Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
Billet Based Distribution

The Navy’s Billet-Based Distribution (BBD) system for enlisted manning has just had its first birthday. With the system in full implementation across the Surface Force for several distribution cycles, it is a good time to take a look at what has changed in the manning world with the advent of BBD.


The most noticeable change since BBD was implemented was the elimination of the decades-old Enlisted Distribution and Verification Report (EDVR). Instead of relying upon a monthly summary of enlisted manning (which was often time-late once the ship obtained it), shipboard leadership can now log on to a website and view, in near-real-time, their manning status. This increased accessibility allows all stakeholders in the manning process, from the ship’s personnel office to the Bureau of Personnel to Fleet Forces Command, to view a timely, accurate snapshot of command enlisted manning. CDR Robert Tryon, Executive Officer on USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47) states that “in my opinion, BBD is a better tool for understanding and organizing shipboard manpower and NEC requirements” than former tools like the EDVR.

More Precision in Shipboard Manning

BBD allows the personnel distribution system to assign Sailors to specific billets on ships, leading to a better “Fit” and increasing shipboard readiness. Instead of just being assigned a Sailor, commands are now assigned a Sailor who matches a specific billet, and has (or earns enroute) the Naval Enlisted Classification (NEC) codes needed to perform the mission. For example, a ship requiring a Petty Officer Second Class who is a qualified Air Intercept Controller (AIC) will be detailed one, instead of being given a non-qualified Petty Officer Second Class or perhaps even a more junior Sailor. The Navy used the long-established officer detailing process as a model – all billets for the enlisted crew are now identifiable (and fillable) by referencing a Billet Sequence Code (BSC), much as wardroom billets have been. This allows the chain of command to specifically pinpoint where manning gaps exist and direct attention to filling them.


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Interfaces With CMS-ID

For the individual Sailor on the deckplates, not much change may be readily evident. The Sailor will still apply for orders and negotiate assignments via the Career Management System-Interactive Detailing (CMS-ID) web portal, much as has been done in the past. The behind-the-scenes difference is that CMS-ID and BBD operate from within the same web framework, and interface with each other. When a Sailor is cut orders, they appear in their new command’s BBD, listed as a Prospective Gain by reporting month. “BBD provides the ships complete transparency of the system and enables commands to track and verify training requirements before ever receiving the Sailors onboard. This will go a long way in minimizing training gaps and increasing readiness,” reports Mr. John Leavitt, who currently serves as Commander Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Personnel Readiness Assistance Team Director.

In making manning information more accessible to commands in a more “real-time” manner while allowing for more targeted application of manning assistance, BBD has proven a game-changer for enlisted manning across the Surface Force. With this successful start, BBD is on track to be the cornerstone of the manning toolbox for years to come. Surface Warfare Magazine

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