By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager,
Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – The Master Chief Petty Officer on the Navy (MCPON) visited Navy Personnel Command Jan. 27 where he spoke with one of the largest chief petty officer communities in the Navy about senior-enlisted continuation boards.
“The response I’ve been receiving has been pretty positive. We’re going to have a few who don’t like this idea and that is OK,” said MCPON (SS/SW) Rick West. “The senior-enlisted continuation board, I think, is a very important process for us. It gives us a quality check at the senior-enlisted levels.”
According to NAVADMIN 030/09, performance-based senior-enlisted continuation boards call for an annual performance-driven review of chiefs, senior chiefs and master chiefs with more than 20 years of service and three years time in grade. Members not selected for continuation after the performance-based review will transfer to the fleet reserve or retire.
“I think this is absolutely awesome and I wish we would have implemented this ten years ago. Some of our senior Sailors have quit. They have lost the energy and drive and we need to keep our Navy strong,” said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Billy Hill, assigned to NPC as CMC detailer.
“Our Navy is vacancy driven and if there is a hard-charging first class out there ready to step up, we need to give them the opportunity. We cannot promote them if we have senior enlisted people standing in the way,” added Hill.
"I feel senior enlisted continuation boards are necessary. They will help overall progression and allow for better promotion and advancement opportunity," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (AW) Millie Woodward, assigned to NPC. Woodward, who was a recent NPC Sailor of the Quarter, currently has 13 years of active-duty service and is in a rating that has seen many of its billets civilianized. "Even when I do make chief, without these boards and Sailors retiring, there is little hope for much upward mobility," she added.
To date, NPC’s active-duty continuation board coordinator has received more than 70 calls from the Fleet seeking more details with the two most common subjects being criteria and eligibility. Those topics have been prominent in discussions among chiefs in general, too.
“There has been a lot of talk about it since the message came out and for some people there is a lot of uncertainty. The feedback I’ve heard is that Sailors who may be facing these boards would like a little more information about the criteria,” said Master Chief Information Systems Technician (SW/AW) Jerita Kearnes, senior enlisted advisor for NPC’s enlisted distribution branch. Kearnes, who is scheduled to retire in February after 30 years of service, is exempt from the board.
While the NAVADMIN does not specify what constitutes performance, the senior enlisted continuation board precept will outline that information. Officer continuation board precepts instructed board members to consider performance as well as adverse information. Candidates needed proven and sustained performance with favorable consideration given to those who displayed superior performance while serving an Individual Augmentee or GWOT Support Assignment and those with relevant education and professional development. Some in the chief’s community have their own ideas of what the board will look at.
“We have people in the Navy with multiple PRT failures, consecutive Ps (promotables) in their fitreps, or even SP (significant problems). Those Sailors will be easy to identify. If the board needs more and is looking at the average Sailor who has not taken hard assignments but did a good job, that is going to be tough,” said Master Chief Navy Counselor (SW/SCW/AW) Tod Shuls, the Navy Counselor and Legalman Detailer, who with 27 years of active duty is eligible for the senior enlisted continuation board.
“It is going to be interesting to see the fall-out. I have more than three years time-in-grade and I am over 20 years,” Shuls added.
According to the message, Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center, in Pensacola, Fla., will release a list of continuation board candidates to commands and servicing Personnel Support Detachments in March 2009.
Each candidate is responsible for ensuring their record is correct and up-to-date with their latest evaluations, awards and other appropriate information. Candidates may communicate with the continuation board by submitting a board package. Selection board packages provide candidates the opportunity to submit any missing documents from the sections of their records that are viewed by the continuation boards. Packages must be post marked no later than Aug. 17, 2009. Further guidance on submitting a board package can be found in the NAVADMIN.
Candidates may confirm receipt of board packages by contacting the NPC customer service center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672).