Personnel Exchange Program
Official Seal of the United States Marine Corps
International Affairs Program
Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Foreign PEP participants conduct dedicated, long term Marine Corps engagement with allied partners to exchange and standardize operational doctrines and create closer international friendships between coalition partners.  Marine participants in the PEP are referred to as PEPs, and foreign reciprocal personnel are known as FPEPs.  PEPs embed with partnered military units, and FPEPs embed with USMC units.  The goal of this program is to develop improved understanding of foreign militaries and cultures, to advance worldwide security cooperation, to build partnership capacity, and to enhance relationships with partners that last beyond the assignment and throughout a Marine’s career.  

    a.  The duration of an exchange tour is established in the pertinent international agreement, but generally is approximately three years, which includes language training and overseas assignment.

    b. PEP is intended to be a one-for-one reciprocal exchange of officers and career-designated SNCOs.  Deviation from a one-for-one reciprocal exchange may be granted by DC PP&O as long as each government provides personnel with qualification, training, and skills that are essentially equal to those of the personnel provided by the other government.  This will be the exception rather than the rule, however.  Each billet with a USMC host command should have a corresponding reciprocal billet with a foreign host country/service.  A service-to-service international agreement (herein referred to as a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)) is required both for reciprocal and non-reciprocal exchanges.  The MOA defines the concept, details of administration and compensation, and establishes the personnel prerequisites for each exchange position.

AMOS Designation  

        (1) Upon successful completion of PEP tour, officers will receive the appropriate FAO or RAO AMOS based on region assigned and language capabilities.  In order to receive the FAO AMOS, officers will be required to pass the DLPT with a 2/2/1+.  

        (2) Upon successful completion of PEP tour, Enlisted Marines with a regionally focused language capability and active DLPT score of 1+/1+ will receive the FAS AMOS. 

Eligibility. Active duty Marines are eligible for PEP assignments.  The grade requirement will depend on the billet, but generally, enlisted SNCOs and officers between the ranks of 1stLt and LtCol are eligible.

   a.  Because PEPs fall under the purview of the IAP, interested Marines should review the eligibility requirements outlined in the base order.  In addition to those requirements, Marines applying for a PEP assignment must meet the following minimum prerequisites:

        (1) Be fully qualified in their PMOS. Either the Marine’s PMOS or any AMOS must correspond to the billet MOS BMOS, List of Exchange Billets, Billet Sponsors, and Administrative Support Units.          

        (2) Be willing to learn a foreign language, if required.

        (3) Billet Sponsors may identify additional requirements for specific billets.

   b.  There are accompanied and unaccompanied PEP assignments. Marines who volunteer must be cognizant of, and prepared for, the particular circumstances of the billet.

   c.  DLAB scores act as a predictor for success in learning a language.  Therefore, the Marine’s DLAB score must meet the minimum level required by the DLIFLC language category for the host nation’s language.

   d.  Marine Corps personnel under consideration for commissioning and education programs, external assignments, etc., are ineligible to apply for the PEP. 

   e.  Personnel selected for the PEP are required to have sufficient obligated service remaining after completion of the PEP tour to fulfill a 2-year follow-on assignment.  Requests for resignation/retirement/transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve (FMCR) on a date prior to the completion of the 2-year follow-on assignment will not receive favorable consideration. The follow-on tour ensures the Marine Corps reaps the benefit of experiences gained while assigned to the PEP.  Enlisted Marines are required to reenlist/extend their current enlistment prior to an assignment to the PEP

   f.  Prospective PEP Marines must have demonstrated maturity, personal stability, and financial responsibility to live and work in an overseas location without immediate access to USMC services and support.

   g.  The prospective PEP Marines and their family members must not have any financial, medical, personal, legal, or other problems which could adversely impact the performance of duty in the PEP assignment or the reputation of the USMC.  .

   h.  Family members of Marines selected for assignments requiring language skills are highly encouraged to pursue language training.  Language training for PEP family members will not be funded by the Marine Corps; however they may be able to attend training with the Marine on a space-available basis.

Selection to the PEP.  Entry into the PEP is governed by the IAP selection process.  Because this program is voluntary, Marines will apply and be nominated for a position. Their application will be reviewed by a board that will determine the best fit for the position based on various factors. 

Application and Nomination. PP&O (PL) will issue a MARADMIN to solicit applications for ground and Intel billets. DC, Aviation will issue a MARADMIN for the aviation billets. The MARADMIN will announce available positions and any additional requirements, including deadlines and other administrative details for the application and nomination process.  An application package (see RESOURCES) will include the following:

        (1) Administrative Action (AA) Form or application letter, with appropriate endorsements.  The endorsement of the first General Officer in the Marine’s chain of command suffices as the Marine’s nomination for a PEP position.

       (2) DLAB score and test date, to be used to determine an individual’s ability to learn the required language in the time allotted for training.

        (3) For Marines with existing proficiency in the target foreign language, DLPT score and test date, will be used to determine training levels needed. Marines with proficiency in a language other than the required language are encouraged to test and submit those test scores as a demonstration of ability to learn a foreign language.

        (4) Overseas and independent duty screenings.

        (5) Command endorsement.

The PEP panel will be conducted in three phases to address the various types of PEP positions, i.e., aviation and ground, officer and enlisted.  These phases will occur sequentially and during the same panel date(s). 


        (1) At the completion of the panel, PLU will provide list of selectees to Manpower Management for review and concurrence. 

        (2) PLU will release the list of Marines selected and approved for a PEP position by MARADMIN.


   a.  Foreign Language Training consists of 24-63 weeks of language training at DLIFLC in Monterey, CA, or in Washington DC.  The goal for language training is for a Marine to graduate with a limited functional proficiency in a foreign language demonstrated by a minimum DLPT/OPI score of 2/2/1(Listening/Reading/Speaking). 

    b. Additional training to prepare a Marine for a PEP tour may include the following:

        (1) Administrative briefings from PLU will cover topics such as financial responsibilities while in training, TAD, and PEP status for things such as medical and dental needs that are not covered by the host government.  PLU will also provide a briefing on the FAO/RAO and FAS programs to all PEP participants

        (2) Security Cooperation policy briefings, including briefings from applicable country desk officers in OSD (Policy), PL, and others that may impact the PEP’s understanding or behavior while in the PEP assignment.

        (3) Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection (ATFP) training will be scheduled for those slated to travel in high-risk regions. 

        (4) Foreign Disclosure training to be completed prior to PCS for all PEP participants.  This online course must be accessed from a military computer information system. 

**TAD in support of tour preparation training is dependent upon availability of funding.

    c. MARFOR or Embassy visits are encouraged by circuitous travel en route to PEP billet.  At a minimum, PEPs will provide contact information to the MARFOR and Embassy points of contact upon arrival at their duty location.



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