Marines are now required to begin the paperwork to exit the Corps up to 18 months before their last day.
The new order, which tacks on an additional six months where Marines take their out-processing classes, is designed to help them decide what they are going to do when they leave the Corps, according to the service's website Marine Online.
"Beginning 1 October 2019, Marines will be introduced to a more robust, life-cycle process that provides a proactive planning experience emphasizing post-transition goals at least a year in advance of [separation] or retirement," the website says.
Marines who begin the process sooner will have more time to look for a job or find a college program, said Gunnery Sgt. Eduardo Torres, a career planner for Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.
"You don't just get an extra six months to worry about getting out," Torres said. "You have to do everything you needed to do before, but earlier."
There are a host of classes and seminars that Marines need to complete before getting leaving the Marine Corps, most of which are concerned with what the individual will do once they're out.
Marines must start and complete the initial counseling and pre-separation counseling 12-18 months before separating, or 12-24 months before retirement.
The transition readiness seminar will still be required at six to 12 months before getting out.