Marine Corps increases opportunities to be meritoriously promoted to sergeant

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Good news for corporals.

The Marine Corps is about to increase the number of opportunities to be promoted meritoriously to sergeant, according to an administrative message released on Monday.

“Commands are authorized to meritoriously promote not more than one half of one percent of the corporals on the 2nd day of the fiscal quarter (October, January, April, and July),” the MARADMIN said.

The increase will create roughly 90 new meritoriously promoted sergeants, Col. Chris Escamilla, branch head for Plans, Programs and Budget in the Marine Corps Manpower Plans and Policy Division, told Marine Corps Times on Wednesday.

The need to increase meritorious promotion opportunities for sergeants is the result of a change in policy that doubled the time in service requirement to be promoted to sergeant from 24 months to 48 months.

The Corps decided to increase the time in service requirements for sergeants in the hopes of creating more seasoned leaders taking on the role as the “backbone of the Marine Corps.”

The move also was meant to help normalize promotion rates across military occupational specialties.

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Though the change may have led to more seasoned sergeants, it also led to a slight shortage across the force.

“The Marine Corps currently possesses a healthy sergeant inventory,” Escamilla said in a Wednesday email. “However, increasing the time-in-service requirement for promotion to four years has slightly reduced the sergeant inventory.”

“The increased allocation of meritorious promotions to sergeant will mitigate this inventory reduction and, more importantly, provide an opportunity for commanders to conduct talent management and reward high performers through early advancement,” he added.

The increased promotion opportunities will not come for other ranks however, as the Marine Corps is not currently considering similar for changes for any other rank, Escamilla said.

Disclosure: Col. Christopher Escamilla was Marine Corps Times reporter Philip Athey’s battalion commander with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, from Oct. 2011 to May 2013. They did not interact with each other directly during this time.

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