December 11, 2014 --
Enlisted Marines wishing to advance to the next rank should read Marine Corps Administrative Message 521/14 that explains new professional military education promotion requirements as well as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett’s open letter about them.
The new requirements in the MARADMIN, entitled, “Updated Enlisted PME Promotion Requirements by Grade and Announcement of Command-sponsored Lance Corporal Leadership-Ethics and Career Course Seminar, are designed to help Marines be “critical thinkers,” according to Barrett.
The sergeant major of the Marine Corps’ letter, “World’s not getting any nicer … Critical thinkers needed!” highlights what the MARADMIN contains.
“Read MARADMIN 521/14,” Barrett said in his letter. “When you open it, you may decide that it’s too long and may not read it … so let me summarize the nearly 2,200 words that are contained in this 8-page effort. Lance corporals, corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants are now all required to complete resident or blended seminar education (tied to promotion … if you do not attend, you will not get promoted. Don’t look at this as a radical change, instead we are evolving and getting ready to meet the next set of challenges that await us … We are investing in our most precious asset — the character, strength, intellect and skill of the individual Marine.). Gunnery sergeants through master gunnery sergeant/sergeant major will continue to attend resident PME/seminars.”
Barrett emphasized in his letter why the changes are needed.
“Simply answered — because the world is not getting any nicer, it is unstable and increasingly more complex and our Marines will be handling multiple tasks in chaotic environments, making critical decisions at the point of friction (not to intimate you haven’t been, but we need you to continue to develop – strong educated leaders),” he said.
Barrett concluded in his letter, “We do not know when, where, who we will fight or help next, but we must be ready to leave tonight, and upon our arrival, not only must we win a fight (if that’s what’s waiting for us), but more so we need every Marine to have the cognitive abilities to contain a crisis, plug a gap, hold the line (de-escalate a volatile situation without firing a shot or save a life).”
Master Sgt. Robert Nolasco, operations and training chief, Military Operations and Training, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, echoed Barrett and stressed “education is key” for Marines.
“Education is always important in order for you to stay competitive with your peers and especially right now with the force drawing down and not very many opportunities to reenlist,” Nolasco said. “You have to be competitive with your peers and within your own (military occupational specialty) in order to stay in the Marine Corps.”
He pointed out the importance of the resident PME courses.
“Nowadays, when you attend these resident courses, the main focus is to educate you more on a changing environment that we are getting into to make you a better leader, to make you more competitive,” Nolasco said. “I also feel by attending these resident PME courses you open up a door to help you communicate more with your peers with a different MOS and a different outlook to get different opinions on how they view things.”
He said it’s not an option for Marines to not read the MARADMIN.
“They have to read it,” Nolasco said. “Whether they like it or not, times are changing. Whether they believe it will benefit them or not, the Marine Corps is going to keep moving forward and the Marine Corps is looking for forward thinkers. If they want to stay competitive, they have to educate themselves and they have to read up on the new policies, the new orders, the new regulations and the new education requirements.”
He and Marines in his office will help other Marines with the new requirements, Nolasco noted as well as recommended Marines don’t wait to fulfill them.
The base’s Military Operations and Training office is located in Building 3500, Room 10, or can be reached by calling 229-639-7489.