A software error caused nearly 5,000 sailors to mistakenly receive notices this week informing them that their orders had been cancelled.

The database error was first discovered Monday, according to a Navy Personnel Command release.

The error caused messages to be sent to 4,850 sailors, notifying them that their Letters of Intent, or LOI, had been canceled.

The system was restored by Tuesday and the Navy started notifying affected sailors on Wednesday.

“I want to make clear that no orders were actually cancelled,” Rear Adm. John Meier, director of personnel command’s Career Management Department, said in the release. “My team is reaching out to those Sailors who received the erroneous notifications to assure them that their orders remain on track.”

Human error was the culprit Saturday during data entry of a regularly scheduled manpower management system update, causing a corrupt file to be uploaded to the system, command spokeswoman Katie Suich said in an email.

The Navy introduced the LOI last summer as a way for sailors to begin scheduling moves and other needs before they formally received their permanent change of station, or PCS, orders.

Recurring budget uncertainties and funding shortfalls had led the Navy to cut orders with onerously short lead times.

At the time the Navy announced the LOI program in June, sailors were receiving their orders just two months ahead of their move, on average.

The LOI procedure aims to give sailors the four-to-six-month lead time of regularly scheduled PCS orders.

“We are dedicated to providing our Sailors the best customer service possible and remain committed to ensuring system errors such as this do not occur in the future as we bring our new personnel management processes online as part of our overall personnel transformation initiatives,” Meier said.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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