1. What is the difference between a Placement Officer and a Detailer?
Assignment (a.k.a. Detailing)
As Assignment Officers, Detailers provide OCEANO Officers (1800/680X/780X) career guidance and strive to be your main source of knowledge or information on issues that affect your career. We broker OCEANO Officer’s assignments with the detaching and reporting commands. We attempt to balance your needs with those of the Navy and our community to the greatest extent possible.
As Placement Officers, we are responsible to commands, whose billets we manage, to fill those billets with the best and most qualified officers available. We work closely with Commanding Officers and Executive Officers to ensure their wardroom is well-balanced (right mix of skill sets, adequate en route training and experience) to accomplish their mission.
2. When should I contact my Detailer?
- Email is the best for your initial communications with the detailer. State your reason for contact and goal for the discussion (next set of orders, career impact of a FITR, etc). This allows us to review your record prior to discussing your future with you, usually via phone. Ensure you identify any special situations (co-lo, EFM, etc.).
- The standard detailing window is 9-12 months from PRD for sea/shore operational/rotational billets. Ideally, communication with the detailer begins 12 months prior to PRD and you are slated for your next duty station by 9 months prior to your PRD. The later in your window you contact the detailer, the less options you may have available to you.
- The detailing window lengthens to 12-18 months for NPS, war college, co-location and EFMP.
- Other reasons to contact the detailer include major life changes such as marriage, pregnancy, birth of a child, change in EFMP status, or plans to resign or retire.
3. When should I NOT contact my Detailer?
- For advice about pet friendly hotels while on travel or at school, locations to store a vehicle or HHG items, good schools or childcare in new PCS location, how many travel or proceed days to do I get…. These are not questions a detailer typically assists with. If you have a PSD type question (move, travel dates, pay, HHG, etc.) you need to go to PSD as they are the authority and have the updated guidance. For questions about resources at your next duty station, contact your next command for a sponsor.
- Do not call the Detailer to gossip and/or vent, ask about other people and potential jobs, or call without doing your homework.
4. When will I receive my orders?
- Orders are usually released within 3-6 months of detach date.
- Priority of orders release timeframe is managed by the PERS codes that control the funding for your orders, not by the detailers.
5. Can I get a Letter of Intent (LOI) to start my PCS early?
- An LOI does not entitle you to any funding and therefore cannot be used for HHG / POV authorizations.
- The purpose of an LOI is to allow for Overseas Screening, Dependent Entry Approval, and / or Security Clearance requests to be initiated.
- Additionally, an LOI can be used as a notice for housing and childcare at new PCS location but you are still bound to local guidance of gaining location for priority/preference.
6. Can I move my family before or after I execute orders?
- You can move your family at any time once you have official orders in hand. However, recommend you confirm your plans with PSD as they are in the best position to assist.
7. What kind of training can I get en route?
- Training authorization is determined by the Placement Officer for each billet.
- New accessions to the community will attend Information Warfare Basic Course (IWBC) and Basic Oceanography Accession Training (BOAT).
- Most OCEANO billets do not require additional training en route.
8. Can I get “stashed” in a location of my choosing?
- An Intermediate Stop (I-Stop) is intended for en route training or based on a valid requirement of the gaining command.
- From a cost perspective, an I-Stop is typically only authorized en route to permanent or temporary gaining command.
9. I’m interested in going to War College; does that lock me into a Joint tour?
- NAVPERSCOM policy for NWC graduates requires that “50% plus one” must go directly to a Joint tour. The portion of the graduating class that does not go directly to a Joint tour is allowed to defer that requirement until their next following tour.
- Additional information on Joint qualification, including the Joint Qualification System (JQS), can be found on the Joint Officer Management section of the NAVPERSCOM webpage.
10. What overseas duty assignments are available?
- Though overseas opportunities have decreased over the last decade within Naval Oceanography, there are still a limited number of community billets in Japan, Bahrain, Europe, and Hawaii (OCONUS). Contact the Detailers to check availability within your detailing window (PRD +3/-1 months).
11. What is an IA/GSA and am I eligible for this assignment?
- Individual Augmentations (IAs) are TDY opportunities to fill critical billets, predominantly in Iraq or Afghanistan.
- Global War on Terror Support Assignments (GSAs) are similar to IA assignments in most respects, except that they include funding for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves and, thus, occur between duty station assignments.
- OCEANO does not currently have any IA/GSA quotas.
1. How do I sit on a selection board?
- The Detailers maintain a list of officers who have expressed interest in serving as Recorders or Assistant Recorders; contact us to get your name added. If an opportunity becomes available, we will contact you individually to offer the opportunity to work on one of the Navy’s statutory or administrative boards. If contacted, it is vitally important that you only discuss the opportunity with your XO/CO – bypassing anyone who may be considered by the board you will be supporting.
2. What do selection boards look for?
- Above all else, selection boards look for the best and most fully qualified officers who continually exhibit sustained superior performance throughout their career.
- While no single tour either guarantees or precludes selection, a pattern of demonstrated leadership/excellence in demanding assignments is key to selection for promotion or screening.
- The following are general observations that have been reported from previous boards:
- Every board is a knife fight - no single tour either guarantees or precludes selection.
- O4 Sea Duty and P-codes – required but not sufficient – command impact!
- Excel while at sea; success in O4 Sea Tour is essential. Boards want to see operational qualification. GQ OOD – TAO – BWC
- Take “hard jobs” ashore: DC, CNMOC, Operational Staffs, XO
- Break out where you can: EP, Soft Breakout, above RSA
- Hard Breakouts – move right in traffic P……MP ……EP
- Ranked 1/1 MP when EP is available is considered a hit unless next FITREP shows EP (If you get a FITREP like this please call your mentor and Detailer)
- Don’t give up above zone – take hard jobs and excel!
- Make sure “dings” are explained to boards
- Fan mail carries very little weight
3. I was passed over twice, what are my options?
Actions and timelines following a failure of selection (FOS) for promotion are governed by Title 10 Law.
For a first time FOS (LT / LCDR), detailers cannot issue “cost” PCS orders if a 2nd FOS will result in involuntary separation/retirement.
For a two time FOS:
– LTs: Involuntarily separated on the first day of seventh month after results are released
– LCDRs: Continuation Policy issued yearly via NAVADMIN, generally. . .
• 14-18 years of active service: continue until eligible for retirement at completion of 20 years of active service
• <14 years of active service: continued in 3 year increments or until retirement eligible at 20 years of active service
• Officers with ≥18 years of active service, remain on active duty until 20 years of active service
• Retired 1st day of month following 20 years of active service mark
– Retainability: no “costed” orders issued if retainability is not met (MILPERSMAN 1301-108)
For two time FOS LDOs
– LCDRS: Continued until retirement eligible at 20 years of active service
– LTs: Case by case based on Sanctuary, Retainability, Reversion . . . .
1. How do I get a photo, education, award, etc. into my record?
- The detailer does not have the access to update your record with this information.
- You must go through the appropriate PERS code. To determine the correct PERS code, go to the Officer page on the NPC website and reference the Officer Records Management Guide for details.
- If your concern is for an upcoming board and there are less than 45-days from the board convene date, then it is recommended you submit a letter to the board. Guidance for submitting a letter to the board can be found on the NPC Active Duty Officer Board page.
2. How/when are subspecialty codes entered into my record?
- Approximately 3-6 months after successful completion and graduation from NPS or MIT/WHOI, notification of completion is sent to the NAVPERSCOM subspecialty office within PERS-45. That is the only office that can enter a subspecialty code into a service member’s record.
3. How do I get an AQD added to my record?
- First thing is to verify with the NOOCS manual (Volume 1, Part D) to ensure you meet all requirements (Designator, Pay Grade, Certificates, Time on Station, etc).
- Provide the detailer with all the required documentation and the page from the NOOCS manual the AQD you are requesting can be found.
- If the AQD asks for a specific civilian certificate, ensure the document you are providing matches it. If it does not provide further documentation that shows your certificate is the equivalent to what is required.
4. How do I find out my reporting senior’s average (RSA)?
- “What is your RSA?” should be the first question you should ask when receiving a FITREP debrief.
- Any reporting senior can access their RSA by logging into BUPERS Online and clicking FITREPs/EVALs. There, they can review reports broken down by paygrade for those they have evaluated as Reporting Senior.
1. What graduate education options are available as a Naval Oceanography officer?
- The Naval Oceanography career path requires graduate education prior to assignment to an O4 Milestone billet, and is mentioned specifically in the precept for the CDR statutory promotion board. There are 2 ways for Naval Oceanographers to complete their graduate education requirement:
1. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, CA. The Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC, 373) curriculum at NPS is the primary means by which our officers complete their graduate education requirement. The program begins twice a year in June and December, and graduates of this program earn a Master of Science Degree in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography and are awarded the 6401P subspecialty code. This program requires an APC of 233 is required for entrance, with waivers possible up to 344.
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Masters in Oceanography Program. This program is announced annually via NAVADMIN and requires selection by the Oceanographer of the Navy and acceptance for entrance by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There is one 1800 quota per year, and graduates are awarded the 6402P subspecialty code.
2. Can I get a PhD in the Naval Oceanography Community?
- Naval Oceanography has 2 PhD quotas available per year (1 Oceanography/1 Meteorology) at NPS. Applications for this program are solicited annually via NAVADMIN, and candidates must be both academically qualified and due course for promotion.
3. What is an APC and why should I care about it?
- A key criterion for selection for graduate education is previous academic performance. This performance is captured via the calculation of an officer’s Academic Profile Code (APC). An APC consists of 3 digits that reflect an individual’s cumulative grade-point average (QPR), performance in calculus-related mathematics, and performance in selected scientific and engineering courses.
· First Digit: indicates overall academic performance based on a recalculated GPA from all previous college transcripts.
· Second Digit: represents mathematical background.
· Third Digit: represents physics background.
- Without an APC, NPS Placement will not approve orders for an officer to attend NPS. If you do not have an APC calculated on your ODC, you should apply to NPS online and make arrangements to have your undergraduate institution send certified copies of your transcripts to NPS. An APC of 233 is required for entrance, with waivers possible up to 344.
Accession into the METOC Community
1. How do I become a Naval Oceanographer?
If you have decided you want to join this exciting career field you have several avenues depending on your current status. The following are general descriptions of potential paths to become an 1800.
• OCEAN Option
- This program commissions officers as 1160s (unqualified Surface Warfare Officers).
- Option quotas exist for all commissioning sources (Academy, ROTC and OCS) and vary in numbers from year to year.
• Lateral Transfer (LAT XFER)
- The Navy “Transfer and Redesignation” board is held every 6 months and preceded by a lateral transfer board message. Eligible officers apply for redesignation via the board; contact your current community to determine whether you are eligible for transfer.
- LAT XFER quota numbers vary from year to year depending on year group (YG) needs of the gaining and losing communities.
• Probationary Officer Continuation Review (POCR) Board
- If an officer fails to complete the initial training pipeline in any of the URL communities, they can request to be redesignated to a different community.
- POCR quotas vary by community from year to year.
- Officers are commissioned into the Navy as an 1800
- A limited number of direct quotas are available each year.
2. How do I execute my Ocean Option?
- Per MILPERSMAN 1212-050, Ocean Option (OCN OPT) officers will be "automatically" redesignated to 1800 six months prior to promotion to LT. Although an officer is redesignated to 1800, it does not necessarily mean officers will also transfer at this point. Detailers will work OCN OPT timing on a case-by-case basis while adhering to distribution guidance, time-on-station (TOS), prescribed sea tour (PST) and projected rotation date (PRD) requirements.
- For officers who desire to decline their OCN OPT, guidance and format can be found in MPM 1212-050.
3. How do I laterally transfer and become an 1800?
- The Lateral Transfer/Redesignation board meets twice a year, the details of which are released via NAVADMIN. Packages (including Commanding Officer’s endorsement) are usually due no later than 60 days prior to the board. The best and most fully qualified candidates are selected by the OCEANO board members. Science based degrees are preferred (Meteorology, Oceanography, Hydrology, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, etc.) and all applicants should have their Academic Profile Code (APC) calculated in order to assess aptitude for graduate education (a requirement for the Naval Oceanography career field).
- The availability of OCEANO quotas for Lateral Transfer/Redesignation is subject to the needs of the Navy at large.
4. Can I go directly to NPS after executing my Ocean Option?
- Since graduate education is a part of the career path for all Naval Oceanographers, and is a requirement for assignment to O4 milestone sea tours, NPS quotas are awarded by seniority. Most 1800s attend as 3-4 year LTs or LCDR(s).
1. I can’t find my orders; can you send me a copy?
- To access a copy of your orders, simply log into NSIPS and follow the links for Professional History and Orders Detail.
- Orders are no longer available through BUPERS Online (BOL).
2. How can I extend my PRD?
- PRDs are governed by MILPERSMAN 1301-104
- Requests in standard memo format should be routed through your Chain of Command to PERS-475 IAW guidelines outlined in the governing MILPERSMAN.
- Approval/Disapproval of tour extensions is based upon a review of the officer's preferences, current billet requirements for officers of similar seniority and experience, and the officer's level of professional development. In the event of unforeseen billet requirements arising prior to completion of the tour length extension, officers may be reassigned as necessary. In shortening any such extension, officers will be given as much advance notice as possible in order to lessen the personal impact on them and their families.