Becoming a US Marine as a foreigner is no easy task. Before we go further we will give you a brief of overview of US Marines. The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also known as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting amphibious operations with the United States Navy. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.
The Marine Corps has been a component of the U.S. Department of the Navy since 30 June 1834, working closely with naval forces. The USMC operates installations on land and aboard sea-going amphibious warfare ships around the world. Additionally, several of the Marines’ tactical aviation squadrons, primarily Marine Fighter Attack squadrons, are also embedded in Navy carrier air wings and operate from the aircraft carriers.
The history of the Marine Corps began when two battalions of Continental Marines were formed on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as a service branch of infantry troops capable of fighting on both at sea and on shore. In the Pacific theater of World War II the Corps took the lead in a massive campaign of amphibious warfare, advancing from island to island. As of 2017, the USMC has around 186,000 active duty members and some 38,500 reserve Marines. It is the smallest U.S. military service within the DoD
How to Join the U.S. Marines As a Foreigner
Over the centuries, the United States has historically welcomed immigrants to its shores and millions of them have made the trek. America has been so welcoming that it’s even made a place for eligible foreign-born non-U.S. citizens within the ranks of its armed forces. If you were born in another country and aren’t a citizen but desire to serve in America’s military, then there is a way to do so. The Marine Corps, for example, does allow eligible foreigners to seek enlistment.
Marine Corps Qualifications
Like its three sister service branches, the Marine Corps has a number of qualifications you must meet in order to serve. For one, only those between the ages of 17 and 29 can join the Marine Corps, though age waivers for those over 29 are sometimes possible. You also must possess a high school diploma and meet stringent physical, mental and moral standards to become a Marine. Additionally, the Marine Corps only accepts U.S. citizens or foreign nationals legally residing in the U.S.
U.S. Resident Aliens
U.S. resident aliens are citizens of other countries with a special, nearly permanent resident status. You’re considered a legal resident alien if you posses an Immigration and Naturalization Service Alien Registration, INS Form I-151/551, more commonly called a “green card.” Only foreign-born non-U.S. citizens having green cards can enlist in the Marine Corps or the other three military service branches. Also, U.S. resident aliens desiring to enlist as Marines must be able to speak, write and read English fluently.
Resident Alien Enlistments
Resident aliens are authorized to enlist in the U.S. military but officer commissions are limited to citizens. The Marine Corps also can’t forward recruiting information through international mail, even to U.S. citizens. If you’re foreign-born and want to become a U.S. Marine you’ll need to enter the country legally, obtain resident alien status and then visit a recruiter. The Marine Corps only takes those who do well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, so study thoroughly prior to taking it.
Immigrating to the U.S.
The U.S. military isn’t allowed to assist foreign nationals in obtaining entrance into the United States. Immigration to the U.S. and eventual naturalization as a citizen is handled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Foreign nationals may visit the USCIS website to start the process of immigration to the United States. Many resident aliens in the U.S. began their journey by applying for family- or employment-based immigration visas, the granting of which may be immediate or could take several years, depending on different factors. Hope you now know how to join the US Marines as foreigner.