Program aims to match top undesignated sailors with careers
July 10, 2009
NAPLES, Italy — Each year, some 2,000 sailors graduate from basic training and join the fleet without choosing a career field or attending a Navy technical school.
With no specific job training, the undesignated sailors (as they are known) perform a variety of jobs on base, such as office work, cleaning, cooking or assisting with maintenance. If they’re lucky, they may be assigned to work in jobs they might want pursue in the future.
Now, the Navy is looking to take the top undesignated sailors and give them a full-time career.
In a message to the fleet, the Navy announced it would start putting these sailors "on a career track that balances Navy requirements and sailor choice."
The goal is to get undesignated sailors into specific jobs within two years of reporting to their first command, according to the message.
"Some ratings are difficult to qualify for in recruiting. That is one reason why in-service designation can be so valuable," said Lt. Candice Tresch, spokeswoman for the Navy Personnel Command. "Identifying peak performers and guiding them to these challenging ratings is a win-win for the Navy and for the sailor."
Depending on the rating, or job specialty, sailors will either have to pass an advancement exam for that particular job or complete an apprenticeship training school. For careers that don’t require schooling — such as religious programs coordinator or gunner’s mate — sailors with more than a year at their command may be slipped right into the job.
Command career counselors use a computer-based tracking tool, Fleet Rating Identification Engine, to determine eligibility requirements and manning levels for each job rating.
"Commands should hold career development boards for new personnel as soon as they check onboard, especially if they’re undesignated," said Petty Officer 1st Class Jorge Delgado, the career counselor for Naval Support Activity Naples. "The sooner these sailors are identified, the better chance they have of qualifying for the job they want."