The Navy is steaming ahead with its initiative to offer spot advancements to sailors who volunteer for the toughest jobs to fill.

The spotlight now falls on an “Advancement-to-Position” senior enlisted selection board slated to convene on Sept. 9 in Millington, Tennessee, according to a statement sent to Navy Times.

The board will offer up to 42 goat locker jobs to senior enlisted leaders ready and able to take on billets that traditionally are difficult to fill.

That doubles the number of slots offered last year.

The bulk of the board’s billets — 33 spot advancements — are earmarked for chief petty officers in 11 different ratings, enlisted leaders the Navy deems ready to fill senior chief jobs across the fleet.

And nine eligible senior chiefs will get the opportunity to advance to the grade of master chief in eight different ratings.

“While the Navy may have enough senior enlisted leaders, they are not in the places the Navy needs them, leading sailors at sea” said Cmdr. Chris Stillion, the Shore Allocations officer in the Career Management Department at Navy Personnel Command, in the release.

The Navy began experimenting with “Advancement-to-Position” last summer by filling 19 critical fleet E-9 billets from a pool of 91 senior chiefs who applied to the board.

Officials cited the success of the initiative last month before they announced offering E-6 crows to capable second class petty officers ready and willing to recruit or train the Navy’s newest sailors.

This year, Navy leaders rolled out a key reform: Candidates for advancement get a more detailed look at the available assignments and their duty locations before they apply.

A complete list of the offered jobs is available here.

The Navy wants to fix a problem many enlisted sailors face. When they advance, they’re not always able to get orders quickly for billets that better fit their new grades and skills.

That means senior enlisted leaders who “are not aligned to the billets the Navy needs them to fill," something the board wants to help remedy, Stillion said.

But interested sailors must act quickly. Applications must be submitted electronically or postmarked by Aug. 7.

Officials hope to cut them orders to their new commands and pin on the new anchors within two months of their selections.

The advancements are considered temporary. To make them permanent, selected sailors must be greenlighted by the regularly scheduled senior or master chief selection boards next year.

Those who don’t get the nod or fail to finish their tours will revert back to their previous grades.

For more information on the program, go here.

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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