The Coast News Group
NewsOld - DO NOT USE - The Coast NewsRancho Santa Fe

Corps’ senior advisor addresses Marines on upcoming changes

CAMP PENDLETON — The Corps’ senior enlisted advisor addressed recent policy changes, from housing allowance to promotions, during an E-8 seminar at Camp Pendleton’s Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Aug. 18.
“We as an institution are doing great,” said Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett. “We have a lot of challenges ahead of us and we don’t think about how it’s going to affect us. We look at it as chance for us to excel.”
The topic of the recent BAH freeze for all single E-5s and below was the first topic addressed during the seminar.
Marine Administrative Message 429/11 states all pending and future requests for BAH for Marines, sergeant and below, without dependents will be frozen effective as of July 29.
“If you are currently living out in town, you will not be forced to move into the barracks until you are given permanent change-of-station orders,” Barrett said. “Those who have furniture and possessions that cannot be moved back into the barracks will have a government storage facility made available at no cost for as long as it takes.”
The topic of the change to the Enlisted Career Force Controls Program, which will require sergeants to obtain the rank of staff sergeant within 10 years or leave service, was also explained.
“A sergeant has an 80 percent success rate when it comes to being selected for staff sergeant,” Barrett said . “All I have to say to the other 20 percent is that they better bring their ‘A’ game, because nothing will be given without first being earned.”
The senior enlisted advisors were also briefed by Barrett about the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“When Sept. 20 comes, we should all look at it as just another day,” Barrett said . “We will be ready and we will act accordingly.”
President Barack Obama signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Dec. 22, 2010, allowing all gays to openly serve in the United States Armed Services.
Throughout the one-hour visit, Barrett stressed the importance of every Marine doing their part by informing and educating others.
Ensuring every Marine knows what is expected of them during these important policy changes in the Corps’ history plays a key role in this vital transition time, said Barrett.
“We will be ready and we will be successful,” Barrett said.  “We are the most admired and prestigious force of all the armed services. The world will be watching to see how we carry out these mandates given to us by our nation’s leaders.”