Navy exceeds retention goals, will reduce its ranks to prevent overmanned ratings

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The U.S. Navy said last week that, despite the coronavirus pandemic upending its recruiting efforts, it has exceeded its retention targets for the fiscal year 2020 and will now reduce its ranks in overmanned ratings.

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In a Dec. 23 NAVADMIN, Vice Adm. John B. Nowell Jr. said the Navy “remains committed to retaining the right talent and experience in the right pay grades and ratings” and will continue to build “upon the retention gains in the last few years.

The Navy says it will expand career progression opportunities for its sailors. (veterans.nv.gov)

For members with up to six years of service, the retention rate was nearly 70%. For those with between six and 10 years of service, the retention rate was 76%. And for those who have been serving between 10 and 14 years, the retention rate was nearly 90%.

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All three zones exceeded their respective benchmarks. Consequently, “some enlisted ratings have become overmanned, creating imbalances in the fleet,” Nowell said.

Under the Enlisted Early Transition Program, the Navy is aiming to release 714 sailors from 23 ratings to restore proper quotas for each rating, the Navy Times reported.

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Nowell said that as the Navy moves into the fiscal year 2021, it will “make a concerted effort to provide balanced enlisted ratings and improve community-rating health across the Fleet.”

He continued, “Leadership and engagement at every level is needed to sustain our level of retention, with a renewed focus on strengthening undermanned ratings and providing for expanded career progression opportunities for our sailors."

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