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The Navy’s “pay boss” is getting real.
Rear Adm. Stu Satterwhite, commander, MyNavy Career Center, spoke to command pay and personnel administrators attending the MyNavyHR Career Development Symposium, held at Naval Station Norfolk July 13 and Naval Air Station Oceana July 14, to announce several new initiatives the Navy is implementing to get after challenges with Sailor pay.
Satterwhite discussed the key initiatives outlined in a July 9 task order from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe aimed at improving Sailor pay. These initiatives, Satterwhite said, support a goal of making sure by the end of the year all Sailors receive the pay and entitlements they are supposed to get within 14 days of becoming eligible for them.
The Sterling, Virginia, native told those assembled the Navy recognizes the work ahead of it.
“We’re changing our organization, we’re listening to you. We’re getting real, and we’re getting better. With your help we’ll make it happen,” he said.
Satterwhite explained to nearly 300 CPPAs what each initiative in the task order is and how it helps tackle the problem. He started with establishing waterfront tiger teams at Transaction Service Centers and Regional Support Centers to reduce the number of transactions awaiting completion. These additional personnel will receive specialized training that will allow them to have release authority for transactions once they return to their parent commands. This will expand the pool of qualified
personnel who can submit personnel and pay transactions and possess the authority to process those transactions. The initial tiger teams are expected to be in place by the end of July.
All CPPAs will also receive fleetwide training to improve the quality of submitted transactions. Satterwhite said the training is slated to begin in August and is dedicated to the biggest transactions, “to elevate your comfort in doing this work.”
“You’ve asked for more resources, and that’s what we’re going to provide you. We’re getting after this,” he said. “The biggest impact I can give you is more training, more capability so you can do this work. And
that’s a big deal to us.”
Next, Satterwhite discussed developing an enhanced Unit Commander’s Financial Report to give transparency and feedback to each commander of their unit’s pay situation. MNCC is working with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to roll out the eUCFR, expected later this year. This report, to be made available inside NSIPS, will give CPPAs and commanders an overview which will help them identify problems with their Sailors’ pay and entitlements earlier.
“You can look down this list and see someone didn’t get their BAH this month. You’d say, ‘OK, that’s a problem I should investigate,’” Satterwhite said. “With this dashboard, you can see where your transactions are at; so can your skipper, so can your ISIC and so can I. Transparency comes with it, so we can see it and you can get credit for what you do.”
Lastly, Satterwhite said a working group was stood up to determine which key supporting documents, or KSDs, are required for processing transactions. KSDs are crucial to justifying claim payments and are
required in the event of an audit. The group’s aim is keeping the number of required KSDs as minimal as possible, all with the aim of significantly streamlining transactions and reducing errors. This working group consists of MNCC staffers, fleet representatives, and members of the CNP leadership and DFAS.
“Step one is to identify what is the absolute minimum of what we need for KSDs,” he said. “Why are there so many of these things? How do we minimize those?”
As the TSCs and RSCs come online, Satterwhite noted, CPPAs and Sailors will see standardization across the Navy on how pay and personnel procedures are done.
“If you’re in San Diego and you transfer to Norfolk, we do business the same way. That gives us the ability to get stronger and be more uniform,” he said. “We’re working with the fleets, we’re working with local commanders; we’ve realigned our organization, we’ve changed our manpower structure. We’re changing our IT system to make the system better for you, so that Sailors get paid when they should get paid.”
CPPAs who attended CDS and listened to Satterwhite said they were encouraged. Navy Counselor 1st Class Angelecia Faison, assigned to Fleet Electronic Support Norfolk, says of the initiatives Satterwhite described, “the increased training is very important. I want our Sailors, especially
our junior Sailors, to gain confidence in the system and when that happens, it’s one less thing they have to worry about.”
Chief Hospital Corpsman Plinio De Los Santos, assigned to 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, has been a CPPA since 2015, and recently took on the responsibilities as the admin chief. He also sees training as the biggest force multiplier.
“Whenever we can increase the level of knowledge, we’re empowered. There’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing before, but with the training I’ll be in better shape to help my Sailors,” he said.
Senior Chief Navy Counselor Wesley Fox from USS Bataan (LHD 5) says he’s looking forward to the standardization of policies and procedures.
“As a CPPA, I need to know what the expectation is from one clerk to another,” Fox said. “I’ll be interested to see how the RSCs and TSCs work to make things uniform.”
Satterwhite wrapped up the discussions by telling the CPPAs he — and the fleet commanders — need their support, ideas, and cooperation.
“You make things happen for Sailors, so thank you for what you do as a CPPA. I don’t need Sailors worrying about their pay; I want them focused on the mission,” he said. “We’re not perfect, but we are getting real about that; we will get better, and each and every one of you can help me out on that.”
LCDR Rick Chernitzer
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