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New in 2020: Slower promotions to sergeant and staff sergeant, revamped re-enlistment process

Starting in January the Marine Corps will increase the time-in-service and time-in-grade requirements for promotion to sergeant and staff sergeant.

The change will double the time-in-service requirements for Marines looking to be promoted to sergeant from 24 months to 48 months. For sergeants looking to be selected for staff sergeant, time-in-service requirements will increase from 48 months to 60 months, while time-in-grade requirements will be bumped from 27 months to 36 months, according to an October 2019 MARADMIN.

The change is meant to standardize what it means to be a sergeant or staff sergeant between slow- and fast-promoting military occupancy specialties and increase the expertise of those ranks while reducing the turnover of sergeants and staff sergeants being promoted then getting out, the Marine Corps said.

Additional changes seek to streamline the re-enlistment process in the hopes of improving retention.

Marines in Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the First Term Alignment Program will have the opportunity to seek approval of their re-enlistment packages from their commanding general. The generals will be provided with quotas on how many Marines per MOS they are allowed to approve. Tier 3 Marines will still have to send their packages to Marine headquarters for approval.

An even smaller number of the highest-performing Marines will have the opportunity to re-enlist up to a year early, the order says.

The Marine Corps will not know the exact number of Marines eligible for early re-enlistment for fiscal year 2021 until next summer, but said the number will be similar to the Quality Marine Initiative that allows 100 Marines to be retained regardless of their MOS or any boat space limitation.

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