USA: More than 3600 Sailors Apply for VSDP
Just three months since announced, more than 360 Sailors have applied for the Voluntary Sea Duty Program (VSDP), officials said April 24.
“We’re very pleased with the response from the Fleet,” said Capt. Kent Miller, director, Enlisted Distribution Division, Navy Personnel Command. “The intent of this program is to focus on improving sea duty manning, with deploying units and Fleet balance being prime considerations.”
Announced in NAVADMIN 043/12, Navy established VSDP for highly trained and motivated Sailors to fill critical billets at sea in support of Navy’s global mission.
Under the program, Sailors may apply to extend their enlistment in their current sea duty billet beyond their prescribed sea tour, terminate their shore duty early in order to extend their enlistment to obtain new orders to a sea duty billet, or accept back-to-back sea duty orders. The sea duty assignment may be on board ships, squadrons, or other qualified sea duty assignments.
“I thought I would take the opportunity to transfer back to Bangor Submarine Base,” said Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SS) Matthew C. McKinsey, assigned to Naval Ocean Processing Facility (NOPF) Whidbey Island. McKinsey’s current shore assignment and location of family members require the Sailor, who has served 10 years, to commute two hours a day each way.
Volunteers will be assigned to commands within the same geographic location as the current command if available, providing the benefit of geographic stability for Sailors and family members. The Navy will also consider Sailors’ requests for out-of-area moves.
“[VSDP] would allow me to spend more time with my family, increase my financial flexibility and give me a higher sense of job accomplishment by working in my rate and exposure and experience to multiple job tasking,” said McKinsey.
Sailors accepted into VSDP will be able to defer their Perform-to-Serve (PTS) window to the minimum obligated service requirement for the orders negotiated, typically 24 months.
“PTS deferment allows VSDP Sailors to extend their current enlistment for orders or extend at their current assignment without a PTS quota,” said Miller.
Eligibility criteria for PTS deferment is outlined in the NAVADMIN.
VSDP also provides Sailors a chance to improve their records and increase their competitive edge through sustained superior performance at sea.
“I utilized the Voluntary Sea Duty Program to negotiate for a specific billet,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW/SCW/AW) Shannun La Morte, command career counselor, Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk. “As a single mother of a 12 year old and as an NC, I was aware the type of billet I needed for progression. Thankfully there was a sea billet in the area to accommodate.”
Volunteers will not be required to accept a billet they do not desire. The detailers will work with volunteers during two CMS/ID cycles to find desirable orders. If no match is found during this time period, Sailors can reapply.
This program does not change eligibility or benefits for the Sea Duty Incentive Pay Program and Sailors may take advantage of both programs concurrently.
Requests will be accepted until Sept. 30. All 1306/7 requests should be forwarded to Navy Personnel Command via the Chain of Command.
Naval Today Staff , April 25, 2012; Image: navy