Skip navigation links
Boards
Career Info
Officer
Enlisted
Support & Services
Organization
Reference Library
Skip navigation links
Foreign Area Officer
Information Prof
Information Warfare
Intelligence
OCEANO
Community Overview
Detailer Mission
Career Paths
FAQs
Officer Records
General Information
FAQs 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.    How do I become a Naval Oceanographer?

2.    How do I execute my Ocean Option?

3.    How do I laterally transfer and become an 1800?

4.    How do I get recalled to active duty?

5.    How do I correct my Record/add an award?

6.    I’m interested in going to War College; does that lock me into a Joint tour?

7.    What overseas duty assignments are available?

8.    How/when are sub-specialty codes entered into my record?

9.    What graduate education options are available as a Naval Oceanography officer?

10.  Can I go directly to NPS after executing my Ocean Option?

11.  What is an IA/GSA and am I eligible for this assignment?

12.  I can’t find my orders; can you send me a copy?

13.  Can I get a PhD in the Oceano Community?

14.  What is an APC and why should I care about it?

15.  How do I sit on a selection board?

16.  How can I extend my PRD?

17.  How do I find out my reporting senior’s average?

18.  What do selection boards look for?

19.  I was passed over twice, what are my options?

 

1.  How do I become a Naval Oceanographer?

 

If you have decided you want to join this exciting career field you have several avenues depending on your current status. The following are general descriptions of potential paths to become an 1800.

 

OCEAN Option

    This program commissions officers as 1160s (unqualified Surface Warfare Officers):

    Option quotas exist for all commissioning sources (Academy, ROTC and OCS) and vary in numbers from year to year.

 

Lateral Transfer (LAT XFER)

    The Navy “Transfer and Redesignation” board is held every 6 months and preceded by at lateral transfer board message. Eligible officers apply for redesignation via the board; contact your current community to determine whether you are eligible for transfer.

    Lat xfer quota numbers vary from year to year depending on year group needs of the gaining and losing communities.

 

Force Shaping Authority (FSA)

    Previously known as the IRAD process, when an officer fails to complete their initial training pipeline in any of the URL communities, they can request to be redesignated to a different community.

    FSA quotas vary by community from year to year.

 

Direct

    Officers are commissioned into the Navy as an 1800

    A limited number of direct quotas are available each year.

 

Reserve Recall

    Officers are brought back (indefinitely) on Active Duty.

    Recall quotas vary from year to year depending on the needs of the Navy.

 

2. How do I execute my Ocean Option?

 

     If you are an Ocean Option Officer who has received(or expects to receive) your SWO qualification and would like to pursue redesignation to OCEANO, you'll need to send us (PERS-475) a letter, via your Commanding Officer, stating you've attained your SWO qualification and request to exercise your "Ocean Option".  In your request, you should include the date you would like to be redesignated.  Ensure your command includes the month/year they will make you available for reassignment in their endorsement.  Expect initial assignment in the Oceanography Community to occur at your PRD unless your Commanding Officer allows you to transfer earlier.  Refer to MILPERSMAN Article 1212-070 for details.  For additional information as you decide if you will exercise your "Ocean Option", you are invited to call or visit any of the Fleet Weather Centers (see Community Overview) in your operating area.  You may also have Oceanography officers onboard your ship, either in the OA division (SGOT) or embarked with a Mobile Environmental Team.  Talk to them to get their views of Oceanography as a viable career path.  A sample Oceanography Option letter follows.

 

                                                                                        DATE

From:  LTJG John P. Jones, USNR, xxx-xx-####/1110

To:    Commander, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-475)

Via:   Commanding Officer, USS NEVERSAIL (DDG ##)

Subj:  EXECUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY OPTION

Ref:   (a) MILPERSMAN 1212-070

Encl:  (1) SWO Qualification Certificate

1.  In accordance with reference (a), having completed qualification as a Surface Warfare Officer, as documented by enclosure (1), I respectfully request to execute my Oceanography Option and redesignate to the Special Duty Officer (Oceanography) Community (designator 1800) as of MMM YY.  I understand that I will incur a two-year obligated service commitment from the date of redesignation per reference (a).

 2.  My point of contact data is commercial (###) ###-####/DSN ###, email aaaa@aaaaa.com.

  

                                                                              J. P. JONES

 

Please scan and e-mail your Oceanography Option letter to your SWO Detailer and to PERS-475B, and mail hardcopy to:

 

Navy Personnel Command

PERS-475

5720 Integrity Drive

Millington, TN 38055-4490

 

3.  How do I laterally transfer and become an 1800?

 

            The Lateral Transfer/Redesignation board meets twice a year, the details of which are released via NAVADMIN.  Usually, packages (including Commanding Officer’s endorsement) are due no later than 60 days prior to the board.  The best and most fully qualified candidates are selected by the Oceano board members.  Science based degrees are preferred (Meteorology, Oceanography, Hydrology, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, etc) and all applicants should have their Academic Profile Code calculated in order to assess aptitude for graduate education (a requirement for the Naval Oceanography career field).  The availability of Oceano quotas for Lateral Transfer/Redesignation is subject to the needs of the Navy at large.

 

4.  How do I get recalled to active duty?

 

            Any recall to active duty is subject to the availability of Navy-wide indefinite recall quotas.  It is extremely rare for Naval Oceanography to obtain one of these quotas.  Contact the Naval Oceanography Officer Community Manager to check availability.

 

5.  How do I correct my Record/add an award?

 

Information regarding record updates can be found on the Officer Records portion of this site.

 

6.  I’m interested in going to War College; does that lock me into a Joint tour?

 

Currently we have 3 quotas at the Naval War College in Newport, RI (1 senior/2junior) and 1 quota (junior) at the USMC Command and Staff College in Quantico, VA.  NAVPERSCOM policy for NWC graduates requires that “50% plus one” must go directly to a Joint tour.  The portion of the graduating class that does not go directly to a Joint tour is allowed to defer that requirement until their next following tour.  Within the Marketplace, a Joint tour is any billet that is on the JDAL list, denoted with a JD1 under billet AQD.

 

Additional information on Joint qualification, including the Joint Qualification System (JQS), can be found on the Joint Officer Management section of the NAVPERSCOM webpage.

 

7.  What overseas duty assignments are available?

 

            Though overseas opportunities have decreased over the last decade or so within Naval Oceanography, there are still a limited number of Community billets in Japan, Bahrain, Europe, and Hawaii (OCONUS). Contact the Detailers to request the latest copy of the Marketplace to check availability within your detailing window (PRD+/- 3 months).

 

8.  How/when are subspecialty codes entered into my record?

 

            Approximately 3-6 months after successful completion and graduation from NPS or MIT/WHOI, notification of completion is sent to the NAVPERSCOM subspecialty office within PERS-45.  That is the only office that can enter a subspecialty code into a service member’s record.

 

9.  What graduate education options are available as a Naval Oceanography officer?

 

            The Naval Oceanography career path requires graduate education prior to assignment to an O4 Milestone billet, and is mentioned specifically in the precept for the CDR statutory promotion board.             There are 2 ways for Naval Oceanographers to complete their graduate education requirement:

 

            Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, CA.  The Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) program at NPS is the primary means by which our officers complete their graduate education requirement.  The program begins twice a year in March and September, and graduates of this program earn a master of Science Degree in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography and are awarded the 6401P subspecialty code. This program requires an APC of at least 373 for entrance.

 

            Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Masters in Oceanography Program.  This program is announced annually via NAVADMIN and requires selection by the Oceanographer of the Navy and acceptance for entrance by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  There is one 1800 quota per year, and graduates are awarded the 6401P subspecialty code.

 

10. Can I go directly to NPS after executing my Ocean Option?

 

            Since graduate education is a part of the career path for all Naval Oceanographers, and is a requirement for assignment to O4 milestone sea tours, NPS quotas are awarded by seniority. Most 1800s attend as 3-4 yr LTs or LCDR(s).

 

11. What is an IA/GSA and am I eligible for this assignment?

 

            Individual Augmentations (IAs) are TDY opportunities to fill critical billets, predominantly in Iraq or Afghanistan.  These are tasked to the Naval Oceanography TYCOM, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC), via U.S. Fleet Forces Command.  When received, the subordinate commands within the CNMOC claimancy nominate volunteers and primary/alternate selections are made.

 

            Global War on Terror Support Assignments (GSAs) are similar to IA assignments in most respects, except that they include funding for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves and, thus, occur between duty station assignments.  Currently, Naval Oceanography has 1 LCDR GSA aboard Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.  To be eligible for this assignment, contact the detailers to express interest.

 

12. I can’t find my orders; can you send me a copy?

 

            To access a copy of your orders, simply log into BUPERS Online and click “View Orders”.  This will show your most recent orders, as issued by NAVPERSCOM.

 

13. Can I get a PhD in the Naval Oceanography Community?

 

            Naval Oceanography has 2 PhD quotas available per year (1 Oceanography/1 Meteorology) at NPS.  Applications for this program are solicited annually via NAVADMIN, and candidates must be both academically qualified and due course for promotion.

 

14. What is an APC and why should I care about it?

 

            A key criterion for selection for graduate education is previous academic performance.  This performance is captured via the calculation of an officer’s Academic Profile Code (APC).  An APC consists of 3 digits that reflect an individual’s cumulative grade-point average (QPR), performance in calculus-related mathematics, and performance in selected scientific and engineering courses.

 

First Digit

 

The first digit indicates overall academic performance based on a recalculated* GPA from all previous college transcripts. The first digit is derived from the following table:

 

Code     QPR Range

0           3.60-4.00

1           3.20-3.59

2           2.60-3.19

3           2.20-2.59

4           1.90-2.19

5           0.00 -1.89

 

*Failures and repeated courses are included in the QPR calculation.

 

Second Digit

 

The second digit represents mathematical background according to the following criteria:

 

Code     Meaning

0          Math Major/Minor, Quantitative Economics Degree with B or better average; math taken less than or equal to 7 years ago. (Math Major or strong Math Minor)

1          Lower Level, Upper Level, Linear Algebra with a GPA of at least a 3.5; math taken less than or equal to 5 years ago.

2          Lower Level, Upper Level with average between C+ and B+; math taken less than or equal to 5 years ago. No Linear Algebra.

3          Lower Level Calculus Sequence with a C or better; or if math taken greater than 5 years ago.

4          Calculus for Business/Social Sciences with a C or better. 1 Lower Level Calculus Course with at least a C-. 2 pre-Calculus Courses with a B+ or better.

5         At least one pre-Calculus with C- or better grade.

6         No pertinent college-level math with a grade of C- or better.

 

*All math courses from calculus through post-calculus are considered when evaluating the transcripts for the second digit. A minimum calculus sequence is Calculus I and II.

 

Third Digit

 

The third digit represents previous course coverage in science and technical fields according to the following criteria:

 

Code     Meaning

0          Significant pertinent upper-division technical courses with B+ or better average.

1          Significant pertinent upper-division technical courses average between C+ and B.

2          Complete calculus-based physics sequence with B+ or better average.

3          Complete calculus-based physics sequence with average between C+ and B.

4          At least one calculus-based physics course with C or better grade.

5          No pertinent technical courses.

 

A first digit code of 0, 1, 2 or 3 (as appropriate) will be assigned only if transcripts provided exhibit at least 100 semester-hours or 150 quarter-hours of actual graded classroom instruction. Grades of Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit will not count toward the 100/150 hour requirement.

A technical code of 1 or 0 ordinarily is assigned only to an officer whose undergraduate major was Physics, Aeronautical, Electrical, Mechanical or Naval Engineering, or whose undergraduate technical major is consistent with the officer's designated occupational specialty. General Engineering degrees and Engineering Technology degrees are specifically excluded from this list of engineering degrees.

 

            Without an APC, NPS Placement will not approve orders for an officer to attend NPS.  If you do not have an APC calculated on your ODC, you should apply to NPS online and make arrangements to have your undergraduate institution send certified copies of your transcripts to NPS.  An APC of 323 is required for entrance, with waivers possible up to 334.

 

15. How do I sit on a selection board?

 

            The Detailers maintain a list of officers who have expressed interest in serving as Recorders or Assistant Recorders; contact us to get your name added.  If an opportunity becomes available, we will contact you individually to offer the opportunity to work on one of the Navy’s statutory or administrative boards.  If contacted, it is vitally important that you only discuss the opportunity with your XO/CO – bypassing anyone who may be considered by the board you will be supporting.

 

16. How can I extend my PRD?

 

The sample letter below is the basis for requesting an extension of your current PRD.  Approval of tour extensions are based upon a review of the officer's preferences, current billet requirements for officers of similar seniority and experience, and the officer's level of professional development.  In the event of unforeseen billet requirements arising prior to completion of the tour length extension, officers may be reassigned as necessary.  In shortening any such extension, officers will be given as much advance notice as possible in order to lessen the personal impact on them and their families.

 

                                                                                                                                          DATE

 

From:  LT John P. Jones, USN, XXX-XX-1234/1800

To:    Commander, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-475)

Via:   Chain of Command

 

Subj:  REQUEST FOR PROJECTED ROTATION DATE (PRD) EXTENSION

 

1.  Respectfully request an extension of my current Projected Rotation Date (PRD) from (current PRD month and year) to (requested month and year of extension). 

 

2.  (State reason for extension request).

 

 

 

                                                                              J. P. JONES

 

Please scan and e-mail to PERS-475B, and mail hardcopy to:

 

Navy Personnel Command

PERS-475

5720 Integrity Drive

Millington, TN 38055-4490

 

17. How do I find out my reporting senior’s average (RSA)?

 

            Any reporting senior can access their RSA by logging into BUPERS Online and clicking FITREPs/EVALs. There, they can review reports broken down by paygrade for those they have evaluated as Reporting Senior.

 

“What is your RSA?”, is the first question you should ask when receiving a FITREP debrief!

 

18. What do selection boards look for?

 

            Above all else, selection board look for the best and most fully qualified officers who continually exhibit sustained superior performance throughout their career.

 

            While no single tour either guarantees or precludes selection, a pattern of demonstrated leadership/excellence in demanding assignments is key to selection for promotion or screening.

 

The following are general observations that have been reported from previous boards:

-       O4 Sea Duty and P-codes – required but not sufficient!

-       Excel while at sea; success in O4 Sea Tour is essential. Boards want to see operational quals (GQ OOD, TAO, BWC)

-       Try to take “hard jobs” ashore: DC, CNMOC, Operational Staffs, XO

-       Break out where you can: EP, in the narrative (rank against other designators), above Reporting Seniors Average!

-       Show continuous improvement   P…to MP…to EP

-       Ranked 1/1 MP when EP is available is considered a hit unless next FITREP shows EP

-       Don’t give up above zone – take hard jobs and excel!

-       Make sure “dings” are explained to boards

 

The following are general observations that have been reported from previous CDR boards:

-       Competitive sea tour

-       Postgraduate Education - 6401P

-       Demonstrated leadership at all levels

-       Sustained superior performance in tough jobs

 

The following are general observations that have been reported from previous CAPT boards:

-       Outstanding sea tours (O4 / O5)

-       Major Staff tour (O4 / O5)

-       Command screened

-       Command/Command Equivalent tour

 

19. I was passed over twice, what are my options?

 

            If you are an 1800 LT who has failed to select for 2 consecutive years, you will not be offered an opportunity for continuation.  You will be notified by NAVPERSCOM of this situation directly, and will be required by Title X law to outprocess from the Navy NLT the 1st day of the 7th month following the release of the selection board results (i.e. results released in July would result in a separation requirement of NLT 01 February of the following year).

 

            If you are an O4 or O5 and you fail to select, under normal circumstances you may be offered continuation to 18 years of total service.  Once you reach 18 years of total service, you fall into “sanctuary”, and can then complete 20 years of active service.  Please be aware that offering continuation to officers who have failed to select is at the discretion of Navy leadership.

NAVY PERSONNEL COMMAND: 5720 Integrity Drive, Millington TN 38055-0000 
Comments? Suggestions? Call 866-U-ASK-NPC or Email the Webmaster | Updated:5/29/2013 11:13 AM 


FOIA | US Navy | No Fear Act | USA.gov | Privacy Policy  |  Accessibility / Section 508 | Site Map