The Corps is reducing the minimum time of service needed for first time applicants applying for tuition assistance from 24 months to 18.

Posted in MARADMIN 255/18 on Monday, active-duty Marines who have never applied for tuition assistance no longer need to wait two years before kicking off college classes.

But don’t start signing up for your college classes just yet.

Marines will need an O-5 level commander to approve tuition assistance at the 18-month mark. And those Marines will need to “demonstrate significant extraordinary effort beyond the fulfillment of all assignments and normal expectations,” before that approval occurs, the MARADMIN reads.

Some examples of “significant extraordinary effort” include top 10 percent proficiency and conduct marks, participation in meritorious promotion boards, volunteering, special recognition or serving in various leadership posts, according to the MARADMIN.

Moreover, Marines need to complete Marine Corps Institute Personal Financial Management Course before tuition assistance is approved.

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green announced these changes were coming at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space exposition in early April.

Understanding the Corps will need to retain top talent and push professional education for a future more tech adept force, the Corps is looking at new ways to revamp incentives and training.

Green told Marine Corps Times at the Navy expo that he had recently visited the Air Force’s Air University located aboard Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama to “look at how the Air Force educates. They have a credentialing program. We are looking at their model.”

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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