MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Officials from Manpower and Reserve Affairs recently released a revised Voluntary Enlisted Early Release Program that provides eligible applicants an opportunity to exit military service up to one year ahead of their scheduled separation date.
Marine Administrative Message 371/12 promotes force shaping measures in accordance with budget cutbacks and personnel reduction plans.
Marines with an end of active service date within fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013) are eligible to utilize VEERP from 90 to 365 days before their original EAS, said Sgt. Cassandra Espinoza, a career planner with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Some eligibility requirements include the completion of the transition readiness seminar, not being stabilized for a deployment and being eligible for honorable or general (under honorable conditions) discharge.
“I’m using VEERP because I want to relax and let the transitional impact set in,” said Cpl. Kayla M. Hermann, a combat photographer with H&S Bn., here.
Hermann is studying radiology at a local college and chose to take advantage of the early exit program to focus more of her time and effort on her studies.
Education is one of the main reasons Marines are taking advantage of VEERP rather than applying to other programs.
“School is the big reason,” said Espinoza. “Even though there is already a program for that, the early release for education, Marines see (VEERP) as an easy, no hassle way to get out early.”
Unfortunately, not every Marine can take advantage of VEERP. Marines that are already on terminal leave, scheduled for transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve or retired list, indebted to the Marine Corps through pay or leave, or are engaged in the National Call To Service Program are ineligible for the program.
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