As detailers, our job is to set you up for success, do our part in getting you promoted/screened for the next career milestone, and provide you with career advice you need to move onward and upward. A key step in setting yourself up for promotion and successful screening is to ensure YOUR PERFORMANCE IS THE MITIGATING FACTOR IN ANY BOARD – NOT POOR TIMING.
Make no mistake about it, PERFORMANCE gets you promoted/screened, but TIMING into your next job (i.e. Department Head) is important in this business and delaying your arrival in an important afloat job has a cascading effect from which it may be difficult to recover.
Your first Shore Duty job is the place to start taking a hard look at timing. In addition to trying to marry up your desires with what is available and viewing your performance to date, TIMING will be a key element of our every discussion… guarantee it.
Get to Department Head School no later than the 7 1/2 Year Point.
[7.5 years is your time to sit in the seat in Newport--attending Aegis training in Dahgren will adjust your overall DH pipeline start to the left]
To maximize the number of Department Head FITREPs you have prior to the LCDR Selection Board and XO/CO Fleet Up Screening Board. More time on-station equals more FITREPs and a higher probability that you will "Break Out" (i.e. EP/#1 Dept Head/Top LT) and select/screen for that next career milestone.
The impact on you:
-- For planning purposes, each Year Group will get detailed with the anticipation that the Year Group will go before the LCDR Selection Board 9 years after commissioning. For instance, YG 09 should anticipate they will be In-Zone eligible for LCDR in the Spring of 2018; YG 10 should be In-Zone eligible in the Spring of 2019. Although many Year Groups have historically been "split" before their respective looks before the LCDR Board, for planning purposes, we will detail based on a planned 9 YCS look at LCDR.
-- To have meaningful FITREPs under your belt for the LCDR Selection Board and to maximize your afloat FITREP opportunities prior to your XO/CO Fleet Up Screening (which will occur 3 years after your LCDR board), we want you in Department Head School at SWOSCOLCOM NLT the 7 1/2 Year mark. This timing provides sufficient latitude to complete enroute training, graduate from DHS, and report to your ship to receive at least one FITREP prior to the LCDR Selection Board.
If you have not done so already, take some time to review the SWO XO/CO Fleet Up Career planner to gain clarity on your career timing. Include your spouse in the planning process as well as you chain-of-command. Once you've reviewed your notional timing, contact your detailer if you have specific questions. This planner is a great tool to visualize your career and family plans. Even those set on getting out of the Navy can benefit from reviewing this tool.