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FY 2013 SGTMAJ THROUGH MSGT SELECTION BOARD COMPILED DEBRIEF

By Enlisted Career Counseling & Evaluation Unit | | February 25, 2013

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 FY 2013 SGTMAJ THROUGH MSGT SELECTION BOARD COMPILED DEBRIEF

The Enlisted Career Counseling and Evaluation Unit (MMSB-50) provide a selection board questionnaire to every active duty enlisted promotion board prior to the convening date of the board. This allows the section to receive feedback from every board member to ensure we obtain as much detailed information as possible for this compiled debrief. We are then debriefed by all 21 board members at the adjournment of the board, at which time we go into more detail concerning various topics. This debrief is conducted in conjunction with the Manpower Management Promotions Branch (MMPR-2) and other MMSB Headquarters Marine Corps personnel. The information from these questionnaires are then combined with details gathered in the board debrief. Afterwards, it is compiled into a selection board compilation debrief, such as this FY13 SgtMaj through MSgt compiled debrief. The debrief gives our section an opportunity to distribute information concerning various aspects of the board to enable Marines to be best prepared going into future selection boards.

The compiled debrief results are posted to the Enlisted Career Counselor’s official website and passed throughout the leadership of our Corps to ensure mass distribution to Marines. The details we collect from the questionnaires and final debrief offer Marines more information to act on.

These compiled debriefs provide a synopsis view of the board members’ answers to specific questions posed. It is recommended that Marines compare the last several years compiled debriefs to recognize board member’s emphasis on certain aspects over others. This will present a more thorough understanding of the topics discussed with recent trends (positive/negative).

If you have any additional questions that you feel should be included in future promotion board questionnaires, we ask that you let us know. Several Marines have asked specific questions to be posed to the board, and we have done just that. The value of the responses from the board members will be the determining factor in the question being placed on the compiled debrief, or not. You can reference the previous three fiscal year’s debriefs found on our section’s webpage on the M&RA web portal. Most of the questions remain the same; as they are relevant across the board regardless of the year or rank of the board.

These compiled debriefs are also intended to be used in conjunction with our quarterly Enlisted Career Newsflash (newsletter) which can also be found on our website. Having these two sources of information provided to Marines alleviates the amount of Marines being uninformed regarding career related information.

We ask that Senior Enlisted Advisors throughout every command in the Marine Corps help us push this information down throughout all levels of leadership. As leaders, we are responsible to take care of our Marines and ensure they are set-up for success.

This debrief was compiled and completed by GySgt David Tellefsen (Enlisted Career Counselor, MMSB-50). If there are any questions concerning this debrief you may contact him directly at: David.Tellefsen@usmc.mil or MGySgt Randall Thompson (Head, Enlisted Career Counseling & Evaluation unit) at: Randall.Thompson@usmc.mil.

 

 

FY 2013 SGTMAJ THROUGH MSGT SELECTION BOARD

LETTERS:

1. What was your take on personal letters or letters of recommendation that Marines forwarded to the board?

 

ANSWER: Most letters received were viewed as a waste of time and took valuable time away from the brief. A personal letter from the Marine explaining why they were not able to do something for a legitimate reason was helpful however, if the board felt like the Marine was making excuses a letter may have done more harm than good.

Letters of recommendation were helpful if the information was kept short and to the point. Keep in mind that the credibility of the author is important. If the same author wrote numerous recommendations then this is considered a waste of time.

2. What type of correspondence sent to the board added value to a Marine’s overall case?

 

ANSWER: Any letter that explained special circumstances that were not evident in the Marines record was useful. For example: A letter explaining a sudden drop in a PFT score due to a legitimate medical reason.

PROMOTION PHOTOGRAPHS:

3. What were you looking for in a photo and what was considered a questionable photo?

 

ANSWER: The common response from the board members was that they were looking for a current photograph, and that the appearance of the Marine and the uniform were both within standards. The board spoke of the photo as the beginning of the Marine’s brief, which set the tone of how the brief will go.

One thing to note from the board is that height and weight should match your fitness reports. If not it may be viewed as “questionable”.

4. How did you consider photos that were not current?

 

ANSWER: Photographs not current were viewed negatively. Common view was that it portrayed laziness, lack of concern or that the Marine had something to hide.

 

5. If a photo was missing or outdated, did a letter to the board assist?

 

ANSWER: The board members said this did not occur. However, the overall consensus was the only reason a letter would help if there was no way possible for a Marine to submit a photo. This was not the case on this board, all deployed Marines and wounded warriors alike were able to submit a photo.

ADVERSITY:

6. How much impact did previous 6105 counseling statements or NJPs not in grade have on a Marine’s record?

 

ANSWER: Any adversity as a SNCO was hard to ignore for most members. For competitive MOS’s this could have a significant impact. Adversity as a NCO or below was viewed based on the offense itself. Any “major” offense or multiple offenses had a significant impact.

7. If a Marine had adverse documentation for DUI/DWI, inappropriate relationships, or any level of substantiated domestic violence at any point in his/her career, what did it take for a Marine to recover from this adversity?

 

ANSWER: For these types of adversity, the common view was recentness. The earlier the incident occurred the evidence of recovery is more relevant. If the offense occurred in grade the majority of the board members would not recommend the Marine for selection. Maintaining a consistent high level of performance was the key to overcoming any adversity.

8. For Marines who were previously assigned to the BCP, what helped them demonstrate recovery?

 

ANSWER: If the BCP assignment was in grade it was very difficult to recover. BCP assignments, in general, were recoverable if the Marine was no longer on BCP and there was not a history of multiple BCP assignments.

The majority of the board defined recovery as being off BCP for at least one year, no subsequent assignments, sustained high 1st class PFT/CFT, outstanding photo depicting the Marine within HT/WT/BF% standards and superior performance since assignment to the program.

Board members noticed if a Marine’s height and weight fluctuated on their fitness reports it was to get it in their favor. When this happened it raised “flags” for the board members to dig deeper into the Marine’s record.

 

Reporting Officials:

9. How much weight was placed on the report averages, RS average, at processing and cumulative relative values (RV) in assessing overall competitiveness?

 

ANSWER: Overall greater weight was placed on the “Cumulative Relative Value” from the reporting senior. The common view was that this was very important for assessing a Marine’s overall performance, and ultimately separating Marines from their peers.

Consideration was given in instances where RS’s had relatively small profiles, in these cases it helped to have above average comments in Sections I & K. Special duty assignments were also taken into account and factored in by the individual board members. Most special duty assignments had low cumulative relative values which the board took into consideration and viewed the Marine’s whole record to paint a solid picture of performance.

10. How much weight was placed on the Reviewing Officer’s Comparative Assessment?

 

ANSWER: This carried the most weight in cases where the RS had a small profile or no profile; otherwise it was used in conjunction with the cumulative relative value. For 1stSgt going to SgtMaj the RO comparative assessment and word picture was very important for competitiveness.

11. How much weight was placed on the comments from Section I & K of the FitRep and what were you looking for in these comments?

 

ANSWER: Overall the response to the value of section I and K comments are mixed. The relative values carried more weight, however, break out comments that matched the relative values were helpful in solidifying performance. Board members did not want to see “fluff” and would rather see quantifiable information about the Marine’s promotion potential. Section I and K comments should also reflect a Marine’s impact within the MOS, billet, or command. Most importantly, Section I & K comments should not be a restatement of the Marine’s billet accomplishments.

12. How important was a promotion recommendation from the Reviewing Officer and Reporting Senior?

 

ANSWER: Promotion recommendations in Section I & K of the Fitness Reports were helpful for board members to better evaluate a Marine’s competitiveness. Reporting officials need to elaborate more on their promotion recommendation and statements needs to be more than the rubber stamped recommendations. When recommending a Marine for a specific rank i.e., First Sergeant or Master Sergeant elaborating why the official felt that way is helpful.

13. How did you review reports where the RS comments did not appear to match the report average or relative values? (Average to Below Average markings but very high promotion recommendations or vice versa)

 

ANSWER: This happens more often than it should. When this occurs the majority of the board members would refer to the numerical markings.

Overall, when in doubt, look at the trend over time. The board members understood that additional training needs to be given on how to properly write fitness reports. However, board member’s felt most RS’s know how to do grade placement on fitness reports so the emphasis was placed on the relative values.

MEDICAL ISSUES:

14. Understanding that medical information is excluded from the board, did you encounter any situation where a Marine could have submitted clarification to the president of the board to address something that was not clear in his/her record (i.e. no photo, low PFT/CFT, NMED CFT but current PFT or vice versa)?

 

ANSWER: The majority of the board agreed that letters of explanation for medical issues were extremely beneficial to help explain the Marine’s circumstances. A letter directly from the Marine was not always helpful.

There was no excuse for Marines who had failed PFT/CFT’s on record. In instances where a Marine had low PFT/CFT scores or the PFT/CFT was ran as NMED, letters were helpful if not already captured on the fitness report.

TRAINING & EDUCATION:

15. How much weight did the board attach to Non-Resident & Resident PME that was above minimum requirements?

 

ANSWER: The majority of the answers from the board members indicate that additional PME does make a difference in the overall impression of the candidate. The importance varied between members and very few indicated that it had no impact at all.

 

16. How much weight was given to Marines that completed both required PME and off duty education, such as college and trade schools?

 

ANSWER: In most board members’ view, off duty education was a discriminating factor that helped to break out Marines from their peers. As long as the balance was maintained between PME and off duty education, the impression was positive.

17. How much weight was placed on advanced MOS schools in the Marines PMOS?

 

ANSWER: As a whole, the board was familiar with every MOS’s road map and did not give this much weight. However, there were still members who felt strongly about it. Bottom line, it can help to make you more competitive.

18. How did the board view Marines who have not been to the pistol range for a number of years, when required? Did you consider the completion of annual training that was not required as adding value to a Marines overall record (e.g. a Marine with over 20 years of service that recently qualified with the pistol or GySgt that fires on the rifle range)?

 

ANSWER: Overall the board did not give this much weight. There were few members that mentioned it added value to qualify when not required. If all things were equal this could help break them out.

19. How important was having a first class PFT/CFT?

 

ANSWER: Very important, especially in competitive MOS’s. Most board members used this as a deciding factor between two similar Marines. It was very important for selection to First Sergeant.

20. How much weight was placed on the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and how was an instructor qualification viewed?

 

ANSWER: The common answer is that anything under a green belt was viewed as not as competitive. Holding additional billet as an instructor was briefed and viewed favorably.

DUTY ASSIGNMENTS:

21. How did you view MOS credibility in terms of competitiveness?

 

ANSWER: This was significant in determining future potential in each Marines intended MOS. Individual’s striving for First Sergeant it was not as important; however, if they missed the mark for 1St Sgt then lack of MOS credibility hurt them for MSgt.

 

22. When considering Marines for first Sergeant, how did you view Marines with experience as acting first sergeant or company gunnery sergeant in comparison to Marines considered for first sergeant who held billets within their MOS field or other collateral billets?

 

ANSWSER: Holding billets such as First Sergeant and Company Gunnery Sergeant were considered leadership enhancers as long as they received evaluations supporting success in the billet.

23. How was a combat tour (FITREP) viewed in terms of competitiveness? Did you encounter cases where a Marine did not have combat time as a SNCO but did as a sergeant or below, and how does this affect their competitiveness?

 

ANSWER: The majority of the board members stated that unless you are in an MOS that just does not deploy, you were considered less competitive. For the majority of the board members any grade was sufficient, however, in grade was more competitive.

24. How did the board consider FITREPS from SDA that were marked lower in the Reviewing Officers’ and Reporting seniors’ profiles and/or had lack luster comments?

 

ANSWER: Common answer was in line with the board precept and members adjusted the evaluation of those reports. The expectation was performance before and after the SDA.

25. How did you view Marines assigned to staff billets or billets within supporting commands, to include HQMC, in comparison to Marines serving in operating units?

 

ANSWER: Common answer was “bloom where you are planted”. A variety of billets with high performance helped competitiveness.

AWARDS/RECOGNITION:

26. How were awards briefed?

 

a. Did you view Impact and End of Tour differently?

 

ANSWER: Awards were briefed from the most recent to the oldest and most members held Impact awards as more important and provided the briefer with better material.

 

b. How were awards in support of combat operations with combat distinguishing device “V” viewed in comparison to personal awards received without it?

 

ANSWER: For most it carried a lot of weight and for few it made little difference.

c. Did you encounter Marines without personal awards? How was this viewed?

 

ANSWER: Marines without personal awards were viewed less favorably. Overall Marines without a single personal award was a rare occurrence, and the performance evaluations were usually less than competitive.

27. Was graduating as Honor graduate, Distinguished graduate or Gung Ho from MOS schools or SNCO Academies briefed or just the completion?

 

ANSWER: It was briefed along with GPA, and for the majority of the members it had a positive influence in helping with their overall assessment.

FIRST SERGEANT/MASTER SERGEANT ROUTES:

28. Were there any cases noticed where Marines were indecisive about their decision for the 1stSgt/MSgt route by being a “switch ball hitter”, switching back and forth from F to M, & vice versa? If so, did this seem to hurt that Marine’s chances?

 

ANSWER: The only instances the board members viewed negatively were when the last fitness report was an “F” after all previous reports were an “M”. This was viewed as “trying to get a free look” and was assumed as individuals trying to chase a promotion.

MISCELLANEOUS:

29. What seemed to make a Marine really stand out from their peers?

 

a. When being considered for First Sergeant/Sergeant Major?

 

ANSWER: Consistent high RS/RO markings, SDA, PFT and CFT.

b. When being considered for Master Sergeant/Master Gunnery Sergeant?

 

ANSWER: MOS credibility, strong performance in leadership billets, advanced MOS schools.

30. In situations where Marines had similar records considered for the same IMOS what variables set them apart as tie breakers?

 

ANSWER: Most members said that it rarely came down to this scenario. However, when and if it did assuming two like candidates had no adversity and served on an SDA, recent performance and training like PFT/CFT information was used.

31. How did you view tattoos (sleeves) that were properly documented vice not properly documented?

 

ANSWER: Some board members felt that if you did not have your tattoos documented properly, then the propensity of the candidate to enforce the rules themselves is not likely. Some briefers highlighted whether Marines were in compliance or not.

32. In cases you prepared, what documents in the OMPF did you find most helpful to best represent the Marine? What documents did you find distracting in the OMPF?

 

ANSWER: The awards were the common answer for documents inside the OMPF that were the most helpful. The most distracting documents were the annual training certificates that were in the record.

33. What are your top recommendations for Marines preparing themselves for the board?

 

ANSWER: The overall consensus is to ensure that your record is accurate to include ensuring no one else’s information is in your OMPF. Examples provided were 6105’s from other peoples records. PME certificates and education diplomas helped to verify completion.

 

Semper Fidelis,

Enlisted Career Counseling & Evaluation Unit

Manpower Management Support Branch, (MMSB)-50

Headquarters, United States Marine Corps

 

 FY 2013 SGTMAJ THROUGH MSGT SELECTION BOARD COMPILED DEBRIEF

The Enlisted Career Counseling and Evaluation Unit (MMSB-50) provide a selection board questionnaire to every active duty enlisted promotion board prior to the convening date of the board. This allows the section to receive feedback from every board member to ensure we obtain as much detailed information as possible for this compiled debrief. We are then debriefed by all 21 board members at the adjournment of the board, at which time we go into more detail concerning various topics. This debrief is conducted in conjunction with the Manpower Management Promotions Branch (MMPR-2) and other MMSB Headquarters Marine Corps personnel. The information from these questionnaires are then combined with details gathered in the board debrief. Afterwards, it is compiled into a selection board compilation debrief, such as this FY13 SgtMaj through MSgt compiled debrief. The debrief gives our section an opportunity to distribute information concerning various aspects of the board to enable Marines to be best prepared going into future selection boards.

The compiled debrief results are posted to the Enlisted Career Counselor’s official website and passed throughout the leadership of our Corps to ensure mass distribution to Marines. The details we collect from the questionnaires and final debrief offer Marines more information to act on.

These compiled debriefs provide a synopsis view of the board members’ answers to specific questions posed. It is recommended that Marines compare the last several years compiled debriefs to recognize board member’s emphasis on certain aspects over others. This will present a more thorough understanding of the topics discussed with recent trends (positive/negative).

If you have any additional questions that you feel should be included in future promotion board questionnaires, we ask that you let us know. Several Marines have asked specific questions to be posed to the board, and we have done just that. The value of the responses from the board members will be the determining factor in the question being placed on the compiled debrief, or not. You can reference the previous three fiscal year’s debriefs found on our section’s webpage on the M&RA web portal. Most of the questions remain the same; as they are relevant across the board regardless of the year or rank of the board.

These compiled debriefs are also intended to be used in conjunction with our quarterly Enlisted Career Newsflash (newsletter) which can also be found on our website. Having these two sources of information provided to Marines alleviates the amount of Marines being uninformed regarding career related information.

We ask that Senior Enlisted Advisors throughout every command in the Marine Corps help us push this information down throughout all levels of leadership. As leaders, we are responsible to take care of our Marines and ensure they are set-up for success.

This debrief was compiled and completed by GySgt David Tellefsen (Enlisted Career Counselor, MMSB-50). If there are any questions concerning this debrief you may contact him directly at: David.Tellefsen@usmc.mil or MGySgt Randall Thompson (Head, Enlisted Career Counseling & Evaluation unit) at: Randall.Thompson@usmc.mil.

 

 

FY 2013 SGTMAJ THROUGH MSGT SELECTION BOARD

LETTERS:

1. What was your take on personal letters or letters of recommendation that Marines forwarded to the board?

 

ANSWER: Most letters received were viewed as a waste of time and took valuable time away from the brief. A personal letter from the Marine explaining why they were not able to do something for a legitimate reason was helpful however, if the board felt like the Marine was making excuses a letter may have done more harm than good.

Letters of recommendation were helpful if the information was kept short and to the point. Keep in mind that the credibility of the author is important. If the same author wrote numerous recommendations then this is considered a waste of time.

2. What type of correspondence sent to the board added value to a Marine’s overall case?

 

ANSWER: Any letter that explained special circumstances that were not evident in the Marines record was useful. For example: A letter explaining a sudden drop in a PFT score due to a legitimate medical reason.

PROMOTION PHOTOGRAPHS:

3. What were you looking for in a photo and what was considered a questionable photo?

 

ANSWER: The common response from the board members was that they were looking for a current photograph, and that the appearance of the Marine and the uniform were both within standards. The board spoke of the photo as the beginning of the Marine’s brief, which set the tone of how the brief will go.

One thing to note from the board is that height and weight should match your fitness reports. If not it may be viewed as “questionable”.

4. How did you consider photos that were not current?

 

ANSWER: Photographs not current were viewed negatively. Common view was that it portrayed laziness, lack of concern or that the Marine had something to hide.

 

5. If a photo was missing or outdated, did a letter to the board assist?

 

ANSWER: The board members said this did not occur. However, the overall consensus was the only reason a letter would help if there was no way possible for a Marine to submit a photo. This was not the case on this board, all deployed Marines and wounded warriors alike were able to submit a photo.

ADVERSITY:

6. How much impact did previous 6105 counseling statements or NJPs not in grade have on a Marine’s record?

 

ANSWER: Any adversity as a SNCO was hard to ignore for most members. For competitive MOS’s this could have a significant impact. Adversity as a NCO or below was viewed based on the offense itself. Any “major” offense or multiple offenses had a significant impact.

7. If a Marine had adverse documentation for DUI/DWI, inappropriate relationships, or any level of substantiated domestic violence at any point in his/her career, what did it take for a Marine to recover from this adversity?

 

ANSWER: For these types of adversity, the common view was recentness. The earlier the incident occurred the evidence of recovery is more relevant. If the offense occurred in grade the majority of the board members would not recommend the Marine for selection. Maintaining a consistent high level of performance was the key to overcoming any adversity.

8. For Marines who were previously assigned to the BCP, what helped them demonstrate recovery?

 

ANSWER: If the BCP assignment was in grade it was very difficult to recover. BCP assignments, in general, were recoverable if the Marine was no longer on BCP and there was not a history of multiple BCP assignments.

The majority of the board defined recovery as being off BCP for at least one year, no subsequent assignments, sustained high 1st class PFT/CFT, outstanding photo depicting the Marine within HT/WT/BF% standards and superior performance since assignment to the program.

Board members noticed if a Marine’s height and weight fluctuated on their fitness reports it was to get it in their favor. When this happened it raised “flags” for the board members to dig deeper into the Marine’s record.

 

Reporting Officials:

9. How much weight was placed on the report averages, RS average, at processing and cumulative relative values (RV) in assessing overall competitiveness?

 

ANSWER: Overall greater weight was placed on the “Cumulative Relative Value” from the reporting senior. The common view was that this was very important for assessing a Marine’s overall performance, and ultimately separating Marines from their peers.

Consideration was given in instances where RS’s had relatively small profiles, in these cases it helped to have above average comments in Sections I & K. Special duty assignments were also taken into account and factored in by the individual board members. Most special duty assignments had low cumulative relative values which the board took into consideration and viewed the Marine’s whole record to paint a solid picture of performance.

10. How much weight was placed on the Reviewing Officer’s Comparative Assessment?

 

ANSWER: This carried the most weight in cases where the RS had a small profile or no profile; otherwise it was used in conjunction with the cumulative relative value. For 1stSgt going to SgtMaj the RO comparative assessment and word picture was very important for competitiveness.

11. How much weight was placed on the comments from Section I & K of the FitRep and what were you looking for in these comments?

 

ANSWER: Overall the response to the value of section I and K comments are mixed. The relative values carried more weight, however, break out comments that matched the relative values were helpful in solidifying performance. Board members did not want to see “fluff” and would rather see quantifiable information about the Marine’s promotion potential. Section I and K comments should also reflect a Marine’s impact within the MOS, billet, or command. Most importantly, Section I & K comments should not be a restatement of the Marine’s billet accomplishments.

12. How important was a promotion recommendation from the Reviewing Officer and Reporting Senior?

 

ANSWER: Promotion recommendations in Section I & K of the Fitness Reports were helpful for board members to better evaluate a Marine’s competitiveness. Reporting officials need to elaborate more on their promotion recommendation and statements needs to be more than the rubber stamped recommendations. When recommending a Marine for a specific rank i.e., First Sergeant or Master Sergeant elaborating why the official felt that way is helpful.

13. How did you review reports where the RS comments did not appear to match the report average or relative values? (Average to Below Average markings but very high promotion recommendations or vice versa)

 

ANSWER: This happens more often than it should. When this occurs the majority of the board members would refer to the numerical markings.

Overall, when in doubt, look at the trend over time. The board members understood that additional training needs to be given on how to properly write fitness reports. However, board member’s felt most RS’s know how to do grade placement on fitness reports so the emphasis was placed on the relative values.

MEDICAL ISSUES:

14. Understanding that medical information is excluded from the board, did you encounter any situation where a Marine could have submitted clarification to the president of the board to address something that was not clear in his/her record (i.e. no photo, low PFT/CFT, NMED CFT but current PFT or vice versa)?

 

ANSWER: The majority of the board agreed that letters of explanation for medical issues were extremely beneficial to help explain the Marine’s circumstances. A letter directly from the Marine was not always helpful.

There was no excuse for Marines who had failed PFT/CFT’s on record. In instances where a Marine had low PFT/CFT scores or the PFT/CFT was ran as NMED, letters were helpful if not already captured on the fitness report.

TRAINING & EDUCATION:

15. How much weight did the board attach to Non-Resident & Resident PME that was above minimum requirements?

 

ANSWER: The majority of the answers from the board members indicate that additional PME does make a difference in the overall impression of the candidate. The importance varied between members and very few indicated that it had no impact at all.

 

16. How much weight was given to Marines that completed both required PME and off duty education, such as college and trade schools?

 

ANSWER: In most board members’ view, off duty education was a discriminating factor that helped to break out Marines from their peers. As long as the balance was maintained between PME and off duty education, the impression was positive.

17. How much weight was placed on advanced MOS schools in the Marines PMOS?

 

ANSWER: As a whole, the board was familiar with every MOS’s road map and did not give this much weight. However, there were still members who felt strongly about it. Bottom line, it can help to make you more competitive.

18. How did the board view Marines who have not been to the pistol range for a number of years, when required? Did you consider the completion of annual training that was not required as adding value to a Marines overall record (e.g. a Marine with over 20 years of service that recently qualified with the pistol or GySgt that fires on the rifle range)?

 

ANSWER: Overall the board did not give this much weight. There were few members that mentioned it added value to qualify when not required. If all things were equal this could help break them out.

19. How important was having a first class PFT/CFT?

 

ANSWER: Very important, especially in competitive MOS’s. Most board members used this as a deciding factor between two similar Marines. It was very important for selection to First Sergeant.

20. How much weight was placed on the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and how was an instructor qualification viewed?

 

ANSWER: The common answer is that anything under a green belt was viewed as not as competitive. Holding additional billet as an instructor was briefed and viewed favorably.

DUTY ASSIGNMENTS:

21. How did you view MOS credibility in terms of competitiveness?

 

ANSWER: This was significant in determining future potential in each Marines intended MOS. Individual’s striving for First Sergeant it was not as important; however, if they missed the mark for 1St Sgt then lack of MOS credibility hurt them for MSgt.

 

22. When considering Marines for first Sergeant, how did you view Marines with experience as acting first sergeant or company gunnery sergeant in comparison to Marines considered for first sergeant who held billets within their MOS field or other collateral billets?

 

ANSWSER: Holding billets such as First Sergeant and Company Gunnery Sergeant were considered leadership enhancers as long as they received evaluations supporting success in the billet.

23. How was a combat tour (FITREP) viewed in terms of competitiveness? Did you encounter cases where a Marine did not have combat time as a SNCO but did as a sergeant or below, and how does this affect their competitiveness?

 

ANSWER: The majority of the board members stated that unless you are in an MOS that just does not deploy, you were considered less competitive. For the majority of the board members any grade was sufficient, however, in grade was more competitive.

24. How did the board consider FITREPS from SDA that were marked lower in the Reviewing Officers’ and Reporting seniors’ profiles and/or had lack luster comments?

 

ANSWER: Common answer was in line with the board precept and members adjusted the evaluation of those reports. The expectation was performance before and after the SDA.

25. How did you view Marines assigned to staff billets or billets within supporting commands, to include HQMC, in comparison to Marines serving in operating units?

 

ANSWER: Common answer was “bloom where you are planted”. A variety of billets with high performance helped competitiveness.

AWARDS/RECOGNITION:

26. How were awards briefed?

 

a. Did you view Impact and End of Tour differently?

 

ANSWER: Awards were briefed from the most recent to the oldest and most members held Impact awards as more important and provided the briefer with better material.

 

b. How were awards in support of combat operations with combat distinguishing device “V” viewed in comparison to personal awards received without it?

 

ANSWER: For most it carried a lot of weight and for few it made little difference.

c. Did you encounter Marines without personal awards? How was this viewed?

 

ANSWER: Marines without personal awards were viewed less favorably. Overall Marines without a single personal award was a rare occurrence, and the performance evaluations were usually less than competitive.

27. Was graduating as Honor graduate, Distinguished graduate or Gung Ho from MOS schools or SNCO Academies briefed or just the completion?

 

ANSWER: It was briefed along with GPA, and for the majority of the members it had a positive influence in helping with their overall assessment.

FIRST SERGEANT/MASTER SERGEANT ROUTES:

28. Were there any cases noticed where Marines were indecisive about their decision for the 1stSgt/MSgt route by being a “switch ball hitter”, switching back and forth from F to M, & vice versa? If so, did this seem to hurt that Marine’s chances?

 

ANSWER: The only instances the board members viewed negatively were when the last fitness report was an “F” after all previous reports were an “M”. This was viewed as “trying to get a free look” and was assumed as individuals trying to chase a promotion.

MISCELLANEOUS:

29. What seemed to make a Marine really stand out from their peers?

 

a. When being considered for First Sergeant/Sergeant Major?

 

ANSWER: Consistent high RS/RO markings, SDA, PFT and CFT.

b. When being considered for Master Sergeant/Master Gunnery Sergeant?

 

ANSWER: MOS credibility, strong performance in leadership billets, advanced MOS schools.

30. In situations where Marines had similar records considered for the same IMOS what variables set them apart as tie breakers?

 

ANSWER: Most members said that it rarely came down to this scenario. However, when and if it did assuming two like candidates had no adversity and served on an SDA, recent performance and training like PFT/CFT information was used.

31. How did you view tattoos (sleeves) that were properly documented vice not properly documented?

 

ANSWER: Some board members felt that if you did not have your tattoos documented properly, then the propensity of the candidate to enforce the rules themselves is not likely. Some briefers highlighted whether Marines were in compliance or not.

32. In cases you prepared, what documents in the OMPF did you find most helpful to best represent the Marine? What documents did you find distracting in the OMPF?

 

ANSWER: The awards were the common answer for documents inside the OMPF that were the most helpful. The most distracting documents were the annual training certificates that were in the record.

33. What are your top recommendations for Marines preparing themselves for the board?

 

ANSWER: The overall consensus is to ensure that your record is accurate to include ensuring no one else’s information is in your OMPF. Examples provided were 6105’s from other peoples records. PME certificates and education diplomas helped to verify completion.

 

Semper Fidelis,

Enlisted Career Counseling & Evaluation Unit

Manpower Management Support Branch, (MMSB)-50

Headquarters, United States Marine Corps


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