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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

Proper fitness reports enhance promotion opportunities

By Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz | | August 13, 2013

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Manpower Management Support Branch conducted a Promotion and Performance brief at the base theater here regarding the importance of being prepared, proactive and being competitive for promotions.

“The fitness report is what’s used to determine the best of the best,” said Sgt. Maj. Mark Byrd, the sergeant major for the Performance Evaluation Section at Headquarters Marine Corps. “This evaluation is what’s going to separate the good Marines from the real good marines.”

Byrd discussed fitness report protocol, methods for thoroughly auditing their Official Military Personnel File, navigating a Master Brief Sheet and access online applications.

The breakdown of the Master Brief Sheet was really impactful for Gustavo Yanez, a supply administrative chief and platoon sergeant with Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group here.

“There are so many columns, boxes and numbers and you just don’t know what the acronyms mean,” said Yanez.

The brief sheet was discussed in detail from the acronyms to the grading scale.

“It’s very important to inform sergeants when they are young and receiving these evaluations because the evaluations don’t just affect them in their current grade. They stay with the Marine throughout their career,” said Byrd.

“It’s important that you understand how the reports are supposed to be done, and the trends that are wrong, so you don’t accept things that you shouldn’t be,” Byrd continued.

Byrd also said it’s important for sergeants to understand how to complete a proper fitness report, and how to catch common mistakes.

“For example; I get a lot of feedback from young sergeants and one of the reoccurring things I hear is ‘I was told by my reporting official that they’re going to write me a low report to start with, so I progressively get better,’ and that’s wrong,” said Byrd.

These evaluations are what Headquarters Marine Corps use to determine whether a Marine will be promoted or even permitted to reenlist.

“They should definitely understand how the system works and how they’re being evaluated,” Maj. Donald Hudson, a G-6 operations officer with 1st Marine Logistics Group here. “It’s their careers.”

Byrd travels to the staff non-commissioned officer academies each year and makes the effort to visit nearby installations while in the area.

“My drive is to empowering Marines, through education, to know what’s right,” said Byrd.

For more information on keeping your official military personnel file updated, fitness reports and understanding massive brief sheets, contact your units career counselor, or visit https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/portal/page/portal/M_RA_HOME.

Contact Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz at sarah.wolff@usmc.mil.


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