Navy Secretary Ray Mabus spiked the results of a fiscal 2016 Marine brigadier general officer promotion board in 2014 over ut of concerns of nepotism, Marine Corps Times has learned.

After learning that one of the board members was related to one of the colonels up for promotion, Mabus ordered that a new brigadier general new promotion board to meet without the original members after learning of that the one of the selection board members was related to a colonel who was up for advancement, said Navy Capt. Patrick McNally, Mabus' spokesman.

"The board was reconvened in February 2015 and did not include any members who had served on the original board," he told Marine Corps Times. "It resulted in the brigadier general promotion selection message released on May 21, 2015."

Navy and Marine Corps officials refused to identify the promotion board member and the officer that prompted Mabus' actions. The May 2015 promotion selection message announced that 10 Marine colonels would pin on their first stars in fiscal 2016.

In January 2015, Mabus issued a separate memo also was and issued guidance to the Navy and Marine Corps a Jan. 9, 2015 laying out new screening rules for promotion boards in order to prevent future problems, McNally said told Marine Corps Times.

"The memo specifically restricts officers from serving on a selection board considering a military spouse or relative for promotion," he McNally said. "It also discusses other personal relationships which could disqualify a selection board member if it could affect the perceived integrity of the board."

The new board was also instructed to comply with new guidance on how to screen promotion board members, which was sent to the commandant and chief of naval operations in a January 2015 n internal memo dated s Jan. 9, 2015.That That guidance and is now included in part of Navy secretary instruction SECNAVINST 1401.3A, McNally said, which details promotion selection board rules McNally said.

"The board was reconvened in February 2015 and did not include any members who had served on the original board," McNally told Marine Corps Times. "It resulted in the brigadier general promotion selection message released on May 21, 2015."

Navy and Marine Corps officials refused to identify the promotion board member and the officer that prompted Mabus' actions. The May 21, 2015, promotion selection message announced that 10 Marine colonels were selected to promotion to one-star.

The new board was also instructed to comply with new guidance on how to screen promotion board members, which was sent to the commandant and chief of naval operations in a January 2015 n internal memo dated s Jan. 9, 2015. McNally said that That guidance and is now included in part of Navy secretary instruction SECNAVINST 1401.3A, which details promotion selection board rules McNally said.

"The memo specifically restricts officers from serving on a selection board considering a military spouse or relative for promotion," McNally said. "It also discusses other personal relationships which could disqualify a selection board member if it could affect the perceived integrity of the board."

The original fiscal 2016 brigadier general promotion board met on Sept. 30, 2014, according to a memo from Mabus that was obtained by Marine Corps Times. Records of that promotion board no longer exist.

It was about three months later when On Jan. 5, 2015, Mabus learned that one of the promotion board members was related to a Marine up for his first star. learned that one of the board members was related to an officer being considered for promotion, according to the memo to then-Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford, after learning learned that one of the board members was related to an officer being considered for promotion, according to the memo to . He determined the promotion board had violated the guidelines read at the beginning of each board, according to the memo to then-Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford the memo says.

Mabus ordered that the new promotion board’s members not be allowed to review or consider any of the original panel's promotion board’s recommendations.

"Federal law and the regulations pertaining to promotion selection boards require they act without prejudice or partiality and act to maintain the integrity and independence of the promotion selection board," Mabus wrote in the memo, which is dated Jan. 16, 2015. "An officer serving as a promotion selection board member when a close relative is among the eligible officers considered for promotion creates, at least, an unacceptable appearance of partiality and prejudice."

The new board was also instructed to comply with new guidance on how to screen promotion board members, which was sent to the commandant and chief of naval operations in a January 2015 n internal memo dated s Jan. 9, 2015. McNally said that That guidance and is now included in part of Navy secretary instruction SECNAVINST 1401.3A, which details promotion selection board rules McNally said.

"The memo specifically restricts officers from serving on a selection board considering a military spouse or relative for promotion," McNally said. "It also discusses other personal relationships which could disqualify a selection board member if it could affect the perceived integrity of the board."

The issue appears to be bigger than the one promotion board. On Dec. 17, 2015, Mabus issued another memo titled Promotion Selection Board Integrity, in which he said both the Marine Corps and Navy "have recently experienced procedural errors within the promotion selection board process." He That memo urged the commandant and the chief of naval operations to protect the integrity of the promotion board process so the system remains relevant and fair. 

"The American people, Congress, [the president] and most of all our service members must have the utmost confidence in the fairness of the promotion system," Mabus wrote. "While I do not hold our people to 'zero defects,' when it comes to promotion selection boards, zero defects must be the standard.

"I know that you share my concern that we get this process right every time," he wrote.

That memo is now read before all promotion boards convene, said a Marine official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"One day, that wasn't a part of going into a board, so theoretically you had no idea how incestuous it could've been in years past and nobody picked up on it," the official said.

Gina Harkins contributed to this report.