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Amid job cuts, more sailors to gain chief promotions in 2013

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — About 24 percent more sailors will earn promotions to chief petty officer in 2013 than in the current fiscal year, after multiple programs have forced out sailors in overmanned ratings.

Data recently released on the Navy’s website showed the overall increase over both this year and 2011, when just over 18 percent of E-6 sailors were selected to become Navy chiefs.

The selection board began reviewing the records of about 18,500 E-6 sailors when it convened June 18 at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn., according to Navy documents. Of those reviewed, 4,434 will be selected, according to the data.

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Several of the Navy’s largest job fields will see promotion rates rise. Information systems technicians will have a 20 percent selection rate in 2013, up from 12 percent this year. Master-at-arms promotions will more than double in 2013, to a 23 percent selection rate.

A few job areas, several of which are in the aviation fields, will see reduced promotion opportunities next year.

A Navy Personnel Command news release issued Wednesday cited the new figures as evidence the “Navy’s force management initiatives are having some positive results.”

However, the new opportunities have come at the expense of others’ jobs.

During the past year, an enlisted retention board chose 3,000 sailors for involuntary separation in 31 ratings determined to be overmanned.

In 2009, the Navy expanded its Perform-to-Serve program, which requires sailors in ranks E-3 to E-6 with 14 years or less of service to justify why they should be allowed to re-enlist in the Navy and continue their current jobs.

The cuts have come among record retention that Navy leaders have attributed to the poor domestic economy.

In February, Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, chief of naval personnel, told Stars and Stripes that he did not foresee convening any retention boards through fiscal 2014.

Without further job cuts, the bump in promotion rates may not last very long.

“It is expected that (promotion) opportunity will move slightly downward in coming years and level off,” according to the news release.

slavine@pstripes.osd.mil

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