MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
Marines nearing the end of their active service have three choices – re-enlist, join the reserves or get out completely.
To get the information Marines need to make an educated decision, they can turn to their career retention specialists.
There are 34 specialists aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar who are assigned to squadrons and groups. They assist Marines nearing their End of Active Service with guidance on the options they have.
“Typically, the unit career retention specialist will contact Marines in their command when they are about a year away from their end of active service,” said Master Sgt. Robert Ulz, senior noncommissioned office in charge of all 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing career retention specialists. “There are required interviews that must be conducted, whether the Marine intends to re-enlist or separate from the Marine Corps.”
During these interviews, the CRS’s explain the pros and cons of remaining in the Corps or getting out.
There are always incentives for Marines re-enlisting. First-term Marines must talk with their CRS early to get a boat space in their job field and to receive specific benefits.
“Many Marines cite reasons like re-enlistment bonuses, duty-station incentives, re-enlistment school seat incentives or lateral moves,” said Ulz. “Waiting to re-enlist may cause a Marine to miss out on a bonus or cost them a re-enlistment opportunity.”
Additionally, Marines need to contact their CRS early if they intend to stay in their military occupational specialty.
“Only a certain number of first-term Marines, per MOS, can re-enlist,” said Ulz. “When the boat spaces are filled, Marines possessing that MOS must seek a lateral move to another MOS.”
If the Marine wishes to lateral move, it’s also imperative the Marine talks with a CRS early to ensure their package is complete in a timely manner.
Marines will have to complete additional screening to lateral move into another military occupational specialty, explained Ulz. Some lateral-move MOS’s will require the Marine to have an additional physical screening, security clearances and interviews.
A CRS’s job is important because they provide information and guide Marines no matter what direction they choose in their career.
“The career retention specialists helped lay the foundation on what specific Marine Command Code I needed,” said Cpl. Michael J. Soholt, an embarkation logistics specialist with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465, who re-enlisted in January. “They helped me through the whole process.”
A CRS is also trained to assist Marines, even if that future is not with the Marine Corps.
“They will have up-to-date information regarding education programs, job fairs and transition programs,” said Ulz.
Whether a Marine plans to stay in or get out, starting the process early is always recommended, according to Ulz.
Marines can call their unit’s CRS with questions regarding their future in the Marine Corps.