Stop Loss, Stop Move signed

14 Jan 2003 | Staff Sgt. Pauline L. Franklin

Nearly 16,000 Marines who were scheduled to leave the Corps Jan. 15 through Sept. 30 and another 6,500 who were scheduled to change duty stations in the next 90 days may be frozen in place.

Marine Administrative Message 007/03 authorizes stop loss and stop move for all Marine Corps personnel, active and reserve.

The Secretary of the Navy approved the Corps' request to involuntarily extend Marines, known as stop loss, to stabilize personnel and units to meet any unscheduled deployments in support of current operational requirements, according to Headquarters Marine Corps.  The Corps enacted the stop move, halting permanent change of station moves, for the same reason, but did not need the secretary's approval.  The order mandates the largest Marine Corps stop loss since the Persian Gulf Crisis in 1990 and 1991.

Stop Move

In general, Marines with a detachment date on or after Feb. 15 will not PCS, except those in the initial training pipeline, such as military occupational specialty schools. 

However, enlisted Marines on orders to primary MOS career progression schools or those approved for lateral moves into the critical MOSs of 02XX, 2336, 26XX, 2823, 2834, 4429 and 6276 will continue to PCS.  Career progression schools are those required for Marines to advance to the next level in a specified MOS.  The Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy, the Infantry Platoon Sergeants Course and similar courses are not considered career progression schools.

The stop move does not affect the following duty assignments: joint duty, recruiting duty, drill instructor duty, Marine Security Guard duty, Marine Corps Security Forces duty, Marine Combat Instructor duty, duty at Navy ROTC units, Warrant Officer Basic Course, Special Education Program, and all commissioning programs.

Marines with orders in the system who cannot execute them because of the stop move can expect to rotate when the Corps lifts the restriction.  Headquarters will put all such orders on hold and adjust the move dates as necessary.  The monitors also intend to honor all planned assignments for Marines who do not already have orders, but were working with their monitors, according to Headquarters Marine Corps.

In addition, first-term Marines who obtained duty station preference as part of a re-enlistment package need not worry.

"We had some first-termers who had orders as a re-enlistment incentive, but now they are disappointed they can't execute those orders," said Staff Sgt. Angela Austin, career planner for II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group and a Donalsonville, Ga., native.  "Permanent change of station moves and school incentives will go on hold and go back into effect when the stop is lifted."

Similarly, the Traffic Management Office is working to take care of those affected here. 

"First we call the units to verify which Marines are affected by the stop loss/stop move, then we are canceling shipments with the carriers and calling the Marines affected," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Joseph W. Rothrock, TMO chief for Marine Corps Base.

The Quakertown, Pa., native said TMO will recall shipments for those who have already shipped items, but will not be moving now.  The section will hold these shipments in storage until members can accept them, according to Rothrock.

Service members with questions about their shipments should call TMO's Personal Property Section at 451-2377, extension 210.

Rothrock said the Passenger Transportation section, which issues travel tickets, is also operating in accordance with the new message.  Those with questions about their tickets can call 451-1971.

Stop Loss

The message gives commands the ability to restrict Marines due to leave the Corps on or after Jan. 15 from leaving the service for up to 12 months past their original separation or retirement date.

Those expecting to separate should anticipate remaining on active duty.  However, the first general in a Marine's chain of command can approve separation if he or she believes it is in the Corps' best interest to allow it.

Marines who are denied further service will continue to separate.  Commanders will also continue to separate Marines for reasons of hardship, physical disability, involuntary administrative separation, or violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as necessary, according to the order.

The stop loss message has greatly affected the Provost Marshal's Office here, which was already using a six-month stop loss for Marine Corps Base personnel to fill a shortage in its security forces.  Various commands aboard the installation are now providing Marines to fill these shortages as a result of the new message, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Roosevelt P. Carr, provost sergeant, Marine Corps Base.  The Philadelphia native said the augmentation Marines he has received in the past have been extremely helpful in maintaining security aboard the base.

Retirement and Promotions

Commanders will not stop loss Marines with an effective retirement date on or before April 1.  Similarly, Marines due to retire after that date will retire on schedule unless their commanders submit justification to Headquarters Marine Corps why they should not be allowed to do so.

Commanders will continue to process new retirement requests as necessary.

While the retirement process is ongoing, so too is the promotion process.  Headquarters does not expect the stop loss to significantly impact promotions for enlisted personnel, though it is still analyzing the effects on officer promotions.

Promotion boards will consider all eligible Marines, whether or not they submit letters requesting not to be considered for promotion, except those with an approved retirement within 90 days of the convening date of the board.  For boards currently in session, Marines who believe they were not selected as a result of administration errors or were disadvantaged by a request for non-selection before the board can request special or remedial consideration. 

Service members with further questions regarding stop loss or stop move should refer to the Marine administrative message.