Changes add points for promotions

13 Jun 2003 | Cpl. Ryan S. Scranton

Faster promotions may be on the way for lance corporals and corporals due to a change in how composite scores will be calculated.

Marine Administrative Message 246/03 outlines changes to increase the maximum number of self-education points attainable and give credit to lance corporals for Marine Corps Institute courses completed as privates and privates first class.  Both changes are scheduled to be effective October 21 and may result in a higher composite score, which determines Marines' promotions to E-4 and E-5.

The message authorizes Marines the opportunity to maximize the benefits of their self-education, or college-level courses, by increasing the impact of education on composite scores.  Composite scores are calculated based upon a Marines performance in a variety of areas, such as physical fitness, known distance rifle range score, proficiency and conduct marks, MCI courses completed and self-education.

Currently the maximum number of points awarded toward a Marine's composite score for self-education is 75, but it will change to 100. Marines who have already completed more than 75 self-education points will automatically be credited for the classes they attended once the change becomes effective.

"I've been taking classes for three months on base, and this will help boost my composite score.  It's good that they raised the maximum," said Lance Cpl. Oscar A. Alvaaliaga, a publications clerk with Marine Corps Base.

The message also outlines changes to how MCI courses will be credited.  

Marines do not currently receive credit toward their composite score for MCIs completed as privates and privates first class because only lance corporals and corporals have composite scores.  According to the new guidance, however, lance corporals will receive credit for MCI courses completed as privates and privates first class.

"It's a very fair and equitable thing to do," said Sgt. Maj. Brian K. Pensak, sergeant major, Marine Corps Base. "It provides a greater emphasis on education, and in today's world we have to be smart to accomplish the mission."

According to the message, the change is scheduled to affect composite scores for the January through March 2004 promotion quarter. Marines should ensure all self-education credits and MCI course completions are entered correctly in the Marine Corps Total Force System.