MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
In February 2011, more than 200 lieutenants learned that they had been passed over for promotion and their time in the Marine Corps would be coming to a close.
Last year, Capt. Ryan Kohrig, prior service recruiting operations officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, was one of those lieutenants slated to exit the Corps. This year, he is in a position to help Marines faced with similar circumstances thanks to MCRC’s Active Reserve Program.
“I feel like I’m in a unique position to give back to Marines who are in the unfortunate position I was a year ago,” said Kohrig. “The AR program allowed me to continue to serve as a Marine officer.”
Prior to being commissioned, Kohrig served in the infantry as an enlisted Marine, achieving the rank of gunnery sergeant. However, after 17 years of service, he was notified that he had to go to the Installation Personnel Administration Center to begin his separation process.
“I received an MOL message telling me to go to IPAC and start checking out,” said Kohrig. “I was devastated to be forced out.”
Facing uncertainty, Kohrig began job hunting in the civilian world while retaining hope that he may be allowed to continue his service.
“I didn’t know what the future held,” said Kohrig. “I sent out resumes and had job interviews. I was preparing to transition into being a civilian.”
Not wanting to leave the Marine Corps, Kohrig explored his options to stay in, even thinking about resigning his commission and returning to the enlisted ranks if necessary. His drive and determination paid off – Kohrig was accepted into the AR program and he continues to serve as an officer.
The AR Program is responsible for the organization, administration, recruitment, retention, instruction and training of the Marine Corps Reserve. Active reserve Marines share many similarities with those on active duty. Active Reserve Marines are stationed all over the country, including on Marine Corps bases. They are eligible to serve in billets such as drill instructor duty or recruiting duty and are able to deploy. Marines in the AR program also receive active duty pay, benefits and retirement benefits.
For Marines in similar situations, opportunities abound in the AR program. Marines from any military occupational specialty (MOS) are eligible for the program. Sergeants and below also qualify to be retrained in a different MOS.
“We’re constantly looking for enlisted Marines to put into the AR program,” said Master Sgt. Donald Ogden, prior service recruiting operations chief, MCRC. “Our mission has increased the past three years.”
According to Ogden, some job fields are in higher demand than others and may offer bonuses for Marines.
“We’re looking for Marines in all job fields but especially in the 6100 and 6200 series [aviation mechanics],” said Ogden.
MARADMINs are released periodically to update Marines on boat spaces available and possible bonuses for making the move to the Active Reserve.
To be eligible for the AR program, Marines must meet certain requirements. Active duty Marines must be within six months of their expiration of active service date, be eligible for reenlistment and be willing to serve in an MOS required by the AR program.
Marines must also meet rank requirements to join the AR. For Marine officers, new joins to the AR are normally lieutenants or captains. For enlisted Marines, only sergeants and below are considered for the AR Program. In addition to rank requirements, Marines must also meet age requirements. A list of maximum ages and corresponding ranks may be found in MCO 1001.52H.
“There are ways to continue service,” said Kohrig. “Marines need to make sure they explore every possible avenue, including the AR program.”
If you are interested in continuing your service with the Active Reserve program, contact your local prior service recruiter or call MCRC at (703) 432-9857.