By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Force shaping and stabilization is one of the Navy’s top issues and one tool manpower planners are using to assist in this process is the Probationary Officer Continuation and Redesignation (POCR) Board.
“POCR boards ensure we have the required number of officers to meet the Navy’s mission – today and in the future – while remaining within our authorized end strength and manpower funding levels,” said. Capt. Steve Holmes, director, Military Community Management.
Officer community managers and detailers identify probationary officers eligible to appear before the POCR board. These officers include those with fewer than six years of service who: are dropped or attrite from a course necessary to obtain a designator, professional warfare qualification, or professional certification. Other reasons may include failure to obtain or maintain a required security clearance, non-deployable due to permanent physical or mental conditions, and others.
“POCR Boards only include those officers who have less than six years of active commissioned service and meet one of 10 specific criteria – only one of which is attrition from initial training,” Holmes said. “Because the eligibility criteria have expanded from previous force shaping boards, the Navy has better selectivity to retain those officers who have the requisite skills to be successful in other designators either in the active or reserve components, while separating those officers who no longer have viable career paths or possess unique and critical skills.”
Each probationary officer is afforded the opportunity to apply for retention and redesignation or to request separation. The board meets monthly to review all applications and makes its decisions based on the strength of the probationary officers’ board packets, force shaping requirements and quotas available throughout the officer communities.
“In a manpower and fiscal environment such as we are in, it is important that officers coming before the POCR Board clearly present their desires for retention and/or redesignation and highlight the skills and attributes that might indicate a successful Naval career,” Holmes said. “Some educational backgrounds lend themselves to direct application in certain officer designators. Similarly, prior service might give a person valuable skills and qualifications that can be reutilized.”
The results of every POCR board are sent before the deputy chief of naval personnel (DCNP) who approves or disapproves each case. Officers selected for separation are informed via a letter signed by the DCNP, and will be separated no longer than four months later.
“Making a decision to separate an officer after they have invested time and effort to be successful is a very difficult decision for the board to make – but at times necessary. Because it is a life-changing decision, the board members, community managers, parent commands and involved detailers take this process seriously and apply a lot of effort to it,” Holmes said.
For more information about POCR, boards visit the Navy Personnel Command Officer Community Management Page and reference the POCR section in the right-side menu.