POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. William Moran and Fleet Master Chief April Beldo visited Naval Base Ventura County, Jan. 20, talking with Seabees and the aviation community about advancement opportunities, uniform changes and deployment schedules.
"If the Navy was a patient," Moran said, "I'd say that the patient is in pretty good health."
He noted that the newest recruits joining the Navy are scoring higher on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Batter) than ever before and 98 percent are high school graduates. For those in the service, most rates are seeing advancement opportunities that are above historical averages.
"There are exceptions," Moran noted, "but on average, the opportunity to advance is high." Seabee ratings, for example, have suffered from cuts over the past several years, but that is "leveling out" now.
Moran noted that, unlike other branches of the armed forces, the Navy is growing, looking to add approximately 5,000 Sailors over the next five years. Growth in cyber and unmanned systems as well as ship manning is partly responsible for that growth.
"Here at Point Mugu, you are the Renaissance of unmanned systems," he said, "which aren't really unmanned. They're not in the seat, but it takes people to operate those systems."
Not as healthy is the Navy's recent deployment cycle, which had ships deployed for up to nine or 10 months at a time and in some cases on back-to-back rotations. One Sailor asked the CNP how and when the Navy was going to get back a more "normal" operational tempo.
Moran said that the current 10-month deployment of the USS Carl Vinson is the last longer than normal deployment the Navy will schedule.
"The Chief of Naval Operations is committed to seven-month deployments, and that's what we're going to do," he said. By 2016, most ships will be back to seven-month deployment schedules.
Moran and Beldo also addressed Navy testing requirements, options of Sailors who are undesignated, Reserve and active duty integration and diversity training in the Fleet.
"Our focus, when it comes to diversity, all diversity, should be on our core values," Moran said when asked about diversity training.
"Doing the right thing for the right reasons; you have to believe it. If you don't believe it, please, go find another job."
If you missed your chance to ask the CNP a question this visit, there is an option, Beldo said. You can email the CNP your questions, comments and suggestions at USNpeople@gmail.com.