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The Navy Legislative Fellows program provides an opportunity for Navy officers, senior enlisted and senior civilian employees to broaden their experience and knowledge in the operations and organization of Congress while enhancing the Navy's ability to fulfill its role in the national policy development process.
Program Details and Requirements
The fellowship consists of a year-long full-time assignment to the office of a U.S. Congressional member, either in the Senate or the House of Representatives, who serves on a defense-related committee. The Fellow serves as a member of the staff and is assigned duties and tasks based on the needs of the office. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, drafting legislation; preparing the Member for hearings, meetings, and briefings; advising the Member on Defense, Navy, and/or National Security issues; answering constituent inquiries; coordinating with Professional Staff Members of the various defense committees and subcommittees; and traveling to the district or state. A follow-on tour is required based on community-specific billet requirements.
Participation is open to all Active Duty and Full-Time Support unrestricted line, restricted line and staff corps officers in the permanent grades of O-3 through O-5. Enlisted participation is open to all Active Duty Navy occupational specialty codes in the permanent grades of E-7 through E-9. Competition is keen, and the selection process will focus primarily on individual performance, promotion potential, career, timing, breadth of experience, academic and subspecialty qualifications, needs of the Navy, and availability for follow-on assignment. Although not required, an appropriate subspecialty, related postgraduate education, and/or staff level experience is desired.
Senior civilian employees, GM/GS-13 and above or equivalent, interested in the Legislative Fellowship Program must contact their local civilian training officer for information on submission of applications for the 2021 program. Parent commands are responsible for all program costs.
Legislative Fellows earn a Legislative AQD
Officers selected for the Legislative Fellows program may not resign or retire while in the program and will be required to agree in writing to serve on active duty for a period of three years following completion of the fellowship. This obligation is to be served concurrently with any other service obligation. Officers beginning their final tour of duty before retirement are not eligible.
For administrative purposes, nominees will be assigned to the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA), Washington, D.C. This is a PCS move, not TAD. The Legislative Fellows receive a FITREP from the Congressional Member and a concurrent FITREP from the Chief of Legislative Affairs.
In general, the program follows the timeline below (see NAVADMIN for specific dates on application deadline):
December/January - A NAVADMIN is released providing the specifics of the application process.
February/March - Military applications are due to PERS.
April/May - Interviews are conducted at the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) in Washington, D.C. Individuals selected for interviews should be prepared to discuss their official Navy record, career goals, and fellowship expectations with an interview board consisting of senior officers and civilians representing the various divisions of OLA. VTC or teleconference will be arranged for those living out of the DC area or on deployment.
June - Nominees are proposed by OLA for SECNAV and DOD approval; nominees are given notification of tentative acceptance.
July - Navy OLA will notify selectees after final approval.
November - LEGIS fellow selectees report to OLA early November for orientation.
January through December - One year serving as a staff member in a Senate or House of Representative office.
The details of the application process are outlined in BUPERSINST 1560.21F (http://www.public.navy.mil/bupersnpc/reference/instructions/BUPERSInstructions/Documents/BUPERSINST_1560.21F.pdf)
Amplifying guidance is provided below.
Submit applications in standard naval letter format addressed to Commander, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-440B), via the appropriate chain of command. Include the following items:
Nomination statement. Written by the applicant, outlining unique qualifications for selection (please use standard naval letter format, with the letter addressed from the applicant, to Commander, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-440B), via their appropriate chain of command). Please see Enclosure (1) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Professional resume. Please see Enclosure (2) of BUPERSINST 1560.21F.
Biography. Standard Navy biography format is preferred (running commentary/narrative format that one might be accustomed to hearing at a change of command ceremony) with a formal seated portrait in dress blues (covered or uncovered). Please see United States Navy Biographies website:http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/bio_list.asp
Signed privacy act release statement permitting access to Officer Summary Record and service record. Please see Enclosure (3) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Standard Form 182 (pages 4-5 only). A signed SF182 (pages 4-5 only), documenting agreement to remain on active duty for a period of 3 years upon completion of the fellowship.
Official officer photograph. Should be an official photograph in the officer's current rank.
Commanding Officer's endorsement. Please see Enclosure (1) of BUPERSINST 1560.21F.
Detailer Endorsement/Impact Statement. A signed letter from the member's detailer is required prior to package submission. Since this requirement often takes weeks to obtain, interested applicants are encouraged to contact their detailers as soon as possible. PERS-440 will not coordinate/obtain detailer endorsements for members that fail to include one as part of their application submission. Please see Enclosure (1) of BUPERSINST 1560.21F.
Writing sample. Writing sample on a topic of the officer's choice, not to exceed 5 pages in length. The sample can be a previously written document. Point papers, graduate essays, articles written for professional magazines, etc., are examples of samples that can be submitted.
Letters of Recommendation (Optional). Complete applications must be received by the date indicated in the NAVADMIN.
Civilian Applicants.Civilian applicants should contact Mr. Tim_McLain, contact information listed below, for information on application requirements.
Points of Contact
All questions and applications should be sent to the Navy Fellows Program Manager at OLA:
CDR Rebeca Rodriguez
(703) 697-2885 or DSN 227-2885
DON Civilians interested in the Navy Legislative Fellows program must contact the Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR):
Mr. Tim McLain
A key function of OLA’s Constituent Inquiries Division is to review and coordinate timely, accurate responses to congressional correspondence; resolve constituent issues; and assist in clarifying DoN policy on items of congressional interest. In order to facilitate a prompt response to inquiries, send a written inquiry with a cover letter signed by the Member of Congress, addressed and emailed to:
Chief of Legislative Affairs
1300 Navy Pentagon Room 4C549
Washington, DC 20350-1300
Under guidance from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, all Congressional inquiries, as official correspondence between the Legislative and Executive Branches of Government, must include a cover letter signed by the Member of Congress.
Navy OLA offers Caseworker Workshops for Congressional caseworkers looking to gain a greater understanding of Navy facilities, operations, and perspectives. these workshops are offered multiple times per year in fleet concentration areas and provide caseworkers the opportunity to tour ships, squadrons, and/or facilities; meet Sailors and leadership; and discuss various topics that impact constituent casework.
Navy OLA will host both Virtual & In-Person Caseworker Workshops in 2023.
For more information on these workshops and how to register, please email LT Arabia Shanklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting Constituent Inquiries
Navy OLA receives over 4,500 Constituent inquiries a year. Navy OLA only processes and responds to inquiries from Members of Congress. It is our top priority to respond to these inquiries promptly and accurately.
To facilitate Navy’s response to a congressional inquiry, a caseworker should provide the following information in a letter with supporting documents:
** OLA has no Privacy Release Forms (PRF) for distribution, please have your congressional office create the PRF for the constituent.
To check on the status of an inquiry, or when an inquiry is an emergency or presents a time-sensitive situation, call one of our caseworkers at (703) 614-3710.
You may submit inquiries by emailing us at email@example.com.
Normally, Congressional inquiries require a minimum of two weeks for a response. Due to research, backlogged cases, and other processing requirements, some inquiries may take longer.
**Please do not send original materials to OLA. OLA cannot guarantee the return of any documentation sent to our office. Maintain a copy of any materials sent in to our office. Please also include information for an appropriate caseworker for possible follow up.
For additional assistance with your Navy inquiry, please call the general correspondence telephone number at 703-614-3710 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs by
CDR Desiree Frame, USN, APR+M
Public Affairs Officer
email@example.com (SIPR address available upon request)
Chief of Legislative Affairs
Department of the Navy
Senate Liaison Office
Department of the Navy
182 Russell Senate Office Building
House Liaison Office
Department of the Navy
2024 Rayburn House Office Building
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