Enlisted sailors have a variety of ways to advance without going through the “normal” route of taking a test.

Some advancements to petty officer third class and petty officer second class are guaranteed by completing schools or re-enlisting, some spot promotions up to petty officer first class are done by ship or aircraft squadron commanders, and a handful of sailors per year are even advanced to chief petty officer by the Chief of Naval Operations.

Two Navy programs offer sailors the chance to take or change jobs and be promoted as a result. The Selective Training and Re-enlistment program allows sailors to re-enlist for specific jobs and possibly be promoted after completion of a school. The Selective Conversion and Re-enlistment program allows sailors to change jobs to undermanned fields.

“SCORE is an incentive program available for E-6 and below with up to 12 years of service,” said Chief Petty Officer Glaudenio Cruz, career counselor for the Naples-based Fleet Air Mediterranean staff.

“After ‘A’ school, a sailor can be promoted from E-3 to E-4. They can go from E-4 to E-5 with certain ‘C’ schools.”

“A” schools are basic job-specific classes; “C” schools are advanced schools that earn sailors specialty designations in their fields.

Sailors assigned to commands that are considered sea duty can be spot promoted to petty officer third class through petty officer first class by their commanding officer through the Command Advancement Program. Sea duty billets include ships, aircraft squadrons, Seabee battalions and many smaller, deployable units.

Unit commanders have annual limitations on the number of sailors they promote through the program. For commands with less than 100 people it’s two people; for commands with more than 2,000 people, it’s eight.

The Navy also limits the number of second class and first class petty officers advanced through the program. For commands allowed eight CAPs, a maximum of two can be petty officers first class and six petty officers second class. The commander can choose, however, not to promote anyone, or use all eight spots for petty officers third class.

The commander of the Gaeta, Italy-based USS La Salle can advance three people each year. Capt. John Haley chose Petty Officer 2nd Class Warren Pass as one of his three in December 2002.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Pass said about his promotion to E-5. “Tons of people deserved it, but you can’t advance 50 percent of the command.”

Like with any program, there are those sailors who like it and those who don’t.

“There’s two different reactions,” said Pass, who’s been on the La Salle for 2½ years. “Some take a positive route: ‘You did it and I can do it.’

Others have said: ‘He did it and that’s not fair.’ ”

The final way for sailors to advance without taking a test is by being selected as the Chief of Naval Operations sailor of the year. Each year, the CNO promotes four first class petty officers to chief petty officer. One comes from Navy shore commands and one each from Pacific and Atlantic sea commands. The final is the Naval Reserve sailor of the year.

This year’s shore command winner was Chief Petty Officer Marc Medina of Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy. He was promoted to E-7 last month.

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