The Navy looking to fill AO billets, making it an enticing option to convert into. (MCSN Nicolas C. Lopez / Navy)
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For petty officers looking to convert, the following are the best options, based on feedback from Navy Personnel Command.
While the list could change, these ratings are expected to remain open through fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1.
Opportunities vary by year group. If you don't fall in a desired year group, it doesn't mean you'll be discounted, however. Conversions, requested through a community manager, are weighed on a case-by-case basis.
The list, in alphabetical order:
Aviation boatswain's mate (handling): Ten conversion opportunities exist for sailors in year groups 2000-2002 and 2010. Reserve-to-active component quotas are also available in year groups 1999 through 2002, as well as 2010 and 2011.
Aviation ordnanceman: Manning is at 90 percent and expected to hold at that level the next couple of years. There are 11 conversion opportunities in year groups 2002, 2003 and 2006. Security clearance is required, as is a flight deck physical.
Damage controlman: This rating has 27 opportunities to convert in the petty officer ranks in year groups 2002 through 2005 and 2009. Those who convert in are looking at above-average advancement to E-5 and E-6. Those two paygrades also offer Sea Duty Incentive Pay to extend at sea or terminate shore duty at $500 per month for E-5s and $600 per month for E-6s.
Electrician's mate: This rating is undermanned overall, at 90 percent. There are 37 quotas available for conversions to the rating in the petty officer ranks. Year groups sought are 2002 through 2005 and 2007 through 2009. Fall advancement opportunity the likelihood of promotion for those who passed the test hit 100 percent for E-4s.
Electronics technician (SS)(RF): There are five conversion opportunities for year groups 2006 through 2011. Advancement in the petty officer ranks is expected to stay above Navy-wide averages, with the rating undermanned at 88 percent. Fall advancement opportunity to E-4 in this rating hit 100 percent.
Re-up bonuses exist for Zone A (zero to six years), up to $60,000, and in Zone B (six to 10 years) up to $45,000. Sea Duty Incentive Pay of $500 is in effect for E-5s and E-6s in certain Navy enlisted classifications, and $700 for E-7s and E-8s, regardless of Navy Enlisted Classification. You must pass a submarine physical if not already sub-qualified.
Hull maintenance technician: Nine convert-in opportunities are available for year groups 2003 through 2008. A security clearance is required, and those converting can expect above-average advancement from E-4 through E-7.
Legalman: This rating is manned at 88 percent overall and at 84 percent in Zone C, 10 to 14 years of service. There are 10 convert-in opportunities. In addition, the E-6 paygrade is undermanned at sea. The rating requires that every LN get a paralegal associate degree, the only enlisted rating with a degree requirement.
The chance for an E-4 to advance in the fall was 100 percent.
Machinery repairman: This rating is expected to move closer to proper manning levels by 2015, but there are nine opportunities to convert in for those in year groups 2004, 2005 and 2007 through 2009. You can expect above-average advancement to second and first class, and those two paygrades collect $500 and $600 in Sea Duty Incentive Pay, respectively.
The chance of making E-5 was 100 percent this fall.
Personnel specialist: Overall manning is at 94 percent, and Zones A and B are at 93 and 75 percent, respectively. That means you can expect better than average advancement for the next few cycles. The fall cycle had good advancement opportunity for all petty officer ranks: 78 percent for making E-6, 66 percent for E-5 and 67 percent for E-4.
There are 14 conversion openings available for year groups 2003, 2004 and 2007.
Yeoman: Twenty-five convert-in opportunities exist for those in year groups 2001 through 2005. Officials expect this rating to fill up, as they're also taking reserve-to-active augments in the same year groups. Advancement to E-5 and E-6 are expected to stay above their respective Navy-wide averages. This fall, advancement opportunity for YN (Sub) was 24 percent for E-6, 86 percent for E-5 and 100 percent for E-4. YN (Surface) was 14 percent for E-6, 58 percent for E-5 and 100 percent for E-4.