MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- The Marine Corps Administrative Analysis Team East visited Fightertown this week to conduct an inspection of the installation’s administrative offices to ensure proper procedures are being followed and Marines are receiving proper pay and entitlements.
The MCAAT was established by the Commandant of the Marine Corps to evaluate the effectiveness of the Marine Corps Total Force System and all associated field management procedures related to the administration of pay and allowances.
The average score of a personnel administration office in the Marine Corps is 92 percent; however, Fightertown’s IPAC surpassed the Corps’ average with a score of 94.7 percent, according to Chief Warrant Officer 3 C. J. Thomas, the assistant director of IPAC.
The inspection team’s main focus was the Installation Personnel Administration Office; however, they also inspected the admin offices in Marine Aircraft Group 31, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Combat Logistics Company 23, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31.
“We inspected every agency with a piece of the puzzle involving the proper payment of Marines,” said Master Sgt. Arne Johnson, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of MCAAT East.
The inspectors want to ensure there is an open line of communication and proper procedures are being followed when passing information from the squadrons to IPAC, Johnson explained.
The MCAAT focuses on making sure 23 different entitlements, including Basic Allowance for Housing, Basic Allowance for Subsistence, Family Separation Allowance and incentive pay among others, are correctly dispersed to Marines, Johnson explained. They also evaluate different internal controls such as unit diary entries, orders, audits, travel control procedures and meal cards, on their document flow and product effectiveness.
“Nothing affects the morale of Marines more than getting proper and timely payments and entitlements,” Johnson said.
The MCAAT holds inspections Corps-wide once every two years and admin shops often spend months preparing.
“We began preparing for the inspection in September,” Thomas said. “We held classes on what Marines were expected to look for with different scenarios. We then split the Marines into teams and took samples of record books to make sure the pay was correct. We also inspected our internal controls and corrected any problems.”
To lend a helping hand the IPAC Marines conducted courtesy inspections with Fightertown squadrons, Thomas explained.
“The Marines have been exhausted but excited,” Thomas said. “They put in a lot of hard work and are reaping the benefits.”
Although senior leaders are ultimately responsible for their shop’s performance during the inspection, the stress of having a team evaluate their work can take its toll on junior Marines in the office as well.
“I was a bit nervous about the inspections; this was my first one,” said Cpl. Quentin Brown, a pay clerk with IPAC. “I heard all these horror stories about how bad it was, but it wasn’t. The whole IPAC was confident and I think we did great.”
“We’re glad the MCAAT is here, it gives us the opportunity to make sure what we are charged with doing, we are doing,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dale Wilkes, the director of IPAC. “Everything we do is to service the Marines.