1.  Request Mast is the principal means for a Marine to formally seek assistance from, or communicate a grievance to his or her commander. Although a Marine’s Request Mast issue may not be resolved to his or her satisfaction, the Marine will be afforded the opportunity to address the issue with the commanding officer.  The Request Mast process does not include those outside the official military chain of command, such as subordinate officers, civilians or Staff Non-Commissioned Officers/Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO/NCO). Once a Marine expresses a desire to request mast, all efforts thereafter should be directed toward getting the Marine before the commanding officer to whom the petition is addressed. NCO’s, SNCO’s and Officers subordinate to the Commanding Officer shall not delay the Request Mast process in order to solve the problem themselves, but rather will focus their effort on making the Marine available to the commander.

2.  Request Mast is not intended to be used for the purpose of harassment, avoiding assigned duties (such as field day), or intentionally interfering with the commander's ability to carry out the functions and mission of the command.

3.  A commander may deny a Request Mast application if there is another specific avenue of redress available to the Marine, such as:

      a. Actions under the UCMJ. The UCMJ provides for the protection of the rights of a Marine at every stage of disciplinary action from investigation through final review or appeal. Therefore, a commander may deny a Request Mast, which includes any element of disciplinary action whether  contemplated, pending, in progress, or final. Request Mast is not to be used as a means of collateral attack against the proceedings, punishment, or findings and sentence resulting from disciplinary action brought under the UCMJ.

      b. Involuntary Administrative Separations. Reference (e), chapters 4 and 6, contains provisions for the protection of rights of Marines being processed for involuntary administrative separation. Accordingly, commanders may deny a Request Mast that has as its subject such involuntary administrative discharge proceedings whether contemplated, pending, in progress, or final.

1.  Commanders should carefully evaluate each Request Mast to determine if other peripheral issues should be addressed; accordingly, commanders should make every attempt to hear the Marine's presentation of matters before making a decision to deny. The commanding officer shall explain to the Marine why the Request Mast application is denied and, if appropriate, what procedure must be followed to resolve the issue. The authority to deny a Request Mast includes authority to refuse to further process the Request Mast. Whenever a commander denies a Request Mast specifically addressed to himself or herself, he or she shall, within a reasonable time (usually one week), forward a report of such action and the basis thereof to the immediate commanding general via the chain of command. In cases where the officer denying a Request Mast is the immediate commanding general, no such report need be made.

2.  Request Mast is the preferred method for submitting formal Equal Opportunity complaints of discrimination, to include sexual harassment. It should be noted that while the Informal Resolution System (IRS) may also be used to resolve such issues, it is the complainant’s decision as to whether the IRS (informal) or Request Mast (formal) will be used, not the commander’s. A complainant is not required to use the informal process first.  Request Mast may also be used to address other complaints such as hazing.

3.  A Marine does not have to disclose the subject of the Request Mast to anyone in the chain of command except to the commander with whom the Marine is requesting mast.

4.  The senior local commander within the Marine’s chain of command will forward Request Mast applications intended for a commander not located on the same base or geographic location as the Marine requesting mast. The Request Mast should then be addressed with the Marine in person, by telephone or in writing, as deemed appropriate by the commander addressed in the Request Mast.

5.   When the operational commitments of a Marine's command, whether for training or actual deployment, would be unreasonably interfered with by adherence to the procedures set forth in this Directive, the right of the Marine to petition for Request Mast to a commander above the level of the immediate commanding officer may be suspended by the commanding general for the duration of the commitment. Given the plethora of modern communication available today, the need to suspend Request Mast should rarely be invoked and then only to the extent required to ensure the accomplishment of the command's immediate mission.  The suspension may and should be lifted in whole or in part for any deployments away from the base or station where the command's garrison headquarters is located. Any such suspension and the reasons therefore shall be made known to all Marines whose rights may be affected.

6.  Although a Marine may be granted the privilege of forwarding an application for Request Mast to higher commanders, such as the Commandant of the Marine Corps or the Secretary of the Navy, there is no vested right to Request Mast with such higher commander.

      a. Any commanding general in the chain of command between the Marine's immediate commanding general and the Commandant of the Marine Corps may establish such policies and procedures as they desire for processing Requests Mast addressed to them, including that such requests may be returned without action.

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