Marine Corps, Delayed Entry Program – When Can I Join The Marines?

While many young Marine Corps hopefuls believe that they can walk into a recruiter’s office and automatically be signed up and shipped out to boot camp, such is often not the case. Sometimes, recruiters and recruiting commands may have to reserve positions for recruits for basic training.

The Delayed Entry Program, also known as the Delayed Enlistment Program, incorporates recruits into the inactive reserves and includes an agreement to report for active duty, most often called “shipping out to boot camp”, at a specific date in the future. This timeframe may be anywhere from several days to several weeks, to several months.

It should be noted by recruits that signing a delayed entry program is a contract and is legally binding. As with any other recruit, certain requirements need to be met prior to being shipped out. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Recruits must be at least 17 years old
  • Recruits must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent diploma
  • Recruits must pass a physical examination
  • Recruits are also required to pass intellectual tests

Recruits should also know that being placed on a waiting list in the delayed entry program does not count toward military service, and does not generate military pay or benefits.

Many hopeful Marines who are placed in a delayed entry program make a good use of their time to increase physical strength and stamina as well as to decide what job or position they might be interested in so that when they are called to active duty, goals and expectations may be met