Navy extends new program to help sailors avoid High-Year Tenure separation
Stars and Stripes November 22, 2023
WASHINGTON – The Navy is ending a controversial program that requires sailors to move up the ranks within a certain timeframe or face discharge, personnel officials said.
Instead, the Navy said it will continue its pilot High-Year Tenure Plus program, which offers more flexibility for sailors who aren’t being promoted on schedule.
Under the old High-Year Tenure, or HYT, program, sailors who didn’t meet the promotion timetable would be involuntarily separated or transferred to the Navy Reserve. The intent of the program was to weed out underperforming sailors.
In a personnel memo on Monday, the service said the new High-Year Tenure Plus program was being extended indefinitely.
It does not mandate involuntary separations for sailors who don’t meet the promotion milestones. The memo says the new program, which will become permanent at the start of fiscal 2025, applies to all active-duty sailors and members of the service’s Selected Reserve.
The Navy suspended the old program and began testing the new one a year ago.
“This suspension means more of our talented and experienced sailors can stay in the Navy,” Rear Adm. James Waters III, a Navy personnel official, said when the old program was suspended last December.
“The Navy recognizes we are in a challenging recruiting environment and is employing levers to retain qualified sailors.”
The Navy’s decision comes the military faces recruiting and retention challenges. The Navy said last month that it missed its active-duty recruiting goal for 2023 by several thousand sailors.
For 2024, the service aims to recruit about 43,000 active-duty sailors.
In 2019, the Air Force began allowing airmen to re-enlist for indefinite periods if they had at least 12 years of service.