Economy slump is another reason to stay Marine

10 Apr 2009 | Lance Cpl. Justis T. Beauregard

All through history the Marine Corps has prospered on the battlefield by meeting challenges head on and overcoming them. 

Today, Marines can overcome economical problems with the same tenacity and decision making skills that help them on the battlefield.

“The good news is that Marines and service members in general do not have to worry about losing their jobs, or being laid off,” said Bruce G. Nieman, a personal financial counselor with Marine Corps Community Services here. “In addition, Marines know they are going to be paid. However they still have many of the same concerns as those in the private sector.”

Reduced returns on savings and investments as well as the possibility of spouses losing off-base jobs are just some of the concerns Marines may face. Problems with the economy may make themselves more apparent if service members have not prepared themselves to transition out of the service,  according to Nieman.

“The bright spot is that a lot of this uncertainty can be avoided if Marines avail themselves of the educational and vocational training opportunities that are made available to them during their time in the Corps,” explained Nieman. “They need to plan in advance for their future and meet with educational, employment, financial, and transition counselors to develop a plan for when they leave the service.”

With CNN reporting two million jobs lost so far this year, and five million lost in 2008, a steady paycheck may influence Marines to stay in the service.

“The only effect the economy slump has on me is if I decide to get out of the Marines after my enlistment,” said Lance Cpl. Danielle K. Graves, an aviations operations specialist for airfield operations here. “I would reenlist if I was not able to find a job or not get paid enough to get me by on my own.”

A steady paycheck is not the only benefit that Marines can take advantage of during their time in the Corps. There are also several resources on base that Marines can use to make tough economic times a little easier, according to Nieman. Marines can shop at the commissary to save money, receive essential items from the food locker, and get financial counseling at MCCS.

Planning ahead is key, according to Nieman. Service members need to set a budget for themselves and set aside money for use in emergencies.

“There are a lot of steps that Marines, and their families can do to reduce cost,” said Nieman. “It will leave them more money to save for emergencies, future purchases like a home, or car, or paying off debt.”