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Enlisted sailors with more than 20 years of service may find themselves out of a job by June, according to a Navy message Monday.

Performance-based continuation boards, the Navy’s latest end-strength shaping effort, are scheduled to kick off this September and will determine if a sailor is going to be recommended for continuation in service or forced to retire.

The program is focusing on sailors in the ranks of E-7 to E-9 with more than 20 years of active service. According to the Navy Personnel Command Web site, high-year tenure is currently 24 years for chief petty officers (E-7), 26 for senior chiefs (E-8) and 30 for master chiefs (E-9).

Commanders will be notified by November of sailors who are not selected for continuation. Those sailors will be required to transfer to the fleet reserve or retire by June 30, the message stated.

The move is designed to ensure the Navy retains top-performing sailors and is one of many force-shaping efforts the service currently has in place, officials said.

Earlier this year the Navy began cracking down on unfit sailors, administratively separating those who failed three or more physical fitness assessments in a four-year period.

More recently, the Navy expanded its perform-to-serve campaign to sailors with 10 to 14 years of service, now requiring them to submit an application to remain in their current rating. And last month the service suspended the selective re-enlistment bonus program, which had offered up to $90,000 to sailors with specific job skills.

The continuation boards, which consist of a dozen senior officers as well as 70 fleet, force and command master chiefs, will examine the last five years of the sailors’ records, the message stated. If a history of substandard performance is present, the board may review an individual sailor’s entire career.

Navy officials say quotas aren’t being established for the program.

"Documented misconduct and substandard performance will be the primary reasons a chief petty officer is not continued," Senior Chief Petty Officer Johannes Gonzales, regional career counselor at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, said Wednesday. "These boards are based on an individual’s performance and have nothing to do with numbers or rate management."

According to Gonzales, the board will look at a number of factors, but says one imperfection in a record shouldn’t give anyone reason to be worried.

"As chief petty officers, we operate under professional guiding principles," Gonzales said. "The ones leaving are the ones who have not kept up with those principles."

Advancement to chief petty officer hit a 10-year low this year, according to the Navy’s 2010 advancement quotas.


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