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Air Force or the Marines – Which Military Branch Would You Join?



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If it came down to the Air Force or Marines – Do you know the benefits of joining the Marines or the Air Force? Joining the military is a huge step to take. Not only will you be committing the next few years of your life to service, but you will also have to choose a branch. The Air Force and the Marine Corps are two great branches of the United States Military. It may not be easy to choose between the two.

If you’re struggling to make this decision, it’s best to understand the differences. Both are great options for anybody wanting to join the military. However, only one can be the right choice for you. Here’s a look at the Air Force vs. Marines and what you should know.

First, Look at the Ways You Can Join

Every branch of the military provides similar ways to join. The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air force both offer active duty and reserve duty. In addition, both offer additional training.

The Air Force offers Officer training including:

ROTC
• Officer Candidate School
• U.S. Air Force Academy
• Direct Appointment

The U.S. Marine Corps offer Officer training including:

ROTC
• Officer Candidate School
• U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis
• Direct Commission Officer

When it comes to ways to join the Air Force and the Marines, the options are very similar.

Enlistment Options

The Air Force and the Marines both offer Standard Enlistment and a Delayed Entry Program. The DEP allows you to enlist and delay your training for up to 365 days with both branches of the military. These are the only two enlistment options offered by the Air Force. The Marine Corps also offers the National Call To Service program for qualified applicants. This is a two-year enlistment option.

Enlistment Incentives

Both the Air Force and the Marines offers plenty of enlistment incentives. These incentives may vary depending on when you join and what you plan to do as a job. All U.S. military members gain access to the G.I. Bill, which helps provides educational benefits. In addition, there are student loan repayment benefits, an accelerated program for some qualified candidates and Special Forces recruitment for the Air Force. The Marines doesn’t offer a Special Forces option.

Enlistment bonuses can be as high as $40,000 and depend on the job specialty and rating. The length of your enlistment will also help to determine your bonus. Some reenlistment bonuses are also available for both the Air Force and the Marine Corps.

Know Your Job Choices

One of the biggest differences you will find between the Air Force and the Marines are the job choices. While some are similar, as different branches of the military, they both offer something a bit different.


Air Force job options include more than 150 different careers, such as:

• Administration
• Avionics
• Electronics
• Intelligence
• Medical
• Special Forces
• Flying/Navigation
• Weapons Systems

Marine Corps job options include more than 300 MOSs found in 35 total fields, such as:

• Intelligence
• Logistics
• Data/Communications
• Legal Services
• Electronics
• Aircraft Maintenance
• Avionics
• Engineering
• Transportation
• Public Affairs

The job you want to perform may end up being the deciding factor when it comes to choosing between the Air Force and the Marine Corps.

Recruit Training

Recruit Training also called boot camp or basic training varies from one branch of service to another. The Air Force basic military training lasts 8.5 weeks and will be done at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The Marine Corps Recruit Training lasts 12 weeks and will be done at one of two locations: Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego or Paris Island. Marine Corps training is the longest of all the branches and known to be a bit more intense than other branches of the military.

Awesome Education Benefits

The education benefits you’ll gain when you join the Air Force or Marine Corps are very similar. Both offer the GI Bill and tuition Assistance Programs. The Air Force also offers college loan repayment and the Community College of the Air Force, while the Marines offer some continuing education programs.

If you’re considering joining the military, both the Air Force and the Marine Corps offer great options. It may come down to the job you want to perform, but you can’t go wrong with joining either branch of the United States Military.

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