Saturday, June 09, 2007

Navy drops degree requirement for Chief Petty Officers

Above: Chief Petty Officers stand at parade rest prior to a 21-gun salute during a burial at sea ceremony aboard the USS John F. Kennedy. Advancement to Chief Petty Officer carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation scores, and specialty examinations -- and uniquely -- a peer review: a Petty Officer First Class can only advance after review by a selection board of serving Senior and Master Chief Petty Officers. Advancement into the Chief Petty Officer grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted naval ranks.

Thousands of chiefs can now rest easy. In a stunning reversal of policy, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Mullen has rescinded the nearly 2-year-old policy requiring chiefs have an associate degree to compete for advancement to E-8 in 2010...

“This was simply the right thing to do,” Campa told Navy Times. “Our research told us that 35 percent of chief petty officers were at extreme risk of not being eligible to advance based on this requirement alone — that is not an insignificant number.”

Hardest hit, he said, would have been those in the sea-intensive ratings and those experiencing high operations tempo due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Campa’s review found those most at risk are those in the new ratings of special warfare boat operators, where 68 percent were not expected to be able to complete their degrees, along with 63 of special warfare operators — also known as SEALs.

Read the rest at Navy Times