As a former active duty Marine of 10-plus years, I take this kind of thing seriously. I’m so tired of hearing “I was going to be a Marine, but…” or, “I was almost a Marine”. I’m glad you wanted to be a Marine, but that doesn’t make you a Marine, no more than “I wanted to be a doctor” makes me a doctor.
The only exception to this are members of the Marine Band (The President’s Own), who aren’t required to have military training, though most actually do have military experience. If you are a member of The President’s Own, you serve four years and you are not authorized to transfer to a military unit, you are basically a ceremonial Marine for four years. But they do get education on military customs and courtesies along with Marine Corps education from real Marines in the unit (usually the Drum Majors are real Marines selected from within the Marine Corps other field bands, which are actual active duty Marines, who play in a band besides performing their other Marine Corps duties.).
I run into posers on a monthly basis (usually behind a keyboard as a “keyboard warrior”), with the most common excuse being “I was going to be a Marine..” or “I started boot camp but didn’t finish”. I always seem to find the excuse of I got hurt in boot camp and they sent me home. Which isn’t a very likely case. Yes, you can get hurt in boot camp (I had a stress fracture in my left foot) and you can get sent home from boot camp. But more likely, you would get recycled to the Medical Rehabilitation Platoon (MRP), which is part of the Support Training Company (STC).
Depending on the injury and time to heal, you will likely be placed in MRP until you heal and then you will be recycled into the next platoon that is starting the phase of training in which you got injured. So if you got injured in say week 1 of the third phase of training, you will restart training back on day 1 of week 1 of phase three of training.
But you will likely cycle into Physical Conditioning Platoon (PCP) often referred to as Pork Chop Platoon (as this is where all the recruits go who can’t meet the physical standards and require further individual training before returning to regular recruit training) before you return to full training status.
If you had a serious injury that will require an extensive period of recovery, you would be discharged and allowed to heal and then you can go to MEPS again and start training all over again. So if you started boot camp and got sent home, that is usually more realistically a discipline problem, you quit or you couldn’t meet physical training standards (you are a PT rock).
But I have run into a few cases of Stolen Valor in my lifetime. These scum are usually at a bar or like establishment, looking for someone to buy them a free drink and maybe get laid. The biggest giveaway is that they will be wearing some part of a USMC uniform. I have yet to run into a real Marine who is no longer on active duty wearing some part of their uniform (beyond boots or maybe a camo cover). But a poser will often go to a surplus store and buy medals and dress uniforms and wear them to bars.
To prove I’m for real, here is my Status Report from the DoD Manpower Data Center
What kills me about some of these posers don’t have any form of ID from the state, Government, or anything like that, in Virginia, I have a Veteran embossed on my Virginia Driver’s License and I have my VA Veterans Identification Card.