7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (2023)

When most people think of the Marines, they think one thing: killers.

While it is true that the Marines are the most lethal of all of the military branches, what most don’t realize is that there are some really good benefits to joining.

The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the benefits that are not often talked about when thinking about joining the Marines.

These benefits will not only help for your transition to the military world but in some cases can even help your spouse or loved ones.

Here are 7 of the best benefits of joining the Marine Corps:

#7: Housing

While Marine barracks aren’t exactly the Plaza Hotel in NYC, there’s one thing about them that separates them from the competition: they’re free.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (1)

You can live and work on any of the dozens of Marine Corps bases in the US completely rent-free.

What most people don’t realize is, not all Marines live in barracks.

If approved, you can actually live off base in an apartment, condo, or home.

The US Military offers subsidized housing to all branches of the military, the US Marines included.

It’s called the Basic Allowance Housing, or BAH, and it’s essentially a “bonus” on top of your regular pay.

How much you’ll receive is based on 3 factors:

  • Geographic Duty Location
  • Pay Grade (IE Rank)
  • Dependency Status

Obviously certain parts of the country are way more expensive than others.

For example, if you were stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, the monthly allowance for a Corporal (E-4) is $2,139 without dependents, and $2,850 with dependents.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (2)

However, if you were based in Camp Lejune in North Carolina, that number drops to $996 without dependents and $1,146 with dependents.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (3)

You can determine exactly how much you’ll get with the Department of Defense BAH calculator here.

The goal of the BAH is to make it so you literally live rent-free, and is one of the biggest benefits to joining the Marines.

#6: GI Bill

We get it, college can be expensive. In fact, the average public four-year tuition for out of state students rose to $23,890 per year in 2017. (Source)

There are literally millions of college students graduating every year with a degree in one hand, and a massive student loan debt in the other.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (4)

That’s where the GI Bill comes in.

Originally introduced as the 1944 Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, the GI Bill is an educational benefit offered to members of the military that are serving in an Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard role.

Without getting too much into the specifics, the GI Bill is designed to help you pay a good chunk of your college or trade school tuition.

Related Article: 17 Scholarships For Military Children, Spouses, and Veterans

Your recruiter will have way more details than what I can provide you here, but with the GI Bill, you will essentially graduate college relatively debt-free.

#5: Benefits For Your Spouse

An often overlooked benefit of serving in the Marine Corps is your spouse.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (5)

While most Marines enter the service without a spouse, it’s a fact that a good portion of Marines will end up with a family sometime during their career.

Some of the benefits afforded to Marine spouses include things like:

  • Military Spouse Preference Program (MSP): This program essentially gives military spouses head of the line privileges when applying for Department of Defense civilian job opportunities. Keep in mind that it only applies to spouses of active-duty service-members, sorry reservists!
  • Added GI Bill benefits: Some Marines simply don’t want to go to college for one reason or another. What’s nice about the GI bill is that you can actually transfer it to your spouse and/or children.
  • Small business loans: As part of the Patriot Express Pilot loan, military spouses are eligible for loans of up to $500,000 to start a new business.
  • Military discounts: As a spouse, you can be entitled to all sorts of discounts at a wide variety of retail stores.
  • Recreation benefits: Since you’ll have an official military ID issued to you, you’ll be able to enjoy most of the same perks that active-duty personnel are afforded. These include access to on-base recreation facilities like gyms, pools, tennis courts, and much more.
  • Childcare services: Some of the larger Marine bases in the US offer childcare / babysitting services for a small nominal fee.

While having a spouse that’s serving in the military can be difficult, the Marines do all they can to help with your overall quality of life.

Related Article10 Benefits Of Being A Military Wife (and 5 not-so good things)

Some of these benefits transfer over to your immediate family as well, like your parents for instance.

#4: Kick-A$$ Uniforms

There are no two ways about it, the Marine’s uniforms are just bad-ass.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (6)

Just walking around town in your dress blues will get you noticed, and it’s widely known that the Marines have some of the coolest uniforms out of all of the branches of the military.

In the Marines, you’ll actually be issued three types of uniforms:

  • Field: These include combat utility, flight suit, and mountain warfare, with the most common one being the combat utility. These are basically the cool looking camo uniforms you see Marines wearing.
  • Dress: These are the types of uniforms Marines wear to social functions, parades, and ceremonies. They include the blue coat with sky blue trousers and slacks that you’re so accustomed to seeing Marine recruiters wearing.
  • Service: Service uniforms are another type of uniform that are used for social events and parades, and are identified by their unique khaki shirts with green trousers and slacks.

In addition, you’ll also receive all of the other basics like socks, shorts, PT gear, boots, and more.

While the uniforms alone shouldn’t be your #1 reason for signing up for the Marine Corps, it certainly can help make your decision a bit easier!

#3: Healthcare And Insurance

Like college, healthcare in the United States is very expensive.

According to CNBC, the average healthcare premium costs around $321 per month for an individual, and $833 a month for family plans.

On top of that, the average annual deductible for individual plans is $4,358, and $7,983 for family plans.

For a family with an average annual income of $59,039, these costs can quickly add up.

Do you know how much healthcare costs while you’re serving in the Marines?


That’s right, you won’t pay a dime.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (7)

All US Marines (and service members in general) are provided with free comprehensive medical care.

It’s also worth noting that most military doctors are highly trained, and experts in their field.

So you know you’ll be getting quality medical care.

Related ArticleMilitary OneSource: Your Go-To Guide

In addition, you’ll also be provided with heavily-subsidized dental care, should you choose to use it.

These benefits also transfer to your immediate family as well (IE your spouse and children), under the Tricare program.

#2: Pay

While you won’t get rich serving in the Marine Corps, you certainly won’t be left out on the street either.

The pay in the military is the same for every branch (including the Marine Corps), and is dictated by your rank and length of service.

For a private who is literally just entering boot camp (E-1), you can expect to take home $1,680 a month.

See the Marines Pay scale for E-1 through E-5 2019 rates below:

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (8)

While this may not sound like a lot, you have to consider all of the other benefits that we discussed above that you will save money on.

Things like:

  • Free / subsidized housing
  • Free medical
  • Subsidized food
  • Access to gym equipment
  • Ancillary benefits

These are things that you normally would have to pay for, all provided nearly free of charge.

#1: Retirement

While most guys and gals enlisting in the Marines don’t think about turning it into a career, it’s certainly a good idea to consider it.

7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids (9)

The way it works in the Marines is like this:

You serve on active duty for 20 years, and if you decide to retire on the day after 20 years, you will receive a monthly check for the rest of your life.

Obviously the pay is contingent on a wide variety of factors, including:

  • Exactly how long you served
  • What rank you achieved
  • Whether or not you served in an active-duty or reserve capacity
  • Several other factors

For example, a Marine that served for 30 years and retired as a Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) could expect to receive over $4,000 a month.

Related Article: 15 Best States For Military Retirees And Veterans

Keep in mind that this pay does increase year over year to adjust for inflation.

So while it might be $4,000 a month now, 10 years from now it could be way higher.

But the bottom line is this: If you served in the Marine Corps for 20 years, you will be provided with a guaranteed check every month for the rest of your life.

Not a bad deal if you ask me!

Related Articles

Pros and Cons of Joining The Navy

Pros and Cons of Joining The Air Force

Pros and Cons of Joining The Army

Pros and Cons of Joining The Coast Guard





  • Author
  • Recent Posts

Jeff E.

Jeff served with the Marine Corps Reserves as an Infantryman with Kilo Co. 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines from 1997 to 2003. 3/23 was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and served primarily in the Wasit Province of Iraq. Since exiting, Jeffhas served as a non-profit manager in the area of foster care and adoption.

Latest posts by Jeff E. (see all)

  • USMC Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 2671-2676): 2022 Career Details - March 20, 2022
  • 10 Best Marine Corps Jobs For Civilian Life In 2022 - March 20, 2022
  • Marine Corps Boot Camp Schedule - November 20, 2020

General FAQ

What are the benefits of being in the Marines?

The U.S. military offers a competitive salary, military housing or housing allowance, food allowance, free uniforms, medical care for you and your family, educational benefits, retirement plans, and affordable life insurance.

What does a Marine get paid?

Like all branches of the U.S. military, Marines are paid according to rank and time in service. Currently, a new recruit with the rank of E-1 and less than two years in service receives a base pay of $1,680 per month.

Do Marines get free flights?

Marines and their family members can utilize Space-A (space available) flights for little to no cost. While the flights are usually free, they may be subject to taxes or fees.

Do Marines pay taxes?

Military members are taxed on base pay unless they’re an enlisted member or warrant officer serving in a combat zone. For officers, the taxable amount is capped. Allowances, such as housing, food, and family separation pay are non-taxable?

How many vacation days to Marines get?

Marines, and other service members, get 30 days of "leave" (paid vacation) per year. It accumulates at a rate of 2.5 days per month. Overage can be sold back at the time of reenlistment, separation, or retirement.

Related Articles You Might Be Interested In:

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have personally vetted. Learn more.

Share on FacebookTweet on twitterShare on google+Pin to pinterest


7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps - Operation Military Kids? ›

The children of U.S. military service members are eligible for a number of benefits including education benefits, health insurance, and survivor benefits. However, these benefits are contractually tied to your service obligation.

What benefits do military children get? ›

The children of U.S. military service members are eligible for a number of benefits including education benefits, health insurance, and survivor benefits. However, these benefits are contractually tied to your service obligation.

What are 4 benefits of joining the Marines? ›

The Marine Corps provides a full benefits package, including salary, medical, housing, vacation, and other standard benefits. In addition, every Marine acquires invaluable leadership skills and also receives the honor of being called a United States Marine.

Do parents of military children get benefits? ›

As the spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for certain benefits, like health care, life insurance, or money to help pay for school or training.

What benefits do marine families get? ›

While serving in the Marine Corps, every Marine and his or her immediate family will receive a number of health benefits, including access to world-class medical facilities located on base, free comprehensive medical insurance and competitively priced dental insurance.

How much do military kids get? ›

The payments for children equal 55 percent of your covered retired pay. All eligible children divide this benefit in equal shares. If the SBP election was for spouse (or former spouse) and children, the children receive payments if the spouse is dead or dies, or otherwise becomes ineligible for the annuity.

Do military kids get money? ›

GENERAL INFORMATION. Our Military Kids offers grants (up to $300 per eligible child) to pay for extracurricular activities for children, ages 3-18, of deployed and stateside activated National Guard and Reserve service members, as well as those of combat-injured Veterans from any service branch.

What are female Marines called? ›

As of 2006, women made up 4.3 percent of Marine officers and 5.1 percent of the Corps' active duty enlisted force. Today, they are no longer referred to as "female Marines." They are, simply, Marines.

What are the 3 things in Marines? ›

Honor, courage and commitment lead us to victory over the physical, mental and moral battles faced during combat, or while serving in our communities on behalf of our Nation.

Who pays more Marines or Army? ›

The Army and the Marine Corps have the same pay. All of the branches of the U.S. military use the same pay structure based on years of service and pay grade.

How long do military benefits last for a child? ›

Unmarried biological, step-children and adopted children are eligible for TRICARE until age 21 (or 23 if in college, see "College Students" below). Eligibility may extend beyond these age limits if he or she is severely disabled.

How long can a child have a military ID? ›

How long may a dependent retain an ID card? Up to age 21. At age 21 if the dependent is enrolled FULL TIME in an accredited institution of higher learning, that dependent may have an ID card until the date of graduation or their 23rd birthday, whichever occurs first.

What benefits does my family get if I join the military? ›

Employment benefits, like health care, retirement savings, paid vacation, life insurance, and more. Off-duty entertainment, rest and relaxation activities, and other family & community offerings. Competitive salary and compensation that often includes housing allowances, and other additional pay.

Do Marines get paid more if they have kids? ›

Yes, but not in the way you're hoping. That BAH bump comes only once, when the service member gets married or, if they don't marry, when they have more than 50% custody of their first child. After that, the rate does not change per child or per dependent -- it's a one-time thing.

What to expect when your child joins the Marines? ›


Your family member can expect early mornings and late nights to be a regular occurrence. It's a lot of work but every single detail will get them ready to fight to win. Becoming a Marine is an honor but also a great responsibility and they have to be ready for anything.

Does Marines pay for house? ›

Generally, housing is provided for all active duty service members, whether they're living on or off base. There may be exceptions to this rule, which you can discuss with a recruiter.

Do military kids have to pay for college? ›

The College Tuition Fee Waiver for the Dependents of Veterans -- sometimes called the CalVet Fee Waiver -- is a state benefit that provides a tuition-free education at the CSU and the other state public post-secondary colleges and universities.

Do military kids get money for college? ›

College Fund Programs are offered to service members when they first join the Military. Also called the GI Bill “kicker,” they offer an additional amount of money that can be added to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. With the exception of the Navy and Air Force, each Service branch has College Fund Programs.

What benefits does a military child get for college? ›

The Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 36 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship and on-the-job training.

What are military children called? ›

For over 200 years, people who've been raised in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard families have been called "military brats." Navy kids have also been called Navy "juniors."

What do you call an ex Marine? ›

"Veteran marine" or "Prior service Marine" can refer to anyone who has been discharged honorably from the Corps. "Retired marine" refers to those who have completed 20 or more years of service and formally retired or have been medically retired after less than 20 years service.

How do Marines say yes? ›

Sailors and Marines say Aye Aye to superiors, especially to Naval Officers and Marine Officers (most especially to the Ship's Captain), as a positive acknowledgment of a lawful order. They don't respond to orders with Yes Sir/Ma'am because that implies an option to say No.

What do Marines call their boss? ›

CAPTAIN – responsible for leading entire companies of Marines, serving as company commander, leading tactical operations with the support of junior commissioned officers and senior enlisted noncommissioned officers.

What is a nickname for a Marine? ›

Over the years Marines have picked up nicknames like "Devil Dog" and "Leatherneck" and have adopted phrases "Semper Fidelis," "the Few, the Proud," and "Esprit de Corps." From the Marines' Hymn to the famous Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem, there is much to learn about the terminology of the Corps.

What does 3 6 mean in Marines? ›

The 3/6 is a battalion-level infantry unit composed of infantry Marines and support personnel. Infantry battalions are the basic tactical units that the regiment uses to accomplish its mission of locating, closing with and destroying the enemy by fire and close combat.

What is Marine favorite saying? ›

Latin for “Always Faithful,” Semper Fidelis is the motto of every Marine—an eternal and collective commitment to the success of our battles, the progress of our Nation, and the steadfast loyalty to the fellow Marines we fight alongside.

Who is tougher Army or Marines? ›

The Marine Corps members are called marines, not soldiers, and they typically have to go through much more intense basic training than those in the Army do, creating a reputation for being some of the toughest and most highly trained fighters.

What is the lowest paying military branch? ›

E-1: $20,340. E-1 is the lowest enlisted rank in the US military: Airman Basic (Air Force), Private (Army/Marine Corps), Seaman Recruit (Navy). Service members usually hold this rank through basic training, and automatically promote to the next rank after six months of service.

Which military branch is the safest? ›

The primary mission of the Coast Guard is to protect domestic waterways. What is the safest military branch? The Space Force is the safest military branch in terms of man-to-man combat and machine-to-machine accidents.

What happens if you have a child out of wedlock in the military? ›

Though it may appear incongruous, the bottom line is that while the military will issue an ID card and provide benefits to an illegitimate child, a member is typically not required to pay support to that child absent a court finding of paternity.

Will military get the child tax credit? ›

If your income was tax-exempt because of a combat deployment, you're eligible for the tax credit as long as you provide more than half the support for a qualified dependent.

Can I remove a child from DEERS? ›

A: You may add or remove family members to your DEERS record at the nearest military ID card issuing facility. To determine what documentation you will need to take with you, such as a Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, or Divorce Decree, please read the DoD Identity and Eligibility Documentation Requirements.

Do newborns get military ID? ›

The sponsor may complete the DD Form 1172-2 for spouse to add the Newborn Child into DEERS. Note: Children under the age of 10 are not required to be issued an ID card. (Exceptions are if the sponsor is a Single Parent, Dual Military Couple, or the child is residing outside the sponsor's home.

Do military children get military ID? ›

Military dependents who are registered in DEERS are eligible for a military ID card. In most situations, dependents under the age of 10 do not need to have a military ID. When do you get an ID card for a dependent under the age of 10? Military ID cards are not typically issued for dependents under the age of 10.

At what age can I send my son to the military? ›

Recruits must be 18 (or 17 with parental consent). The maximum age to join most services is 35. However, the Air Force allows entry up to 39 years of age, but the Navy only 34. There are several other requirements to join (or enlist in) the Military.

Do Marines get paid more if married? ›

There is no military spouse pay or stipend, but the military offers a number of benefits to help service members and their families. Your first stop after the wedding should be the nearest military ID card issuing facility to enroll in DEERS, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.

What are the benefits of marrying a Marine? ›

Military marriage benefits include housing and living allowances, health insurance, childcare, as well as access to the commissary and exchange. Furthermore, these military benefits can also assist with educational opportunities and finding employment.

Do military get to see their family? ›

Parents, extended family, and friends cannot live on base but are welcome to visit. While visiting family members and friends cannot stay overnight in the barracks, there are on-base accommodations for them, if you choose, and your service member can stay the night with you.

How much is child support in USMC? ›

Amount of Support

1 family member: 1/2 BAH/OHA, minimum $350 each. 2 family members: 1/3 BAH/OHA, minimum $286 each. 3 family members: 1/4 BAH/OHA, minimum $233 each. 4 family members: 1/5 BAH/OHA, minimum $200 each.

What is the highest paid Marine position? ›

The highest-paying job in the Marine Corps is a Supply Logistician. A Supply Logistician in the USMC makes $380,000 annually. They are in charge of preparing supplies, equipment, and in some cases, troops for deployment.

How much are Marines paid a month? ›

As of Apr 26, 2023, the average monthly pay for a Marine in the United States is $2,333 a month. While ZipRecruiter is seeing monthly salaries as high as $5,042 and as low as $917, the majority of Marine salaries currently range between $1,583 (25th percentile) to $2,625 (75th percentile) across the United States.

What happens after 4 years in the Marines? ›

To put your life on the line to protect your family, friends, country and core against all enemies. You spend 4 Years in the military the last four you are on call as a reservist. This means that the Marine Corps can utilize the Marine for a total of 8 years on active duty based on the needs of the Marine Corps.

How long will I be gone if I join the Marines? ›

Today, Marines are stationed around the world at all times, ready to deploy quickly whenever and wherever needed. Total service commitment ranges from four to six years.

Do the Marines go out first? ›

The Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.

Do Marines still get paid for life? ›

How much retirement pay does an active duty Marine officer receive? An active duty Marine officer does not receive any retirement pay. Retirement pay will come when he retires and is no longer on active duty.

Do Marines pay taxes? ›

While all pays are taxable, most allowances are tax-exempt. The primary allowances for most individuals are BAS and BAH, which are tax-exempt. Conus COLA is one allowance that is taxable.

Do Marines pay for vacation? ›

The Marine Corps provides a full benefits package, including salary, medical, housing, vacation, and other standard benefits.

Am I entitled to benefits if my father was in the military? ›

If you're the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, you may be able to get a tax-free monetary benefit called VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC).

Do I get free college if my dad was in the military? ›

​The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board.

How do I get the $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

To acquire the full amount, you need to maximize your working life and begin collecting your check until age 70. Another way to maximize your check is by asking for a raise every two or three years. Moving companies throughout your career is another way to prove your worth, and generate more money.

Do military dependents get GI Bill? ›

If you're a dependent spouse or child—or the surviving spouse or child—of a Veteran, you may qualify for Chapter 35 benefits or job training through a GI Bill program.

Do children of Marines get free college? ›

While you're on active duty, 100% of your tuition is covered at accredited institutions, up to $225 per college credit and/or $4500 per year. The Tuition Assistance Program is available at any duty station and participating can even help you earn bonus points toward promotion.

What GPA do you need for Chapter 35 VA benefits? ›

Make satisfactory academic progress which is a 2.0 cumulative GPA each semester. Failure to do so may result in academic probation/suspension which can affect future certification for benefits.

How many years do you have to be in the military to get paid for college? ›

Those who have served at least 36 months or 30 continuous days prior to discharge for a service-connected disability can get maximum tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend, and an annual stipend for books and supplies.

How many kids can you have in military? ›

If a candidate has children (dependents), can he or she enlist? DoD generally prohibits the enlistment of any applicant who has more than two dependents under the age of 18. While the Services are allowed to waive this policy, they often will not.

Does my wife get free college if I'm in the military? ›

As a spouse of an eligible service member, you'll qualify for up to 36 months (four academic calendar years) of educational benefits that include: 100% tuition and fee payments for in-state rates at public institutions OR up to $26,381 per academic year for private or foreign schools.

At what age do military dependents lose their ID? ›

The family member may sign the DD Form 1172 (Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment) using a general power of attorney (POA). How long may a dependent retain an ID card? Up to age 21.

At what age do dependents lose military benefits? ›

Most military benefits for non-disabled adult children end at age 21 -- and all of them disappear by age 27. If a child is a full-time college student, they can still receive Tricare until age 23. And parents can purchase an extended Tricare option, known as Tricare Young Adult, until they are 25.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jamar Nader

Last Updated: 12/21/2023

Views: 5663

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jamar Nader

Birthday: 1995-02-28

Address: Apt. 536 6162 Reichel Greens, Port Zackaryside, CT 22682-9804

Phone: +9958384818317

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Scrapbooking, Hiking, Hunting, Kite flying, Blacksmithing, Video gaming, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Jamar Nader, I am a fine, shiny, colorful, bright, nice, perfect, curious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.