Retiring Marines must notify the Corps at least six months before departure

Retiring Marines must notify the Corps at least six months before departure

Marines who plan to leave the Corps are currently required to notify the Corps of their intent to leave at least six months before their scheduled departure date.

Previously, Marines could resign or retire with as little as four months’ notice. The update, released last Friday, took effect immediately for the service.

Col. Sarah Eason, a Marine Corps spokeswoman, said in an email to Thursday that the previous schedule of submitting notices of resignation within four to 14 months has not given Marines enough time to prepare for the transition. He said he was not given time.

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“The renewal of retirement and resignation requests was made to prepare transitioning Marines for success as they embark on the next phase of their lives,” Eason said.

Additionally, requests for resignation or retirement from the Marine Corps currently cannot be submitted within 18 months of the requested departure date. This is an increase from his previous limit of 14 months.

“An element of talent management is predictability, which facilitates predictability of assignments and related actions,” the service update message states.

Talent management is part of the Marine Corps’ broader force design modernization plan, which includes efforts to better manage Marine retention. The Marine Corps loses approximately 75% of its first batch of Marines each year.

Eason added that while the Separation and Retirement Manual will be released later this year with a more comprehensive update, the new message will be released as “interim guidance.”

The Marine Corps has created a number of retention programs related to talent management, including allowing early reenlistment of Marines in hopes of retaining more Marines beyond their initial four years of service. It’s here.

The effort may be paying off, with about 850 Marines exceeding the first-term retention goal in fiscal year 2023, according to the Marine Corps Times.

The longer lead time required for the Marines means that the Marines are on duty a little bit longer, which can help people on the human resources side with staffing projects and filling in gaps, and also helps Marine readiness. Attendance at the Marine Corps Transition Readiness Seminar, a required course, could also increase. Marines are retiring for post-retirement life.

A government monitoring report released last year found that at least 70% of the 200,000 service members who retire each year do not complete a required transition course at least 12 months before their scheduled retirement date.

The Department of Defense typically requires troops to complete transition training one year before leaving the military to allow sufficient time for post-service administrative requirements and to prepare for employment.

Starting the transition early is especially important for military personnel. Many veterans leave their first civilian job within a year after leaving the military, and many underestimate how difficult the transition to the civilian workforce will be.

— Kelsey Baker is a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a former active-duty Marine. Contact her at @KelsBBaker on X or

Related: Big bonuses, relaxed policies, new slogans: none of this saved the military from the draft crisis in 2023

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