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For 21,374 sailors hoping to move into or up the petty officer ranks, the wait is nearly over.
The chief of naval personnel released the fall 2013 advancement quotas early Thursday (click here), and the advancement list itself is expected to be released Tuesday, a top enlisted leader said.
Overall, the chance to advance across all three paygrades was down slightly — 27.71 percent, down a bit more than a percentage point from the 28.94 percent who moved up in the spring.
But in a decade that has seen wild swings in advancement opportunity, officials point out the chance to move up this fall remains strong.
“As we’ve been able to stabilize the force, we’re excited and want to stress to sailors that overall advancement is now well above the 10-year average. Sailors should be excited about this level of opportunity and get ready to high-five their shipmates this coming Tuesday,” Fleet Master Chief (AW/SW) April Beldo said Thursday morning.
The Navy advances sailors into existing or projected vacancies. Advancement planners project those vacancies out approximately a year, accounting for attrition and taking into account the Navy’s expected force structure at the time.
The good news is that despite budget uncertainty, personnel officials told Navy Times these quotas were built based on the Navy’s current end strength of record, which has the service hovering around 320,000 for the next few years. Any drastic cuts in the Navy’s force because of sequestration almost certainly would reduce advancement chances in future advancement cycles.
For those looking to enter the petty officer ranks, opportunity to make E-4 decreased from 43.77 percent last cycle to 40.23 percent, a drop of 3.54 percentage points.
Opportunity also dropped for those seeking to make E-5 — 1.45 percent to 25.06, down from 26.51 percent this past spring.
But opportunity to make E-6 got a little better — 19.20 percent, up from 17.46 percent last cycle.
And for those who didn’t make it this cycle, chin up: Navy personnel officials say they expect advancements to stay at roughly this level over the next couple of cycles, though individual ratings and paygrades might fluctuate.
“It’s important that leadership, and specifically the chiefs’ mess and first classes, sit down with these sailors who don’t make it and let them know this isn’t the end of their career,” Beldo said.
“These sailors, as soon as possible, should have a career development board that looks at their performance on the test, their evaluations, as well as the realities of advancement in their rating and to get a good understanding of what they need to do to prepare for next cycle.”