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Is it fo time yet?
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Posted: 5/9/2013 4:27:13 AM EST
Can someone please explain to me what this is?

My son is getting one and he hasn't had much time to talk/explain to me what it is. When he does explain something , he uses every letter in the alphabet and terms i don't quite understand. You guys have a whole other language.
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 4:31:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2013 4:45:06 AM EST by Miles_Urbanus]
It is an award for service greater then a letter of commendation but less than a ribbon (Navy Achievement Medal). Basically an atta-boy which will be recorded in his Service Record Book (SRB) and on his DD-214 (Discharge papers) when he seperates from the service.

The Marine Corps frowns on giving awards to everyone and junior enlisted in particular. This makes actual ribbons much more meaningful and coveted. A letter of commendation or a Mertiorious Mass is a way of awarding a good job without using a more formal award.

ETA: A formation during which awards and promotions are made. From the navy tradition of gathering the crew around the main mast of the ship to deliver punishment and rewards. In the modern Marine Corps it is a written recognition of work well done and is of greater value than a Letter of Appreciation or a Certificate of Commendation.
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 4:31:48 AM EST
I received one in 82. It's an award of merit based on an task which was handled or completed exemplary.
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 4:38:05 AM EST
Originally Posted By P806:
I received one in 82. It's an award of merit based on an task which was handled or completed exemplary.


I recieved one in 83, 5.0 Pros/cons and Sgt. I'd be in 2 yrs at this point and on Embassy duty.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 4:44:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2013 4:45:18 AM EST by Lorax]
He's pretty exited about it, without getting into too much detail, he's a Lance and got selected to do something pretty special that only more experienced/ higher rank people get to do. He was sent with a few Sergeants. He's been in 16 months now.

He then got the highest scores of everyone and crushed the program.

He's hoping it will help him in some way.
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 4:54:26 AM EST
Your son done good!
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:02:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2013 5:03:54 AM EST by familyman357]
First post nailed it.

I don't know exactly what it takes to get one, but mine (in '96) involved my handling an unusual fatal accident (I was a MP) that started on base and ended off base... so it wound up multi-jurisdictional in investigation (USMC Military Police and California Highway Patrol). I was a Lance Corporal (E-3).

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:12:46 AM EST
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:14:46 AM EST
You should be proud; MM is a good thing...

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:19:52 AM EST
Your son did something that got his higher ups attention and they are formally recognizing him for it. Chances are his pros and cons will improve too, giving him a higher cutting score (if he rates one yet) and making him that much closer to promotion. Be proud, and tell him to keep stacking those MM and cercoms like cordwood. And make sure they get inputed in his OMPF (or whateverthefuck it is now) on MOL.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:21:30 AM EST
So it's bettter than a LOC from your CO, but not better than a LOC from a flag officer right? From my days in the Navy, I remember a Flag LOC being worth 1 point towards advancement, and a NAM being worth 2. Is it the same in the USMC?

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:35:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By NC_Andy:
So it's bettter than a LOC from your CO, but not better than a LOC from a flag officer right? From my days in the Navy, I remember a Flag LOC being worth 1 point towards advancement, and a NAM being worth 2. Is it the same in the USMC?


no, promotions in the Marine Corps usually go off a cutting score to pick up corporal or sergeant. As I understand it, this score to pick up is dictated by HQMC on the needs of the Marine Corps and how many Marines a specific MOS needs at a certain rank. So the score to pick up corporal in a one MOS will be completely different from the score for another MOS.

A Marines individual score is computed off of several things, such as PFT/CFT, rifle range score, pros/cons, time in grade/service, MCIs, and Im sure Im missing something else. When your individual score meets the score HQMC puts out for the month, you get promoted. The process then changes for sergeant and higher.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 5:37:41 AM EST
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 6:05:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2013 6:06:38 AM EST by Lorax]
Thanks for the input, guys. It was helpful hearing it from personal experience and not just a Wiki definition.

He's really liking this school he got chosen for and he says the higher ranking guys are treating him really good because of how he's doing even though his scores are way higher. He swept all the categories in the final tests.
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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 6:20:36 AM EST
It's an official attaboy for junior enlisted.

Not to belittle it, but it doesn't mean much unless he's going up on a meritourious proomotion board. Kudos to him, but all it is is an offical pat on the back.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 6:33:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2013 6:34:19 AM EST by Lorax]
Originally Posted By Slateman:
It's an official attaboy for junior enlisted.

Not to belittle it, but it doesn't mean much unless he's going up on a meritourious proomotion board. Kudos to him, but all it is is an offical pat on the back.


Well.....I guess it at least it beats the alternatives of NJP's and such.

The main point is that he likes what he's doing now and gets tons of range time.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 6:37:16 AM EST
Congratulations to your son OP.

As far as to the grandeur or how minor an award is perceived, the importance of it is to the awardee. I've busted my ass throughout my career and many things are often overlooked and I thought I deserved some recognition. On the other hand I have received some medals and ribbons which I didn't think I did all that to deserve. A Marine will be prouder of some awards than others.

I have also written Marines up for awards and this was always a pleasure because like the institution, I was stingy with them. I don't think a Marine should get an award for doing his job at the "just satisfactory" level if we did then the awards would become meaningless hand outs.

I'm smiling at the time I had one individual write himself up (a recommendation) for an award and his boy and everything in it was just doing their jobs.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 6:38:35 AM EST
BTW, what school is this OP?

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Link Posted: 5/9/2013 6:52:49 AM EST
First couple of posts explained it pretty well. I got one for CAX'94 at 29 Palms, but I was almost embarrassed of it because the Gunny who wrote it couldn't write for shit and it sounded stupid.

If you're gonna be writing up citations for someone's SRB, you ought to have some writing skills. Bottom line, though, is your son did good.

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