MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- For Sailors who have ever wondered what it's like in another branch of the military or in a foreign military, there's a special program offering that experience, said a Navy detailer Oct. 25.
The Navy's Personnel Exchange Program (PEP) lets selected Sailors make a one-for-one exchange with personnel from another military service or foreign service. The program's objective is to integrate participants into the host organization as though they belonged to the service to which they become assigned.
"Sailors should consider serving in the exchange program because they may get the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with foreign militaries and serve in highly-visible and unique billets," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Justin Armstrong, PEP detailer, Navy Personnel Command (NPC).
The Defense Personnel Exchange Program (DPEP), the overarching DoD program, permits military and civilian participants to spend one or more years working in a host nation's defense research and development organizations, joint program offices or operational defense establishments on projects directly related to their expertise. DoD Directive 5230.20 governs visits, assignments, and exchanges of all foreign nationals.
"Officers and enlisted Sailors in pay grades E-5 and above can participate in the PEP program," said Armstrong. "The program is designator and rating-driven as well as NEC-driven (Navy Enlisted Classification), so not all designators, rates or NECs are accepted. Most locations also require a security clearance."
The nature of the PEP is to share professional knowledge with members from other services and nations. Applicants must be able to serve as subject matter experts in their designator or rate. Applicants for foreign PEP billets are military ambassadors of the U.S. and must be able to demonstrate cultural sensitivity.
"Germany, Canada, Italy, United Kingdom and Australia are the foreign nations that currently participate in the PEP program," said Armstrong. "As billets in these countries become available, they show up on CMS-ID (Career Management System - Interactive Detailing)."
According to Armstrong, Sailors selected for a non-English speaking country will be required to get language training en route at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Training may also be available for accompanying family members on a space available basis.
Required obligated service for the program is 24 months, which does not include training time.
PEP members will receive normal pay and allowances, but may be entitled to special allowances based on their final assignment, such as Overseas Housing Allowance, Cost of Living Allowance, Hardship Duty Pay and Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus.
A full list of eligibility and application procedures is outlined in MILPERSMAN 1306-921.
The PEP and other Special Program detailers assign Sailors to more than 20 unique programs Navywide, including recruit division commander duty and recruiting duty, the USS Constitution or the USS Arizona Memorial, and assignment to the Blue Angels or Navy Ceremonial Guard. MILPERSMAN 1306-900 contains a complete list of special programs available.
For more information or for a list of available billets, Sailors should talk to their rating detailer or visit the PEP Web Page on the NPC website at www.npc.navy.mil/ENLISTED/DETAILING/SHORESPECIALPROGRAMS/Pages/NATOPEPJointPlacement.aspx.