MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
According to Marine Administration Message 026/14, all Marines with an existing fiscal year 2014 end of active service date must have their re-enlistment package turned in to Headquarters Marine Corps no later than Feb. 28.
The MARADMIN states that the Marine Corps end strength for the year 2014 is a total of 188,500.
"Everyone who has an EAS date before Sept. 30 will be affected by this," said Staff Sgt. Edward McGee, the career planner for Marine Wing Support Squadron 273. "Even if they haven’t submitted their package for retention yet, they still have time to do so."
Reference C of the MARADMIN states that commanders have the authority to extend FY14 career Marines with an EAS date between Feb. 1 and April 30 until June 30 to await a response for a submitted reenlistment request.
"This will help out those that wish to stay in," said Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Goco, the training chief for Marine Air Control Squadron 2, Detachment A. "Knowing that you can get an extension until you receive a yay or nay on your package will give Marines a chance to decompress. It also gives them more time to plan how they want to further their career."
The message also details that anyone submitting a re-enlistment request after the Feb. 28 cutoff date may not receive favorable consideration for further service.
"The perfect reenlistment candidate would have to have some very specific accomplishments in their record," said McGee. "These accomplishments include professional military education complete, no non-judicial punishments, served a special duty assignment, completed annual training, first class physical and combat fitness test, completed rifle and pistol qualification, off-duty volunteering and some off-duty education."
No doubt there will be some Marines who would be getting out this year who want to re-enlist and stay in the Corps, but the cutoff date may have some negative effects on those who are hoping for retention.
"Since procedures for the reenlistment packages have changed, it has become more competitive," said Goco. "Some packages could be put on hold and thus not give the Marine the chance to be as prepared as he or she wanted to."
As the Marine Corps continues to downsize, retention continues to become increasingly competitive. Marines should see their unit career planner as early as possible.