News: New service limitations for Marines
Story by Sgt. Christopher Zahn
QUANTICO, Va. - The Marine Corps has implemented changes to the Enlisted Career Force Controls Program that can affect the careers of thousands of Marines, especially sergeants.
Under the new rules, Marines will have less time and chances to attain the rank of staff sergeant. The goal of the policy change, as stated in Marine Administrative Message 433/11 is to “ensure that competitive Marines are afforded a timely opportunity to screen for promotion, more restrictive limits have been placed on sergeants who have been passed for selection by the promotion board process.”
The ECFC is an “up or out” program, meaning if a Marine hasn’t been promoted by the service limit for their rank, they will be separated or transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve. The new limits are:
1. Corporal 8 years
2. Sergeant 10 years
3. Staff Sgt. 20 years
4. Gunnery Sgt. 22 years
5. 1st Sgt. or Master Sgt. 27 years
6. Sgt. Maj. or Master Gunnery Sgt. 30 years
For example, a corporal who has served for eight years but has not been promoted to the rank of sergeant will be removed from service.
The most significant change to the ECFC program is a change to the service limitations of sergeants. Effective immediately, the service limitation for sergeants is 10 years or two failed selections to staff sergeant.
Also, all existing service contracts for sergeants will be honored regardless of time in service constraints. For example, if a sergeant twice passed for promotion has an existing service contract that ends June 1, 2013 which allows for 13 years of service, that contract will be honored and the sergeant will be allowed to serve until that contract expires.
he annual promotion board will classify all in-zone and above-zone sergeants as either “selected for promotion” or “not selected for promotion.” Sergeants not selected for promotion twice (or more) will automatically be processed for separation at either their existing EAS or at a date seven months after the release of the promotion board results, whichever is later.
All sergeants, without a punitive reduction at any point in their career, will normally be allowed a minimum of one opportunity for promotion to staff sergeant. Sergeants not selected for promotion once will then be screened by their total years of service. A Marine with one pass for promotion with less than 10 years of service will be extended until seven months following the next annual promotion board to allow an opportunity for an additional promotion selection board. Sergeants with one pass for promotion with more than 10 years of service will be processed for separation at their EAS or at a date seven months after the release of the promotion board results, whichever date is later.
The MARADMIN gives the following examples to clarify the policy change:
Example 1. A sergeant with an existing contract that takes him to 13 years of service fails to get selected for promotion at 11 years. Based on his existing contract, he is allowed to continue to serve. During his 12th year, this sergeant is selected for promotion. This sergeant now continues to serve, receives his promotion, and is now subject to ECFC limitations of a staff sergeant. If this same Marine failed selection in his 12th year, he would be allowed to continue to serve until his contract expired.
Example 2. A sergeant has nine years, 11 months, and 29 days of service upon the release the MARADMIN containing her first non-selection of her “in-zone” staff sergeant promotion board. Because she has less than 10 years of service, she is extended to allow her an additional opportunity for promotion at the next staff sergeant promotion board. Her extension would be for no longer than seven months after the anticipated release of the next MARADMIN containing the results of the next staff sergeant promotion board.
Example 3. A sergeant has exactly 10 years of service upon the release of the MARADMIN containing his first non-selection of his “in-zone” staff sergeant promotion board. Because he has 10 years of service, he will be processed for separation at either his existing EAS or a date seven months from the release of the MARADMIN, whichever is later.
Example 4. A sergeant who has eight years of service receives her second “not selected for promotion” from the staff sergeant promotion board. She is processed for separation at her EAS or a date seven months from the release of the MARADMIN of the staff sergeant promotion board results, whichever is later.