About 25,000 sailors will get the word this week that they’ll be putting on a new crow as the Navy releases the fall advancement results for active duty, reserve full-time support and selected reserve E-4 through E-6 in time for Thanksgiving.

In all, 90,082 sailors passed this fall’s advancement exams making them eligible to compete for the 25,050 available advancement quotas for those paygrades, a 27 percent chance at moving up.

It’s the second consecutive cycle that opportunity has risen by nearly a full percentage point, up from last spring’s Navy-wide 26 percent advancement opportunity. And it’s nearly two percentage points higher than last fall’s 24.5 percent chance.

Navy officials released the spring quotas data on Monday. The names of those advanced are expected to be released to commands on Tuesday and made public Wednesday.


On the active-duty side, opportunity increased at E-4 and E-5 while slipping slightly at E-6. But the good news is those increases bumped the overall advancement opportunity to 27.4 percent, up from 25.5 percent this past spring and 23.9 percent from last fall.

A total of 82,408 sailors sat for their exams in September, with 79,797 cutting a passing score, a pass rate of 96.7 percent, down slightly from last cycle’s 97 percent.

Active E-4 advancement opportunity increased to 43.3 percent, up from 41.1 percent last cycle, with 20,060 sailors competing for 8,689 available quotas. A total of 20,355 E-3s took the exam and 20,060 passed their tests, a 98.6 percent pass rate.

Active-duty E-5 advancement opportunity increased to 27.3 percent, up from 23.4 percent last cycle, with 33,649 sailors competing for 9,168 quotas. A total of 34,261 third classes took the exam, and the 33,649 who passed made the paygrade’s pass rate 98.2 percent

Active E-6 advancement opportunity dropped slightly to 14.3 percent, down from 14.8 percent last cycle, with 26,088 sailors competing for 3,741 quotas. With 27,892 E-5′s sitting for the exam, the passing rate was 93.6 percent.


After three straight cycles of increased opportunity, the full-time support community saw a slip at all three pay grades this cycle, knocking the overall chance to advance down to 27.6 percent from the previous 37 percent. If there’s good news, though, it’s that the test passing rate is a service-high of 97.8 percent, with 1,657 of the 1,695 sailors passing the exam.

The FTS E-4 advancement opportunity is the best in the service this cycle, with 187 of the 207 test passers expected to advance, a rate of 90.3 which is actually down from last cycle’s 95.4 percent.

The FTS E-5 advancement opportunity dropped to 27.3 percent, down from last cycle’s 46 percent, with 550 successful exam takers competing for 188 quotas.

The FTS E-6 advancement opportunity decreased to 9.2 percent, drastically down from last cycle’s 19.9 percent, with 827 sailors competing for 83 quotas.


Drilling reserve sailors are again seeing significant advancement opportunity, with a 30.8 percent chance to move up.

In all, 8,628 reservists passed their advancement exams and are competing for 2,658 quotas, the selected reserve’s third straight increase in advancement opportunity. This past spring yielded a 28 percent opportunity to advance, and last fall’s rate of advancement sat at 27.1 percent.

The reserve did not provide Navy Times with the number of total exam takers this cycle, so it wasn’t possible to calculate the percentage of those passing.

Reserve E-4 advancement opportunity decreased to just under 66 percent, down from 69.1 percent last cycle, with 1,213 sailors competing for 800 quotas.

Reserve E-5 advancement opportunity increased for the second consecutive cycle to 33.1 percent, up from 29.6 percent last cycle and 25.9 percent last fall. Here, 3,600 sailors are competing for 1,191 quotas.

Reserve E-6 advancement opportunity increased to 17.5 percent, up from last cycle’s 14.4 percent, with 3,815 sailors competing for 667 quotas.

To see how long sailors typically have to wait before moving up to the next rank, see the Navy Times advancement calculator and select your own rating.

Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.

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