Enlisted Retention Board Provides Some Benefits for Fleet

Story Number: NNS110425-15Release Date: 4/25/2011 3:49:00 PM
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From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The recently announced enlisted retention board (ERB) will help the Navy achieve mandated end strength, the chief of naval personnel (CNP) said in an April 25 interview.

The ERB will eliminate overmanning in 31 ratings and will benefit high-performing Sailors in the long run by improving advancement opportunities. The Navy has witnessed improved retention over the past decade which can be attributed to factors such as work-life balance initiatives and improved recruiting. Additionally, the slow economic recovery has influenced many Sailors to re-enlist.

"We are attracting and retaining the highest quality force we've ever had and these Sailors are increasingly looking at the Navy as a great long-term career choice," stated chief of naval personnel, Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson. "With this sustained high retention, systems designed to help maintain the balance in our Force, particularly Perform-to-Serve, have become over-burdened. As a result, re-enlistment and advancement opportunities for our high-performing Sailors are being negatively impacted Fleet-wide."

The ERB will review Sailors in 31 of the most overmanned ratings and will look at performance to fill a specific number of retention quotas within competitive groups broken down by rating, pay grade and years of service. The board will value Sailors with proven performance in challenging billets, while Sailors with negative performance indicators such as convictions for drunk driving, declining performance evaluations, lost security clearances and non-judicial punishments will be less competitive for retention quotas.

By focusing on performance in addition to quotas, Navy reinforces its strategy to retain the best and brightest.

"In designing this board, we were determined to separate only those Sailors in ratings needed to rebalance the force and stay within our congressionally mandated manpower limits," Ferguson said.

Although the number directly affected by the ERB represents a small percentage of Sailors, the impacts will be felt across the force.

While Navy-wide advancement opportunities to E-5 declined modestly over the past several advancement cycles and E-6 opportunities remained relatively stable over the same period, opportunities to both E-5 and E-6 in the 31 ratings being considered have dropped steadily. Reducing overmanning in these ratings will result in career stability and will likely result in increased advancements in these ratings.

Not only will the ERB help stabilize advancement opportunity in the 31 ratings, currently undermanned ratings will benefit from the expanded conversion opportunity Navy leaders approved in advance of the board. Several factors that are normally mandatory for rating conversion, including maximum years of service, maximum paygrade, and minimum activity tour requirements, are being waived. This will allow the greatest opportunity for Sailors who would otherwise be board-eligible to ensure their continued service, while increasing manning in ratings that the Navy has been challenged to fill.

"Our Sailors are dedicated to serving their country, and this is why we are providing additional opportunities for them to convert into undermanned ratings ahead of the board," Ferguson said. "Sailors will see the benefits of increased manpower support in some critical areas."

Sailors chosen for conversion into the undermanned ratings listed in NAVADMIN 129/11 will be exempt from the board and will be given an opportunity to continue serving in areas of need for the Navy. The procedures for requesting conversion will be released by the beginning of May and applications will need to be received by June 15 to be considered.

A more balanced force - the goal of the ERB - will benefit the entire Fleet, Ferguson said.

"Improved advancement opportunities, expanded PTS re-enlistment quotas, and increased manpower support in needed ratings over the long term - these are the positive results," he said.

For more information on the ERB, as well as overmanned and undermanned ratings, read NAVADMIN 129/11 at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2011/NAV11129.txt.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.

5/25/2011 6:43:00 PM
I have a question that no one has been able to answer, or show me in writing: If you are already on the ERB list and you WANT to separate, can you volunteer to put your name on the final list early, thereby freeing up a quota for a sailor who wants to stay in? This would alleviate a lot of tension with those of us who see the ERB as an opportunity to transition early, honorably, and not screw anyone over in the process. The Navy's been really good to me, just time to move on.

5/18/2011 9:13:00 PM
I just found out this morning that my orders have been cancelled, since I've been selected for this review. I just went through PTS, approved to reenlist in rate after four looks, reenlisted, screened for a highly demanding technical ET billet working with SRF Yokosuka (a billet that most in my rate cannot qualify for, by the way), just finished jumping through hoops to make sure my family is going to be taken care of while I'm in school, and now it's all for naught. Thanks, Navy. Love you too.

5/17/2011 2:15:00 PM
This all makes me sick to my stomach. My husband is waiting orders for shore duty since he's been in almost 8 years while he is on deployment. We get an e-mail about the ERB and now we have no idea what is going to happen. He has dedicated his life to the Navy and is extremly proud of what he does and this is what he gets in return. What are we suppose to do if he gets separated? His pride will be crushed. The Navy is all we know and its not right that it could be taken from us.

5/15/2011 4:01:00 PM
I really do feel bad for those sailors who just got PTS approved and re-enlisted for the max and thought that they were going to stay navy but now have to go through this ERB. I do not understand why both systems are being put in place at the same time because if you were just approved through PTS why should you have to be considered for the ERB. And those who are retained for ERB in Nov might fall into the PTS window in the following months and still told to go home. UNSAT

5/13/2011 5:16:00 AM
This is just as bad as PTS. There are people who are good at what they do and go above and beyond what their duties expect getting processed out. Some of us cant cross rate and will be basically processed out. The Navy wants to keep people in who dont want to be in. I have seen many request chits for people that would love to do the early out but are not allowed because the navy doesn't approve it. The Navy keeps talking about manning weeding out the good and keeping the ones that dont care.

5/13/2011 12:18:00 AM
There are so many sailors who should be processed out in all ratings, diciplinary issues, not meeting PFA or weight standards, financial issues coupled with loss of clearance, etc, etc etc. If the riff raff would be dealt with properly and separated from service for not meeting the standards it would free up room all over. Get in trouble for sexual harrasment or DUI don't move to another command get out! So those who meet the standard do not have this added stress. This is a disservice.

5/11/2011 6:26:00 PM
Just a thought while I ponder this situation. If you're an MP/EP Sailor moving to the right throughout your time with your Command you should be fine? I think we all saw how PTS was sending good Sailors home because the system was broke, I say was because fixes have been put in place, but what about the beta test where we were wrong? Can we, as Sailors assume that this system has been throughly vetted by a Sailor, who has sat boards, who knows what to look for on evals before this started?

5/11/2011 4:22:00 PM
I think the folks making these decisions are way off target once again. PTS has not been successful, when we send home EP sailors and keep dirt bags around. For sailors that have 15 years, or 14 plus years, offer them the early retirement option. 15 years active service you get your medical and 40 to 45% of your base pay. If that was offered, I would sign the dotted line and take my degree I've earned on active duty, and start a new career, I'm sure others would follow.

5/10/2011 6:59:00 PM
To 'CCC Norfolk' The EETP and ECTP are being utilized for the most part by junior Sailors on their first term. There is no beneficial option for the senior Sailors who have invested 10+ years in their career. This board not determining advancement, it will determine whether or not they still have a job. 'Involuntary?' and others have a right to complain, and he/she may have been trying to suggest some sort of early retirement with benefits as a means for them to separate voluntarily

5/10/2011 2:46:00 PM
I wish I new where the Navy received its numbers from. I just received the stats for my rating (1 of the 31 in review) dated in April 2011. We are 100.5 overall manned. 1 Sailor undermanned at the Chief level. We are at 105% manning at the first class level (currently 5 PO1s), and we have at least 5 PO1s scheduled to retire this year due to HYT. We aren't at the 103%.

5/10/2011 10:11:00 AM
I don't get it. I've got MTS, ESWS, working on EXW, just finished a tour as an RDC, and currently deployed with NSW and I'm being told by everyone to cross-rate simply because I'm an ET that joined in 1997. What's sad is my community is so undermanned that they're pulling guys straight from IT "A" School to fill the EDVR, even though this is an E-5 and above community. Lots of money spent of the training for me and my guys... LOTS of money.

5/10/2011 5:06:00 AM
I have a bad feeling this isn't going to work out as planned! We're going to have alot of dirtbags, jumping ship to dodge the bullet by converting, leaving the 14 year EP E6's going down with the ship. I'm afraid this was not thought out very carefully at all...
5/12/2011 -- Response From Chief of Naval Personnel
All applicants for conversion will be screened, including their performance, and only those who are fully qualified will be accepted for conversion. Although many of the general service requirements for rating conversion found in the MILPERSMAN have been waived, specific rating requirements are not automatically waived. Per existing policy, these requirements will only be waived for exceptional candidates for conversion into certain ratings.

5/9/2011 8:27:00 AM
Has anyone thought about sailors ready to retire? I am currently fulfilling my last enlistment to meet retirement. In October I will have 14 years and 8 months. Because I've got orders to Bahrain, I most likely will finish my tour there before seperation if not selected. Which means I would have served 15 years and 10 months, then told to go home. The Navy does not present an image that they care about sailors, just numbers.

5/8/2011 10:14:00 PM
Here's an idea to get rid of those who are not up to Navy standards, require all personnel to have a body composition assessment done prior to taking advancement exams. It can either be done the day before or same day(just like when you go to the Journey Instructor Course). If you fail you dont take the exam. Also, for First Classes, they should have to turn in PRT scores and a Photo for the Chiefs Board, there are way too many out of standard leaders slipping through the cracks.

5/8/2011 7:48:00 PM
PR1 USA. Recruiting did slow down. You should come out here and see how fun it is not being able to put anyone in. All these closed ratings are closed. I have yet to put in anyone in any aviation rate besides AO. It's been like this for over 2 years. Main goals are spec ops, nukes and reserves. It's not all peachy. I'm affected by the ERB as well. Not sweating though. E-6 in 7 years all EP's. If you perform you have nothing to worry about right? Get rid of the excess, make room for us performers

5/6/2011 12:46:00 PM
I have one question.. Why dont we just slow down recruitment to the over-manned ratings? Everything will even out!

5/5/2011 11:17:00 AM
Milligton is feeling the pressure from the top I am sure, but I dont thing this ERB was thoughtout carefully. Conduct your research and see what the Fleet really needs, the system is not working lets put our heads together and come out with smart decisions, consult with Fleet Leaders not someone that projects trends or comes out with magic numbers, Fill billets out to sea, get rid of shore billets that aren't needed. Same thing with PSD's, bring back customer service, bring back the PS's!

5/4/2011 4:10:00 PM
Instead of the Navy preparing to conduct Fitness Beta Test why not follow stricter guild lines such as the U.S. Airforce who conducts a 1min push up and 1min sit up and 1.5 mile walk/run with a civilian grading the event. There are loop holes in the Navyís program but with civilians testing the PRT you would no longer get the hook ups that take place. Personally Iím tired of pathetic push up and sit ups that get counted. This would help manning more than any ERB or PTS program.

5/4/2011 12:53:00 PM
Im getting really tired of validating my existance. In the past 2 years i have had to do it once with PST and now this...Its getting old even for this EP sailor! One has to wonder how far up the list this will coninue to come and is anyone safe?

5/4/2011 12:05:00 PM
at Involuntary?- There has been a call for VOLUNTARY separation. One program is the Early Career Transition Program and another is the Enlisted Early Transition Program. These will get you out of the Navy up to two YEARS before your EAOS. The incentive is that you don't have to fulfill your contract! One of the incentives with the ECTP is that you retain full medical benefits for 6 months and then you can purchase TRICARE Reserve Select. Quit Complaining!

5/4/2011 10:16:00 AM
I agree. I too am worried that the people who are worried about this message that have PFA failures or medocre performance will flock to other ratings listed in the message and cause those ratings to fill up and leave good sailors packing. I also worry that once those ratings listed fill up you'll get stuck with a rating you don't want. I have orders to transfer in two months and if I get approved the command I am supposed to go to is going to suffer. This was very bad timing.

5/2/2011 9:30:00 PM
GSE, MR, OS....the list goes on. I don't have the bodies on the ship but the rating is overmanned? I thought PTS was working? Now we are putting more pain on those that truly make our Navy be the best in the world - Sailors. Keep them in mind!.

5/2/2011 8:40:00 PM
Did anyone think that maybe the " dirtbags " will flee to the open ratings and then cuts will still be made to these ratings, causing good sailors to be lost ? There are some loopholes that need to be closed. If you want to reduce the force, at least fix the PTS to do its job. I see FAT, broken sailors, some of them being E-7 and above, and E-6's not going anywhere in their carreer. Why not kick them out? Bet you it would open ratings up!! MAke the PTS work and the Navy won't need ERB's.

5/1/2011 2:01:00 PM
I guess they ran out of PFA failures to separate, on to the next group.

4/30/2011 8:32:00 AM
They said the same great stuff about PTS when it came out and now look how successful that program has been. Anything we can do to continue to make it harder for good people to stay Navy, appears to be the new slogan.

4/29/2011 4:36:00 PM
Ok, so as I read this, why are we forcing people out? And what you are telling me is that PTS is a failure, because it can not weed out the problem sailors like it was designed to do? And, force people out into a poor economy and add to the ongoing unemployment rate, yea "we care about our sailrs" ok, money and politics as usual...

4/29/2011 3:19:00 AM
This ERB was created with good intentions, but I think there is one huge oversight. My understanding is that there will be E-6 through E-8 will be viewed together and that is going to create a situation where alot of fellow first classes will be sent home or to new rates. Not to mention that there are First Classes out there that are now board elgible and considered ahead in their career progression, that now have to make some tough decisions. I'm not sure this was the correct way to do this.

4/28/2011 9:20:00 PM
Why are there ratings in CREO 3 that are not on the list for the ERB, but there are 8 ratings in CREO 2 on the list as being overmanned? This is according to Fleet Ride. Makes one wonder who and what exactly is being targeted.

4/28/2011 9:23:00 AM
Open up the old TERA program - there are a lot of Sailors out there that would take TERA - severance pay and medical to leave the Navy because they cannot advance. There are a lot of Sailors that have earned college degrees "while on" active duty - offer TERA to them, they will separate and use their degrees to start a new career. Senior enlisted - advance by job billets only! MEPS - start putting people in the undermanned ratings or turn them down. tyou

4/28/2011 9:01:00 AM
Again, the Navy is headed in the wrong direction with its force shaping tools. No longer will the Navy be viewed as a career if you continue to force people out or they are always worried about their job. We as leaders have always said a 3.00 Sailor is average but now a 3.00 will probably get you sent packing. We need to offer early retirements, an E7 or E8 under 15 years is not going home unless they have a DUI because they have already been compared against their peers and where selected (just a smoke screen). Lastly if upper people fail to retire how will you get me as a Chief to take a hard billet overseas unaccompanied with less than 3% advancement to 8 with 4 years to retirement? I do not think so because there is no reason to do that last career enhancing tour if you cannot advance!

4/27/2011 10:30:00 PM
Another way to get rid of more people. How about let the people who don't want to serve get out now and change the recruit goals. We all know in our command who the value sailors are the go to guy and who the dirtbags are that are always late and want to always go home early or have issues get rid of them. I will do 3 people jobs if I could get rid of the people that hate the Navy negative attitudes towards the Navy the FTN group get them out first. I'm sure we can get rid about 10,000 a year.

4/27/2011 5:29:00 PM
I agree that we need to reshape our force but why not ask for a voluntary separation in the ratings that are overmanned. You have selected ratings to convert to that for most people that are effected by this don't qualify for, Either we are to old, been in to long or we are close to HYT. Plus if you want to reshape the navy why are their so many over weight people both enlisted and officer alike. Plus you want to cut 3000 people in a job market where people enlist to have a job.

4/27/2011 1:28:00 PM
With so many senior Petty Officers moving to largely unfamiliar rates, I anticipate casualties. Not just the departure of experienced professionals, Real casualties. Converting vastly different rates (often without a funded "A" school) is going to get Sailors hurt. I also anticipate a large number of these Sailors to spread discontent and disolve any sense of loyalty to the service many Sailors might have once had. This is likely to come back and hurt the force.

4/26/2011 1:08:00 PM
Why was there no call for VOLUNTARY separation (with incentives) first? There are certainly many, many people who actually **WANT** to get out early. Odds are, those people will be retained while others will be forced out on quotas.

4/26/2011 7:41:00 AM
When can we expect some guidance on the conversion process?

4/25/2011 4:56:00 PM
Again, if ships are UNDERMANNED in these ratings, then where are these "surplus" bodies? Why aren't they on ships? Or is there no one in the Pentagon/Millington whose job it is to tell Congress that the authorized manpower does not match the number of bodies required to operate and maintain the ships Congress requires us to? Is ADM Harvey the only Flag Officer willing to tell Congress the truth about the state of their Navy?

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Sailors and Marines stand in formation during an award ceremony aboard USS Essex (LHD2).
110204-N-5538K-307 SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 4, 2011) Sailors and Marines stand in formation during an award ceremony aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD2). Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group on patrol in the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)
February 7, 2011
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