R 051506Z FEB 20
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MM//
SUBJ/MILITARY AWARDS GUIDANCE FOR THE 2020 PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION SEASON//
NARR/REFERENCE A IS SECNAVINST 1650.1J DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY MILITARY AWARDS POLICY, REFERENCE B IS SECNAV M 1650 NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS MANUAL, REFERENCE C IS MCO 1650.19J W/ CH1 ADMINISTRATIVE AND ISSUE PROCEDURES FOR DECORATIONS, MEDALS, AND AWARDS.//
POC/N.D. HOOKER/CAPT/HQMC MMMA/TEL: (703) 784-9342 DSN: 312-278-9342/ EMAIL: SMB_HQMC_PERS_AWARDS@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Per the references, Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps (HQMC) Manpower Management Military Awards Branch (MMMA) sends the following guidance on Department of the Navy (DON)Personal Military Decorations (PMDs) in anticipation of the 2020 Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Season.
2. Identifying award nominees. Prior to the start of the PCS season, unit award administrators should identify the outbound population for the command by downloading a unit outbound roster from the Marine Corps Total Force System (MCTFS). Unit award administrators should publish this information to the command leadership. Award originators are to identify those highly performing individuals deserving of DON PMDs and submit the appropriate recommendation per this MARADMIN. Nominations shall be submitted in a timely manner per paragraph 4 below for the award to be ready for the anticipated presentation date. A common best practice is to identify those recommended on a tracking spreadsheet and brief the status of the pending PMDs to the unit commander on a regular basis until the end of PCS season or completion of all pending PMDs.
3. DON PMD Format and Processing
3.a. Improved Awards Processing System (iAPS). All DON PMDs for Marine Corps Commands must be originated in iAPS. Only in the event that iAPS is off-line are commands authorized to use hardcopy NAVMC 11533 or OPNAV 1650.3 personal award forms to process DON PMDs; when the system is restored, the hardcopy records must be originated in iAPS by the originating unit.
3.b. Summary of Action (SOA). Reference (b) limits the (SOA) for PMDs to two pages. Because the iAPS SOA field has no standard formatting or character limit, originators should format the SOA to fit two pages in Microsoft Word, portrait layout, Times New Roman Font, size 12 with normal spacing.
3.c. Citations and Certificates. Originators should pay close attention to the opening and closing sentences. Each DON PMD has a unique opening sentence and there are only two authorized formats for the closing sentence. The Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual recently changed the format for citations however; iAPS is still pending an update to the new format. Until the iAPS update is complete, the character limit for iAPS citations for the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and below is 1250 and in all-caps. The iAPS character limit for the Meritorious Service Medal and above limit is 1800 and the citation is written in standard sentence format. When identifying the unit of assignment for the nominee in the opening sentence, the originator should only name the unit up tothe point at which the unit is clearly identified. For example, “while assigned as the Battalion Intelligence Officer of 3rd Battalion” would be unclear as there are many 3rd Battalions, but “while assigned as Battalion
Intelligence Officer for 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment” is clear and adequate as there is only one 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. Lastly, unit award administrators must ensure that the signed certificates and/or citations match the level of PMD approved in iAPS. The certificate and/or citation mustbe attached to the certificate section of the award for uploading into the nominee’s Offiial Military Personnel File (OMPF).
4. Timeline for submission. Reference (b) states PMD nominations should be submitted to arrive at the final awarding authority for adjudication at least 60 days prior to the desired presentation date. Failure to do so may result in the PMD not being approved on time for the desired presentation. The intent is that approved PMDs are presented to the recipient prior to detachment or separation from the command where the action took place, not at the next command. The below timeline is recommended to allow awarding authorities in the chain of command adequate time for approval.
4.a. Award: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NA) / Awarding Authority: O5 Commanders / Timeline: Originate No Later Than (NLT) 60 days prior to desired presentation date.
4.b. Award: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (NC) / Awarding Authority: O6 Commanders / Timeline: Originate NLT 90 days prior to the desired presentation date.
4.c. Award: Meritorious Service Medal (MM) / Awarding Authority: O7 Commanders / Timeline: Originate NLT 120 days prior to the desired presentation date.
4.d. Award: Legions of Merit (LM) ICO retirement / Awarding Authority: O9 Commanders at the Marine Force Level and CommandingGeneral, Marine Corps Combat Development Command / Timeline: Originate NLT 150 days prior to the desired presentation date.
4.e. Award: LM ICO transfer / Awarding Authority: CMC / Timeline: Originate NLT 150 days prior to the desired presentation date.
4.f. Award: Distinguished Service Medal / Awarding Authority: Secretary of the Navy / Timeline: Originate NLT 150 days prior to the desired presentation date.
5. Requests to expedite PMDs with CMC Awarding Authority. Per reference (c), CMC (MMMA) will take action on requests to expedite PMDs in cases of retirement, relief and appointments, or changes of command. A request to expedite an award must be signed by a General Officer or his / her Chief of Staff; by direction will not be accepted. Other cases requested to be expedited may be honored on a case-by-case basis. A request to expedite an award reduces the number of votes required on the HQMC Military Awards Board; it does not guarantee that the award will be completed by the desired presentation date.
6. Retirement and separation awards. Ensure that the end of action dates on PMDs for nominees who are separating from service end on the date of presentation or a date prior to terminal leave, whichever comes first. This is so that the award can be reported inMCTFS and added to the DD-214 discharge certificate. Awards not reported in MCTFS prior to when a Marine begins terminal leave, are often not recorded on the DD-214 discharge certificate and require the Marine to request a correction to the DD-214 and update to his/her service record.
7. Combat Action Ribbon (CR) and Combat Conditions PMDs. CR criteria is in reference (b), and is more restrictive than the criteria for combat conditions PMDs (includes the Bronze Star Medal(BS)). Therefore, it is possible to receive a PMD with a C device or a BS for meritorious service under combat conditions, but not qualify for the CR. By contrast, since the CR criteria is more restrictive than that of the C device, qualifying for the CR satisfies the personal exposure to hostile action requirement for the C device or BS for meritorious service under combat conditions.
8. Common mistakes on personal awards processing.
8.a. Incorrect opening or closing sentences.
8.b. Action dates on the NAVMC 11533 award form, SOA, citation, and/or certificate do not match.
8.c. Incorrect action dates for Marines separating from service.
8.d. Incorrect use of “great” credit. “Great” is only used on awards of the Air Medal and above.
8.e. A commander approving an award at a lower level of command for which he/she is not the awarding authority or the commander directing an originator to rescind an award and originate a lesser award. Per reference (b), an award nomination may only be downgraded or disapproved by the official who has the authority to approve the nominated award.
8.f. Award approved in iAPS and award certificate / citation do not match.
8.g. A commander approving a DON PMD for a foreign service member. Per reference (a), SECNAV is the awarding authority for DON PMDs to all foreign service members.
8.h. Failing to attach the signed citation/certificate to the certificate field in iAPS for upload into the recipient’s OMPF.
9. Release authorized by MajGen David A. Ottignon, Director, Manpower Management Division.//