GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- The Navy is implementing a plan to commission Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) accessions into the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) starting Dec. 1.
Following similar practices of the other branches of military service, who routinely send their new graduates to the IRR, this change allows the Navy to better match new accession manpower with warfare community billet and training requirements and promotes increased fiscal stewardship.
"The IRR provides the Navy the opportunity to align active duty start dates with training start dates, which results in cost savings since there is no wait time for new accessions to enter training," said Rear Adm. David Steindl, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), who oversees the NROTC program. "Fiscal constraints have caused all services to examine ways to implement cost-savings. This policy change is one step the Navy has taken to accomplish that goal."
This revised policy, established in April 2010, begins with 265 out of more than 800 NROTC midshipmen graduating in December of 2010 and the spring of 2011.
The IRR consists of individuals who have had training or have previously served in the active duty component or in the selected Reserve. They receive no pay and are not obligated to take part in any military activities during the time they are in the IRR.
The NROTC graduates will average approximately five months and will not exceed 12 months in the IRR. The time spent in the IRR will not impact future rank, promotion or pay. Each member will still be eligible for promotion two years after commissioning. Additionally, they will remain on track for the pay increase at their two-year commissioning anniversary.
Affected communities will be continuously evaluated based on the needs of the Navy. In order to provide sufficient lead time for planning, the Navy has been aggressive in informing all midshipmen about the change. These midshipmen were notified of this change in the spring of 2010.
"It is in the best interest of our midshipmen that they are fully-informed, and the Navy has been proactive in taking steps to ensure they know what to expect," Steindl said. "NROTC unit commanding officers are conducting face-to-face meetings with the affected midshipmen to address their questions and concerns. Additionally, each midshipman was briefed on their benefits under the IRR."
While assigned to the IRR, ensigns will receive medical and dental benefits, commissary and exchange privileges, use of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs and facilities and remain eligible for Department of Defense (DoD) vehicle decals. Family members are not eligible for any of these benefits until the member goes on active duty.
Affected midshipmen may apply for an IRR waiver due to hardship. Professors of naval science will submit an endorsement and forward each waiver request to NSTC, where a panel of senior officers will review each waiver request and make a recommendation to the NSTC commander for final determination.
The NROTC program was established to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. The program offers full tuition scholarships, book and lab reimbursements and a monthly stipend at our nation's most competitive and elite universities. More than 1,000 Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants are commissioned annually through the NROTC program.
For more information about NROTC, visit https://www.nrotc.navy.mil.
For more news from Naval Service Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/greatlakes/.