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Navy Now Putting E8 and E9 Sailors into Critical Billets Fleetwide – How You Can Help

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Senior enlisted Sailors are needed to step up and fill critical billets both at sea and ashore, where their training, leadership and experience are needed right now.

This need means many senior Sailors will find themselves packing their seabags very soon to help the Navy raise its warfighting readiness across the fleet. For senior Sailors, now’s the time to act to ensure you have a voice in the process.

Announced Sept. 9 in NAVADMIN 202/21, the Navy is now evaluating roughly 2,500 E8 and E9 Sailors currently who are “misaligned” with the billet they are filling. This includes those above their billet paygrade – an E9 in an E8 billet – or those aligned to unfunded billet requirements.

The plan is to move misaligned Sailors into billets across the fleet, matching their paygrade expertise and leadership abilities while improving the senior enlisted fit to billets on the deckplates.

“This is completely geared toward ensuring our force is ready to fight by placing the right leaders in the right jobs,” said Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Force Master Chief Chris Detje.

“Optimization is not simply looking at our newly initiated chiefs and moving those in excess.  We are examining operational gaps and we are going to place the right leaders in those jobs, based on paygrade alignment.”

Wasting no time, personnel officials plan to begin this migration with transfers early in Fiscal Year 2022. Underway is a billet scrub that will locate all misaligned senior enlisted Sailors around the fleet and identifying the critical billets where their skills are needed.

Navy Personnel Command is not doing this alone, but with the full help and support of the fleet commanders. Also working hard on the issue are personnel staffs from the FleetReadiness Integrators, Type Commanders and Budget Submitting Offices.

“Sailors who know they’re in a misaligned status can step up and take a role in determining where they will go,” Detje said.” They can also step up and be a part of the process.

“If a Sailor knows they are in a misaligned billet, they need to start preparing as if they know they are headed back to sea or an operationally critical shore billet.,” he said.

“A proactive approach would be to have that conversation at home now so that no one is surprised around the beginning of the new year – we will be placing our senior and master chiefs where they are needed.”

Navy chief petty officers have traditionally been considered the “Backbone of the Fleet.” Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Bill Houlihan, senior enlisted Sailor in NPC’s Career Management Department (PERS-4) said there is a risk of those words ringing hollow if, during the Strategic Competition, the Navy isn’t placing its most experienced leaders in the jobs they are needed most.  

 “We, as a Mess, can’t rally around the CPO Creed and refuse to acknowledge one of the most important parts of it.  More is expected of our senior enlisted leaders. More is demanded, by our Navy and our Sailors,” he said  “There are gaps at sea and jobs billeted for master chiefs and senior chiefs currently being filled by chiefs or first class petty officers.  Technical and institutional expertise is one of our CPO guiding principles -- we need that expertise at sea where it belongs – and being provided by leaders earmarked for those jobs.”

For more details or to register for the manning summit, read NAVADMIN 202/21 at www.mynavyhr.navy.mil

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