Almost 8,000 Navy chiefs face ax; sailors could advance

Changing the language from ‘budget cuts’ to ‘performance checks’ is now how the US military is being purged of its senior personnel not in lockstep with the current presidency’s agenda and plan. America continues suicidally disarming while its adversaries, bent on taking the US out, are modernizing, advancing qualitatively and quantitatively with each day that passes by.

America is at the point where the Russians and Chinese are likely equal in military might and capability — or perhaps have even crossed that threshold.


WASHINGTON — Almost 8,000 senior enlisted personnel must go before a continuation board later this year to determine whether they can continue to serve or must retire.

The board — the first since early 2013 — will convene Oct. 27, according to a Navy document released Aug. 14.

At risk are between 7,500 and 8,000 retirement-eligible active and reserve E-7s, E-8s and E-9s with at least at least three years’ time in rate.

But there is a big upside to the process: Clearing out senior enlisted who have engaged in misconduct or whose performance has slipped noticeably makes way for hot running sailors to move up.

The board has no exceptions; even the most senior sailors — up to and including Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens — will have their records reviewed.

“It’s an opportunity for us, as chief petty officers, to police ourselves,” said Fleet Master Chief April Beldo, senior enlisted adviser to the chief of naval personnel, in a July 30 interview.

“Expectations for continued service depend on maintaining performance,” she said. “As chief petty officers, we’re accountable to the Navy, our sailors and ourselves for our actions — and that is really what this is all about.”

The board has no quotas, meaning no mandatory cuts to make. It’s the board members’ job simply to review records and decide who gets to stay in and who must retire — what officials call a “pure quality cut.”

The Navy has held such boards — every year but one since fiscal 2010, the last in February of 2013. To date, 30,850 records have been reviewed, with a total of 1,381 chiefs being told to retire — an overall 4.48 percent chance of being sent home.

The fiscal 2014 board was skipped because of a decision made in 2013 by Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, then chief of naval personnel. Scheduling conflicts had caused the fiscal 2013 board to slip into early calendar year 2013. Officials realized that a fiscal 2014 board would have to be come almost immediately after the 2013 non-selects were required to retire.

“We decided (that) to do another one right on the heels of the last one wasn’t a good idea,” Beldo said. “Based on everything that was going on — sequestration, manning at sea issues — CNP made the decision, supported by the CNO and MCPON, not to do one for fiscal year 2014.”

The watch list

The 2015 board will be looking at the same types of issues as previous boards, according to the NavAdmin.

“This board’s purpose is to evaluate the performance of our chief petty officers and determine whether they should continue on in active service,” Beldo said. “It has absolutely nothing to do with force-shaping, or downsizing, if you will — it’s simply a performance check.”

Every record gets an initial look, as with promotion boards. If the board finds nothing adverse, the sailor is selected for continuation.

If certain negative indicators are found, the board is required to deliberate further on whether that chief stays or goes.

Full article: Almost 8,000 Navy chiefs face ax; sailors could advance (USA Today)

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