USA: Plan Ahead When Seeking PTS

Plan Ahead When Seeking PTS

Perform to Serve (PTS) is a force-management tool and continuum of service initiative that helps 21st Century Sailors continue their Navy career, officials said Jan. 2.

“Sailors need to be engaged with their chain of command and the chain of command needs to be engaged with its Sailors,” said Force Master Chief (AW/SW/NAC) Jon Port, Navy Personnel Command (NPC). “A career development board is essential when a Sailor checks on board and gives a snapshot of where a Sailor is and what they need to do to get ready for Perform to Serve.”

When designated enlisted Sailors in pay grades E3-E6 with less than 14 years of service are within 12 months of their end of active obligated service as extended (SEAOS) date, they must compete for a PTS quota to continue their career. Sailors also require PTS approval prior to their projected rotation date (PRD) if they have less than 24 months of contract time remaining and need to obligate additional service for permanent change of station orders.

The average number of all PTS applications received each month is approximately 21,000 which include applications for active-component Navy, Full-Time Support Reserve and Selected Reserve opportunities.

A Sailor’s command career counselor uses the Fleet Rating Identification Engine-PTS (FR-PTS) program to provide the Sailor with quota availability in their current rating and other ratings they may qualify to convert to. Factors in the conversion application process include needs of the Navy within a Sailor’s year group (YG), Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery score, and legal, medical or physical status.

The FR-PTS algorithm ranks Sailors using the following performance indicators:

  • 1. Highest pay grade – Senior pay grades will rank highest in the system.
  • 2. Selected-Not Yet Advanced – Frocked Sailors rank higher than those not yet selected for advancement.
  • 3. Average of five most recent evaluations – Early Promote, Must Promote, and Promotable have numeric values of 5, 4, and 3, respectively. (Not Observed Reports must be included but do not count against the average). If five evaluations have not been received, list all a Sailor has. If missing evaluations are discovered, the application will be invalidated.
  • 4. Critical Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) – Critical NECs rank higher than non-critical NECs.
  • 5. Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) results – PFAs are calculated based on the number of failures within the past four-year period.
  • 6. Proximity to SEAOS – Sailors closer to their SEAOS rank higher in PTS because they have fewer looks remaining.

Sailors who apply for a PTS quota monthly, starting 12 months from their SEAOS, will receive one review per month and at least six reviews total. Quota approvals will be granted monthly after a final review of all PTS applications.

If additional obligated service is incurred for an approved PTS application, or a period of 13 months passes since the quota was issued, it is no longer valid. Without a PTS quota, a Sailor will be required to separate at their end of active obligated service. Sailors should speak with their command career counselor for more information about quota extensions and expiration dates.

NAVADMIN 352/10 explains the FR-PTS policies and procedures, and includes specific timelines Sailors have to meet to stay in the Navy.

A PTS application must be submitted even if a Sailor intends to separate from the Navy or is not recommended for reenlistment. This allows leadership to forecast the need for replacements through the selection process and to determine additional conversion opportunity that may be available in other ratings and YGs.

Currently, about eight percent of Sailors fail to submit a PTS application, which makes forecasting difficult. A Sailor’s PTS application 12 months prior to their SEAOS or PRD is key to receiving a timely PTS quota and being able to search for jobs in CMS/ID.

According to Port, Sailors who require PTS approval must receive a quota before they apply for orders, reenlist or extend, but a quota is not needed for a Sailor to speak with their detailer about future assignments.

“You don’t need a PTS quota to talk with your detailer, but you’re going to need one to stay in the Navy,” said Port. “What we often find is that Sailors are waiting for a PTS quota and they’re waiting cycle after cycle, but in the meantime, they haven’t worked through CMS/ID for a set of orders and they paint themselves into a corner.”

Some factors a detailer must weigh when matching Sailors to jobs include a Sailor’s desires, qualifications, career progression and cost to the Navy.

“I think the most important thing for Sailors to remember with PTS today is to be flexible,” said Port. “If there are only so many available billets in your rating and you’re not quite making the cut based on seniority, evaluations, sea-shore flow, or something else and you don’t have the flexibility to convert, then you run the risk of being told to go home. So if your mindset is, ‘I want to be career Navy,’ you need to be flexible.”

Naval Today Staff, January 3, 2013; Image: US Navy