View Full Version : 29 Palms info?
Sorry to intrude on the USMC board but my son just found out that he will be with 7th Marines at 29 Palms. (0311)
What kind of things are there to do there? He already asked me to send him our rock climbing gear....Joshua Tree and all.
How is the morale welfare? Education oportunity?
I went to the USMC site but would like some unpolished opinions.
Thanks in advance, a new Marine Dad.
do you really want to know?........ well needless to say just go out and visit the place.
I was stationed there in the mid 70's then it was called the arm pit of the world and with good reason. I am sure things have charged since then but it is still out in the mid of no where. It is an excellent place to train though. I do wish your son a safe tour and a strong thank you from a fellow Marine. ----Tony---- Semper Fi
Camp Wilson has K spans now instead of those crappy wooden shacks we used to live in. I miss CAX, good times when I used to be with division. The MCAGCC is really not a bad place though, hell I really wouldnt mind being stationed there now. The last time I was there was in 1999 during my comm school days with good old B Co. The E club used to be called "Tremors" (and with good reason). The place has everything to offer as any other military installation.
Some people really love 29 Palms, they are referred to as the "High Desert Sand Crabs." But most people find it desolate, hell on the base you only have a few fast food places, a small PX and a small library. The town itself is very similar, so most people have to drive several hours to go do something.
MWR does do a good job of taking care of the single Marines, they have quite a few tour packages they put together for them.
But being an 03, he will be in the field all the time, I don't think he will have much time for college. Not to mention I would expect him to be assigned to the next out bound Battalion. 1/7 just got back, but the way it works these days they will be going back out in the near future.
Its all what he makes of it.
MY son is a corporal(0311) with 2-7-golf at 29 palms. He holds is senior NCO's and officers in high regard. From talking to him that is what makes the training and daily hard work almost enjoyable. His outfit just finished Mojave Viper and except for being tired from being in the field for most of a month he said it was very good training.
The base is a couple of hours from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. So when he gets time off he can find plenty to do.
The 2-7 is scheduled to deploy early next year. I don't know about any others.
If your son is still glad to be a Marine I'm sure he will find his time there rewarding.
I had a friend who went out with 2/7 in support of Mohave Viper. Unfortunately I was in Yuma supporting WTI. You should tell him come out Havasu, I may see him around.
I was with 3/7 from 2000-2003 and these days 29 stumps is still called the arm pit of the world. I'm not going to sugar coat it for you 29 Palms sucks and everyone of the young Marines I knew agreed. Besides the rock climbing in Joshua Tree there isn't much of anything to do. The place is desolate, nothing but sand and a few shrubs for as far as the eye can see. The only blades of grass you'll find are on the Generals law (about 2 acres). The horrid landscape begins to wear on you after awhile. My parents came out to visit me my second weekend there and my father later told me he felt bad for me having to stay there.
All I can tell you about morale is it aint as high as at Pendleton. Most guys can't wait to finish up their tour and get the hell out of there. MWR (moral welfare & education) does set up tours to Disneyland and such on the weekends for a low fare. I used to go to the base theater a lot. They show relatively new releases alost every evening for less than 2 bucks. Hell it might have been free with military Id I can't remember. There is a small college about 30 minutes away (Copper Mountian College I believe) near Yucca Valley but it will be almost impossible to complete courses with the demanding schedule of an infantry Marine. The command will tell you they will work with you if you have a desire to attend college but their just empty promises. My best bud had to drop his classes because he couldn't make enough time.
The only way I made it through my tour is, my hometown, Phoenix is only a 4 hour drive away. And believe me I would high tail it home at least once a month.
The best advice I have for him is to get veichle as soon possible. Being an 03 myself I can tell you after a long exercise in the field all we wanted to do is get as far away from base as possible come the weekend. Vegas, San Diego, and LA are all a 3 hour drive away. He will spend the better portion of what little pay he earns on gas (as I did) and hotels but it will be worth it.
Watch out for your young Marine as many of us become very lonley out there. The tendency is a young lonley Marine will meet his first girl, marry her so he can move into base housing and end up having a baby all before his 2nd year in. Then his options for the future become very limited. Believe me I saw this a number of times. One of my peers was once asked what he was going to do once his enlistment was up. He said "I'm re-enlisting, I'm trapped." He was a lance corporal with 2 kids and a wife at 20 years old.
It's only been 3 years since I bid farewell to 29 Palms but I do find myself reminiscing on my days there (as I'm sure most servicemembers do). I think about driving back out there one of these days. I don't have anyone out there but I would like to re-visit a life once lived. Your son will develope tight friendships with the great young men of his unit. That's what he will remember and that's really what counts.
Mr. Fantastic, my boy is 3/7 as well. He likes it so far. They are off before too long......
At least he'll be home for Christmas. Thanks for all the replies.
I was stationed there for 4 years with 2nd Batt 7th Marines 93-94. The best thing i can guarantee you there is the training. That place has miles of dry rough desert environment. Your son being a 0311 will train and train like crazy. His military skills will become 2nd nature which is valuable in war time. CAX (Combined Arms Exercise) is an annual live fire exercises that occurs there. He will be in the field a lot and that will make him occupied. The weather in the Stumps goes to extremes. Summertime is like Hell. It feels like there is always a huge bonfire infront of you. But after awhile i guess you get climatized with it.
Winter time it gets cold and windy and being in the high desert flash flood occurs frequently.
As with any other new place. It is how you take it. Advice your son to be wise with his down time there. I agree with MR. Fantastic advice your son to choose the buddy that he will hang-out with wisely.
My hometown is Los Angeles which is 2 hrs away but i seldom come home to visit. Being away didn't really affect to much. Again, it is how you deal with down time and other stressors of life.
If you have any more questions feel free to PM me.
Mr.Fantastic and CAAT2 have most of the scoop about 29 Palms.
They tried like hell to keep me there. I was offered several different GS positions that entailed good pay and little actual work. (The cushy lie down and retire stuff)
I got stuck there for nearly two years after I was injured.
The only things I have to add are the following, and much of this applies to every base he will ever be stationed at:
1. NEVER BUY A VEHICLE NEAR A MILITARY BASE, BUT ESPECIALLY 29 PALMS.
The businesses that surround the base are predatory and many of the business people have a "screw em. before they screw you" attitude. Used lemons come from all over southern Cali to serve the local used car dealers. Most of these vehicles are lemons.
If buying used, get it at home from someone you trust. If buying new make sure that you get a warranty program that allows/honors work done by any dealer in CONUS and make sure a local warranty package isn't being added on. If possible buy your vehicle in a no sales tax state.
2. Most of the local women are predatory. There are a few good ones, but unless you have friends or family already there, you wont find any of them.
3. Drugs are bad. There is a lot of Meth in the 29 Palms area. A lot of people in that area use meth. You cant always spot all of them. I have seen countless young men fail the whiz quiz. Some of these men had no idea that they used a controlled substance. If you meet someone in a club and you catch a Micky and get rolled, report it and go to medical at once.
If you don't and you are unlucky; you can suffer long term side effects, if you are really unlucky the stuff will kill you, at the very least Murphy's law suggests that you will be a participant in a random whiz-quiz and you will get bounced out of the Marines with a less than honorable discharge.
4. Copper Mountain Community College should be avoided at all costs.
It used to be accredited by a state university but lost accreditation and is now accredited by Madonna or something like that. (In short, your credits don't transfer)
If you want to prepare for college, have your Sgt. order you a couple of MCI's.
Those MCI's will help him promote faster and will keep him academically sharp.
His number one concern should be training at this point.
Training is the only thing that is good about 29 Palms CA.
5. FMs, Wookies, female Marines and females of any other services that you may find along the way:
Most of these ladies are either two baggers and/or mentally unstable. Many of them join to get back at their parents or a boyfriend. My rough estimate is that a good one comes around once in ten WM's.
(Coincidentally that one in ten is usually the gay one, but that's cool. At least you know you will be able to count on her when SHTF. If I had to work with WM's I would consider myself blessed to know that one in ten. Gay WM's make good friends.)
Otherwise, these (regular WM's) ladies tend to make it about two years before they request a convenience discharge because they are knocked up.
Don't be that guy, leave them alone and concentrate on the training.
6. Las Vegas is a good place to visit only once.
Too many people get sucked into the gambling trap.
Pretty soon they will be advancing their pay to support the gambling. If your son wants a security job he should avoid gambling all together so he can get the good jobs. He should also be carefull about tattoos. (Keep them covered or don't do it at all)
7. Don't bring firearms from home.
Some dummy always does it. Don't be that dummy. At best the armorer will be enjoying it for you, at worst it will get you in trouble.
If you are there for a while you will get to know some of the fixed personnel at that base. 29 Palms is a good place for long distance shooting, both on and off base. These people are really great old school Marines and GS staff. If they take you out target shooting, you wont need a rifle, if they ask you to pay for your own ammo, just do it.
8. If you do the rock climbing thing, do it with a buddy or two.
If you leave base to explore the local night life, do it with a buddy or three.
9. Drink alcahol sparingly and drink water often. Stay alert. If things don't seem to be going well, leave the area and let the MP's sort it out in your absence.
The best advice and the hardest advice to follow through with is the same. Concentrate on training on base. Use the pool if it is open. Hit the weights and get a good routine going. Study those MCI's and turn in the completed ones often. Follow up on them and make sure they get sent in. Complete the tests. They are important.
If the recruiter tried to sell you college while enlisted, he sold you a load of BS. If you do your job well and keep away from potential problems and hang-ups you will do well and get to use your GI fund four years later. If you get hung-up they take the GI fund and they don't give you the money you invested back.
(I am a veterans service rep. I have someone in my office at least once a month that received a general, medical, or convenience discharge and would like me to make them give the money back. I cant because the VA doesn't care about that issue. It may be outright theft, but it happens all of the time and nobody seems to care. Be smart and it wont happen to you.)
:thumbsup: :banana: :thumbsup:
I was at the Stumps for a LONNNNNNG Time. Stay away from anything and anyone you see or meet out in town! I still want to drive back there and burn down one of those car dealerships!!! I guess my last day there was in August '02.
7th Marines is a good unit. real good. You've also got the 3rd Maw out there at the airfield/camp Wilson. I don't know if there are UAV's anymore? There isn't much to do IN 29 palms. There is plenty to do right around there though, I have family in L.A. I visited once in a while. You can go to Palm Springs and RENT really nice cars!!! Vegas is a quick trip and there's more to do than gamble- it's also a good place to meet friends and family instead of having them meet you in the middle of the desert. Don't forget LAKE Havasu!!!!
Funny thing to run across this post. I was unpacking a box of old stuff the other day and found a letter from a friend of mine who was stationed at 29 Palms in 1995. Obviously, this post is what you make of it. From what he told me, the base is located in the middle of nowhere for the training opportunities, not for the cultural highlights. However, he did a lot of hiking, rock climbing, photography, etc., very outdoorsy type.
It's not a life sentence, it's a duty station, and it won't be his last one. If your son can focus on his job (being a Marine) and stay out of trouble, the time will pass without him having to sample the local nastiness.
its very easy to spend WAYYYYYYYY to much money out there.
always becareful of your spending
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