WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy is extending the Voluntary Sea Duty Program for an additional year and adding High Year Tenure waiver consideration as an incentive for senior enlisted Sailors who volunteer, according to NAVADMIN 229/12, released July 26.
Extension of the Voluntary Sea Duty Program (VSDP) 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.
Originally announced in January 2012, and updated in NAVADMIN 205/12, VSDP supports the Navy's warfighting mission of operating forward and maintaining readiness by rewarding Sailors with appropriate skills and leadership experience who fill needed at-sea billets.
"VSDP is a unique program that helps the Navy place qualified Sailors with needed skills and experience in the Fleet, while giving Sailors real benefits when they volunteer," said Rear Admiral Tony Kurta, Director of Military Plans and Policy. "Geographic stability for a Sailor and their family, the opportunity to negotiate for choice orders, deferment of the Perform-to-Serve window, and now High Year Tenure waiver consideration - these are just some of the benefits Sailors are eligible for through VSDP."
VSDP encourages highly-trained and motivated Sailors to voluntarily extend their enlistment in their current sea duty billet beyond their prescribed sea tour, to terminate shore duty and accept new orders to a sea duty billet, or to accept back-to-back sea duty orders beyond their prescribed sea/shore flow. The sea duty assignment may be on board ships, squadrons, or other qualified sea duty assignments.
VSDP offers Sailors the opportunity to shape their career moves and negotiate for specific billets. Volunteers for VSDP will not be required to accept a billet they do not desire. Detailers work with volunteers during two Career Management System/Interactive Detailing (CMS/ID) cycles to find desirable orders.
Additionally, as announced in NAVADMIN 229/12, Navy will consider High Year Tenure waivers with VSDP applications for senior Sailors with the appropriate skills and leadership experience to fill critical at-sea billets. HYT waivers for chief petty officers will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account rating, sea duty manning and the impact to future advancements.
Sailors accepted into the program can also defer their Perform-to-Serve (PTS) window to the minimum obligated service requirement for the orders negotiated, typically 24 months. PTS deferment allows VSDP Sailors to extend their current enlistment for orders or extend at their current assignment without a PTS quota. By going back to sea, Sailors are afforded a chance to improve their records and increase their competitive edge in PTS through sustained superior performance at sea.
Volunteers will be assigned to commands within the same geographic location as the current command if available, providing the benefit of geographic stability for Sailors and family members. The Navy will also consider Sailors' requests for out-of-area moves.
Sailors may also be eligible for Sea Duty Incentive Pay (SDIP), a lump-sum payment based on the length of a Sailor's sea duty extension or shore duty curtailment.
For more information on VSDP, and to read the NAVADMIN, visit www.npc.navy.mil.
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