VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- When guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) Sailors Anthony White and Kiara Reyes arrived at the recent MyNavy Career Development Symposium in Norfolk, Va., they were undesignated E-3s.
By the end of the day, both were not only rated, but also advanced to E-4.
Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class White and Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Reyes are the first Professional Apprenticeship Career Tract (PACT) Sailors to benefit from the updated NAVADMIN 118/18, the Navy's newest update to the PACT program.
Effective June 2018, PACT Sailors willing to volunteer for additional obligated service (OBLISERV) to complete the sea tour for their new rating or for a minimum of 24 months of additional sea time, whichever is greater, may be authorized advancement to E-4 with commanding officer approval.
PACT Sailors will be designated based on their selection of a prioritized job in a rating for which they are qualified. Enlisted Community Managers will begin to designate PACT Sailors, prioritizing those who have been enrolled in the program the longest, said Mr. Dave Fish, Bureau of Naval Personnel PACT program manager.
"This is great news for me," said White. "I get the job I've wanted and start my new job as a petty officer. It's good for the other PACT Sailors too; it's like we finally have an incentive to stay as a PACT, and think about having a real future in the Navy."
The changes to the PACT program will make the Navy's manning more efficient and effective by linking the designation process with the Navy's requirements, as well as providing a unique opportunity for the PACT Sailor, Fish said.
"This direct link will enable a more dynamic determination of rating designation qualification and assignment to prioritized jobs based on the abilities and desires of the Sailors, who can now take a much more active role in deciding what's best for them and their careers," Fish said.
These changes were brought about in order to improve the PACT program based on Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Robert Burke's Sailor 2025 initiatives to modernize the Navy's personnel systems and policies.
"After listening to feedback, CNP directed a complete overhaul of the entire PACT process," Fish said. "Rear Adm. John Nowell, Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy, formed a working group to find a way to make a PACT program that fulfills Navy needs while also providing for the PACT Sailors themselves. NAVADMIN 118/18 is the result of gathering feedback from recruiters, fleet Career Counselors, supervisors and most importantly, PACT Sailors themselves."
The NAVADMIN is a welcome change and improvement, Reyes said. By providing PACT Sailors this new path, Sailors can get into rates and start their new careers, and with a leg up.
PACT Sailors can go undesignated for more than 18 months, and, in some cases, even longer. Reyes said she had been undesignated for two years.
"As long as a PACT Sailor shows they're motivated and willing to put in the thought and effort for it, they could get a new rate and a crow along with it, too," Reyes said.
White and Reyes began the PACT process during a Fleet Engagement Team visit while their ship was at Rota, Spain. By the time they had returned to Norfolk, the NAVADMIN had taken effect, thus allowing them to be rated and advanced that day.
NAVADMIN 118/18 announced comprehensive policy and process changes to the enlisted PACT program outlined in Military Personnel Manual (MILPERSMAN) 1306-611. The changes were made to provide PACT Sailors with the ability to plan for their future career in the Navy and to reduce unplanned losses for Fleet manning.
PACT Sailors earning designation via Class "A" school who are willing to volunteer for additional OBLISERV required for that school may also be advanced to E4 upon graduation, with commanding officer approval.
Command leadership and PACT Sailors are required to ensure training records and qualifications are up-to-date to facilitate the order negotiation process.
PACT Sailors interested in expanding their available conversion opportunities should contact their command career counselor for information about additional Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) testing opportunities.
For more details, read NAVADMIN 118/18 at http://www.npc.navy.mil/
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For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.