Second class petty officers willing to take on hard jobs in places their shipmates refuse to go now have the chance, and the Navy will reward them by advancing their careers.

The sea service announced earlier this month that it’s making its Advancement-to-Position program permanent. Sailors who are within their detailing window and have taken the most recent E-6 advancement exam for which the results have been published — in March — are eligible to apply, said Cmdr. Chris Stillion, shore allocation and placement detailer for Navy Personnel Command’s Career Management Department.

The next detailing window opens Oct. 25. Sailors have until Nov. 6 to make their selections.

For this cycle, the Navy will offer 15 billets, though Stillion did not specify what they were. Officials now will focus on filling “sea-centric positions," but in the future the Navy plans to offer a mix of shore and sea assignments, Stillion said in an email.

The critical billets have been hard to fill historically, he said.

The Navy tested several pilot programs during the last two years and ran a study that found that Advancement-to-Position, or A2P, proved more popular as an incentive than money, Stillion said.

“We believe that sailors understood that A2P was a more substantial incentive in the long run and the total payout would be greater,” Stillion wrote.

Candidates will be selected on a competitive basis. Those picked will be eligible for frocking after completing all training and will be advanced after checking in at their duty station.

The billets will be announced in the Career Management System-Interactive Detailing under the A2P category and not all rates will have them available to them.

“This gives our sailors an incentive to stay in and go where the Navy needs them to go,” said Vice Admiral John Nowell, chief of naval personnel said in a prepared statement emailed to Navy Times.

“The Navy gets a better fit in the job and we get a happier, more satisfied sailor.”

Courtney Mabeus-Brown is the senior reporter at Air Force Times. She is an award-winning journalist who previously covered the military for Navy Times and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and more.

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