves, and our department is really good about working with them. That being said, most of them went into the reserves after serving at least 4 years full time in the armed services.
    Okay, you are probably right-I might have jumped the gun a bit.

    In that case, realize that every department is different. My department treated me relatively well, but other members not so well-mostly their own fault, but I digress. Some of the issues:

    1. Most departments only test every year or two. You will miss plenty of tests while on military duty, and few agencies let you make them up. Had the Gulf War lasted 3 more days, I would have been mobilized and missed the test that got me hired, which would have put me 3 years behind where I am now.

    2. While discrimination against reservists in employment is illegal, believe me, there is plenty of resistance to hiring them. FDs operate 24/7/365, and your absence for military duty will cost them either in OT or being shorthanded, with no benefit to the department. There is also a good chance that your duty will conflict with your academy or probationary period, preventing your hiring or causing issues with your reserve drill participation.

    3. Most FDs provide only time off without pay for military duty. Unless you've been in a long time, your FD pay lost will be considerably more than your drill pay.

    4. Some agencies do grant paid time off for military duty, but usually only if you were in the reserves at time of hire.

    5. While many of your coworkers will be supportive, some will not be. Some will resent that you can buy time toward an early retirement or are "double-dipping", others may resent that you maintain seniority over them even though you were deployed and have less actual time on the job. That situation is compounded if you come back and start demanding your seniority rights over a guy who was hired the same day but hasn't missed a year while on duty.

    All food for thought from someone who lived it for 20+ years. Your mileage may vary.

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    Go ahead and do it. There are Federal and state laws preventing discrimination against any Military reservist, so a FD can't hold your reserve status against you. As a matter of fact, some FD's give you points for being a Vet. I'd finish college, go to boot camp, and then come back and start looking for jobs. You'll be in great shape as a bonus. Many times the military will also excuse you from drills if you are in a fire dept. acadamy. You MUST let them know about schedule conflicts ahead of time, but generally they will not screw with you when it comes to going through something like fire academy. You can generally transfer to units in another state if you get a job in another state. Some depts even give you paid military leave time (BONUS!!)

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    One thing I forgot to mention was that the National Guard, and by default probably the Reserves, are no longer "One weekend a month, two weeks in the summer". That went out the window over a decade ago. I highly recommend military service and think active duty is the best option I just want you to have the facts when looking at the Reserves or National Guard.

    Also, if you join the National Guard or Reserves and get deployed, don't whine that you signed up for the college money and didn't think you would get deployed (1-18 months) or didn't sign up for the deployment. Once you sign on with Uncle Sam he owns you for 8 years even if your active duty or reserve contract is completed.

    Like Gunnyv said, my department gave me 14 days of paid military leave and that was it. That doesn't always cover the time you are gone. I work with a good group and they were flexible as possible if I needed to shift trade due to drill. It didn't hurt that my supervisor also retired from the Army Reserves. But also like Gunnyv said, some people resent you being gone. Had a few that thought it was just extra leave time, like I was going on vacation or something. They didn't understand it's duty and you will be working while you are gone from the station.

    Walt
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    www.kvfd.net

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    No I don't want firefighter mos if I join the Marine Corps... Im hoping to get 03xx mos. Im not looking for money to go to college or anything I am currently paying my way to go to college (no financial aid).. All I ever wanted to be is Marine but I promised my mom I would be the first one in the family to graduate from college

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Go ahead and do it. There are Federal and state laws preventing discrimination against any Military reservist, so a FD can't hold your reserve status against you. As a matter of fact, some FD's give you points for being a Vet. I'd finish college, go to boot camp, and then come back and start looking for jobs. You'll be in great shape as a bonus. Many times the military will also excuse you from drills if you are in a fire dept. acadamy. You MUST let them know about schedule conflicts ahead of time, but generally they will not screw with you when it comes to going through something like fire academy. You can generally transfer to units in another state if you get a job in another state. Some depts even give you paid military leave time (BONUS!!)
    thanks a lots man

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    I was hoping to get 03xx mos if possible
    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I don't get the impression that he wants to specifically be a firefighter in the Corps.

    We have a number of members at work who are in the reserves, and our department is really good about working with them. That being said, most of them went into the reserves after serving at least 4 years full time in the armed services.

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    Ok

    Finish college

    Go in the Marines as an officer !!!! Active duty

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    Here is my opinion, I am currently a reservist in the Army as a Firefighter. I have been in a little over 8 years and I just signed up for another 8 years. I have never been deployed and there is nothing saying that I will be in the near future. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the training I received in the Army. I am currently a full time firefighter paramedic and I have received no hard times from anyone.

    I have received my FF1-2 Hazmat Awareness and ops. Engine Driver pumper, I am technical rescue certified, and I got my medic because of the benefits I got from the Army. To me it was the best decision I ever made in my life. I have traveled all over the US and met many great people. I still drill one weekend a month and 2-3 weeks during the year for my annual training. I have no clue how the Marines work but this is my story. I will soon get my Fire Officer 1 and instructor 1.

    I have had zero problems with getting out of drill weekend for training on my department but then again my army reserve station chief Is also a firefighter on the civilian side so he understands. Its all about who you talk to and how their experience was.

    Join the military to serve your country don't do it for the benefits otherwise you will hate it. Get your college degree then go from there! Good Luck to you!

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    All I have to say about this is, don't overload yourself.

    I'm an 0621 in the Reserves, a Call FF/EMT (And in an AEMT course to boot) And have a full time truck driving job. (And I feel as though I should mention the amazing women by my side and the 4 year old I have to make time for as well!) Its bloody HARD keeping up with all of that, and the Marines has PLENTY to keep you busy on its own. MCI's between drill weekends are a killer, especially if you have homework/training through your FD your also committed too.

    Make sure your good at managing your time, and don't let those MCI's slip. Just because its the 'reserves' doesn't mean its not a full time job. Even when your not at drill, your a Marine 24/7 365 and need to be ready to act in that capacity at a moments notice. Its a huge commitment...and in retrospect if I could do it again I would have gone Active.

    Last words of wisdom, listen to the Gunny! That applies both here and in the Corps, always listen to your Gunny.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

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    I'm actually in the process of this myself. However, my situation is a little different. I'm a career fireman for a large city department. I have no reason to join the Marine Corps other than the fact that I just want to. It's something I've always wanted but I was hired in DC at a young age. I'm actually right at the age limit now for the Marines.

    I have no desire to do firefighting in the Marine Corps though. I get enough of that at work. I'll be joining as a rifleman or combat engineer. The thing with the reserves though, is you have to make sure there is a unit near you with your desired job. On top of that, they only have a limited number of jobs. It's actually quite a process to join. They are cutting back on size and require a lot of paper work. I'm currently rushing through things as fast as I can to snag one of the two rifleman jobs in the area before they are gone.

    Good luck if you join.

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