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New in 2021: Marine Corps looks to revamp junior promotion

In February junior Marines looking for promotion to corporal or sergeant will see a new, more robust promotion system, designed to reduce the importance of any one event and give commands greater input on noncommissioned officer promotion.

The new junior enlisted performance evaluation system, or JEPES, will replace the old pros/cons method and will be made up of three objective scores ― called war fighting, physical toughness and mental agility ― combined with a more subjective score provided by a Marine’s command, called command input.

All four “pillars” will be weighted equally when producing the final cutting score, Sgt. Major Robert Williamson, with Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, told Marine Corps Times in September.

The war fighting score will be based on a Marine’s rifle range score and Marine Corps Martial Arts Program level. The physical toughness score will include a Marine’s physical fitness test and combat fitness test scores. And the mental agility score will be based on the primary military education the Marine has completed, along with any college courses taken.

Command input with be scored on a 0.0 to 5.0 scale, with a score in the 2.0 to 3.0 range lining up with the 4.0 to 4.4 Marine in the pros/cons system as a Marine who “meets expectations.

The new system will streamline the scoring process and eliminate the double counting of PFTs and CFTs that existed in the old system.

The new JEPES score will also update monthly, as opposed to the previous quarterly updates, allowing Marines to see sudden improvements in their scores.

This is an excerpt from “21 Things Marines Need To Know For 2021,” in the January print edition of Marine Corps Times.

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