What are the applicable statutes/regulations?
The right of all Marine Corps members to directly communicate grievances to, or seek assistance from, their Commanding Officer(s) is established in U.S. Navy Regulations (Articles 0820c and 1151.1) and the Marine Corps Manual (par 805). This right is exercised through the formal process of Request Mast.
What is Request Mast?
Request Mast includes both the right of the member to personally talk to the Commanding Officer, normally in person, and the requirement that the Commanding Officer consider the matter and personally respond to the member requesting mast.
Request Mast provides a member the opportunity to communicate not only with his or her immediate Commanding Officer, but also with any superior Commanding Officer in the chain of command up to and including the member's immediate Commanding General. Request Mast also provides Commanding Officers with firsthand knowledge of the morale and general welfare of the command.
Who can request mast?
All Marine Corps members should first make every effort to address 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.
Can a Commanding Officer deny a Request Mast application?
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.
The Commanding Officer may also require the member to go through the Chain of Command prior to approving Mast.
What are some issues that are not appropriate for Request Mast?
Generally, a military member can speak to their Commanding Officer about any subject; however, the member cannot 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 Commanding Officer's ability to carry out the functions and mission of the command.
- Request Mast cannot be used if the member is being processed for involuntary separation or if the subject of the complaint is an ongoing Article 138, UCMJ, or Article 1150, Navy Regulations.
How do I submit a Request Mast application?
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 in obtaining a copy of the form.