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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE — The Navy’s decision to give more weight to performance in deciding promotions is being met with mixed reactions from Pacific sailors.

The new changes come after criticism from commanders that their best performers were not getting promoted, according to Navy officials.

Starting in August, points for exam results, time in rate and PNA (passing, but not advancing) will play a lesser role in determining who advances to E-4 through E-6.

At Naval Air Station Atsugi, Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Morrison, who has served for more than four years, believes there are pros and cons to the new formula.

“I think it is good that a hard-charger is allowed to be promoted,” Morrison said, “but at the same time, in many ratings PNA points are critical to get promoted before reaching high-year tenure.”

With 13 years of service, Petty Officer 1st Class Arthur Camula also isn’t entirely convinced the changes are the right move for everyone.

“When you are more senior and you change commands, it is typical for your performance mark average to drop while you learn your new job,” Camula said. “The old way helped level the playing field for everyone."

Even though Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Lawrence is relatively junior with just about four years of service, he also was concerned about PNA points.

“When I got to my command, I worked hard and earn all of my qualifications. But because I was new, my performance mark was a ‘non-observed,’” the Atsugi-based sailor said. “So for me, PNA points are very important. I think they need to stay the way they were.”

Others had other views.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex Horton has been in the Navy for three years. Compared to many sailors, he has been promoted quickly.

“The way I look at it, if you work hard, the change will help you,” Horton said. “If you don’t give your all, the change will hurt you.”

Performance also is the bottom line for Seaman Erik Valenzuela.

“It seems to me that if you work hard, you should get advanced,” said the two-year sailor.

At Yokosuka Naval Base, Petty Officer 2nd Class Shavonne Davis, with eight years service, said hard work, not longevity, is the key to promotion.

“I think the change is a good thing,” Davis said. “It’s hard to get promoted as a postal clerk, so if you are going up against someone who has been in for a long time and has a lot of PNA points, they might not know their job very well and still be promoted over someone who is newer but a better performer.”

Another Yokosuka-based sailor, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ann McTaggart, said the new rules allow sailors to earn their advancement.

“The change allows people to advance based on hard work,” McTaggart said. “This way, the best sailors will be promoted, not just the sailors who have taken the test the most.”


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