The Marine Corps has introduced new transition plans for both active-duty and reserve Marines, with hopes of improving Marines’ chances of success after military service.
The newly extended active-duty process will allow Marines ending their contracts to have an “individualized initial counseling session” with transition readiness staff up to 18 months before their end of active service date. Those retiring from the Corps will have as much as 24 months to start the process.
The changes allow Marines to start their separation process six months earlier than they could before, Maj. Craig Thomas, a Marine Corps spokesman, said in an email to Marine Corps Times.
At the counseling session Marines will go over a self-assessment, detail their transition plans and discuss the goals they have for after they leave the Corps, the major said.
The process “gives Marines more time and opportunities for a successful transition to a new career,” Thomas said.
Additional changes will provide flexibility, depending on what a Marine wishes to pursue after the Corps, by incorporating four tracks to the Transition Readiness Seminar, which all active-duty Marines must take six months to 12 months before exiting the service.
Marines will choose one of the tracks to spend two days on: entrepreneurship training, vocational training, how to pursue immediate employment after separation or how to receive education benefits, Thomas said.
In addition to the individualized training days, all Marines will spend one day on Department of Defense-facilitated training, one day learning about veterans benefits and one day of Labor Department employment preparation.
For Marines who enjoy procrastination: Marines still have until 365 days before they EAS or retire to begin the transition process, though they are “encouraged to take advantage of these earlier TRP timelines,” Thomas said.
For reservists, the new policy has been streamlined, so the Marines will spend less time in transition seminars. Under the old policy Marine reservists were required to attend TRS after every mobilization that lasted more than 180 days, Thomas said.
He said the new system only requires them to attend the seminar after their first mobilization of 180 days and when they retire or permanently separate from the Marine Corps.
The changes were made to bring the Corps’ transition process into line with requirements in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. While the changes can be found on the Marine Corps Community Service website, Thomas said a MARADMIN detailing the changes is forthcoming.