Early this year we previewed new re-enlistment rules that were on the way to sailors. It meant big changes for Perform to Serve, the much-maligned system that sailors and commanding officers alike describe as confusing and stressful.
But even as officials touted the new system as a vast improvement, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert hit the brakes. On the eve of its June implementation, no less.
His message: We must do better. The system, while giving sailors more re-enlistment opportunities, still required them to apply through a bureaucratic system that also meant months of waiting to know whether you’d get a quota.
In other words, more red tape just as Greenert is calling to retain more sailors and grow the force.
After some fast discussions, PTS is kaput. But even better, roughly 150,000 sailors are now — with their CO’s endorsement — eligible for easy, automatic approvals for re-enlistments. This includes E-6s, who have been categorically exempted from having to compete with their peers for quotas, as well as any sailors in undermanned skill sets.
It’s rare in the services for a leader to step up as change is imminent and recognize that the solution was unsat. It was a smart move, and one that sailors and their leaders can appreciate.