MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Sailors transitioning from active-duty as a result of the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) are encouraged to work closely with their chain of command in order to maximize available transition assistance, officials said March 20.
"The NPC Fleet Engagement Team has traveled to many fleet concentration areas to meet with ERB-affected Sailors, families and their leadership to increase awareness of available benefits and resources for these Sailors," said Capt. Kate Janac, transition assistance program manager, Chief of Naval Operations. "In addition to meeting with Sailors and families, we've provided training for command leadership teams so they are aware and understand the resources available to assist Sailors."
Command leadership should visit Navy Personnel Command's (NPC) website at www.npc.navy.mil to keep current on the latest ERB updates, according to Janac.
"As a result of questions and information learned during our engagements we've been able to expand or clarify benefits for ERB affected Sailors," said Janac. A new policy guidance memo released Feb. 24 authorized short-term extensions for some ERB Sailors whose end of obligated service (EAOS) or high year tenure (HYT) date is prior to the Sept. 1 ERB separation date.
"This new policy provides additional time for Sailors to take advantage of the employment outplacement services of Challenger, Gray & Christmas (CGC), or Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) that must be used while on active-duty," said Janac. Commands should review the memo in its entirety for specific details on short term extensions.
Additional information regarding application procedures for temporary early retirement authority (TERA) will be posted to the site as policy is finalized.
During her visits throughout the fleet Janac said that she has found that some ERB affected Sailors have not yet taken full advantage of key transition assistance programs. To date only 1,600 of 2,941 Sailors separating from ERB have signed up for free services provided by CGC which offers job search assistance, personal coaching and custom resumes. Those who have not yet enrolled may contact CGC at 1-800-971-4288 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Navy COOL is another program that can help Sailors transitioning as a result of ERB. Navy COOL is a centralized, Web-based hub that consolidates information from federal, state and local sources on certifications, licenses, apprenticeships and growth opportunities that correspond with each Navy rating, job and occupation. Sailors are typically required to have at least one year remaining on their enlistment to receive funding toward commercial certification and/or licensure exams found on the Navy COOL website, but Navy has authorized waivers for ERB affected Sailors requiring only 60 days before the end of their enlistment.
Currently more than 100 ERB separating Sailors are using Navy COOL, according to Janac.
"Commanding officers must be personally involved in ensuring ERB Sailors and their families are engaging with transition services including attending Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshop and other events offered at base Fleet and Family Support Centers," said Janac.
Commanders stateside may authorize up to 60-days for transition under existing Navy policies including Permissive Temporary Duty for job hunting. The transition period may also include any combination of normal working hours, liberty, temporary duty and leave.
Commanders overseas (including Hawaii) are required to give Sailors separating due to the ERB the opportunity to be in the continental United States for at least 60 days prior to separation, according to NAVADMIN 332/11.
Transitioning service members should talk with their chain of command and command career counselor to learn more about transition assistance programs and benefits, and download the Transition Assistance Handbook from the NPC web site.
For more information visit the NPC ERB Web Page at www.npc.navy.mil/boards/ERB/, contact the NPC customer service center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672) or email email@example.com.
Tranisition benefits are elements of the continuum of service area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.
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For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.