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New deal for reserve-to-active moves

Sep. 25, 2012 - 03:08PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 25, 2012 - 03:08PM  |  
Boatswain's mate is one of the ratings eligible for reserve-to-active moves.
Boatswain's mate is one of the ratings eligible for reserve-to-active moves. (MC2 William Jamieson / Navy)
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Who can make the switch

Reserve sailors in the following ratings and year groups are eligible to apply to join the active component. Sailors in the first round can apply now; those in the second and third rounds can apply at a yet-to-be-determined date based on Round 1 application processing, according to Navy officials.
ROUND 1 (apply now)
Rating       Year group(s)
ABH       1999-2002, 2010-11
AO       1994-1997, 2006, 2010-11
AWO       2005-06
BM       2006
CS       2010-11
CSS       2006-11
ETR       2003, 2006-08
YN       2001-05

ROUND 2
Rating       Year group(s)
ABE       2009-11
AME       2009-10
DC       2002, 2004-05
EOD       2008, 2011
GSM       2002-04
HT       2005
MMW       2000, 2003, 2005-07, 2011
MU       2002, 2006, 2008, 2011
STS       2002-03, 2005-06,
       2008, 2010
ROUND 3
Rating        Year group(s)
AC       2005
CTI (ARAB)       2005, 2007
CTI (RUS)       2004-05
CTR       2006, 2007
EN       2003, 2005, 2008
IC       2002-04
MA       2004-05
MME       2004-05, 2007
QM       2009

Navy reservists wanting to rejoin the active force have had the burden of visiting a recruiter and standing in line with the newbies — until now.

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Navy reservists wanting to rejoin the active force have had the burden of visiting a recruiter and standing in line with the newbies — until now.

The Navy announced its Enlisted Reserve to Active Component Augmentation Program on Sept. 9 in a fleetwide message, NAVADMIN 274/12. The new program, in the works for years, allows reservists in needed skills and year groups to return to the active component.

The move to active duty for these sailors is not an activation or recall to active duty. In those cases, a reservist only comes back on active duty for a set period, remaining part of the Reserve. He would compete for advancement with fellow reservists and return to the reserve component after his active-duty tour.

Under the new program, selected sailors execute a new active-duty contract, compete for advancement as an active sailor and continue on with their active career, said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta who heads manpower plans for the chief of naval personnel.

The program allows the Navy to more easily tap its pool of experienced petty officers to fill holes in the active force, Kurta said. It also avoids having to recruit and train new sailors, a process that can take years.

At the start, the Navy has identified 25 ratings with needs in the fleet that correspond with "inventory in the selected reserves," Kurta said. "We're not sure what the interest level or take rate will be."

The program is not temporary. It's now a permanent part of how the Navy does business, Kurta said. The long-term plan will be to automate the process for reservists to apply for active jobs by first processing applications through the Perform to Serve re-enlistment approval process.

That long-term goal will require putting into effect a PTS-like re-enlistment approval system for the Selected Reserve. Slated to be called the Re-enlistment Control Module, the system is still being funded and developed, but eventually it will be in place and will operate like the active PTS system. When that happens, reservists will be able to compete to re-enlist for active-duty spots with the click of a mouse.

Until then, these applications will be submitted manually to personnel officials and processed by hand.

"We're going to do it in phases at a rate we can handle, so we don't overwhelm [Navy Personnel Command]," Kurta said. "We'll advertise once we get a handle on that. We'll advertise about six ratings at first, and it will help us gauge the interest level. And once we're comfortable with that, we'll advertise a few more."

Six-year effort

The announcement is the culmination of six years of work of the last two chiefs of the Navy Reserve — retired Vice Adm. John Cotton, who started the idea, and retired Vice Adm. Dirk Debbink, who took over from there.

Cotton liked to call the effort "Sailor for Life," though the Navy now calls it "Continuum of Service."

"What it is really about is creatively removing barriers and fundamentally changing the way we not only do business, but the way we think of a career in the U.S. Navy," Debbink told Navy Times in May. "The day is here where a sailor can go from active duty to the Reserve and back again without ever really having a break in service."

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