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NAPLES, Italy — Some junior enlisted sailors will have to make their next rank sooner than they do now, according to a new Navy policy announced this week.

As of July 1, changes to High Year Tenure will mean sailors at E-2 rank will have four years to make their next rank, down from six years, according to the Navy. E-3 sailors will now have five years instead of six to make E-4.

Also, for an E-3, passing the Navy-Wide Advancement Exam will no longer be enough to keep his rank for eight years, according to the Jan. 25 announcement.

As of July 1, active and full-time support E-2 and E-3 sailors with active service beyond the High Year Tenure mark will have to separate by March 31, 2013, unless advanced or waived, according to the Navy.

Under the policy changes, sailors will have had a minimum of six opportunities for advancement before reaching the high year tenure mark, the Navy said.

Tenure waivers will be available, according to the Navy. Sailors who receive a waiver for a specific assignment and cannot fulfill their commitment will have that waiver canceled and will have to leave the Navy, transfer to the reserves or retire, the announcement states.

This new policy will not affect sailors who have reached “sanctuary,” which occurs at 18 years of cumulative active duty, according to the Navy.

Also, sailors in nuclear ratings will be managed separately by their community manager.

High Year Tenure policy for sailors in ranks E-4 through E-9 has not changed, the release states.

The changes to the High Year Tenure policy are part of the Navy’s force-shaping plans, Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director of military personnel plans and policy, said in the announcement.

“After a thorough review of the policy, we saw a need for updating the policy to keep pace with and support the other force management tools,” Kurta said. “This change will improve retention and advancement opportunity for top performers.” The announcement comes on the heels of the Navy culling about 3,000 E-4 to E-8 sailors from overmanned job ratings last fall to meet Congressionally mandated force levels.

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