Insdav PM'ed me a few hours ago just wanting to know more about me, why I want to be a Marine, PFT score, etc. and I spent about an hour typing up a massive reply to him that was practically an autobiography and I didn't even realize how much I had typed until I finished and when I saw that I typed a friggen novel, I decided instead of PM'ing it, i'll post it here for everyone to read, so here it goes: Damn i've got so much to type I don't even know where to start. I'm currently 20 years old and i've wanted to be a Marine all my life, I just didn't realize it or get serious about it until about a year or so ago. Throughout my whole childhood I was just fascinated by the military to the point where I was literally obsessed. While some 12 year old kids were at the park playing baseball or something, I was roaming around the neighborhood at 2am in used tiger striped cammies with nightvision hunting goggles that I got one year for hanukkah from Sports Authority and plastic toy rifles pretending like I was a SEAL or some shit, lol. When I think back about it though, at the time we were in a pre-9/11 world so people weren't paranoid, I just think if I went around the neighborhood like that today i'd be shot on the spot or something, haha. Also when I think back about my antics when I was a kid, it was kind of pathetic how obsessed I was. Most 12 year olds aren't obsessed like this, they'll see something on TV and think it's cool but I took it to a whole other level, and this is just one example of many many other things I did when I was a kid. At the time though I never even thought in a million years that I would actually be joining the military, despite being so obsessive about it all the time as a kid, I always wanted to be some sort of engineer... until I got to highschool and realized how I absolutely despise math and don't want to sit behind a desk all day. I tried college for about a year but hated it, didn't really know what I was going to do but I knew that college wasn't my thing and I wasn't going to spend another 3.5 years going to classes everyday. I've always been really big into history, traditions, etc. and have always just wanted to "belong" to something bigger than myself, something that I can take pride in for the rest of my life, a brotherhood... but what that thing was, at the time I had not even the slightest clue. At this point in my life I hadn't even thought about the military since when I was around 15 or so (i'm 20 now). Then one day I was driving by my old highschool and saw a Marine recruiter in his dress blues walking in the parking lot and I literally got chills, I didn't stop to talk to him but I knew from that second on that I was going to become a Marine. I already was well aware of the esprit de corps, the brotherhood, the epic history, the traditions, etc. but I guess I just never really thought about it seriously until now and I was in disbelief that I didn't think of this sooner especially considering how obsessive I was when I was a kid. I went home and spent probably the next 3 days with no sleep at all on the computer just researching and reading and taking in all the information I possibly could. This was about a year or so ago and there was a big obstacle for me at the time... I admit that I was a fat body at 5''10" and 235 pounds of blubber and I was embarassed to go talk to a recruiter in the shape that I was in, at the time I couldn't even run half a mile and was able to do mabye 10 situps and that was really pushing it, as far as pullups go... HAHAHA yeah right. I knew I wanted to be a Marine, but I also knew that there was not a chance in hell that was going to happen in my current shape, even the minimum IST requirements were like a pipe dream for me at the time. So I did something about it and I started working out and went on a diet that I found on the internet, but my progress was very slow and I wasn't getting anywhere, I did this for a few months until I got sick of myself and not having any progress and I finally decided to hire a personal trainer. I joined a gym and at the gym I met this great personal trainer, I told him that I wanted to be a Marine and I was willing to do whatever it takes to get into not just good shape, but "Marine Corps shape." I signed up for a few weeks worth of sessions and he put me on this very aggressive and rather extreme diet and I worked out with him 3 times a week (monday/wednesday/friday). The workouts were brutal and I was sore after all of them, when I was working out on my own I was never sore. After the first week I started to see dramatic results and knew I was on the right track. This was about ~5 months ago mabye. I started doing cardio on the eliptical machine and some running on the treadmill on the odd days where I wasn't training with my trainer. I'm not going to go into all the details and bore you, but over the past ~5 months I lost more than 60 pounds and went from 235 pounds of blubber to a lean 174 pounds. My bitch tits, jelly rolls, flab, and all that crap (yeah, I admit I had them, lol) are 100% gone and my body is pretty toned now but i've still got some more weight to lose. When I finally dropped below 200 pounds for the first time in YEARS I decided it was time to finally go talk to a recruiter with confidence and be able to show how motivated I was. I set up an appointment and the next day I went to his office and the first words out of my mouth were "I want to be a Marine". I explained to him the situation with my weight and how motivated I was and how much weight i've lost already and he was pleased. I made the serious decision to become a Marine about 6 months before I ever walked into his office and in those 6 months, every waking hour that I wasn't spending training, I was on the computer researching everything and anything Marine Corps, so when I did finally walk into his office to meet with him, I was already well informed on many things.. When I do things, I do them right so I did talk to recruiters of other services even though I had no real intention of joining anything other than the Marine Corps, but I wanted to explore all my options. I talked to an army recruiter about the high school to flight school program and he even set me up for a flight physical but I was DQ'ed.. I also thoroughly looked into the 18x Special Forces and Option 40 Airborne Ranger contracts, but there was just something about the army I didn't like and I knew deep down in my heart that I wanted to be a Marine. There was just too much talk of benefits, college money, and what the army could do for ME, I wasn't interested in any of that and while all the benefits and perks sounded pretty nice, they paled in comparison to all of the intangibles offered by the Marine Corps such as the lifelong brotherhood, the discipline, the perfection, and well just everything that goes along with being a Marine and there was one thing in particular that the army couldn't offer me no matter how much the recruiter tried to sweet talk me, and that was the title of United States Marine. So anyways, back to the Marine Corps and the subject at hand. I decided I wanted to be a tanker and my recruiter was shocked at how I knew about the trick where you purposely get nothing high a swim qual level of 4 in boot camp to GUARANTEE that you'll receive the 1812 tanker MOS since the other MOS in the 18xx field requires at least a level 2 swim qual and if you don't get it, there's no chance of landing the 1833 MOS which I didn't want. However, after a lot of thinking and researching, I decided that being a tanker wasn't my thing and I decided on Infantry, I wanted to be a hardcorps motherfucker. Then I discovered the MCSF option where you're still an infantry Marine, but for the first 1.5 years of your enlistment you'll spend it in MCSF before hitting the fleet with an infantry unit. I thought this would be perfect for me, and in MCSF there are a lot of opportunities such as FAST, DM's, etc. and you'll receive a lot more extensive training. With the MCSF I had to sign a 5 year contract instead of 4, but I don't mind since I hope to stay in and possibly even make a career out of the Corps. Also one fo the advantages to the MCSF contract is even though technically you aren't guaranteed a specific Infantry MOS, all MCSF Marines are automatically assigned 0311, so I was glad to hear that. The only thing with the MCSF contract is that MCSF unit's are all non-deployable (except for FAST) and I don't want to be stuck on a navy base in the U.S. and then finally get to the fleet 1.5 years later without ever having been to Iraq and being with other Marines who have BTDT, my main concern is that by the time I get to the fleet, the war in Iraq will be over and I won't get my chance to be part of history and be part of the defining moment and war of my generation. Everytime I hear some nasty liberal politician saying "BRING OUR TROOPS HOME" I just can't help but think to myself "fuck no, I want my chance to get some"... I know my line of thinking is selfish, but oh well. So, i'm really hoping to get into FAST, not only will I get lot's of highspeed lowdrag CQB training, but i'll also get to deploy to Iraq (or Afghanistan) while still being in MCSF. But alas, as all of you Marines reading this know or possibly even learned the hard way, the needs of the Corps comes first and there is no guarantee that I will get into FAST. BUT, and there's always a but... at MCSF school right after SOI you get to fill out a wishlist of where you want to go in MCSF such as Spain, various naval installations across the country, etc. and finally you can also list FAST Company. My recruiter actually put me in touch with an instructor at MCSF school and he told me that as long as you list FAST Co. as #1 on your wish list, you're pretty much guaranteed to get it because FAST Marines are in high demand, so i'm VERY glad to hear that. So anyways, I also realize that while I hated college and knew I wasn't going back, I also knew that having a degree was important so while in the Corps I plan to enroll in the SOCMAR program where i'll be able to take online classes and finish up my degree that I started... with the expedited online classes and the fact that i'll be in MCSF before hitting the fleet as an infantry Marine, I hope to complete at least a large portion of the necessary credits. But of course, before any of this I actually have to complete boot camp and earn the title of United States Marine. I'm so motivated right now especially after losing 60 fucking pounds in less than 5 months, i'm currently in DEP slated to ship off in late summer of 06. Despite losing all this weight, my PFT score right now is pretty lousy to say the least, over the past few weeks i've switched my focus from weight loss to specifically training to increase my PFT score. Right now I can do 4 pullups, 55 situps, and my 3 mile time is approximately 27 minutes, so right now i'm just barely passing the IST requirements but I am determined to have at least a FIRST CLASS PFT score by the time I ship out and i've got about 7-8 months... I lost 60 fuckin pounds in less than 5 months and I have an incredible work ethic, and an incredible amount of determination and motivation to get my PFT up to at least a first class. So that's my story, thanks for reading. PS. sorry no cliffs. ----- UPDATE: at the time I wrote this, I had only lost 60 pounds... my total weight loss was 80.