Tag Archives: Marine Corps

Prior Service Enlistment Program Marine Corps Part 2

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It has been a few months since I began the process of accessing from the Active Reserve program into the Active Component, and I wanted to make a quick post about he difficulty I have had since that time.

I was denied seperation from my current component formally with a denied DD368 twice.  I was told to wait until I was within 90 of EAS and was again denied.  I was then told to wait until 45 days prior to my EAS and it was approved.  Keep in mind that when you are a member of the Active Reserve you must seek approval for you seperation directly from the program managers at Reserve Affaris Manpower – 2 (RAM-2).

I am now less than 40 days from EAS and separation and must some how complete all of the required processes including a DD2808 physical that is a MEPS physical, but you can not do this at a MEPS because you are already a member of the military, so you must talk a military hospital into completing this form that they are not suppose to complete.

After I complete this form I must babysit my package through 8 levels of command and then 3 levels of screening in order to be boarded, which only occurs once a month.  So if I am very very lucky I may get my package to the PSEP manager before the July board.  If I am even more lucky I will actually be approved to join the Active Component, even though only 12 Marines have been accessed this year into the PSEP program.

Wish me luck.  I am now preparing for separation in light of the seeming insurmountable administrative mountain of bureaucracy.

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE FOR RANK AND DOR ADJUSTMENTS OF AR ENLISTED ACCESSIONS

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Date Signed: 6/24/2011

MARADMIN  Active  Number: 362/11  2011

232121Z JUN 11
UNCLASSIFIED//
MARADMIN 362/11
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA RA//
SUBJ/IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE FOR RANK AND DOR ADJUSTMENTS OF AR ENLISTED ACCESSIONS//
REF/A/MSGID:DOC/MCO 1001.52J/YMD:20110606//
REF/B/MSGID:DOC/MARADMIN 471/07/YMD:20070803//
NARR/REF A IS ACTIVE RESERVE SUPPORT TO THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE.  REF B IS CHANGE 2 TO MCO 1001.52H//
POC/G. A. BRENNAN/SSGT/UNIT:HQMC RAM/-/TEL:703-784-0537 TEL:DSN 278-0537/ EMAIL:[email protected]//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  PURPOSE.  THIS MARADMIN PUBLISHES IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE REGARDING RANK AND DATE OF RANK ADJUSTMENTS FOR NEW ENLISTED ACCESSIONS TO THE ACTIVE RESERVE (AR) PROGRAM THROUGHOUT THE REMAINDER OF FY11.
2.  BACKGROUND.  REFERENCE (A) WAS SIGNED ON 6 JUNE 2011, ESTABLISHING A POLICY CHANGE FOR NEW ACCESSIONS ON THE AR PROGRAM. SPECIFICALLY, REFERENCE (A) CANCELS REFERENCE (B), ESTABLISHES POLICY FOR APPROPRIATELY ADJUSTING RANKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH ACCESSION ON THE AR PROGRAM, AND REFERS TO DATE OF RANK ADJUSTMENT CRITERIA PUBLISHED ANNUALLY VIA MARADMIN.
3.  POLICY.  TO KEEP FAITH WITH THOSE MARINES WHO HAD APPLIED AND WERE ALREADY ACCEPTED FOR ACCESSION ON THE AR PROGRAM BY 6 JUNE 2011, THE DATE OF RANK ADJUSTMENT POLICY IDENTIFIED IN REFERENCE (B) APPLIES.  FOR THOSE MARINES WHO APPLIED BUT WERE NOT ACCEPTED ON THE AR PROGRAM UNTIL AFTER 6 JUNE, THE FOLLOWING RANK AND DATE OF RANK ADJUSTMENT POLICIES WILL APPLY, PER REFERENCE (A):
A.  RANK ADJUSTMENTS.  SERGEANTS WITH LESS THAN 4 YEARS ACTIVE DUTY TIME WILL BE ACCESSED AT THE RANK OF CORPORAL.
B.  DATE OF RANK ADJUSTMENTS.
(1) MARINES LATERALLY MOVING TO ANOTHER MOS WILL HAVE A DATE OF RANK EQUAL TO THEIR DATE OF ACCESSION ON THE AR PROGRAM.  THE EXCEPTION IS SERGEANTS REDUCED TO CORPORAL IN CONJUNCTION WITH ACCESSION, WHO WILL HAVE A DATE OF RANK DETERMINED PER SUBPARAGRAPH (4) BELOW.  DIRECTOR, RESERVE AFFAIRS IS THE WAIVER AUTHORITY.
(2) ACTIVE COMPONENT MARINES WILL RETAIN THEIR DATE OF RANK IF ACCESSED WITHIN 90 DAYS OF SEPARATION.
(3) ALL RESERVE COMPONENT CORPORALS AND LANCE CORPORALS, TO INCLUDE THOSE SEPARATED FROM THE ACTIVE COMPONENT 90 DAYS OR MORE, WILL BE ASSIGNED A DATE OF RANK EQUAL TO THEIR DATE OF ACCESSION.
(4) MARINES WHO ARE SERGEANTS AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION AND REDUCED TO CORPORAL IN CONJUNCTION WITH ACCESSION ON THE AR PROGRAM WILL BE ASSIGNED A DATE OF RANK BY CMC (RAP) BASED ON THEIR ACTIVE DUTY POINTS RELATIVE TO INCUMBENT CORPORALS ON THE AR PROGRAM IN THE SAME MOS.  BASED ON THE LINEAL LIST FOR THE RESPECTIVE MOS, THE NEW ACCESSION’S DATE OF RANK WILL BE BETWEEN THE CORPORAL WHO HAS THE NEXT HIGHER AND NEXT LOWER ARMED FORCES ACTIVE DUTY BASE DATE.
(5) MARINES ASSESSED AT THE RANK OF SERGEANT WHO DO NOT REQUIRE A LATERAL MOVE WILL HAVE ONE DAY ADDED TO THEIR EXISTING DATE OF RANK FOR EACH DAY NOT ON ACTIVE DUTY IN GRADE.  FOR EXAMPLE, A SERGEANT WHOSE DATE OF RANK IS 1 FEBRUARY 2010, SEPARATED FROM THE ACTIVE COMPONENT ON 1 OCTOBER 2010, DRILLED WITH THE SMCR FROM 2 OCTOBER 2010 THROUGH 31 AUGUST 2011 AND ACCESSED TO THE AR PROGRAM ON 1 SEPTEMBER 2011 WILL HAVE THEIR DATE OF RANK ADJUSTED TO 17 DECEMBER 2010, CALCULATED AS FOLLOWS:
TOTAL DAYS IN GRADE WHEN ACCESSED (1 SEP 11 MINUS 1 FEB 10): 570 DAYS
ACTIVE DUTY POINTS IN GRADE (240 ACTIVE PLUS 14 SMCR AT):  254 DAYS
EQUALS DAYS NOT ON ACTIVE DUTY IN GRADE (570 MINUS 254):   316 DAYS
ADJUSTED DATE OF RANK (1 FEB 10 PLUS 316 DAYS):         17 DEC 2010
4.  IMPLEMENTATION.  FOR ALL APPLICANTS WHO HAD NOT YET BEEN ACCEPTED FOR ACCESSION BY 6 JUNE 2011, NEW STATEMENTS OF UNDERSTANDING (SOU) FOR RANK AND DATE OF RANK ADJUSTMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED WITH THEIR ACCEPTANCE LETTERS.  AN UPDATED SOU HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO MCRC PSR FOR USE WITH ALL NEW APPLICANTS TO THE AR PROGRAM.
5.  RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY MAJGEN D. L. MOORE, DIRECTOR, RESERVE AFFAIRS DIVISION.//

 

USMC CBRN School Pep Talk and Schedule

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So there you are, sitting with your family members, amazing them all with stories about how you just graduated boot camp and are about to attend MCT. Just as you finish telling them how you’ll be wearing cammie paint all day and running thru the jungle with your M-16 Crazy Uncle Larry, a former Marine, jumps up spilling his PBR all over the family Cockapoo and screams, “OUTSTANDING! WHAT’S AFTER THAT?!”

Flash scene to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. It’s an incredibly hard place to find, so hopefully you have transportation via government travel office. If not, get on Google Maps and search for St. Robert, Missouri. This will dump you about 3 miles away from the main gate. But don’t worry; it’s not a small installation, so it’ll be easy to manage from there.

After billeting figures out your room and barracks information you’ll more than likely be put in a holding platoon, referred to as “MAT” platoon. This simply stands for Marines Awaiting Training. Since this is your first experience away from the structure and discipline of Boot Camp/MCT I feel obligated to let you in on some advice for MAT platoon right away.

1)      If anyone offers to tell you how the Marine Corps “really works” or offers ANY legal advice, stay as far away from them as possible and heed none of their smoke and mirrors. Unless they have a blood stripe, or are a Legal Officer I promise you they don’t know the first goddamn thing about the Marine Corps and are only seeking to demotivate you and/or talk themselves up so as to seem cooler than they actually are.

2)      You will do a PROFOUND amount of Police Call and cleaning duties. Don’t let it get you down. Remember, you have nothing better to do until your class picks up, so you might as well help out where needed and the hard truth of it is a lot of times what’s needed is cleaning.

3)      MAT platoon is a great opportunity to do the right thing and rise up as a leader right from day one. It is always easier to start ahead than try to play catch up. That said the best way to earn a meritorious promotion is to start by proving your worth at MAT and keep up the good work in class!

4)      Keep your chin up! Haters gonna hate. It turns out Haters mostly hate successful, leadership oriented, hard charging, motivated Devil Dogs such as you undoubtedly are.  Jokes on them, cause you’re a squad leader or class leader, and they’re still getting NJP’d for underage drinking and fraternization. Not you tho! Class will start soon and the degenerates of MAT platoon will be a long distant memory and easily forgotten at that.

Let’s move on! MAT will be dead, may she rest in unholy hell, and you’ll be enjoying class… and by enjoying I mean trying to stay awake. STAY AWAKE! This is incredibly important information you need for the entire 3 months your class is at school. Remember what I said about staying in the lead and not having to play catch up? Well it still applies. Stand up, drink ice water, drink a cup of coffee, energy drinks are the nutritional equivalent to Napalm so don’t drink them. Feel free to slap yourself in the face. Feel even more free to slap the Marine next to you, who has not heeded my word and fallen asleep, in the FACE! Whatever you do, stay awake.

The first five weeks of class are going to be what you call “A” block. This is actually the information that you will have to teach upon arrival at your first unit. If you don’t pay attention and learn the information you will most assuredly show your ass as soon as you get to your unit. Don’t be that guy. Classes that you will cover are basics over Chemical Weapons of all types, Biological Warfare Agents, and Nuclear weapons history. If you want to be a motivator you should check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. You’ll be tested on your ability to stand up and give a class to a group of people. PRACTICE! Do this either by yourself or within a group. Just know that it’s easier to find your teaching style and voice before you give the class than be a stuttering, blithering, nervous idiot when the times comes cause you didn’t prepare. The CDC Website will have a list of everything you’ll cover in the school on a basic level. Learn it now to save yourself the trouble. Start ahead, right?

Within “A” Block you will have an introductory 2 mile and 4 mile hike thru Ft Leonard Wood. These will be performed in MOPP (chemical protective suit) and during a small portion of the hike you will be wearing your Field Protective Mask. Get used to it. As time goes on there will be two more 6 miles hikes and a final 8 mile hike. They too take place within the MOPP suit including the Field Protective Mask. A great way to get used to the mask and suit is to play video games on the weekend wearing the gear you’ll hike in. Sounds stupid, I know, but I’m dead serious when I tell you it helps. At the end of this and all blocks of instruction you will have a COC operation. This is a little radio based drill that checks to make sure you can actually employ the skills you’ve been taught. You’ll communicate with the instructors and the other squads of students all via radio transmission. As a little hint, when speaking to someone thru a mask over a radio, take the receiver of the radio and hold it firmly against the side of your throat and speak in a NORMAL volume and tone. It’s amazing how much that improves over screaming thru a mask.

Now that you’re sufficiently broken in “B” block starts. This is your hazard prediction block of instruction. Still awake? If not, slap yourself in the face. This is by far the most difficult block of the entire course. It should last about 4 weeks. You will learn all the factors needed to identify possibly contaminated areas following a Chem/Bio/Rad/Nuke attack. It’s very complicated and requires a lot of homework. If you don’t do your homework prepare for the hardest week of PT, classroom, and barracks life imaginable. Just ask my class, they didn’t do their homework (I was a Sgt at the time and knew better than to slack) and they suffered greatly because of it. Good study habits on your part will ensure you stay in the lead. That being said, this block focuses mainly on how to predict the movement of contamination without use of anything other than a Compass, protractor, and a ruler. After you’ve learned this skill, you will be taught a computer program that can do it all for you in the blink of an eye. Of course, this program was written by hacks so it rarely if ever works. But given that nuclear weapons and EMP generating devices can knock out computers in the blink of an eye it is definitely in your best interest to learn it front, back, and side to side in the event a computer isn’t there to do your job for you…and chances are there won’t be one to do it for you anyway.

“C” Block begins with contamination avoidance. Let’s imagine that a weapon discharged in your unit’s area. You know how to plot the hazard from “B” Block. All that’s left now is to actually go out into the great unknown and confirm the actual area of contamination. All this goes to keeping your unit safe and providing the CO with a detailed description of how he may safely move about the battle space. You’ll learn all kinds of detection equipment for everything from Chemical to Radiological contamination. Still awake? If not, slap yourself in the face HARD! This part requires a lot of attention to detail as it will be your job to ensure the gear works before sending it out with your monitor teams. Just like you look over your car before a long trip you will look over gear like your Radiation detector before each use.

Last we have your “D” Block. Even in a seemingly perfect world where everything goes to plan there is bound to be a change somewhere that blows the contamination right back into your face. What happens then? Do we run around waving our arms in the air screaming for Baby Jesus to come save us … I sure hope not. Beside, Baby Jesus has long since gotten the hell out of dodge and is being decontaminated as we speak. You are about to learn how to set up decontamination corridors, how to safely clean all of your gear, and clean your people should the worst happen. It’s not just as simple as taking a shower. There’s a lot to consider like time of day, weather, terrain, runoff, number of people, decon solution to use, and how much time you have to accomplish your CO’s goals and on and on and on. Is your buddy next to you awwake? If not… introduce him to RICK JAMES!

Once you have mastered all these skills you will put it all together in your final exercise. This is a 48 hour drill that employs the most important skills from each block of instruction. It takes place in the field training area after an 8 mile hike. Don’t expect it to be a camping trip. One screw up during the exercise relates to tens, maybe hundreds, of deaths in the real world. Get it down now and you’ll be alright. This is the part where all your COC operations get put into use also. If you developed good communication habits thru your radio and within your teams a lot of headache will be saved. You’ll have radio messages informing you of attacks, have to plot the hazard related, make small hikes thru the areas, use the detection gear, and lastly, set up decontamination for the units affected. By the way, this won’t just happen once. It’ll be a few times and with increasing intensity each time. Be ready, be cool, and be calculated. Don’t let stress make decisions for you.

And now you’re all done! This is it for your CBRN School. You’ll have taken twelve written tests, and least twice as many practical evaluations, and a whole lot of PT while at Fort Leonard Wood. It’s a good time if you keep your ass out of the meat grinder and do what you are supposed to. You’ll make a bunch of friends and hopefully some that’ll be around a while.

I can’t stress the following enough: Our job, soon to be your job also, is one that people don’t think about until the proverbial shit hits the fan. At which point your actions relate directly to how many people die. It’s a job that largely goes unappreciated and is greatly misunderstood by the commanders of almost every unit in the Corps. Keep your nose to the grindstone and tirelessly seek knowledge. Become the world’s reigning authority regarding all things CBRN. Be the one that doesn’t have to be told to do his job. Remember that you’re a part of a very small community within the Marine Corps, so one bad apple really does ruin the bunch. Don’t be the bad apple. Good luck!

Cheers,
Sergeant Kirby, 5711

Active Reserve(AR) Program – USMC – Eligibility and Templates

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I have been on the Active Reserve(AR) program for three years now and would like to share some opinions about the program and provide a small guide to getting on the program.

First I will talk about what AR is.  Active Reserve Marines are by contract and component designation reserve Marines.  You should read that sentence again.  The designation as reserve Marine has a lot of meaning in our world.  I want to make you aware of some of the negatives about being in the AR program and then some of the advantages.

Negatives

  • Bonus funding is almost nonexistent.  You will most likely never receive a bonus for reenlistment.
  • Promotions can be very cyclical.  The very small number of personnel inside each occupational field can lead to some stagnation within the ranks.  Their is a lot of up and down with  available promotions.  Plan on getting promoted at the target years see this  MARADMIN 068-11.
  • Being reserve component excludes you from most active duty special assignments and commissioning programs: Warrant Officer, Congressional Liaison, Intel College, and many other small active duty programs.
  • You will be stationed in New Orleans at some point.

Positives

  • Some great duty assignments.
  • Very low deployment cycle. (Can be a good and bad thing depending on your preference)
  • Most duty stations are not at large Marine Corps bases. (good and bad also)
  • Great community relations(COMREL) opportunities.
  • Very tight working groups of I&I staff.
  • Lots of opportunity to excel and carry many billets.

Weigh the pros and cons in your own circumstances carefully before you move forward.

Marine Corps Manpower Active Reserve Website

I will cover this process in steps as questions.

1.  Are you prior active duty or SMCR?  Are you qualified?

The following Career MOSs are supported:
0121, 0151, 0193, 0231, 0311, 0331, 0369, 0411, 0431, 0451, 0481, 0491, 0621, 0629, 0691, 0651, 0656, 0699, 0699, 1141, 1142

1161, 1169, 1171, 1181, 2111, 3043, 3051, 3451, 3521, 3522, 3529, 3531, 3537, 5711, 6046, 6019, 6048, 6072, 6073, 6112, 6113

6114, 6152, 6153, 6154, 6172, 6173, 6216, 6217, 6256, 6257, 6242, 6322, 6391, 6316, 6317, 6324, 6336, 6337, 6591, 6531, 6541

6672, 7041, 8412, 8421
and Limited Tour MOS supported are:
1371, 1391, 1812, 1833, 2146, 3381, 5811, 7011, 7372, 7382

You have to be one of the above or eligible to lateral move into one of the above MOS.

It doesn’t matter, except for your Date of Rank, more later about that.  Here are the shorthand qualification requirements.  MCO 1001.52H

    1. Be a Marine, active or reserve.  Active duty can not apply until they have less than 6 months left on there contract.
    2. Completed PME(MCI’s and acadamies for SNCO’s) for your grade.  Requirements are here MCO P1553.4
    3. Meet height and weight standards.  Found here MCO P 6100.12.
    4. Can not be retired or disabled by any service.
    5. Meet age requirements(waiverable).  Sgt(31) – SSgt (35) – CWO(39) – Lt(28) – Capt (34) – Major(39)
    6. Pass a physical.  DD Form 2807 and DD Form 2808.
    7. Have 3 years on a reserve contract before assignment.
    8. Be able to serve 5 consecutive years before retirement.

Just to clear up some things that are incorrect in this section of the MCO, there is no selection board for enlisted AR packages now, they are accepted/denied by the monitors.  Commanding officer endorsements are not required unless you are a drilling reservist or on active duty.

I would recommend finding out who the most senior enlisted Marine for you MOS that is on the AR program and give them a call.  The monitors regularly speak with the AR MOS sponsor. (hint hint)

You will need to get on www.marines.mil  or on the site and check the current maradmins for any Active Reserve messages that may have more strict guidance than those listed here.  They sometimes add small changes.

2.  Can you type and use a copy machine?

Below is a template for the package itself.  You will have to attach all of the documentation listed in the enclosures section and get it signed off.  This signature can be difficult for IRR Marines because you will have to work through a Prior Service Recruiter.

Finding your local PSR is hard.  First go here https://www.marines.usmc.mil/PA_NEW/MCRC_PA_REGDIST_00.html then call the district closest to you and ask them for the PSR phone number.  I know that seems silly but most of the Recruiting websites are broken or out of date so best to just call.

UPDATE** I have added this Prior Service Recruiter point of contact page.

The PSR will be able to pull the currently avaliable billets and let you know what is open.  You can use my template attached or they might provide you one.

Find the closest military hospital.  Go there get a physical, this is very hard if you are not SMCR and have a good relationship with our command, they should let you RMP or RIDT to get it done, because you need to be on duty.

3.  Submit it up the chain or to RAM-2.

Then wait. You should be contacted by phone if you are approved or denied to join.  RAM-2 will also release a naval message that will act as your orders to active duty and TMO validation.  You PSR or unit career planner will have to pull this for you most likely.

Some other info.

There are currently five “B-Billets” available: Prior Service Recruiting (8411), Drill Instructor (0911), Training Chief (8711), Special Staff Billets (8014) and Marine Combat Instructors (0913). Marines are not hired directly to a B-Billet. Once career designated, RAM-2 may screen Marines for one of these duties, or a Marine may request via AA Form to be screened. Communication with the special assignments monitor can determine availability of particular billet locations. Drill Instructors, Recruiters, and Marine Combat Instructor all receive Special Duty Assignment (SDA) pay.

Basically, service with the AR is identical to service with the active component. The major difference is that the AR mission is to support the reserve component. Also, we have virtually no overseas billets. We compete for promotions with other AR Marines on the same schedule as the reserve component. Refer to MCO 1001.52H W/ CH1, the AR Order for specifics.

P.S. This is a working document.  Subject to updates.

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