Sgt. Jerad W. Alexander
Combat Correspondent

As Marines deploy overseas, those who’ve finished their active service can still be called back to active duty to help the Marine Corps with its mission.
The Mobilization Processing Center is an integral part of bringing those Marines back into the fold, as well as integrating those reservists not specifically assigned to a unit.

Within the Marine Corps, there are five different categories reservists fall into. The MPC handles two of these groups: Marines with an Individual Mobilization Augmentation Detachment, which includes Marines who man the Reserve Support Units throughout the United States, and Marines in the Inactive Ready Reserves. Those in the IRR are Marines who have finished the active duty portion of their contract and are finishing out the remaining years of obligated reserve time. These Marines do not participate in drills or training, but are still subject to recall.

“When a Marine on inactive reserves is recalled, he or she will receive a Mailgram with instructions to report to the nearest Initial Processing Center,” said Cpl. Kenneth R. Sabby, a personnel clerk at the MPC.
“At the INPC, the recalled Marine is medically screened to ensure good health and then sent to an MPC,” said the Fayetteville, Ark., native.

Sabby said once the recalled Marine reports here, he or she begins in-processing, which includes updating medical and dental records and service record books.
“It’s basically as if you were just checking into another unit; you get a check-in sheet and have to hit all the spots,” said Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Mouzon, MPC personnel chief from Sumter, S.C.

The MPC also handles all the recalled Marines’ administrative issues, such as whether the Marine got married, divorced, or had children while out of the service, and pay issues, such as adding the Cost of Living Allowance to their base pay.

“People recalled get paid [a Cost of Living Allowance] based on their home state. It’s basically as if they’re just temporarily assigned from their home state Reserve Support Unit,” said Sabby.
Upon checking in, the Marines will be assigned to the Mobilization Support Battalion.

Gunnery Sgt. Christine L. Brode, MPC administrative chief, said the MPC recently received its first group of recalled Marines, who are in training to become permanent personnel within the battalion. These Marines will be called “enablers” and are responsible for training the oncoming Marines who are being recalled to augment the active duty components for Operation Enduring Freedom or other contingencies.

“The companies within the battalion will be broken down into platoons based on their job skills,” said Sgt. Eric W. Barnhill, MPC training and scheduling noncommissioned officer. “Combat-trained Marines will be in one platoon, and support Marines in fields such as administration, motor transport, and supply will be in two others,” added the Auburn, Calif., native.

The reservists will receive a two-week refresher course at the School of Infantry on basic infantry skills. Afterwards, they will become part of the battalion and await orders to units needing Marines.
Though the staff is unable to say how many Marines will be recalled, the MPC is getting a new building to handle the influx of those coming in.

“Our new facility, with our new staff that’s coming in, will be able to process up to 200 people a day,” said Brode.

Barnhill stated the training given to the Marines coming through the battalion will be constant, and they will be trained up to standards commonly held by active units.

“We’re here to bring them back to life,” said Sabby.
The center does not process reservists in the other three categories of the reserves: those in the Fleet Marine Corps Reserves, which is a pool of retirees who are still subject to recall up to 10 years after they retire, the Select Marine Corps Reserves, the standard one-weekend-a-month, two-weeks-a-year Marines, and Active Reservists, those who have been called from SMCR status to full-time active service.