Reenlisting in the Marine Corps

I went from saying I would never join the military to serving 27 years in …


I went from saying I would never join the military to serving 27 years in the Corps, and it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made! I am Sgt Maj Paul Davis (USMC Ret). Let’s take a look at the reasons why reenlisting in the Marine Corps could be the best decision for you, and discover the great options available to you when you choose to stay Marine. 

Semper Fi: Beyond the Job – When to Consider Reenlisting

The decision to reenlist can be overwhelming. You’ve conquered boot camp, faced deployments, and honed your skills. But is the Marine Corps life for you in the long term?

Being a Marine is more than a job; it’s a brotherhood, a legacy, and a chance to make a difference. You’ll wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor with pride, knowing you’re part of something bigger.

When should you start thinking about re-enlisting?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Here are some signs it is time to consider your options:

  • You thrive under pressure and crave constant learning. The Marines offer endless training opportunities and exciting career paths.
  • Leadership is in your blood. You enjoy mentoring and leading your fellow Marines, and the Corps offers unparalleled leadership development.
  • The global stage beckons. You’re eager to travel, experience different cultures, and contribute to a larger mission.
  • The camaraderie is irreplaceable. The bonds you’ve forged with your fellow Marines are a vital support system, and you can’t imagine leaving that behind.

Successfully Reenlisting in the Marine Corps

The key is to start early. I was proactive in my career choices and duty stations, which always paid in my favor. The old saying “being proactive versus reactive” is vital in controlling your career. The days of waiting until the 36-month mark to think of reenlisting are over. It really should be no later than two years in. 

Talk to your career planner about reenlistment options and benefits. Explore different career paths within the Marines and see if there’s a good fit for your goals. The earlier you start planning, the smoother the transition will be if you decide to reenlist.

Do not listen to the “Terminal Lances” or the infamous “Sea Lawyers” for advice. Lean on your leadership, career planner, and like-minded Marines. It’s essential to do your own research instead of listening to hearsay. 

The best place to begin your research for accurate, up-to-date information is Manpower and Reserve Affairs, courtesy of GySgt Darrick Proffitt at M&RA HQMC. The site acts as a one-stop shop to assist Marines in making the right decision for their circumstances. Here you can review comparisons between civilian and Marine Corps benefits, from medical coverage to bonuses, leave and allowances. 

Remember, reenlisting is a personal choice. But if the thought of leaving the Corps and the life you’ve built fills you with a sense of loss, it is time to explore your options. 

Semper Fi Marines!

Paul Davis
Paul is the Director of Military Relations for Sandboxx. He served in the Marine Corps for 27 years, holding various billets within the Marine Air Ground Task Force from Private to Sergeant Major. Paul completed his last assignment as the Sergeant Major of Recruit Training Parris Island.