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Marine Study Finds EFMP Enrollment Does Not Negatively Impact Military Careers

Marine is meritoriously promoted by staff sergeant.

Good news: Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, does not negatively affect career progress and promotion, according to a study conducted by the Marine Corps Operational Analysis Division.

The study compared the individual career progress of those enrolled in EFMP to non-enrollees, and confirmed that the program succeeds in its mission to support individual, family and unit readiness without impeding Marines’ career progression.

Purpose of the EFMP study

A 2011 Naval Audit Service Report found that 30 percent of Marines believed that enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program negatively affected a service member’s career progression and promotion, with a substantial negative stigma associated with enrollment.

Therefore, a study was needed to examine whether there was any evidence that validated the stereotype that Marines who enrolled in EFMP would be held back in their military careers.

Using the most rigorous analysis available, the study determined there is little evidence of any negative impact on career progression and promotion due to EFMP enrollment.

Jennifer S., EFMP Section Head for Marine and Family Programs Division

The study compared 20,692 EFMP participants from March 1989 through December 2015 to nonparticipants who, at the time of enrollment, were an exact match in age, sex, race, years of service, grade and occupational field. The team then compared these enrolled and non-enrolled Marines by career length, high grade achieved and time to achieve high grade. They found:

  • EFMP-enrolled Marines have a longer career on average than their non-enrolled peers. This was true for both enlisted Marines and officers.
  • More than 80 percent of the enlisted EFMP participants achieved a grade that was higher than or equal to the most likely grade of their matched counterparts.
  • More than 60 percent of the enlisted EFMP participants with a high grade equal to their peers reached that grade in the same amount of time or shorter amount of time.

Ultimately, this study found that EFMP enrollment did not negatively impact career length, time to promotion and end grade achievements. In fact, enrolled Marines were more likely on average to have longer careers, with promotions achieved more quickly, than their peers who were not enrolled in EFMP.

You can read the full PDF report at the Manpower and Reserve Affairs website. Learn more about Military OneSource’s Exceptional Family Member Program, as well as other military services that can help you and your family maintain mission readiness.

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