Navy officials have begun notifying nearly 190 active-duty, full-time support and reserve E-7 through E-9 sailors that they will be forced to retire by the end September.

In December, the fiscal year 2018 Senior Enlisted Continuation Board reviewed the records of almost 8,300 retirement-eligible senior enlisted sailors for misconduct and declining performance. A total of 188 — 160 active, 12 full-time support and 16 reservists — will not be allowed to continue serving.

Even though the Navy is again growing end strength, officials say the board remains necessary to clean out the senior enlisted ranks and make way for junior sailors.

This year’s board again saw an uptick in the numbers of active-duty and full-time support sailors being forced to retire, up from 143 active-duty and 9 FTS sailors who were forced out two years ago — when the board was last held.

However, the percentage of those not continued was the lowest in the history of the board at 2.27 percent, slightly below the FY15 board, which had a 2.32 non-continuation rate.

The news is good for drilling reservists, with just 16 not being allowed to continue, way down from 69 just two years ago.

The board has been held seven of the last nine fiscal years — no board was held in FY14 and FY17. Over that time span, a total of 1,251 senior enlisted have been forced to retire, about 4 percent of the total 53,799 sailors who were reviewed.

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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