News: Screening teams offer opportunities
Story by Lance Cpl. Terence Brady
CAMP SCHWAB, Japan - Headquarters Marine Corps Special Operations Command and Special Duty Assignment screening teams visited Marine Corps installations throughout Okinawa Jan. 14-18.
As part of their annual visit, the teams delivered presentations detailing the screening process and potential future duty assignments and were available to screen eligible Marines.
“Essentially, any Marine can be screened during our visit, as long as they submit re-enlistment and lateral move packages to their career planner,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan K. Strickland, a recruiter for Marine Corps Special Operations Command. “Going to the screenings gives them an opportunity to be recognized by Headquarters Marine Corps and possibly secure themselves a seat at the schoolhouse of whatever special duty assignment they are aspiring to go after, provided they meet the requirements.”
Marines must meet certain qualification standards in order to be considered for selection. These include physical fitness requirements, number of dependents, record of service, financial status and general technical scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
“During the screening, we ask many questions about the Marine’s background and examine background checks and education records,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jesse E. Lang, the Marine security guard screening chief. “We have to be absolutely sure that the Marine is fit for the job, as we will be entrusting them with an opportunity and responsibilities and information not afforded to every Marine.”
The screening teams will make final decisions on assignments at HQMC with the concurrence of occupational field sponsors.
Marines who were screened during the visit applied to fill slots for special duty assignments during fiscal year 2014. Marines should begin planning early if they desire to be a part of future screenings.
“Marines can ask about screening at any point in their career,” said Master Sgt. Marcus L. Cook, the career planner for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler and Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “Some programs only take volunteers, so those who want to get involved need to go to their career planner on their own accord to start the process.”
Although there are many who have the opportunity to apply, not everyone will make it past the screening process, and some of the options offered, such as those through Marine Corps Special Operations Command and Marine security guard, have very limited openings.
“If the Marines have negative marks such as a court martial within one year of screening, they are automatically disqualified,” said Lang. “Injuries and low proficiency and conduct marks are also disqualifiers.”
Through visits to Marine Corps installations around the world, the screening teams make every effort to select the right Marines for special opportunities.
“The screening process and visits allow Marines to show us their dependability and gain our trust,” said Lang. “We want to ensure that we are picking the right individuals to represent the Marine Corps.”