Navy officials announced Monday that the service would be canceling E-4 advancement exams for all active-duty and full-time support sailors.
Advancement exams for E-4 through E-6 sailors were postponed in March with the intent to resume regular testing as early as May, but with COVID-19 mitigation efforts ongoing Navy officials opted to cancel the E-4 exams entirely, according to a release Friday.
Approximately 20,000 sailors currently holding the rank of E-3 were scheduled to take the exam, which is traditionally administered in large groups and in spaces that would eliminate the service’s ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the release said.
“Due to the large number of Sailors eligible to participate in this exam and the added difficulty of administering the exam to all of these Sailors while implementing Force Health Protection Guidance measures, to include adequate social distancing measures, Navy has determined that it is in the best interest and safety of our Sailors to not administer the E-4 exam,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John B. Nowell said.
Advancements will instead be determined using a modified Final Multiple Score that excludes the added calculation of the advancement exam.
Calculated categories will include a sailor’s Performance Mark Average, the accrual of awards, points from Service in Paygrade, Pass Not Advanced points, and education, the release said.
Job performance, or the PMA category, will account for nearly 75 percent of each sailor’s final score, Navy officials said.
With over 90 percent of the service’s E-5 and E-6 active-duty and FTS advancement exams completed prior to implementation of social distancing practices, Navy officials have no designs on canceling and will aim to administer the remaining tests in small group settings.
Individual commands can administer the remaining E-5 and E-6 exams between May 21 and June 3, the release said.
Navy officials also announced that any Selected Reserve sailors who have not yet taken advancement exams will remain eligible to do so during July drill weekends.