Some Ways to Spot a Marine Corps Poser

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Some Ways to Spot a Marine Corps Poser

A poser is a poser, is a poser, period!

It seems that the posers often will state that they were either a Navy SEAL or a U.S. Marine. As a Marine myself, I’m going to talk about those posing as a Marine.

Here are some tail-tell signs that you are dealing with a poser.

1. He claims that he was a sniper in the Marine Corps. – Now the Marine Corps does indeed have snipers, and their MOS is 0317 (0327 if Recon), but there are usually no more than 300 scout snipers active in the Corps at any one time. So the chances of the guy you are talking to being actually a Marine Corps scout sniper are slim. But this is the most common job skill that a poser will claim he had. You can quickly rule him as a poser by asking him several questions that any real USMC Scout Sniper should know.

a. What school did you go to, where was it and how long was it? He should tell you that he should answer with Marine Corps Scout Sniper School and there are three locations where he could attend the 13-week course at. Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, or Marine Corps Base Quantico. Unless he is in recon, and then that is a 9-week course at Camp Pendleton called Reconnaissance Sniper Course. He would not have gone from Boot Camp directly to sniper school and he would not have likely been promoted to any rank to attend the course or upon graduation.

b. What was your MOS, again that is 0317 or 0327? Many of your old salty Marines who would have been a sniper would have the MOS of 8541.

c. What rifle did you shoot? That should almost always be the M40 (with M40A1, M40A3, M40A5 M40A6/A7 being acceptable variants). The MK13 Mod 7 was fleeting in 2019 and the MK22 started being fleeted in the Marine Corps in early 2021, phasing out the M40 rifles.

2. He claims he was a Marine and a SEAL. This is not likely as an active-duty Marine cannot become a Navy SEAL. In order to go through Navy SEAL training, an individual must be a member of the Navy. An active-duty Marine who wants to transfer to the Navy, in order to attend SEAL training, can submit a Request for Conditional Release, but the chances of that being approved are slim to none. But posers will try to claim that they were both. Now you can be a US Marine, complete your contract get an approved Request for Conditional Release, join the Navy, and then go to BUDS and become a SEAL. But you can’t be both at the same time.

3. He or she claims that they went from the Army straight into the Marine Corps. This isn’t impossible, but very rare. Regardless of prior service, you must attend Marine Corps basic training in order to become an enlisted Marine. If he was an officer, then he or she would likely have gone through the inter-service transfer board process, which hasn’t been held in the Marine Corps for some time now. But often a poser will say that they left the Army as a SGT (E-5) and joined the Marine Corps and got promoted right away as a SSgt (E-6), that just doesn’t happen. More realistically, you leave the Army as an E-7 and attend Marine Corps basic training and only come out as an E-3 (though I have heard of a few coming out as E-4).

Note that the reverse is however possible as a Marine can leave the Corps and join another branch without attending their boot camp and can often do this laterally (keep their rank). This is possible as the Marine Corps boot camp is not only the hardest of the U.S. Military boot camps, but the Marine Corps training also covers many of the other branch’s customs, courtesies, and rank structure.

4. He or she is overexaggerating their experience. This is easy to spot as they often have very detailed long stories that basically make them sound like they are a superhero. A real Marine will likely not wear his medals and ribbons on his civilian clothing. I know a few recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor (the nation’s highest award) and they don’t wear it unless it is for some official purpose. The only exception to this is if they are in their VFWAmerican Legion, or Marine Corps League uniform (for official purposes) or some Marine Corps-themed Motorcycle Clubs will have their members display some of their bling on their vest or cut.

Most Marines are very proud of their service, but most will not flaunt it beyond a hat, a t-shirt, or a sticker on their vehicle. By the way, most Marine Corps stories will likely involve someone doing something stupid and getting hurt. Sorry brothers and sisters, you know it is true.

5. He or she is wearing a military uniform in a location where you generally wouldn’t see a military uniform. This is often at reunions, shopping malls, and bars. For some reason, the camouflaged utility uniform (cammies) is the most common one worn at shopping malls, while the Class A or Dress Blues are worn to reunions. At bars, it can be any uniform or part of a uniform.

Keep in mind, this person could be a real Marine and he/she is just embellishing their record, which is a case of Stolen Valor. Here is an article about a real soldier who did just and got 12 months in prison for it.

Call BS and let the poser be. If they really piss you off then you can start a formal investigation for Stolen Valor (more on that later)

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Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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By Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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