7 Benefits of Marine Corps Membership

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

While it's true that the Marines are the deadliest of all the military branches, what most people don't know is that there are some really good benefits to joining them.

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

Not only do these benefits help you transition into the world of the military, but in some cases, they can help your spouse or loved ones as well.

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

#7: Housing

While the Marines' barracks aren't exactly the Plaza Hotel in NYC, there is one thing that sets them apart from the competition: they are free of charge.

You can live and work completely rent-free on one of the dozens of Marine Corps bases in the U.S.

What most people don't know is that not all Marines live in barracks.

If you have a permit, you can actually live off base in an apartment, condo or house.

The U.S. military offers subsidized housing to all branches of the military, including U.S. Marines.

This is called Basic Allowance Housing (BAH) and is basically a "bonus" on top of the regular pay.

How much you get depends on 3 factors:

  • Geographical place of employment
  • Grade (IE rank)
  • Dependency status

It is obvious that certain parts of the country are much more expensive than others.

For example, if you are stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, the monthly allowance for a corporal (E-4) is $2.139 without dependents and $2.850 with dependents.

However, if you are stationed at Camp Lejune in North Carolina, that number drops to $996 without dependents and $1.146 with dependents.


Use the Department of Defense's BAH calculator to determine exactly how much you'll get.

The goal of the BAH is for you to literally live rent free, and it's one of the biggest benefits of joining the Marines.

#6: GI Bill

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

Each year, millions of students graduate from college with a degree in one hand and a large loan debt in the other.

That's where the GI Bill comes in.

Originally established as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, the GI Bill is an educational benefit offered to military members serving on active duty, in the reserves, or in the National Guard.

Without going into too much detail, the GI Bill is intended to help you pay for a large portion of your college or vocational school expenses.

Related Article: 17 scholarships for military children, spouses and veterans

Your recruiter will know a lot more details than I can give 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.


While most Marines enter the service without a spouse, it is a fact that a large percentage of Marines will start a family at some point during their career.

Benefits granted to spouses of Marines include things like:

  • Military Spouse Preference Program (MSP): this program essentially gives priority to military spouses when applying for Department of Defense civilian jobs. Remember, this program is only for spouses of active duty service members, not reservists!
  • Additional GI Bill Benefits: Some Marines just don't want to go to college for one reason or another. The good thing about the GI Bill is that you can transfer it to your spouse and/or children.
  • Small business loans: Under the Patriot Express Pilot Loan, military spouses are eligible for loans of up to 500.000 dollars to start a new business.
  • Military discounts: as a spouse, you are eligible for all sorts of discounts at a variety of retail stores.
  • Recreational allowances: Since you will be issued an official military ID card, you will enjoy most of the benefits that are also granted to active soldiers. This includes access to on-base recreational facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts and more.
  • Childcare: some of the larger naval bases in the U.S. offer childcare/babysitting services for a small fee.

While it can be difficult to have a spouse serving in the military, Marines will do everything in their power to improve your overall quality of life.

Related Article – 10 benefits of being a military wife (and 5 not-so-good things)

Some of these benefits also transfer to your immediate family, such as your parents.

#4: Kick-A$$ Uniforms

There's no doubt about it, the Marines' uniforms are just badass.

When you walk around town in your blue uniform, you stand out, and it's widely known that the Marines have some of the coolest uniforms of any branch of the military.

In the Marines, you get three types of uniforms:

  • Field: this includes Combat Utility, Flight Suit, and Mountain Warfare, with Combat Utility being the most common. These are basically the cool looking camouflage uniforms you see in the Marines.
  • Dress: These are the types of uniforms that Marines wear for social occasions, parades and ceremonies. This includes the blue coat and sky blue pants, as seen on Marine recruits.
  • Service: service uniforms are a different type of uniform used for social events and parades and can be identified by their unique khaki shirts with green pants and pant legs.

In addition, you also get all the other basics like socks, shorts, PT gear, boots and more.

While the uniforms alone shouldn't be the most important reason to enlist in the Marine Corps, they can certainly make your decision a little easier!

#3: Health care and insurance

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

According to CNBC, the average health insurance premium costs about $321 per month for an individual and $833 per month for family coverage.

In addition, the average annual deductible for individual insurance is 4.358 and for family insurance 7.983 $.

For a family with an average annual income of 59.039, these costs can add up quickly.

Know how much health care will cost while you serve in the Marines?

That's right, you won't pay a dime.

All U.S. Marines (and service members in general) receive free comprehensive medical care.

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

So you can be sure you are getting quality health care coverage.

Related Article – Military OneSource: Your Go-To Guide

You will also receive heavily subsidized dental care if you choose to take advantage of it.

These benefits are also extended to your immediate family under the Tricare program (d.h. on your spouse and children).

#2: Payment

You may not get rich serving in the Marine Corps, but you certainly won't be left stranded either.

Pay in the military is the same across all branches (including the Marine Corps) and is based on rank and length of service.

For a private who is literally just entering boot camp (E-1), you can get in with 1.Calculate $680 a month.

Check out the Marines' pay chart for E-1 through E-5 2019 below:

This may not sound like much, but you have to consider all the other benefits we discussed above where you'll save money.

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

These are things you would normally have to pay for, but they are all offered almost for free.

#1: Retirement

While most guys and gals who join the Marines don't think about making a career out of it, it's certainly a good idea to consider it.

Here's how it works for the Marines:

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

Of course, what you pay depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • How long you have served
  • What rank you have achieved
  • Whether you served on active duty or in the reserves
  • Some other factors

For example, a Marine who has served for 30 years and retires as a Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) could be paid over 4.000 dollars per month calculate.

Related Articles: The 15 best states for military retirees and veterans

Remember that this salary increases every year to compensate for inflation.

So while there are now 4.000 dollars per month are, it could be much higher in 10 years.

But the bottom line is that if you've served in the Marine Corps for 20 years, you'll get a guaranteed check every month for the rest of your life.

Not a bad deal if you ask me!

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Jeff served with the Marine Corps Reserves as an infantryman with Kilo Co. 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines from 1997 to 2003. The 3/23 deployed to Iraq in 2003 and served primarily in Iraq's Wasit province. Since leaving the service, Jeff has been a nonprofit manager in the foster care and adoption field.

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General questions

What are the benefits of being in the Marines?

The U.S. military offers a competitive salary, military housing or housing allowance, meal 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 length of service. Currently, a new recruit with the rank of E-1 and less than two years of service receives a base salary of 1.680 dollars per month.

Get Marines free flights?

Marines and their family members can use Space-A flights (space available) for little to no cost. Although the flights are usually free of charge, taxes or fees may apply.

Num Marines Taxes?

Military personnel are taxed on their basic pay unless they are soldiers or officers serving in a combat zone. For officers, the taxable amount is capped. Allowances such as room, board and separation pay are not taxable?

How many vacation days do Marines receive?

Marines and other military personnel receive 30 days of "furlough" (paid leave) per year. This will accumulate 2.5 days per month. Excess leave can be sold back upon reenlistment, separation or retirement.