SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Sailors held in limbo since April can resume transfers now because the U.S. Navy was given a raft of funding this month, according to Navy Personnel Command.

But do not expect that dream billet to still be waiting.

About 14,000 sailors worldwide must renegotiate the move to a new station — including competitive job positions at sought-after facilities, the command said. The Navy will attempt to honor previous agreements, but some billets have been filled by sailors completing individual augmentee deployments or other support assignments, as well as new accessions.

Sailors who were selected for a billet and awaiting hard-copy orders in April are checking the Navy’s digital registry to see if billets are still available, said Chief Petty Officer Lisa Williams, a career counselor in Sasebo.

Despite the step back, the news that transfers will resume has boosted morale at Sasebo Naval Base in Japan, Williams said.

Williams said she knew of at least 20 sailors from Sasebo who put planned moves on hold due to the money shortfall.

“Some were disappointed because they were banking on certain orders,” she said.

Career counselors can help those servicemembers by making recommendations to prospective commands, in effect putting in a good word for sailors who perform, Williams said.

As usual, a sailor’s performance record will hold a lot of weight in a billet decision, she said.

The hold on permanent change of station orders was expected to remain until October and the start of the Navy’s new fiscal year, but Congress approved additional money for the program as part of the $106 billion supplemental war funding package that passed last week.

The Navy needed $89 million to continue the program, the Navy Personnel Command said.

Like many agencies, the Navy tightened its belt following the international financial crisis that began last year. The service halted routine transfers due to lack of money, but continued sending individual augmentees to the battlefield and transferring sailors out of the Navy.

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