San Diego, California --
For many Marines finishing their four years, active duty is not the end of their career in the Marine Corps.
This was the case for the 1,163 Marines who attended the Marine Corps Individual Reserve Support Activity, Individual Ready Reserve administrative muster and job fair at PETCO Park in San Diego.
After completion of their active-duty or Selected Marine Corps Reserve time, some Marines transition into the IRR where their responsibilities are to remain ready for duty and to attend annual mega-musters. The Marines still have the opportunity to work for the Marine Corps and can even be promoted in the IRR.
Force Headquarters Group holds one IRR muster a month in different locations around the country. Marines close to the musters receive orders to attend and receive pay for attending. Title 10 of the United States Code requires the Marine Corps to hold the musters in order to ensure the mental and physical health of Marines. The muster also allows contact information to be updated in case there is a recall.
“What we are trying to do is give you a venue to come back and say ‘Ok, I have been out now a year or two years let me look around, maybe plan ‘B’ didn’t work out, or maybe I’m having some health difficulties, when I transitioned out I didn’t pay much attention but now I really do have a couple of issues’ and that’s what all this is,” said Brig. Gen. Paul K. Lebidine, the commanding general of FHG. “The muster partners are here because they know Marine veterans are here and they want to help you in any way they can. The largest issue we have is connecting the veteran and those resources.”
The muster gives the Marines access to resources and allows FHG to find Marines who may need resources, including mental health.
“We have Marines out there that have served multiple tours and that had other things that were very traumatic in their life, could be a car accident or anything, but they don’t take advantage of the help that is out there for them, “said Sgt. Maj. Michael E. Sprague, the FHG sergeant major.
The Marines received briefs from FHG including the CG, Sergeant Major. and from the muster partners giving the Marines a wealth of knowledge and opportunities.
“I learned that there is life after the Marine Corps and there is still a community of people who got out and participate in different parts of society. It is good to see that these guys come back and are still helping each other out” said Sgt. Steve Posy. “I wasn’t really sure what the muster was initially but I see it’s a way for Marines to still be involved with the Marine Corps and do things that help the Marine Corps and help their fellow Marines. It’s pretty awesome to see that even after they have served their active-duty time and now they are doing something else, they can still be a part of the organization.”
One of the muster partners was the Department of Veterans Affairs, giving Marines information on health care and veteran’s benefits.
“We are a big part of this muster. We let the Marines know we are here for them and they can connect with us for all their health care needs,” said Jeffrey Gering, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the VA San Diego health care system. “We are very proud of the services we are providing here for the veterans of San Diego County. The Marines, through their service, have earned their right to VA health care and we exist to provide great health care to veterans.”
In addition to the VA, 61 other muster partners were present; prior-service recruiters, Marine for Life, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Marine officer selection officers and Navy and Marine Corps medical teams. Other partners included recruiters for law enforcement, colleges and trade schools.
The muster gave Marines access to job options and schools as well as the opportunities and resources to remain a part of the Marine Corps.
“I love the Marine Corps. I loved my time in the Marines and even though we have parted ways, if I can stay connected I would love to do that. The muster today shed some light on how I can stay involved.” said Posy.