For the second consecutive year, longtime staff sergeants across the Marine Corps will face involuntary separation from the service.
Officials with Manpower and Reserve Affairs announced the return of the Staff Sergeant Retention Board in Marine administrative message 264/15 on Thursday. Scheduled to begin work after the fiscal 2015 gunnery sergeant selection board wraps up its business in late June, the group is charged with whittling down the numbers of staff sergeants in uniform.
As with last year, staff sergeants with between 15 and 18 years of service who've been passed over for promotion at least twice are on the chopping block. During the board's first audit of veteran staff sergeants, 233 of the 798 reviewed were cut from the service.
The number of staff sergeants who will go before the retention board will depend on how many E-6s are selected for promotion to gunnery sergeant, said Yvonne Carlock, a spokeswoman for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. And because the number of Marines up for review will determine how long the retention board meets, there is no fixed date for it to adjourn, she added.
Prior to 2013, staff sergeants could remain in uniform until retiring after 20 years of service. But with the drawdown in full effect, the onus is on longtime noncommissioned officers to move up or head out.
Officials said incentives to exit the Corps, like the temporary early retirement authority, have failed to thin out the ranks of staff sergeants. Known as TERA, the voluntary separation program does not offer the same range of benefits as a 20-year retirement, but still leaves a departing Marine with a pension.
All staff sergeants up for forced retirement also qualify for TERA.
The gunnery sergeant selection board convened in late April. It is expected to wrap up in June, tapping about 1,900 staff sergeants for promotion.