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I Did the Same Thing-Quit School and Joined the USMC at Age 17

I joined the USMC at age 17 and it was the best thing that I could have ever done at the same time, just like you. It actually led to me getting my GED and eventually getting a BA and MPA degree later. I don’t think I would ever have made it into college without joining the Marine Corps at age 17 and I have always been very proud of my service in the USMC.
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Jack Wing CWO-3 Ret. - April 8, 2020

Yep! Sounds just like me! I tried to enlist when I was 16 in 1957. The recruiter caught on and I had to wait until I was 17. I quit school and later received a GED while stationed on Okinawa. I did the four years (1958-1962) and separated as a Corporal E-4. I kicked around doing many different jobs, but always thought of the Corps and being back in. In 1966 while Vietnam was in full swing I re-entered as a PFC. Went to my first year in Vietnam and returned as a Corporal. Was transferred to Albany Ga. where I promoted to Sergeant shortly after. I was a Sergeant for six years (Frozen MOS). Had orders to ‘Gitmo’ to work with the Minefield Maint. team in 1972. My years tour lasted five months because I was selected for the Warrant Officer Program. I retired in 1982 as a CWO-3… When I retired in 1982 I started with the Marine Corps JROTC in New Jersey and Florida. Retired from the school in 2007…I wore the Marine Corps Uniform for 46 years!!!!! I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN !!!!!!

Walter Kennedy - April 8, 2020

In reply to Bob.
I was the Platoon Commander of Platoon 374.

David E. Tyre………….Sgt……’54-’57 Platoon 437, !st Bn. PISC - April 8, 2020

In reply to Philip Kercher.
Know what you are sayin’! Same here, only I flunked out Spring quarter at UGA in 1954. Worked construction work on a road building project, joined the Corps in Oct. 1954, got off P.I. January, ’55, then ITR at Camp Geiger. Lucked up and got Sea Duty! Two med cruises and then Camp Lejeune, N.C.. got out in 1957, went back to college, graduated in 1960, and also credit the Corps for helping me grow up become a man. Gung Ho and Semper Fi!!!

Thearle Lacey - April 8, 2020

My Dad died when I was just shy of my 16th birthday. It was a major blow for me for we were extremely close. Hardly a day when I didn’t hear Marine stories from his WW II Pacific war experiences and the wounds that eventually took his life after many years of being handicapped. I signed up for the Corps at 16 in April and was due for Parris Island in a couple of months. It was right after my 17th birthday I got to PI. I’m glad I did for I strongly believe that had I not quit school and all that I wouldn’t have “made” it in life. The Corps actually became a father of sorts to set my path for my Life’s journey.

Jim Johnson, Buck Sgt E-4 - April 8, 2020

I also enlisted the week I turned 17, I quit high school in ’53, went straight to MCRD San Diego. A week later I thought “Good Grief, what, pray tell, have I done? After 3 years in the Marine Corps and 14 months 23 days in Korea, I knew what I had done. I got out in 56, finished high school, went on to get a BA and never looked back. God bless the USMC! Semper Fi!

Bernie - April 8, 2020

You all make me feel ancient, I also joined at the young age of 17 back in 1959. Best thing that I ever did. I was headed down the wrong path but the Corps got me quickly realigned. LOL

al - April 8, 2020

Quit hi-school in 54, joined the corp, would never thought I would amount to anything, the Marine Corp made me into a man, changed my life, summer of 54, at mcrd San Diego, Plt. 289, in 76 my son went in and got out in 82, I think all kids should join, makes them into a better person, it did me,

Rusty Hubbarth - April 8, 2020

I joined when I was 17, and the lessons about never quitting and seizing your objective got me through law school, and I have been practicing law now for over 28 years. I testified numerous times in my state legislature, Texas, about maintaining the death penalty for 17 yoa Murderers. When the Supreme Court said that 17 was too young to be a conscious killer, and that the 17 year old brain hadn’t developed to that point, I retorted with my experience of being in a platoon where 65% of the recruits were 17, and that we were very capable of being extreme professional killers. Eleanor Roosevelt was correct in describing the Marines as being” Over-sexed, under-paid, teenage Killers”! In my perspective, a great compliment!!!

Philip Kercher - April 8, 2020

I am so proud of what I have read – following my comment/comments above. What is/has been written is such a magnificent testament to our Corps. As all have written, it has given us the strength, fortitude, guidance and perservence to go forward – every day, year end, and year out. It has been a Mother/Father to us all. We learned that quitting was/is never an option – Marines never give up. We all know that the Corps is so ingrained into our souls that we are all one. God Bless Our Courps – today – tomorrow – and forever. Semper Fi

Lburk - April 8, 2020

I joined in `73 at 17, just to get away from home, so much a Navy brat I was born in a Navy Hospital. Went Motor T. 3522. It was a fun time. Looking back knowing what I know now, I would have stayed for the long haul.

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