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Do you have a service-record horror story? Tell us at
. Include your rate/rank and duty station.
Navy Times asked readers to share their personal experiences with service records. Here are some examples. Sailors asked to remain anonymous in telling their stories:
Updating one’s record is near impossible. Documents must be submitted to the personnel office to be sent in to the system. Most of these offices are manned by sailors who just don’t care about their job enough to follow through with what they are doing.
Updating awards is a joke. Apparently [Navy Department Awards Web Services] is the official source for all things awards related, and yet it is not even a secure site.
I have been in the Navy for 11 years and not a single one of my awards is reflected on NDAWS and only half of them are even reflected on my ESR.
As a first class petty officer who is eligible for chief, my prospective promotion is dependent on the accuracy of my record, which is convoluted, confusing and totally out of my control to manage. — Machinist’s Mate 1st Class, San Diego
The transition from paper to electronic record helped my career!
Everything was transferred to my ESR just fine except my [nonjudicial punishment] case from a few months prior.
I had gone [unauthorized absence] for two days and was awarded restriction upon my return.
None of that was evidenced in my ESR, so when I came up for [Perform to Serve re-enlistment approval], I was approved and allowed to re-enlist without any negative marks on my first enlistment. — Damage Controlman 3rd Class, San Diego
Honestly where do I start? Whose fault is it to keep track of everything, mine or admin? Depending on who you ask, you will get a different answer.
My warfare is AW/NAC/EXW. With that said, my record currently lacks two of those warfare devices, one of which I have had for 10-plus years.
During a Naval Special Warfare tour, I had a warfare device and a [Joint Service Achievement Medal] that I was awarded, and they failed to put both in my service record. I have the paperwork for both; however, when I gave that to my current command, they said it was [the special warfare command’s] job and expected them to do it.
Needless to say, my command didn’t update it, either. So please ask the senior brass what I am to do at this point.
I could go on and on. — Naval Aircrewman (Avionics) 1st Class (AW/NAC/EXW), East Coast
The current record system is absolutely fragmented! I have documents listed in my ESR that are missing in my OMPF and vice versa.
What makes things even worse is that my personal awards are also supposed to be reflected on the U.S. Navy Awards website. But I have awards listed in my ESR, missing on my OMPF and NDAWS.
The current system is broken and needs to be corrected immediately. Missing documents in a service member’s record directly impact their promotion status and their career. I’m certain that this has had a negative impact on a significant number of sailors. — Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SW/AW)
On my 15-year anniversary date, I received a message stating I shall choose between High 3 or the Redux retirement plan. I elected not to receive the career status “redux” bonus.
In May 2012, I received the redux payment totaling $30,000.
I had to go through the painstaking process of paying all the funds back.
After 12 months and a letter to the Board for Correction of Naval Records, it has been determined that Navy Personnel Command did in fact make a mistake.
I am still waiting for this to reflect in my records after a total of 13 months. — Chief Petty Officer, Patuxent River, Md.