Marine v. Army


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
May 24, 2007
For someone looking to potentially go into a "ground" service what are the differences between the marines and army. I know the Marines go on ships and the mission differs slightly. I also know they hold traditions and history as well as physical fitness very high. What are other differances in terms of where you typically get stationed, promotability, deployments, training, etc.
I was in the Air Force but spent time with both Army and Marines at deployed locations. The Marines tend to be out there on their own a little more. Fast and furious attack. The Army was more of a sledge hammer bigger bulkier a crush it mentality. Much time has passed though so I am gonna make a recommendation.

Insight into a young Marine officer can be found in a book called "One Bullet Away" by Nate Fick. Takes you from college to Basic to Afgahnistan and Iraq.

Lone Survivor was written by Marcus Luttrell and covers his experience in BUDS and Afgahnistan. He was wounded and his team was killed in a fight with AQ and Taliban.

Moment of Truth by Michael Yon can give you some great insight into how the Army and Army SF works.

You should be able to find all of them at your local library so you don't have to pay 20 bucks a piece unless you want.
swimmerguy09 - I suggest you take a look at both the Marines and Army website. While Marines and Soldiers both perform ground missions the organizations are vastly different. The Army is quite large for one thing - there are many branches of Army and many different opportunities available. The cultures are different as well. Perhaps you could go down to your local recruiting center and chat with a Marine and a Soldier - realizing of course they will both be trying to "sell you" their service.

The officer training programs are quite different. While you may commission Marines from the Naval Academy you won't get any real Marine training early on. All your summer training will be geared toward Navy until after your Junior year, I believe.

At USMA, both male and female cadets undergo infantry training starting with Cadet Basic Training - or Beast. This is one area where the Naval Academy "Plebe Summer" is vastly different from West Point's Beast. You will also have Cadet Field Training after the plebe year. As far as ROTC goes - the Army offers many 4 year ROTC scholarships while NROTC-MC scholarships are limited in quanitiy and by college. The Marines does offer the PLC program but this is training in the summers only and does not involve ROTC.
Become informed and make the best decision for YOU.

"One Bullet Away" is a great book. Another fantastic book to read is "This Man's Army" by Andrew Exum. He like Fick, is an Ivy league grad. He gives a very good look at the journey of a junior Army infantry officer - from Ranger School through being a platoon leader in Afghanistan. Both are available at