Proficiency and Conduct Marks

How many Marines reading this blog (serving and retired) remember having a leader discuss the ‘Marine Corps’ definitions of the qualities and attributes that are assessed when determining our Proficiency and Conduct marks? 

Likewise, how many leaders reading this blog are fulfilling their duty to have such discussions with those who look to them for leadership, when determining their marks?

As our youngest Marines are evaluated utilizing Proficiency and Conduct marks, I believe that such discussions are absolutely essential to sustaining the transformation!    

Guided discussions have proven to be a very effective leadership tool that ensures, by mutual understanding, that the efforts of leaders and subordinates alike are oriented toward increased individual and unit effectiveness. 

Para 4005.6.a. of the IRAM specifies, “In addition to the observance of the letter of law and regulations, conduct includes conformance to accepted usage and custom, and positive contributions to unit and Corps.  General bearing, attitude, interest, reliability, courtesy, cooperation, obedience, adaptability, influence on others, moral fitness, physical fitness as affected by clean and temperate habits, and participation in unit activities not directly related to unit mission, are all factors of conduct and should be considered in evaluating the Marine.”   

Page 4-41 of the IRAM identifies the standards of conduct and also specifies that leaders must carefully consider the Marine’s demonstrated levels of the qualities and attributes listed in Para 4005.6.a. (provided above). 

Para 4005.7.a of the IRAM specifies that the duty proficiency mark “should indicate how well a Marine performed the primary duty during the marking period.  In addition to technical skills and specialized knowledge, the ‘whole Marine concept’ must be considered.  Such attributes as mission accomplishment, leadership, intellect and wisdom, individual character, physical fitness, personal appearance, and completion of professional military education, Marine Corps Institute Courses and off duty education should also be evaluated and incorporated. Due allowance should be made when a Marine is fulfilling a billet inconsistent with the Marine’s grade.”  

Page 4-43 of the IRAM identifies the standards of proficiency and also specifies that leaders must carefully consider the levels of performance that a Marine attains, as well as the amount of supervision the Marine requires.

The ENLPROMMAN specifies that promotions are authorized on the basis of vacancies existing throughout the Marine Corps.  The CMC regulates the number of Marines to be promoted to corporal and sergeant through the use of the automated composite score. 

As assigned Proficiency and Conduct marks contribute significantly to a Marine’s composite score, I believe that we need to intensify our efforts to ensure that leaders and subordinates alike understand the qualities and attributes that are being assessed.      

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