USA: CNP Tours Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
The U.S. Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) to meet with Sailors, May 22.
Sailors from commands in the Hawaii region gathered at Bloch Arena on JBPHH for an all-hands call where Vice Adm. Bill Moran, CNP, discussed petty officer advancement opportunities, changes to the advancement policy, the Command Advancement Program (CAP), sea duty incentives and questions and answers with Sailors.
Moran addressed the slight reduction in advancement opportunities for Sailors looking to promote to E4-E6.
“Retention is strong, as more and more high quality Sailors are deciding to ‘stay Navy,’ causing a down tick in the advancement rate,” said Moran. “Advancements, at or near the ten-year average, was what we expected and we are just about there. However, moving forward, the goal is greater stability across the board, in end-strength, advancement rates and community health.”
The new NAVADMIN 114/14 announced revisions to the U.S. Navy’s enlisted advancement policy. Changes were designed to reward sustained superior performance and increase the role of the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief in the advancement of Sailors. They also include updates to the Command Advancement Program (CAP).
Commanding officers will still maintain the authority to select Sailors for meritorious advancement. The change simplifies the program’s timeline to a single CAP season which allows advancement planners to factor in CAP selections before setting advancement quotas.
“I want to be clear, CAP isn’t going anywhere, the number of CAP quotas isn’t going to change,” Moran said. “The new changes simply add structure to when CAPs can occur–ensuring we balance rating health with rewarding performance.”
May is the first month that increases to Career Sea Pay are in effect and Moran said that he will continue to work the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) on additional incentives to reward Sailors assigned to sea duty.
The revisions to the advancement policy also updated the Final Multiple Score (FMS).
Fleet Master Chief April Beldo, senior enlisted advisor to the CNP, said these changes introduce a new FMS that increases the weight on areas where Sailors can demonstrate their performance and further empower command triads in the advancement process.
Beldo also emphasized the significance of visiting Sailors directly, at the U.S. Navy commands around the world.
“I always learn something, every trip that myself and CNP take because being in D.C., sometimes we don’t get the rest of the story,” said Beldo. “So when we travel, that is our purpose – to hear what our Sailors, E-1 to O-9, have to say, because sometimes the information gets filtered. We learn something all the time. The purpose of us coming out here is to let them know we are not making decisions in a vacuum and we come out here to listen to suggestions,” said Beldo.
As for gaining input from Sailors and implementing changes, according to Baldo it is done carefully and with purpose. “We’re not going to be able to change everything but it gives us an opportunity to hear from the fleet and then we can give them feedback eye to eye. If you manage Sailors’ expectations and you’re upfront and honest with them, they appreciate that. They might not always agree with it, and that’s okay, but at least they understand it and we want them to understand where the U.S. Navy is coming from.”
Many of the Sailors in attendance appreciated the direct interaction and efforts made by CNP to keep them informed.
“Any time you’re trying to be a good leader, first and foremost your thought is your assets, and personnel are your greatest assets,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jeffery Ketchum, Naval Health Clinic Hawaii. “So to get a feel for what’s going on within the U.S. Navy from the lower levels up, it’s huge for the CNP and Fleet Master Chief to take the time to come out and get our opinions and our thoughts on how we can continue to improve processes throughout the U.S. Navy. In my particular instance, it was a force multiplier and improved efficiency.”
Press Release, May 26, 2014; Image: US Navy