Recruiter Lingo

Have you ever heard your spouse talking on the phone and wondered what the heck he is saying? Is that a completely different language he is speaking? What is that USMC Recruiter Lingo?!?!

I felt the same way. It always seemed that his government phone was interrupting our family time at the worse possible moments. So I at least wanted to know what the heck he was talking about!

So, here we decipher some of the common Recruiter Talk.


This is a young man or woman who is basically qualified to be a Marine. For further information on the basic qualifications, please see this post.



New Working Applicant. This is an applicant who has been screened to see if they are basically qualified to be a Marine. They want to be a Marine. And they are scheduled to go to MEPS to determine if they are physically and mentally qualified.


Military Entrance Processing Station. This is where the applicants go to determine if they are physically and mentally qualified (or disqualified) to be a Marine.


Disqualified. It means that an applicant is not qualified. The person is not qualified and cannot be a Marine due to certain factors such as a criminal record, etc.

Temp DQ means he may need a waiver, additional paperwork, or a more extensive medical examination.


Poole Function

A Poolee is an applicant that has qualified and contracted to be a Marine. He or she is waiting to ship to Boot Camp and is now a Poolee.

A Poole Function is when they all get together to PT (physical training), pass information, etc. In most areas there is a mandatory Poole Function once a month on a Saturday. Twice a year there is a big meeting at the RS where all the Recruiting Substations bring their soon to be Marines.

TC, AC, etc

TC is more USMC Recruiter Lingo. It stands for Telephone Canvasing, Area Canvasing, etc. It basically means trying to find an applicant.

If your spouse has to TC it basically means he has to make a bunch of phone calls to find someone who is basically qualified and interested in becoming a Marine. Then he has to take those phone calls and have a certain amount of appointments to make his SNCOIC happy.

Monday for Tuesday (or any day for any day)

This one drives me batty. I guess I'm dense, because I didn't get this at first. But it basically means that an applicant is going up to MEPS Monday (or whatever day) afternoon for processing the following morning.

SNCOIC Meeting

If your spouse is the SNCOIC (Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge or the boss) of his substation, he will need to attend monthly SNCOIC Meetings at the Headquarters (Otherwise known as Recruiting Station - RS). Depending on how far away you are from the RS, your spouse will need to drive up the night before and attend the meeting the following morning. Usually after the meeting (around 1600 or 4pm) he will drive back home. Monthly meetings are to pass information, find out why a station may be failing, etc.


Recruiting is divided into different Recruiting Districts. Each district has several Recruiting Stations. This is the main RS and the place your spouse will report to, answer to, and get information from. His CO and SgtMaj will be at the RS. It's similar to like a Battalion or Regiment.
The RSS is the Recruiting Substation. These are the small recruiting offices that are in almost every county in the US. There can be anywhere from 1-2 Marines per station to several Marines per station. Each office has a SNCOIC and a recruiter or recruiters. Some stations only have 1 person and are considered PCS stations. They report to s SNCOIC that is actually attached to a different area. The RSS reports to the RS.
So if you are comparing the Marine Corps Recruiting Structure to the fleet the Recruiting District would be like the MCB or MEF. The Recruiting Station is the battalion or regiment. and the Recruiting Substation is like a mini Company or Platoon. (So for instance, instead of MCB CLNC, HQSPT BN, A Company - my first duty station) it would be x District, RS x, RSS x. I hope that makes sense.

And the big one:



If you and your spouse have been on Recruiting Duty you have heard mission at least one. Have to make mission, on mission, missed mission. What is mission?

Each RSS has a mission for the month. Basically they have to have x amount of contracts (New poolees that signed up to go to join the Marine Corps). But it's not just the number of contracts. It's also component, a certain amount of active duty or reserve, as well as certain programs. So while it may be easy to get people to sign up, they have to fit into certain categories.

Make mission means that the RSS as a whole has found and contracted the correct number and category of people by the date set forth by the commanding officer. For our area that is the 15th of every month.

Missed Mission is when the RSS has either not found the amount of people they need or they have the right number but not the correct category. If an RSS misses mission, there is usually meetings and paperwork and long hours to scramble to get on mission. Ever month revolves around mission statements, making mission, being on mission and not missing mission.

So that's a quick run down on some common Recruiter Phrases

I hope that helped you understand some of what your spouse is talking about. Especially during that 10pm phone call when everyone is finally settled down for bed, or during dinner. You will now know what the heck he (or she) is talking about!

If you have any other comments on USMC Recruiter Lingo, please feel free to email or comment!

Why We Didn't Want to Recruit Close to Home

Many times when a Marine gets selected for Recruiting Duty the first thought is, "Can I Recruit close to home?" While this may work for some families, I will try to explain why it wouldn't really work for us.

I can't say I was surprised when my husband received his orders for Marine Corps Recruiting Duty. Honestly, I saw it coming a mile away. Sure I had hoped he wouldn't get recruiting, but every six months I would check the list to see if his name was on it.

Our First VA Loan

We have multiple pets so when we came out on recruiting duty we were forced to purchase a home. To top it off the housing allowance for our area was low compared to the rental market.

Some of the houses we looked at to rent in our price range were, um, not very good to put it nicely.  Here is one of the houses we looked at. Now, in my defense it looked much nicer in the photos that were posted online! Needless to say we politely passed on this gem of a home! And yes, the trees really are growing THROUGH the fence!

Command Sponsored Family Events

Marine Corps Recruiting Duty can be a lonely experience. Some units try to boost moral by having family oriented events, such as Family Day, the Marine Corps Ball, and other activities throughout the year. Many times we tend to complain about the interruption and expense these events can have. But my advice, take advantage of them.

For instance, since we have been on recruiting duty I have not gone to the Marine Corps Ball. Why? Because not only would we have to drive 4 hours at our expense (can't use a government vehicle to transport dependents and mileage wasn't authorized) but I would have to pay for child care and a dog sitter. Add on the cost of food and that one event can cost a pretty penny.