Posthumous combat promotions for Marines

24 Mar 2011 | Cpl. Scott Schmidt

Marines killed in action may now be posthumously promoted.

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos expressed a need for the change to honor those Marines already selected for promotion, but are unable to accept because of death and Marines who died after displaying incomparable leadership in combat.

The new order, released in MarAdmin 187/11 March 23, applies to those Marines, private to sergeant, who have been selected for promotion by a selection board or who have met all time-in-service and time-in-grade requirements.

According to the order, consideration for Marines not meeting standard promotion requirements but died valiantly in combat is based on “the contention that had the Marine survived, the degree of leadership displayed or deeds performed would have warranted future consideration for meritorious promotion.”

Promotions are not automatic. Commanders are required to submit a promotion recommendation to be reviewed by the respective Marine forces commander.

The changes are for “exceptional cases and are not to be used as an alternative means of recognizing faithful service or when a personal commendation is more appropriate.”

A Marine may be posthumously promoted, but their beneficiaries will not be entitled to any bonuses or pay as a result of the promotion according to the new policy.

The policy will be incorporated into the next revision of the promotion manual scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, but the changes take effect immediately.

Read the full MarAdmin:

Headquarters Marine Corps