Navy approves new expeditionary war pin
December 6, 2006
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has approved a new expeditionary warfare pin for enlisted sailors on sea duty who are permanently assigned to Naval Expeditionary Combat Command.
The pin shows that sailors have mastered the skill sets required for expeditionary warfare, Navy officials said.
The Navy Times first reported that the Navy approved the pin for NECC sailors.
About 20,000 sailors are eligible for the pin; more than 3,000 of them are overseas, NECC Force Master Chief Anthony L. Santino told Stars and Stripes.
Eligible sailors include those involved in riverine warfare, naval coastal warfare both active and reserve, and mobile security squadrons, he said.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and Seabees are also part of NECC but must first complete their own warfare programs before they can qualify for this pin, Navy officials said in a Tuesday conference call. Sailors serving as individual augmentees assigned to non-NECC units are not eligible for the new pin.
Individual augmentees permanently assigned to NECC units are eligible for the pin, but there are currently no augmentees so assigned because NECC units are fully manned, officials said.
Individual augmentees make up about 8,500 of the 12,300 sailors serving on the ground in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.
The Navy does not yet have the personnel to test individual augmentees downrange to make sure those attached to other branches of the service have mastered the skill sets in expeditionary warfare required for the pin, a Navy official told Stripes on Monday.
The Navy is considering whether to give all individual augmentees their own pin, badge, ribbon or medal as part of a review of new incentives for sailors serving in combat zones.
Individual augmentees are eligible for noncombat awards from other branches of the service, such as the Army Achievement medal.
There are two sets of skill sets required for the expeditionary warfare pin, said Petty Officer 1st Class Phil Beaufort, an NECC spokesman.
The first, “core competencies,” is a set of skills useful to a servicemember in a hostile environment, such as small-arms proficiency, roadside bomb detection skills and convoy operations, Beaufort said in a Monday e-mail to Stripes.
The second set of skill sets is “unit specific,” meaning a sailor assigned to Naval Coastal Warfare would need to know small-boat operations and other such skills, he said.
Pins such as the expeditionary warfare pin play an important role in sailors’ advancement opportunities, allowing sailors to make NECC their career field, Beaufort said.
“Who are they (promotion boards) going to pick?” He said. “Are they going to pick the guy without a warfare pin, or the guy with one or two pins?”