Ready at All Times

Ready to supplement the active-duty forces when needed, the Marine Corps Reserve is critical to the Marine Corps' ability to provide a balanced, prepared force. Marines in the Reserve go through the same intense training and work in the same Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) as their active-duty counterparts. However, with the ability to train part-time with a Marine Corps Reserve unit near home or school, these Marines can continue to pursue a full-time civilian career or an education. To get answers to your questions about joining the Marine Corps Reserve from a Marine Recruiter, please request more information. 


After successful completion of Marine Corps Recruit Training and becoming proficient in their MOS, Marines in the Reserve begin their duties as a Reserve Marine. From this point forward, training periods are called drills, which usually occur one weekend every month and two weeks each summer (full-drill status). The last portion of their commitment is spent in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) where they are not obligated to participate in military activities unless specifically called upon to meet support requirements. Enlistment term options include:

  • The first six (6) years are spent in a drilling status with the last two (2) in the IRR. Those who wish to participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill must choose this program.
  • The first five (5) years are spent in a drilling status and the last three (3) will be as an IRR member.
  • The first four (4) years are spent in a drilling status and the remaining four (4) in the IRR.


Marines in the Reserve maintain civilian commitments but are ready to support the Marine Corps in major combat assignments, humanitarian efforts and national emergencies. They must live up to the same standards as all Marines. Reserve Marines go through the same 12 weeks of Recruit Training, work in the same Military Occupational Specialties as active-duty Marines, and are required to meet nearly identical eligibility requirements. If you have questions about eligibility requirements in the Marine Reserve, a Marine Recruiter is your best source of information.


Some of the benefits and responsibilities you can expect in the Marine Corps Reserve include:

  • Marine Reserve units are often located near your home or school.
  • Training with full pay one weekend per month and two weeks per year.
  • Guaranteed Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) at time of enlistment.
  • Advanced MOS training and leadership opportunities that will help you in all aspects of your life, including your civilian career.
  • The same recruit training and formal schooling as active-duty Marines.