Armed Forces News

Yokosuka, Japan - March 2017: Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) take the Navy-wide E-4 advancement exam at James D. Kelly Fleet Recreation Center. Ronald Reagan is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, providing a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (Navy photo by MCS 2nd Class Nathan Burke)

Advancement-eligible E-3 seamen will not be able to take fall E-4 exams. The Navy has canceled all such tests for active, full-time support and drilling reserve sailors. The decision was made in order to help curb the spread of covid-19. Instead, advancement eligible seamen will be rank-ordered. The procedure is essentially identical to the one that took place this past spring, with one exception – the fall cycle now will include drilling reservist candidates. The exams initially were scheduled to take place next month.

One group of seamen – drilling reservists who are competing to advancement through the E-4 Prior Service Reenlistment Eligibility – Reserve (PRISE-R) program still will take exams.

Plans also underfoot that would change the way E-5 and E-6 examinations are administered next month, the Navy Military Personnel Command announced. The exams will be administered on a staggered schedule. These exams for advancement to second-class and first-class petty officer will be administered between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31. The personnel command is recommending that administration of the exams be spread out throughout the window, to ensure that testing can be administered in sites that adhere to social-distancing guidelines. Commands also should make every effort to test all candidates in a given rating and pay grade at the same time, in order to “maintain exam integrity.”

As of now, the personnel command hopes to release all results sometime in November. This should be doable, assuming it receives test-result worksheets and answer sheets in a timely manner, the command believes.

“The Navy’s advancement team has developed policy … to ensure the safety of our sailors during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., write in an administrative message to all hands.

Nowell expressed confidence that the modified procedure would ensure “the high standards and culture of learning that drive our fleet enlisted advancement system.