By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Navy leadership is asking commands to sharpen their focus when screening Sailors for overseas service, according to NAVADMIN 209/10.
The message states that the Navy Overseas Screening Program is a key component guaranteeing that proper support is available to the Sailors and families stationed overseas. Discrepancies in the process cost the Navy nearly $1 million in fiscal year 2009.
According to Cmdr. Carl Chaffin, Distribution Management and Procedures Branch head, medical issues account for about 50 percent of the discrepancies. “The transferring medical facility must request a waiver for any condition that will be ongoing after transfer,” he explained. “Any medications required overseas must be cleared with the overseas medical treatment facility to ensure the medications are available. Some military medical facilities overseas have had their services reduced and the local medical services have not been certified by TRICARE for reimbursement.”
Other issues cited in the NAVADMIN include legal issues, indebtedness and general administrative errors.
“Commands need to focus on every aspect of the screening form, NAVPERS 1300/16,” said Chaffin. Specific non-medical areas that require focus are “ongoing legal (criminal and civil) cases and pre-service moral waivers. Also, the spouse’s income should not be included in the overseas financial plan unless the spouse has been assured employment upon arrival.”
In the case of a discrepancy where a Sailor reports to an overseas command, “The family can be uprooted on short notice. In the case where a dependent is unqualified – the family is returned to the U.S. and the Sailor continues the tour. If a Sailor is unqualified or must be present for the care of a family member, then the Sailor is usually sent to a U.S.-based command,” Chaffin said.
The total number of discrepancies against the number of overseas orders written is relatively low, but Chaffin said commands can do better. “Sometimes these discrepancies are the fault of the Sailor, but in most cases it is either the command not checking with Family Advocacy, legal, etc., or the medical screener not requesting waivers from the overseas medical provider prior to marking Sailors/family members qualified for overseas assignment.”
For more information, read the NAVADMIN at www.npc.navy.mil.