News: Want to be promoted? Read this.
Story by Cpl. Jeff Drew
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - If you are planning on re-enlisting or are a sergeant or above then this is a must read.
Gunnery Sgt. Michael Collins, an enlisted career counselor with Headquarters Marine Corps, recently spent a day, here, to mentor Marines about becoming more competitive for promotion. As a career counselor, Collins travels to different commands to conduct briefs and council enlisted Marines on competitive factors for promotion.
When looking at a Marine’s record, Collins says the counselors look at the big four: performance, Military Occupational Specialty credibility, combat and special duty assignment.
Performance: How do you perform against your peers, within your MOS, outside of your MOS and what billets have you held? “We look at fitness reports to see relative values and comments to see how that Marine is performing,” said Collins.
MOS credibility: Are you performing within the confines for your MOS?
Combat: Have you deployed in support of combat, not necessarily do you have the combat action ribbon, but have you deployed in support of OIF or OEF?
Special Duty Assignment: It’s no secret that a special duty assignment is going to make you highly qualified for a promotion so that’s what the counselors look for.
A Marine’s record is all encompassing however, and is not limited to just these four things. Counselors will also look at combat fitness test and physical fitness test scores; professional military education, collegiate level classes, training, and leadership ability when assisting Marines.
The career counselors also have the most up-to-date information when it comes to succeeding on a promotion board.
“After every promotion board lets out we do what is called a hot wash or debrief,” mentioned Collins. “We go in and we personally ask the promotion board members different questions about the trends that they saw, what were some things that they used as discriminators, what was used to the Marines advantages - the information that we get is real time.”
These enlisted career counselor briefs are primarily given to a small population of Marines at the Staff Academy every seven weeks. Ultimately, Collins would like to reach a larger audience of Marines to better inform promising noncommissioned officers and staff noncommissioned officers and increase their chances of being promoted.
“I would like to see (these briefs) as part of a unit’s normal training schedule,” said Collins. “When (Marines) are training at the beginning at the fiscal year, this should be part of your training as well. We really get into detail about what it takes to be competitive in official records management and promotion eligibility.”
For stateside Marines interested in contacting an enlisted career counselor, please call 1-800-833-2320. Deployed Marines should contact Counselors via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.