Marines on tap to make corporal or sergeant will face new promotion review boards starting this fall.

New noncommissioned officer promotion panels are now set to start in October, Manpower and Reserve Affairs officials announced in administrative message 200/16.  later this year. Lance corporals and corporals hoping to move up a rank will need an endorsement from the Endorsement from the panel and their commanding officer in order to means the Marine will compete for promotion.

Since a non-recommendation from the panel will mean the Marine will be hit with a Page 11 entry, it's important for Marines to begin preparing for the process now. The boards were ordered by Commandant Gen. Robert Neller to ensure only those fully prepared and qualified are promoted to corporal and sergeant.

Neller told Marine Corps Times earlier this year that In his January planning guidance, Neller also described the boards will also as a means to give leaders a chance to mentor their hands-on mentorship role with junior Marines before they go before the panels. The four-star has long used this approach within his various commands, and said the results have been strong. Now he looks to take that Corps-wide.

"The goal is not to deny people a promotion, but just to make sure everybody understands we all have equity in the process," Neller said.

Here’s what Marines need to know about the new NCO promotion panels.  five things you need to know.

Start preparing now.

The boards officially begin in October, which gives Marines plenty of time to get ready. Use that time wisely.

When the time comes, all eligible Marines will stand tall before a promotion panel comprised of officers and staff NCOs, whose job it is to assess the professional knowledge and qualification of each Marine. These will be leaders from within the Marine’s battalion/squadron or subordinate command.

"That gives the chain of command an opportunity to see everybody," the commandant said.

Standing before such a board can be a bit intimidating; professional appearance and bearing will go a long way. Marines are encouraged to get tips from those who have successfully endured meritorious promotion or Marine of the Quarter boards.

Check your records.

Lance corporals and corporals must have completed 12 months in-grade before they can add another stripe. In the past, lance corporals were eligible to move up if they hit eight months at any point within the quarter, while corporals were allowed to add a stripe if they hit 12 months within the quarter. No more.

In addition, everything from marksmanship and fitness scores to work performance and professional military education must up be up-to-date before the promotion panel can sign off. And don't expect any fudge factor — NCO promotion panels are ordered to give thoughtful, deliberate decision to their recommendations.

The whole Marine.

Not all of the assessment involves checking off boxes. There are Marines out there who look good on paper, but lack the leadership and character qualities needed for success as an NCO or and staff NCO.

Therefore, pPanel members have been are ordered to identify Marines who have "demonstrated an enduring commitment to Corps values, an ever-increasing degree of maturity, leadership and professionalism expected of our NCOs," according to the MARADMIN Marine administrative 200/16. "No Marine will be promoted to corporal or sergeant who has not positively demonstrated the potential, motivation, and maturity to satisfactorily discharge the duties of a small unit leader."

These intangible attributes aren't always conveyed do not always convey in a fitness report, so Marines should be ready to discuss and demonstrate these qualities.

Mark your calendar.

A Marine who reports to the board with nothing but excuses will has done nothing but proven him- or herself unworthy of promotion, which could result in a Page 11 entry. The Corps is giving every Marine plenty of fair warning to be ready.

  • If your promotion eligibility runs January through March of 2017, your board will be held no later than Nov. 15.
  • Those eligible April-June 2017 will have boards by Feb. 15 of that year.
  • Boards will conclude by May 15, 2017, for those with eligibility between July and September, and on Aug. 15, 2017, for those with eligibility between October and December.

Panels can reconvene monthly to reconsider Marines previously not recommended (the CO can pull the "not rec" at any time during the quarter), as well as eligible Marines who reported to the unit after the quarterly panel wrapped up.

More help is available.

Marines who find discrepancies in their records other issues are encouraged to speak with a career counselor or first sergeant.

For more information, Marines can also visit the also can check out the promotion branch website. at  Select "Active Marine," "Manpower Management (MM)," "Promotion Branch," then "Enlisted Promotions." Additional details are available in Marine administrative messages 055/16 and 200/16. Marines also can email questions to, or call (703) 784-9717 or DSN 278-9717. 

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