Talent Management Tangibles

Current initiatives

Since the release of Talent Management 2030, we have better aligned departments and organizations involved in talent management, assessed, and mapped out interdependencies of total force personnel policies, and begun to generate momentum with a sense of urgency. Leveraging authorities previously enabled by Congress, we enacted nine initiatives in 2022, which we will expand and accelerate in 2023:

Commandant’s Retention Program (CRP): During FY23, the CRP offered pre-approved reenlistments to top-performing Marines by streamlining the process and giving priority access to primary military occupational specialty monitors for duty station and assignment options. The CRP resulted in a 72 percent increase of first-term reenlistment submissions by top-performing Marines with the average reenlistment approval accomplished in 24–48 hours, much quicker than the previous norm. Going forward, we will expand the program to more first-term Marines as well as our career force.

Staff NonCommissioned Officer (SNCO) Promotion Board Realignment: Beginning in FY24, we are realigning SNCO promotion boards to sequence more effectively with the assignments and reenlistment processes. This initiative will reduce SNCO billet gaps in the FMF and decrease the processing time of reenlistment packages. The realignment will provide greater predictability for SNCOs and their families while dramatically reducing the number of permanent change of station moves across the force.

Recruiting Station Commanding Officer Selection Board: We implemented two initiatives for the FY23 Recruiting Station Commanding Officer selection board. First, officers now have the opportunity to volunteer for command, including officers otherwise not scheduled for consideration. Second, officers may also request removal from Recruiting Station commanding officer consideration for one year, without penalty, should they prefer to complete a deployment or other professional obligation, or due to a personal life circumstance.

Special Duty Assignment (SDA) Volunteer Program: Prior to 2022, we screened and selected Marines for SDAs en masse. But last year, we launched a pilot SDA volunteer program, expanding incentives to provide duty station preference for volunteer recruiters, drill instructors, and combat instructors. As a result, volunteers increased by 62 percent, reducing the number of involuntarily screened Marines by 38 percent. This minimized disruption to Marines, their families, and FMF units while also reducing SDA school attrition. We will improve and expand this program in 2023.

MarineView 360-Degree Leadership Review: MarineView360 is a development tool for leaders that helps Marines identify their strengths, blind spots, and areas for focused improvement through the polling of their supervisors, peers, and subordinates. Leaders receive feedback and advice through a dedicated mentor and coach. The MarineView360 pilot began with a group of 150 sitting commanders and is now leveraging the experience of 200 additional selected commanders and senior-enlisted advisors. The final phase of the pilot will expand to 1,000 Marines of varying rank from gunnery sergeant to colonel.

Officer Promotion Opt-Out: Starting in 2022, both the active and reserve components offered certain officer populations the ability to opt-out of consideration for promotion once without penalty. This allowed officers increased flexibility in their career paths to pursue unconventional career experiences or formal education that would otherwise take them off track for key developmental assignments. We are currently exploring the expansion of this initiative to enlisted Marines to afford them the same flexibility in their careers.

Digital Boardroom 2.0 (DBR 2.0): DBR 2.0 increases the functionality and accuracy of information presented to board members, enhances the conduct of virtual boards, safeguards data, and improves this critical talent management process. The enlisted career retention and reserve aviation boards successfully used DBR 2.0 in 2022. With the availability of cloud-based data, we will expand use of DBR 2.0 while simultaneously assessing the outcomes, cost and time savings, and professional depth and breadth of board members to benchmark with our legacy process.

Separate Competitive Promotion Categories: To meet the demands of the future, the Marine Corps must retain the highest quality officers with the necessary skill sets at all ranks. To that end, we are exploring options to reorganize the unrestricted officer population into separate competitive categories to better meet the Marine Corps’ needs for diverse expertise and experience at all ranks by competing for promotion with peers having similar skill sets, training, and education. We will conduct a pilot program to evaluate the merits of this reorganization during the 2025 field-grade officer promotion boards.

Career Intermission Program: Many Marines desire to pursue specialized education or to focus on family for a significant life event. The Career Intermission Program is an initial step toward allowing Marines an option to temporarily pause their active-duty service and later resume their careers without penalty. This program enables career flexibility, and in doing so, also encourages retention of experienced, talented Marines.

Talent Management Way-Ahead Manpower Information Technology System Modernization (MITSM): In February 2022, Deputy Commandant, Manpower and Reserve Affairs created a business capability requirements document that outlines the capabilities required to begin the MITSM acquisition process. MITSM will aggregate legacy systems and capabilities into a device-agnostic, data-driven, and dynamic human resources information technology solution that meets the evolving needs of the Marine Corps’ talent-based work force. One aspect of the MITSM will be a web-based talent marketplace, which will enable a collaborative and transparent assignment process and increase the role of both commanders and individual Marines. This capability will help us better align the talent of individuals with the needs of the Service to maximize the performance of both. The talent marketplace is here and is currently being tested by five monitors and about fifty Marines.

Implementation of Indefinite End of Active Service Policy for Enlisted Personnel: As we seek to mature the force, we also seek to eliminate processes and policies that induce both friction within the personnel system as well as personal and familial stress. There is little reason why those who have served honorably for eighteen-plus years need to worry about re-enlistment before completing twenty-years of service. This year, we are exploring the feasibility of senior SNCO career designation to establish an indefinite expiration of active service. This shift will align senior SNCO retention practices, increase flexibility in assignments, reduce administrative burden and needless paperwork, and minimize uncertainty for SNCOs and their families.

Small-Unit Leader Initiative: Under the current policy, first-term Marines are ineligible for promotion to sergeant. While the spirit of that policy is reasonable, it created a disincentive to the highest performing Marines across the force by establishing an administrative obstacle they cannot overcome regardless of individual talent. Going forward, if one of our talented Marines with at least 36-months of service wishes to re-enlist, then that Marine will become eligible for promotion to sergeant upon their re-enlistment. This program will incentivize the most talented who desire to stay for another enlistment and should help mitigate the persistent need for sergeants across the FMF.