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Your Career

Reenlistment Changes Ahead

CNP Announces Major Changes to Help Sailors Navigate Their Careers

For Sonar Technician 2nd Class Jason Simpson having back-to-back sea duty was not a tough choice. Under the Navy's Perform to Serve (PTS) program he was faced with either changing rates or volunteering for another tour at sea in order to reenlist.

Now serving that second tour aboard USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Simpson is looking forward to continuing his career in the rate of his choice with no regrets about heading back to sea.

"I was offered as my conversion for PTS [the culinary specialist rating]," Simpson said. "I'm in the combat world. I opted to go back to sea as a sonar tech."

Simpson's situation is not unique, and many Sailors throughout the fleet have had to make tough choices about their continued service in the Navy under PTS.

Thanks to a new career management program announced May 1 by the chief of naval personnel, Sailors will have a greater opportunity to manage their own careers with a greater level of transparency in their options.

Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, announced upcoming changes to the way Sailors will apply for reenlistment and the launch of a new Career Navigator program during an all-hands call at Naval Base San Diego.

These are part of significant changes and enhancements to the way the Navy handles enlisted career management and are designed to provide Sailors with transparent, interactive and integrated tools to explore and choose career opportunities that span the entire continuum of service including both active and reserve components, according to Navy personnel officials.

The Navy has heard from the fleet that Sailors want earlier feedback in their requests for reenlistment quotas, more transparency and more interactive capability, resulting in a needed change.

"These changes are absolutely a result of feedback from the fleet," Van Buskirk said. "What we are trying to do is meet their demands for a Sailor portal, putting transparency into the process, so our young men and women have the ability to have a view into how their career unfolds, what their opportunities are, what choices they have, and really bring that into a process an ability for them to be able to, each day that they want to, to have a view into their career."

Under the current process, Sailors could have their career opportunities limited due to reenlistment approval being granted near the end of their orders-negotiation window. With the improved functionality and capabilities, Sailors will not only find out about their reenlistment status much sooner, but will also be able to play a much more active role in their future through the use of web-based applications.

"What this does is really bring together the best of our previous programs and adds a lot of functionality that allows a Sailor now to look across their entire continuum of their service," Van Buskirk said. "We bring together a portal that allows the Sailors, without having to have a Navy career counselor there, to enable them to sit down, look at what's available to them, look at their opportunities, to let them chart their own way through their career path."

Career Navigator will pull all enlisted career management processes under one overarching program encompassing all career events such as reenlisting, changing ratings, choosing orders, and transitioning between Active Component and Reserve Component, or vice versa.

In June, Sailors will begin to see changes occur as Career Navigator rolls out. There will be changes made to make the rating application process easier for PACT (Professional Apprentice Career Track) Sailors along with an easier transition process for Selective Reserve Sailors switching to active duty service.

Additionally, there will be a change to the timeline that active duty Sailors need to request reenlistment approval. Sailors will be able to start the process 13 months prior to their end of active obligated service (EAOS) instead of the previous 12-month window. This means Sailors who have an EAOS in June or July 2014 will need to talk with their career counselors immediately to begin the process or requesting a reenlistment quota. This change gives Sailors an extra month to work the reenlistment and assignment process with their detailer.

This initiative will eventually bring more transparency for Sailors in the process, including seeing quotas available for their rate, opportunities in other rates, and ultimately, Sailors will be able to see much of what detailers and career counselors see when making career decisions, according to personnel officials.

For Sailors like Simpson, the announcement from the CNP was welcome news, and hearing from the CNP himself made it even more meaningful.

"Coming directly from him, it kind of gives me a warm and fuzzy," Simpson said.

The following Sailors contributed to the production of this story: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Crosby, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Fedderson, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Farrington, Mass Communication Seaman Matthew Hogue and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mark El-Rayes from Navy Public Affairs Support Element - West.