Armed Forces News

Some shore-based sailors with critical skills could soon be ordered to return to sea. The Navy Personnel Command (NPC) has instituted a program that increases detailers’ authority to transfer these sailors to sea billets from shore assignments before they reach their projected rotation dates (PRDs). The change would affect sailors in pay grades E-4 through E-9 — second-class through master chief petty officers.
Under the Sailor Early Return to Sea (SERTS) program, sailors in key rates or who hold critical Navy Enlisted Classification Codes could be prime candidates for an early return to sea duty.

Considerations include:

* Length of time in a shore billet.
* Current or frocked pay grade.
* Fleet experience.
* Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) codes held.
* Types of previous sea duty.
* Remaining obligated service.

Before any sailor would be returned to sea duty under SERTS, he or she must have completed at least between 18 and 23 months of shore duty. They would not transfer to sea until they have finished at least 24 months on shore. Sailors in some billets — including recruit division commanders, recruiters, brig duty, instructors and special warfare operators — will not be considered for SERTS. Sailors with nuclear qualifications would continue to be detailed through the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

SERTS selectees in senior grades could be assigned billet requirements anywhere within their pay band. For instance, supervisors — sailors in pay grades E-8 (senior chief petty officer) and E-9 (master chief petty officer) could be called upon to fill billets normally held by an E-7 (chief petty officer) or E-8.

Sailors who are selected will be notified by NPC. They then would have 15 days to submit an adverse impact statement. More information is on NPC’s web site, www.npc.navy.mil.