New plan helps retain career Marines

15 Nov 2001 | 1st Lt. Megan Ball

Headquarters Marine Corps has created a new retention program aimed at keeping career Marines in the Marine Corps.

On Oct. 1, 2001, the Subsequent Term Alignment Plan began.  Similar to the First Term Alignment Plan, which targets young Marines for retention, the new program aims to retain career Marines in the sergeant to gunnery sergeant range. 

In the past, low retention rates among career Marines created the need to keep first-term Marines.  In turn, the annual requirements for the First Term program rose to nearly unreachable levels. However, there's more to winning the retention war than keeping Marines in the Corps for a second term.

When career enlisted Marines leave active service, the Corps loses a great deal of experience.  Through the Subsequent Term program, the Marine Corps will focus on retaining these seasoned Marines.  To this end, greater opportunities exist for Selective Reenlistment Bonuses.  With the success of the Subsequent Term Alignment Plan, promotion tempos across all Military Occupation Specialties will be more closely synchronized.

As with the First Term program, each fiscal year Headquarters Marine Corps will assign target reenlistment goals for the Subsequent Term Alignment Plan. The goals, which vary according to MOS, go to the seven Major Subordinate Commands (MARFORLANT, MARFORPAC, etc.)  Any sergeant, staff sergeant or gunnery sergeant who reenlists during the 2002 fiscal year will count towards that command's Subsequent Term goal for the 2002 fiscal year.

However, unlike the First Term Alignment Plan there is no restrictive cut-off for individual specialties.  This means that Marines may still reenlist in an MOS even if it has already reached its target number.  There is no competition for boatspaces among career Marines, and no career specialties will close out once they reach a certain number.

The intent is to systematically identify the population within the career force needed for reenlistment.  Marine leaders can then encourage those identified to reenlist.  Eligible career Marines interested in receiving a Selective Reenlistment Bonus are encouraged to submit their requests soon.  While the Subsequent Term program for 2002 does not close until Sept. 30, current reenlistment bonus rates are only guaranteed until Jan. 15.

Headquarters Marine Corps