REQUEST MAST 101
Request Mast is the right of all members to directly seek assistance from, or communicate grievances to their commanding officer, normally in person, and the requirement that the commander consider the matter and personally respond to the Marine requesting mast.
Request Mast must have the whole hearted support to those to whom the leadership is entrusted. Any member who attempts to deprive a Marine of the right to Request Mast, through either acts of omission or commission, will be subject to punishment under the UCMJ.
Request Mast provides a member the opportunity to communicate not only with his or her immediate commanding officer, but also with any superior commander in the chain of command up to and including the member's immediate commanding general. Request Mast also provides commanders with firsthand knowledge of the morale and general welfare of the command.
All Navy and Marine Corps members should first make every effort to address the offending behavior directly with the party responsible, verbally or in writing. You can also discuss the matter with your immediate supervisor and request assistance. If you are unable to resolve the issue informally, you have the right to Request Mast.
If you would like to request mast, use NAVMC 11296.
Request Mast Q&A
Q: Can a commanding officer deny a Request Mast application?
A: A commanding officer may deny a Request Mast application if there is another specific avenue of redress available to the member. The commanding officer should explain to the member why he/she denied the Request Mast application and, if appropriate, explain the procedure the member should follow to resolve the issue.
Q: What are the issues not appropriate for Request Mast?
A: Generally, a military member can speak to the Commanding Officer about any subject; however, the member can not use request mast for the following reasons:
- Request Mast should not be used as a means of attacking the proceedings, punishment, or findings and sentence resulting from a disciplinary action brought under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
- Request Mast may not be used to harass, avoid duty, or intentionally interfere with the commander's ability to carry out the functions and mission of the command.
- Request Mast may be denied if the member is being processed for involuntary separation and may also be denied if its subject is part of an ongoing Article 138 or 1150 investigation.
Q: How to submit a Request Mast application?
A: Complete the Request Mast Application form (NAVMC 11296) and submit it through the chain of command to the Commanding Officer. Ask your legal office for assistance.
Q. What is request mast?
A. According to Marine Corps Order 1700.23G, it is "To preserve the right of every Marine to seek assistance from, or communicate grievances directly to, their commander or commanders up to and including a Commanding General (CG) within the chain of command at the same base or immediate geographical location."
Q. How do I request mast?
A. Fill out NAVMC Form 11296, detailing your problem or complaint along with the help or resolution you hope to get, and submit it to your immediate chain of command. You also can submit it directly to the Marine Corps Inspector General’s representative during an IG visit. The rep could resolve the problem or refer the request mast to your local command or Marine Corps Headquarters.
Q. Do I have to find some other solution first?
A. No. However, the Informal Resolution System might get you some immediate relief and prove sufficient.
Q. When can’t I request mast?
A. If you’re being involuntary separated, facing punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or if you have already filed a complaint under Article 138 of the UCMJ or Article 1150 of U.S. Navy Regulations.
Q. Can I send my request directly to the commandant?
A. No. In some cases, a Marine may be “granted the privilege” only if his commanding general supports and forwards the request mast application through the command chain up to the commandant or the Navy secretary. But that’s rare.
Q. How much do I have to tell my supervisors about my complaint?
A. According to NAVMC DIR 1700.23F, “a Marine does not have to disclose the subject to anyone in the chain of command except to the commander with whom the Marine is requesting mast.” However, the submission of an application often means others’ eyes are seeing your request, so brace yourself for scrutiny.
Q. What if my supervisors don’t support my request and don’t think I should request mast?
A. NAVMC 1700.23F is clear: “Any interference with a Marine’s right to request mast or any attempt of reprisal against a Marine who has requested mast is prohibited. No Marine may suppress, or attempt to suppress another Marine’s ability to conduct request mast. Any attempted violation or solicitation of another to violate this directive subjects involved members to disciplinary action under Article 92 of the UCMJ.”
Point of Contact for more information about Request Mast procedures is your 1stSgt/SgtMaj for enlisted or the XO for officers. You may also contact the 2d MLG Command Inspector General at (910) 451-1711.