The United States Marine Corps Reserves is a component of the United States Marine Corps. This organization consists of corpsmen who perform duty one weekend each month, along with a two-week annual training period each year. They train at a military facility during these times, to prepare themselves for a call to active duty.
The Marine Corps Reserves is composed primarily of prior active-duty Marines who have time remaining on their enlistment contracts, yet have served their required active-duty time. The primary function of the reserve components of the United States military is to support the active troops during a time of national emergency. This means that a Marine Corps reservist may be deployed to a war zone or mobilized state-side if needed.
Members of the Marine Corps Reserve must maintain the same levels of physical fitness as that of active-duty Marines. They must also meet the requirements for height and weight established by Marine Corp regulations. They are responsible for properly maintaining and wearing their uniforms during periods of official duty. Reservists must also be properly groomed while in uniform. This means that a Marine's hair must be within regulations, unauthorized jewelry is not permitted, and males are clean-shaven.
Individuals who are members of the Marine Corps Reserves receive pay and allowances for attending weekend drills and annual training periods. This amount will be based upon the service members rank and his time in service. Members are also eligible for medical and dental insurance, life insurance, and a thrift savings program. Such service personnel also have post exchange and commissary shopping privileges while they are members of the reserve component. When called to active duty, Marine reservists receive the same pay and benefits as their active-duty counterparts.
Marine Corps Reservists receive promotions just like their active-duty counterparts. They are also eligible for retirement benefits after 20 qualifying years of service. Unlike retirement from active military service, however, reserve retirement pay is not be issued until the retiree reaches 60 years of age.
Members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve play a vital role in the security and defense of America. They provide strength to deploying units who would otherwise have a lack of personnel available to perform the mission. The Marine Corps Reserves have played a huge role in many major conflicts throughout the nation's history. Many are currently serving in the Global War on Terrorism, where some have even paid the ultimate sacrifice of perishing in battle.