YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Juan M. Garcia III addressed the future of Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) to Sailors on board Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) during an all-hands call Aug. 27.
Last year's ERB was charged with identifying the most qualified Sailors for retention, applying both performance indicators and available quotas. Combined, the first and second phases of the ERB reviewed approximately 16,000 records for approximately 13,000 available retention quotas. Though the primary criterion for all boards is sustained superior performance, the ERB contained both quota-based and performance-based elements.
"There is no intention of doing another ERB this year, no intention to do one next year or to do one in the indefinite future," said Garcia. "The idea was that it is a one-time only evolution."
The board looked at only the most overmanned ratings and examined the performance of approximately 16,000 Sailors, according to Naval Administrative message (NAVADMIN) 129/11. Approximately 3,000 Sailors will not be retained on active duty, but were encouraged to apply for Selected Reserve, if not accepted for conversion.
"For ERB-eligible Sailors, this should not be viewed as personal or reflected as poor performance, these are great Sailors," said Garcia. "The system was backward. We had historic-level retention and we had a fleet out of balance. With this strategy, we had to pick the right Sailor, in the right place, in the right time."
The impact of the ERB process can already be seen in many of the rates affected.
"The benefit of ERB is that advancement is up dramatically, E-6 up five percent, E-5 up ten percent and successful perform-to-serve (PTS) quotas are up exponentially from 30 percent to now 70 percent," said Garcia.
In July, the Navy addressed gaps for sea billets by expanding initiatives for Sailors with the right experience levels and skill sets into high-priority Fleet billets. Garcia addressed the relevance of ERB in light of short falls for these billets.
"It's easy to understand why there is confusion about the introduction of initiatives to encourage sea duty extensions at the same time we are following through with ERB," said Garcia. "But it's an apples and oranges question. The sea billet gap existed before ERB. We now have the size Navy we need, we just need to fix the gaps and these incentives are designed to encourage folks to do so."
The assistant secretary's visit to CFAY is a part of the Navy's focus on the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, Japan Road Show to promote the use of tools designed to focus on the whole life of the individual and their family's lives.
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