MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Officers and staff noncommissioned officers in uniform no longer have to show their identification cards when purchasing alcohol, tobacco or cashing checks on station, the Corps announced last month.
Considering the time required to earn a commission or a rocker, carding senior Marines was unnecessary, according to Marine Administrative Message 312/09, released May 15, 2009.
“The reasoning behind it is sound,” said Mark Gongaware, retail director with Marine Corps Community Services here. “Look at how many officers and staff sergeants are on station and tell me if you can find one under 21.”
The message served as advance notice of an upcoming change to the MCCS’s policy manual, Marine Corps Order P1700.27.
Station stores can still require anyone to show ID when not in uniform and when using a credit card, regardless of rank and attire.
“We won’t check them if they’re in uniform,” said Marisela Bradberry, MCCS sales associate. “But it’s still a matter of discretion. We will ask if someone looks too young.”
According to the 2009 Marine Corps Almanac, only 0.1 percent of the officers are 21 or younger.
Statistics for staff NCO ages were not listed, however, the average time required for promotion to staff sergeant is eight to 10 years, said Staff Sgt. Jose Mejia, career planner here. For those in jobs with fast promotions or those leaping up the ranks meritoriously, even Marines who enlisted at the minimum allowable age of 17 would turn 21 before becoming a staff NCO.