Staff Sgt. Adrian Ron, drill instructor, Platoon 2121, Company F, motivates a recruit to speak louder and move faster. (LANCE CPL. ROBERT W. BEAVER / MARINE CORPS)
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Combat fitness reports play well with promotion boards, but special-duty assignments, such as recruiting and drill instructor duty, "still make Marines the most competitive ahead of their peers," an official with Manpower and Reserve Affairs told the Corps' top enlisted members during the 2007 Sergeants Major Symposium in Arlington, Va., last week.
Sgt. Maj. Gary Weiser, the top enlisted Marine for Manpower's enlisted assignments section, said leathernecks are considered "exceptionally well qualified" for promotion "after successful completion of an SDA," though there is still no substitute for solid marks on a fitness report.
"The one factor that gets Marines promoted more than anything else is performance, no matter what they do," he said.
Weiser said the Corps typically staffs B-billets at 100 percent, but current manning levels are above normal to recruit and train enough Marines to meet the Corps' goal of increasing active-duty end strength by 5,000 each year until it reaches 202,000 by fiscal 2011.
As of last week, Marine Corps Recruiting Command was staffed at 104 percent, drill instructors were staffed at 103 percent, and the Corps had added 106 combat instructors split evenly between its Schools of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., Weiser said.