Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Did you contribute to rating elimination?

The elimination of Navy ratings caught me, like most others, by surprise. I had heard that there was a move to add letters to the end of NECs to capture the level of expertise, which would help bring better fit to our billets, which I thought was an excellent idea. The fact that this wasn't brought up makes me think that it was really a decision held at the highest levels. The lack of guidance we are getting from those at PERS is telling, because I honestly believe they are as surprised as we are.

One reason that was brought up for the change was that Navy personnel struggle to integrate into civilian jobs when they leave the service. I'm surprised to hear this. The Navy, probably more than any other service, makes a pretty concerted effort to set you up for success outside the Navy. Let's look at what we do right:

- USMAPS. The Bureau of Labor allows you to count military service towards an apprenticeship. If you report your hours weekly, a process that takes you less time than what you spend arguing about the election with your Facebook friends, you eventually get all kinds of certifications finished. These certifications normally require 2000-10000 hours. If you imagine that every 2000 hours is about a years worth of work time, having to get a 10,000 hour certification after you get out of the Navy sets you back 5 years!

If your Sailors aren't in USMAPS, they are doing it wrong. Period. There are no reasons to not sign up. It costs you nothing but 10 minutes a week. If you're a Division Officer, there are two ways to check on whether your Sailors are enrolled:

1. Ask your USMAPS coordinator.
2. Have someone with Admin Access in NSIPS to your UIC look them up under the USMAPS portions of CIMS.

- NCPACE. Whether on shore or underway, your Sailors can finish a degree. They can get credit through NCPACE and finish a degree easily. Unlike USMAPS, officers are eligible for this program as well.

- Navy COOL. Want a credential like Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Manager, Certified Personal Trainer, or a variety of other certifications? Navy COOL will pay the cost of the exam. Combined with your knowledge and free resources you can get from your on-base library (or Safari Books), you can setup your resume to get a great job after the Navy.

How I view most complaints about "after Navy" integration.
The fact that these program exist, combined with plenty of others, make me skeptical about the whole "getting out of the Navy and struggling to integrate" argument. If you're lazy and never take advantage of any of these programs, then honestly you'd struggle to integrate into society no matter what the Navy does for you.

So please, participate in the programs that already exist, and stop making excuses that others pick up on to take away your ratings.