The United States Marine Corps is one of the four military branches of the United States Armed Forces under the Department of Defense (DoD), including the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.

Established in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was formed to provide infantry soldiers capable of fighting on land and sea. Since 1834, the Marine Corps was an integral part of the Navy Department despite being a separate service branch and distinct from the Navy.

With 185,000 active marines and 38,500 reserve Marines, the Marine Corps is the smallest of the military service branches.

Does the Marine Corps Drug Test its Marines?

As a part of the American military establishment, the Marine Corps has a very rigid policy on the use of illegal drugs as well as the misuse of prescription drugs, for these actions are considered to be “incompatible with the Marine Corps service.”

To deter such occurrence, the Marine Corps has directed its commanders to conduct an aggressive and unpredictable random drug testing program on all its ranks. Likewise, the commanders are given the command flexibility to decide on the organization and execution of the unit’s random drug test.

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Marines do not have the right to refuse random drug testing that can be as frequent as thrice per year. As of March 2017, the Department of Defense has implemented an expanded drug-testing program for its major service commands, including that of the Marine Corps.

This implementation was due to the increase in the illegal and prescription drug abuse among the civilian populace and the growing availability of heroin and synthetic drugs in the street market.

Drug test results can be used during a court-martial or non-judicial punishment proceedings under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Any marine found positive in using an illegal drug, depending on the gravity of the offense, can be dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps along with the forfeiture of pay and other benefits.

Does the Marine Corps Drug Test its Marine Recruits?

Drug testing is a must for all branches of U. S. military service, for drug testing provides a commander of the Marine Corps good insight into his unit’s operational readiness and capability.

All military applicants like the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) recruits, including those of the Marine Corps, incoming ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Course) candidates, officer candidates with enlisted man’s training, and appointees military academies are required to take drug screening.

What Drugs Does the Marine Corps Test For?

Before the expanded drug testing was implemented, the Marine Corps used to test its personnel for metabolites of cocaine and marijuana, amphetamines, and its derivatives such as methamphetamines like methylenedioxy-methamphetamines (MDMA aka ”Molly, ecstasy”) and methylenedioxy-amphetamines (MDA like “Adam”).

Morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, heroin, codeine, synthetic cannabinoids, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and benzodiazepine sedatives were later on new and expanded drug testing requirements as directed by the DoD.

What Types of Drug Test are Used

Due to a large number of personnel in uniform and the frequency of drug testing for each individual, the U. S. Armed Forces, including the Marine Corps, utilize urinalysis or urine drug tests to detect the presence of metabolites and identify which drugs are present in the system of the subject.