MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (July 8, 2013) --
Along with hot summer days, fireworks, summer camps and pool parties, July ushers in other things also. For Marines, it brings the start of the re-enlistment season.
Sgt. Omar Caraballo Pietri, career planner aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, highlights changes that those re-enlisting or changing military occupational specialties (lateral moving) can expect this year.
“Marines have to meet re-enlistment prerequisites just like before,” said Caraballo Pietri. “But this year separates Marines with a tier system.”
Simply explained, Marines are categorized into four tiers, based on numbers from their physical fitness tests, combat fitness tests, performance and conduct marks, rifle range scores, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program belt levels and meritorious promotions.
First-term Marines are put into tiers based on averages compared against other first-time re-enlisters. Those who fall into the highest tier, Tier 1, will find their re-enlistment packages processed quickly, whether they are approved or denied; where Marines in Tiers 2 through 4 will have to wait longer.
“An average Marine is a Tier 3 Marine,” said Carabello Pietri. “The tier system is pretty much an incentive to help Marines keep their scores high.”
Marines re-enlisting in their current military occupational specialty or moving to a designated lateral move can submit their packages as early as July 1. Tier 1 Marines can expect results as soon as one week after the submission of their applications as opposed to other Marines who will have to wait longer. Tier 2-4 Marines in fast-filling military occupational specialties, administrative or motor transportation, may even have to wait until October to see results.
“No matter what tier a Marine is, I would encourage him to put in his package,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown, Headquarters and Service Bn. career planner. “Put your package in and let Headquarters Marine Corps make their decision. Do what you can now, like upgrading your MCMAP belt and doing well on the Combat Fitness Test.”
Along with the tier system, changes can also be found in preferences.
“Last year, Marines were required to choose a special duty assignment within their three duty station preferences,” said Carabello Pietri. “This year the requirements have been simplified to three duty stations of the Marine’s preference, without requiring a special duty assignment choice.”
With some preparation, Marines re-enlisting or changing jobs can find the process to be helpful with their transition.
“I think the tier system is great,” said Cpl. Jamel Smith, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the separations and retirements branch, Installation Personnel Administration Center. “I’ve had a relatively comfortable experience. It makes the Marine really push himself.”