By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrea Perez, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. –Transition benefits available to Sailors affected by the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) are proving to be a valuable resource, officials said Feb. 29.
“We know that the transition for Sailors and family members to civilian life may be challenging and we’re committed to providing a full range of transition services and outreach,” said Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, chief of naval personnel. “Our goal is to have real touch points with our Sailors to provide important information in a personal manner that will help make their transition more successful and less stressful.”
About a third of ERB separating Sailors have connected with the outplacement consulting firm of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. (CGC) since January. More than 1,300 Sailors have responded and enrolled via the CGC website and toll free number. Enrolled Sailors are receiving resume and interview preparation, customized job search and placement assistance to obtain civilian employment.
“Leadership must be proactive in ensuring their Sailors affected by the ERB are engaged with the outplacement firm. If ERB separating Sailors haven’t been contacted by CGC, commanding officers and command master chiefs should help Sailors connect with this service as soon as possible,” said Van Buskirk.
While CGC is trying to contact all ERB Sailors, Sailors are encouraged to reach out to CGC by phone or email. They can be reached toll free at 1-800-971-4288 or emailed at CGCUSNavy@challengergray.com. Sailors who have been contacted by CGC and have a password for web access, can enroll at www.challengeressentials.com.
Other outreach includes the Navy’s Career Transition Office (CTO), Shipmates to Workmates (SM2WM) hiring initiative, and Navy Personnel Command’s fleet engagement team which have made the Fleet more aware of the many services and benefits available to assist in the transition process.
More than 90 percent of ERB separating Sailors have been successfully contacted by the CTO regarding reserve affiliation opportunities as well as application procedures. In three months, more than 300 ERB separating Sailors have received a Selected Reserve (SELRES) quota based.
Representatives from the NPC’s fleet engagement team have visited Fleet concentration areas to meet directly with ERB affected Sailors, their families and leaders to discuss transition assistance matters and answer questions.
Transition assistance benefits for ERB affected Sailors include:
- Mandatory transition assistance program (TAP) workshop attendance.
- Mandatory 60 days in the continental United States prior to separation for those overseas. Commanding Officers (COs) may authorize a 60-day transition period to provide opportunity for full utilization of benefits and services (including any combination of normal duty time, liberty, temporary assigned duty (TDY), permissive TDY, and separation leave).
- Flexibility of separation date based on operational tempo and Sailor’s request.
- Extended Navy base support services (child care, MWR, FFSC).
- A time in service waiver to apply for funding towards commercial certification and/or licensure exams found through Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL).
- Targeted outreach from the CTO, the Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR) Employment Information Center and the SM2WM program.
The SM2WM program is a federal service hiring initiative that actively assists ERB separating Sailors to learn about jobs at Navy partnering commands (CNIC, NAVAIR, NAVFAC, NAVSEA, NAVSUP, SPAWAR, and MSC). Their website offers Sailors a "one stop shop" for transition resources and information on applying for jobs and upcoming career forums’ dates and locations, see http://jobs.navair.navy.mil/sm2wm/ .
While open to all separating Sailors, SM2WM has achieved success in contacting all ERB separating Sailors. Since the release of the ERB results, nearly 900 Sailors have attended career forums hosted by SM2WM and the program’s website has received over 14,000 hits since inception.
Navy's Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR) provides information through the Employment Information Center (EIC) regarding civilian career opportunities for all separating Sailors at: http://www.public.navy.mil/donhr/Employment/Vets/Pages/Default.aspx. EIC assistance includes help with federal government employment application and hiring process, guidance on résumé preparation, assistance navigating the federal government job website www.usajobs.gov, education on recruitment principles and veteran’s preference. For more information call 1-800-378-4559 or email DONeic@navy.mil.
Another enhanced transition assistance benefit offered to Sailors is through Navy COOL. The Navy Credentialing Program has funded 73 examinations for 110 ERB-separating Sailors. More information can be found on the Navy COOL website, www.cool.navy.mil.
An on-line transition assistance handbook highlighting traditional benefits as well as ERB-specific benefits was published in November and can be found on the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) ERB Web Page at www.npc.navy.mil/boards/ERB/. It provides Sailors with a full list of benefits and services available to them, including useful websites, and information on counseling services, and the transition assistance management program (TAMP).
For more information contact the NPC customer service center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.