Marines stand at attention. (Sgt. Austin Hazard / Marine Corps)
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Marines who have already served at least one enlistment and have a fiscal 2015 end-of-current-contract date are strongly encouraged to apply for re-enlistment immediately.
To allow for subsequent-term Marines to do so, Manpower officials have waived the requirement they need to be within 12 months of their end of current contract date to submit.
However, they have also set an earlier April 1, 2015, deadline, establishing a strict submission window per details announced in Marine administrative message 400/14, signed Aug. 12.
In years past, STAP Marines could only apply for reenlistment once they were within 12 months of the end of their contract date. And in theory, they could apply throughout the fiscal year.
Manpower officials have set the new submission window, however, in order to help both Manpower planners and individual Marines weigh retention decisions, officials said.
“Our deadline enhances the alignment of retention decisions with promotion board outcomes and can also provide flexibility in assignments,” said Capt. Chase Bradford, the STAP officer for Enlisted Retention at Manpower and Reserve Affairs aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. “Just as important, it may also allow Marines that are not retained more time than previous to prepare for a successful transition.”
By applying earlier relative to their end of contract date, Marines who are denied reenlistment will know sooner. The earlier notification of their status provides them precious months and weeks to secure a civilian job or pursue educational opportunities.
STAP Marines are not subject to strict boatspace caps like first-term Marines. Also, more of them are retained — 51 percent as opposed to 25 percent, said Lt. Col. Raul Lianez, the head of Enlisted Retention at M&RA. But, competition will remain high for all during the drawdown, especially with with some ranks and jobs overmanned.
“Retention in these overpopulated grade/MOS combinations will be more competitive than in the past; performance matters,” Lianez said.
Thus, career-minded enlisted Marines should apply for reenlistment as soon as possible. Those in significantly overmanned jobs should also consider a lateral move, he said.