The Corps’ lightning speed modernization effort to retool its forces for a bout with near-peer rivals is creating some hiccups in its force structure by spawning shortages in high-skill job sets and disparities in promotions.

To address the issue, the Corps kicked off its first meeting Wednesday for a full officer and enlisted grade structure review: It’s the first comprehensive review in nearly 20 years, according to a forcewide message.

“The purpose behind the Grade Structure Review is to correct grade pyramid imbalances that in some cases lead to changes in promotion timing or unintended inventory development challenges,” the MARADMIN reads.

These imbalances cause chain reactions in promotions that can lead to an exhausted pool of lower rank-and-file Marines in various occupations and result in fewer senior leadership positions.

The Corps will be reviewing a series of high-demand and vital-skill jobs that have “imbalanced grade pyramids, specifically as a result of MCF 2025 implementation [Marine Corps Force 2025],” according to the MARADMIN.

The priority jobs fields being reviewed by the Corps primarily fall in in the reconnaissance, intelligence, aviation and logistics side of the house.

There will be two phases of the review, with the first spanning Sept. 26–Oct. 22 and the second from Oct. 26–Nov. 9.

The Corps kicked off a smaller scoped review in 2014 focused on “cost savings through grade reduction of 6,000 officer and enlisted billets,” the MARADMIN stated.

“The end state of the review is to improve inventory development in targeted PMOSs without degrading unit operational capabilities,” the MARADMIN reads.

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

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