The Marine Corps announced last Friday that it was immediately implementing a 90-day, service-wide freeze on all hiring.  According to the announcement, the move is part of the Marine Corps action in response to Secretary Gates’ call for DoD components to reduce overhead costs and institute savings initiatives.  The Commandant has directed a complete assessment of USMC civilian labor, including contractors.  The freeze will enable Marine Corps headquarters to complete the assessment and to establish guidelines to manage payroll and develop strategic workforce planning.   The announcement directs USMC commands to cancel all current requests for personnel action for hires or promotions for the duration of the freeze.  No temporary, term, or contractor personnel can be used to fill civilian positions affected by the freeze. However, some actions are allowed under the freeze, including:   directed reassignments; noncompetitive temporary promotions for 120 days or less; within-grade increases; performance bonuses and quality step increases; and tentative written offers that were in place before the freeze went into effect.  In addition, actions involving some specific positions are exempted from the freeze.  These include positions for Next Generation Enterprise Network and CYBERCOM, overseas positions, career trainees or interns who are to be converted to permanent appointment, promotions in career ladder positions, and hiring of “first responders.”