MCAS Cherry Point News


Promotion eligibility changes for most enlisted ranks

2 Dec 2014 | Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Marines eager to sew on that next chevron or rocker need to take a glance at the new promotion requirements put into effect with Marine Administrative Message 521/14.

According to Sgt. Maj. Christopher G. Robinson, sergeant major of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marines are always striving to raise the bar higher and be the best. By changing the requirements for promotion, the Marine Corps is setting a higher standard and giving the Marines another goal to work toward.

“We, as senior enlisted advisors, saw the value in the implementation of mandatory command-sponsored enlisted professional military education courses among E-7 and E-8 Marines,” said Robinson. “We are changing and making assessments to the Marines currently serving and for the Marines who will follow in their footsteps. We are professionalizing the Marines to be a more efficient enlisted force.”

Lance corporals looking to add a scarlet blood stripe will now need to complete the MarineNet Leading Marines course as a prerequisite to attend a command-sponsored Lance Corporal Leadership and Ethics Seminar.

“Lance corporals are still required to complete Leading Marines, but now they are also responsible for an in-house command-sponsored course, which focuses on leadership, ethos and the expectations of a Marine on and off duty,” said Robinson.

The seminar is to be planned and executed by a unit’s command sergeant major or senior enlisted advisor. Each seminar emphasizes the whole Marine concept. Small unit leadership, understanding of Marine Corps ethos and leadership fundamentals are some of the topics discussed during the seminar.

Promotions for Marines from corporal to sergeant and from sergeant to staff sergeant require completion of grade appropriate MarineNet distance education courses as a prerequisite for acceptance into required resident courses.

“We notice those Marines who have attended the corporals or sergeants course,” said Robinson. “They set themselves apart in so many different ways. While enrolled in the course, they are in a professional environment that allows them to learn more, be challenged and become better leaders so they can come back and cross-pollinate with other Marines, creating a higher level of professional development across the board.”

Staff sergeants competing for gunnery sergeant must complete the prerequisite MarineNet Career Course and then complete either the resident Career Course or the Career Course Seminar distance education program.

While enrolled in the resident Career Course, staff sergeants are sent to a schoolhouse where they are separated from their primary MOS for an extended period of time and they become a full-time student until their graduation from the course.

Due to the number of staff sergeants and the high demand for entry into the resident Career Courses, the Marine Corps implemented the Career Course Seminar as an alternative PME for staff sergeants. The mission of both courses is to provide SNCOs a resident professional military education program where they can interact with professional instructors and their peers in an academic environment.

However, unlike the seven-week resident course, which is held at one of four SNCO academies, the seminar provides staff sergeants the opportunity to receive the same benefits and education during a 15-week program where students meet with instructors once per week and receive online instruction during remainder of the week.

“The challenge and responsibility is going to be on the commanders and senior enlisted advisors to prioritize these enlisted PMEs,” said Robinson. “It is our job to ensure that every enlisted Marine has the time and the opportunity to complete these courses and that we as leaders have the capacity to send them.”

For promotion to master sergeant or first sergeant, gunnery sergeants must complete the MarineNet Advanced Course before attending the resident Advanced Course.

Both master sergeants and first sergeants competing for their final promotion must complete a regional Master Sergeant or First Sergeant Seminar. In addition to the seminar, first sergeants are required to complete the First Sergeants Course.

“The return on the time invested into these course will be profound,” said Robinson. “It will improve the Marine and the entire unit. Our goal is to make the individual better so we can have a better person and a better Marine who is informed, equipped and capable to uphold the values and standards while remaining ready at all times and being a better piece contributing to command excellence.”

For more information, read MARADMIN 521/14

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point