Indefinite Reenlistment for Senior Petty Officers
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The U.S. Navy has been studying a policy of indefinite reenlistment for Senior Petty Officers (Grades E-6 to E-9) for about ten years. This policy requires all sailors with a rank of E-6 to E-9 to reenlist indefinitely, rather than execute reenlistment contracts (the current policy). Their new separation date becomes either the year they are required to separate (their high year of tenure if not promoted) or their retirement date (usually a voluntary choice). Of course, a sailor can request to leave service at any time, which mirrors the officer system. This study uses three criteria to analyze the new policy: management flexibility, fairness to members and cost. It finds that personnel management in the Navy would be improved because sea billet manning could be increased in critical ratings; that the policy would be equitable after several years (although some current members could be impacted negatively); and, that costs for incentive pay could increase by $1.4 M annually. A survey of officers at the Naval Postgraduate School (December, 2008) supports the view that indefinite reenlistment would benefit the Navy. This study also presents an implementation plan for conversion to indefinite reenlistment. A phase-in approach is taken where critical skills (defined as ratings where sea billet manning < 90%) are given the option of conversion at the present time. Those that choose to remain under the current system (reenlistment contracts) could do so until retirement, but if promoted they would be converted to the new system. All other sailors would be required to convert to indefinite reenlistment in FY 2009.
Sponsored Report (for Acquisition Research Program)
NPS Report NumberNPS-HR-08-007
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