Thursday, January 13, 2011
Why we stay - and, apparently too many of you are staying
Lots of discussion in the milblogosphere about why mid-grade Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are leaving the service. For all that is said about why they leave, why they stay is equally important. And, they are staying in large numbers - large enough numbers to require thinning of the pack.
In our community (Information Warfare), our Captains and Commanders are staying in such high numbers that our leadership has been forced to reduce the size of our promotion zones in those paygrades. In a "promote to vacancy" environment, there are fewer vacancies today than there have been in the recent past. Our promotion zones have been reduced by nearly 50% because our retention has been above historical norms.
The "curse of high retention" seems to be even more pronounced in the Unrestrticted Line (URL) Community (Surface Warriors, Aviators, Submarines and SPECWAR). In the past few days, Navy Personnel Command released a Selective Early Retirement Board (SERB) message announcing the Navy's actions to ease the glut (100 Captains and 100 Commanders) of excess senior officers in the URL. NPC cites high retention and low attrition as reasons for creating an excess of these senior officers. So, they are going to get rid of some of them to make room for a younger, more capable group of officers. This "force balancing" action will reduce the senior officer excess and will ensure a sufficient number of these officers are available at the right time in their careers to serve in critical Fleet billets. The Navy will be keeping the officers who score highest at the SERB in leadership, integrity and superior performance.
Staff and restricted line officers will not be considered for retirement by this SERB.