WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In order to ensure high priority senior enlisted leadership positions are manned in the Fleet, the Navy is updating E-7 to E-9 detailing business rules, officials announced in NAVADMIN 230/12, released July 26.
The CPO Early Return to Sea program is part of the Navy's coordinated effort to aggressively address gaps at sea and place Sailors with the right experience levels and skill sets into high-priority Fleet billets.
Under the program, the Navy will curtail the shore duty of selected senior enlisted Sailors of ranks E-7 to E-9, and detail them back to sea to fill operational billets that cannot be filled by rotating Sailors.
This program is an update to the previous CPO to Sea program, and is designed to ensure high-priority, senior leadership positions at sea are manned for operational readiness.
"Our Fleet needs senior Sailors who have the right skills and leadership experience to meet our critical at-sea missions," said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director of Military Plans and Policy. "The CPO Early Return to Sea program will help us ensure critical senior enlisted leadership is where we need it most."
Except to meet the most critical operational requirements, only Sailors who have completed at least 24 months of shore duty at the time of transfer will be considered for early return to sea.
The Navy will only involuntarily curtail a Sailor's shore duty orders to fill a needed requirement when there are no available chief petty officers (CPOs) in the projected rotation date (PRD) window and there are no excess personnel on sea duty within the geographic area that can be reassigned.
To minimize the number of CPOs impacted, detailers will fill as many high priority sea duty billets as possible by fully utilizing the authorized transfer window, including moving Sailors three months prior to, or four months beyond their PRD month.
Candidates will be selected based on various factors including length of time on shore; recent advancement; fleet experience; NEC/skills held; type of previous sea duty; and remaining OBLISERV. Impact on the shore duty command's mission will also be evaluated. E8 and E9 Sailors may be chosen to fill vacant E-7, E-8 or E-9 billets, and E-7 Sailors may be chosen to fill vacant E-8 billets.
As detailers will attempt to fill all billets using voluntary measures first, CPOs should consider applying for the Voluntary Sea Duty Program, which provides several incentives, including geographic choice or stability and High Year Tenure waiver consideration. Also, depending on rating, paygrade and skills, sea duty incentive pay may also be available.
"We understand that the force management decisions we make directly affect the careers and lives of our Sailors and their families," said Kurta. "Our goal is to cause the least amount of disruption to the careers of our Sailors and their families, while ensuring the Fleet has the manning required to remain mission-ready. Fleet readiness requirements will ultimately be the guiding factor in Sailor assignments."
Commands will have the opportunity to request a Flag review if there are extenuating circumstances that preclude execution of the sea duty assignment. According to the NAVADMIN, requests to retire (transfer to the fleet reserve) from CPOs selected for Early Return to Sea may be disapproved.
For more information on the CPO Early Return to Sea program, and to read the NAVADMIN, visit www.npc.navy.mil.
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For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.