July 28, 2014, MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – July 1 marked the beginning of the submission period for fiscal year 2015 reenlistment and lateral move requests, according to the first term alignment plan submission guidelines. The submission period will close to all Marines Sept. 30.
With fiscal year 2015 approaching, Marine Corps officials are advising Marines to submit for retention despite tier status or perceived competitiveness, according to Marine Administrative Message 298/14.
Career retention specialists throughout the Marine Corps advise Marines about their eligibility and ways to improve their chances of retention, according to Staff Sgt. Odalys V. Lopez, the Marine Aircraft Group 14 career planner. It is important for Marines to stay as competitive as possible.
“Right now, with the drawdown, the numbers still aren’t where headquarters needs them to be, so we are looking at more Marines transitioning out because they have hit their service limits,” said Lopez. “Marines should stay as competitive as possible to ensure their chances of being both eligible and approved for retention.”
The purpose of the retention campaign is to provide the Marine Corps with the most qualified force. The retention campaign categorizes every Marine by grade and military occupational specialty to standardize promotion tempo across the Corps.
Retaining the best Marines is vital to the Marine Corps’ efforts in building and sustaining the Corps’ enlisted career force, according to Sgt. Maj. Adam J. Moore, the sergeant major of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14.
“Marines must stay engaged with education, volunteer programs and increase their knowledge of their military occupational specialty,” said Moore. “Most importantly, Marines must better themselves physically, and strive to attain the highest score possible for their annual physical and combat fitness tests. Only those who apply themselves with the whole Marine concept will prevail and remain in our Corps.”
Every year career planners use retention guidelines to aid them in assisting Marines with the best chances of retention. Though all first term Marines are encouraged to submit for retention, the tiered classification system ensures only the best qualified Marines stay in the Corps.
“Career planners in every unit are committed to training those who want to succeed in our Corps,” said Moore. “Every day we must sharpen our skills professionally both on duty and off duty through courses like corporal’s course, Marine Corps Institute courses and any off duty education.”
Marines should work toward improving their level of physical fitness, their belt level in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and the appropriate level of professional military education.
Marines are encouraged to speak with their career planners and also their chain of command when searching for information regarding retention and the opportunities for reenlistment.
“Speaking to senior leadership within the MOS is a valid resource for learning possibilities that will help Marines succeed,” said Moore. “Career planners are there to assist Marines, but asking questions within the chain of command is important because learning occurs at every level. Never be afraid to ask for help; everyone has something to offer those wanting to advance their careers.”