MAY 22, 2020 – In a new message to all Navy Reservists, Commander, Navy Reserve Force (CNRF) is extending the current postponement of on-site Reserve drill weekends until June 30, and providing additional guidance resulting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ALNAVRESFOR 012/20, released today, provides guidance for the following topics: drill weekends, teleworking, Annual Training (AT) waivers, Navy Operational Support Centers (NOSC) re-opening, selection boards, the Direct Commissioning Program, High Year Tenure (HYT), and civilian personnel. Here are some of the highlights (the full message can be read at https://www.public.navy.mil/nrh/Pages/library_messages.aspx):
- June drill weekends will be conducted virtually. Regular on-site drill weekends remain postponed until June 30.
- Telework for drills remains authorized until further notice.
- All Reservists should strive to obtain their AT requirements without a waiver, but the deadline remains June 30 for those Sailors who have a hardship. Sailors with concerns about achieving a “Qualifying Year” for retirement and a “Satisfactory Year” for annual participation should review the latest brief from the Reserve Force Career Counselor (https://www.dvidshub.net/publication/issues/52995).
- The National Command/Senior Officer (O5/O6) Non-Command Billet Screening and Assignment Board (APPLY) is scheduled for 7-19 Dec. Expect an updated COMNAVRESFORNOTE 5400 in the coming weeks.
- Officer Development School (ODS) classes will be restricted to 100-110 seats to accommodate social distancing requirements; FY21 ODS classes will also be limited to 100-110 seats until further notice.
- There are new waiver processes for Full Time Support (FTS) and Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors within High Year Tenure (HYT).
“Extending our COVID-19 mitigation policies for another month protects our Sailors and provides stability for themselves, their careers, and their families,” said Rear Adm. John Schommer, deputy commander, Navy Reserve Force. “Virtual drills via Commercial Virtual Remote is working, and we continue to see our Reserve leaders take innovative approaches to ensuring our Reservists complete drills and earn points for a satisfactory and qualifying year.”
Although in-person drills are postponed for another month, Reservists should anticipate some Navy Reserve Activities (NRAs) to begin conducting regular drills later this summer.
“We want to start re-opening our NOSCs as soon as possible, but we want to be deliberate and methodical about it,” said Capt. Errin Armstrong, chief of staff, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command. “It won’t be a situation where one day all the NOSCs are closed, and the next day all are completely opened. NOSC commanders will have to consider guidance from their Navy region, state, and local governments before they begin hosting regular drill weekends.”
A diverse planning team of subject matter experts from across the Navy Reserve Force has already started creating a framework for a phased re-opening.
“Our planning team is comprised of Full Time Support (FTS) and Selected Reservist (SELRES) members from different NOSCs, Navy Region Reserve Component Commands (RCC), Reserve medical staffs, and operational planners who are working together to see what makes the most sense for bringing our Navy Reservists back,” said Armstrong. “But we must do so while protecting them from unnecessary health risks.”
“From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, our message to the Force has been that we have our Reservist’s backs and are focused on providing them with maximum flexibility in these challenging times,” said Schommer. “Regardless of when or how we start to return to in person drills, that guidance will not change.”
For more information regarding the Navy Reserve and its policies for COVID-19, please go to https://www.mynrh.navy.mil.
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Arthurgwain Marquez
Commander, Navy Reserve Force