MARCH 27, 2020 – The Navy’s parallel battles to halt the spread of the coronavirus while keeping the fleet manned is now an opportunity for many officers and enlisted to extend their careers.
Sailors willing to extend in critical billets at sea and ashore could find themselves benefiting from the Navy’s willingness to offer waivers and even extra cash to stay put for now.
In addition, the Navy is also offering separated Sailors with needed skills the chance to get back in uniform.
“The Navy is on a deliberate path to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and maintain operational, Sailor and family readiness,” Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, the Navy’s top uniformed personnel officer said March 26, in NAVADMIN 089/20.
“Due to the uncertainty regarding the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the mandated all stop on PCS travel, and the resulting effect on the U.S. economy, the incentives and extensions in this NAVADMIN will provide stability to both the Navy and our families.”
Here are the details:
Sailors with approved separation or retirement dates before April 1, 2021 are now eligible to submit a request to their detailer to have their separation or retirement date delayed anywhere between 6 to 12 months.
All Sailors interested in extending are encouraged to apply. Priority for approval, however, will be given to those currently filling sea duty and other critical billets who agree remain in place.
As a starting point, Sailors should contact the MyNavy Career Center to initiate the request or visit MyNavy Portal. Command endorsement of the request, however, is required for approval. Deadline for these submissions is July 1.
Extension agreements could put some extra cash in the pockets of Sailors in critical billets who are eligible for Sea Duty Incentive Pay. Currently there are over 90 rating and skill combinations that qualify for an extra $400 to $1000 for each month they extend.
Special exceptions have been put in place to the existing rules to allow more Sailors to qualify for the pay under this offer. The latest list of who qualifies is available on MyNavy Portal at https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/pay-and-benefits.
This list is updated regularly, so Sailors should check for recent additions and deletions. Sailors in qualifying billets can submit an Enlisted Personnel Action Request, known as a 1306/7, to MyNavy Career Center at AskMNCC@navy.mil.
High Year Tenure and Fitness Waivers
Navy officials are offering the chance to remain in uniform to Sailors who otherwise might not be allowed, including those bumping up against High Year Tenure gates or those with two or more Physical Fitness failures.
Sailors being separated due to High Year Tenure and are currently filling critical operational billets at sea and on shore, may apply for a waiver to stay in for up to an additional 12 months.
There are also opportunities for Sailors with two or more consecutive Physical Fitness Assessment failure waivers on the books and who are slated for discharge before the end of calendar year 2020 to get another crack at the test.
With the spring physical fitness cycle now suspended, they must pass the fall cycle if they hope to regain eligibility to reenlist, take advancement exams and advance.
Here, too, Sailors should send command endorsed 1306/7 forms to MNCC via MyNavy Portal or by emailing the ePAR request directly to AskMNCC@navy.mil. Officers should contact their detailers.
For some service members, extensions aren’t possible, the message states.
Navy can’t approve any extensions for anyone pending mandatory separation or retirement for age as well as those approved for disability separation or retirement. Sailors being separated for misconduct are also not eligible to extend.
In addition, extensions won’t be offered to officers who have twice failed to select for promotion and those whose separation or retirement is required by law.
The Navy is growing and even after the coronavirus crisis subsides, the Navy is opening up opportunity for separated enlisted and officers to return to active duty.
Specifically, the Navy is looking for recently separated individuals, though any former Sailor is encouraged to contact a prior enlisted or officer recruiter if they are interested in re-entry.
Questions regarding delaying a Service Member’s separation or retirement date should be referred to the appropriate detailer, community manager or by contacting MNCC.
By MC1 Mark D. Faram, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs