Career Navigator Places Sailors at the Helm of their Careers

Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk recently held All Hands Calls in the San Diego area where he spoke to Sailors about Career Navigator, a program designed to help enlisted Sailors have a more active role in managing their careers. We asked him about the new program; below are his answers to our questions.

Sailors stand in formation during a 9/11 Remembrance ceremony rehearsal aboard the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Walter M. Wayman/Released)

What do Sailors need to know about Career Navigator?

In today’s Navy, careers for Sailors are more dynamic than in times past and we to need to help our people adapt to these changes. A Sailor’s career now may include converting to a different rating as well as transitioning from active duty to the Navy Reserve or Navy Reserve to active duty.

We are building Career Navigator to give Sailors an active role in managing their careers and making informed choices by showing all the options available for them. The plan is to expand Sailor’s access so they can monitor their own information, career opportunities and applications. Career Navigator will pull all enlisted career management processes under one overarching program encompassing all career events such as reenlisting, changing ratings, choosing orders and transitioning between Active Component and Reserve Component, or vice versa.

Why are you changing the reenlistment system?

We wanted to provide Sailors a more active role in managing their careers and more tools to make informed choices for themselves and their families’ future. Career Navigator will change how we think, discuss and apply enlisted career management processes in the Navy. Career Navigator will make the experience more interactive for Sailors — placing their career at their fingertips.

In addition, beginning in June, Sailors will have vital information earlier to make their career and life decisions. We will let Sailors know at least 10 months from the end of their contract whether they will be able to reenlist in their current rate, and will have additional time to apply to convert into another rating where opportunity exists.

When will this happen?

Career Navigator will be rolled out in phases beginning this summer. As you know, today, only your career counselor can view your information. By the end of the year, you will have online access to this information and be able to research your career opportunities and view your applications.

On June 1, several enhancements will be made for reenlistment, Professional Apprentice Career Track designation, and to increase opportunities for Reserve Sailors. The reenlistment application process will align with orders negotiation so that Sailors will find out sooner if they’ve been approved to reenlist and have more time to negotiate orders with their detailer. PACT Sailors will be able to strike to a rating faster because we have reduced the time required before they can strike, and because their career counselors will be asked to submit an application for them as soon as they are eligible. Reserve Sailors will be able to submit online requests to convert between ratings and participate in the Reserve Component to Active Component augmentation program.

What else is new?

We are updating the existing processes under Fleet RIDE, adding more capability and functionality and transitioning them into Career Waypoints that will incorporate the following processes:

  • Changing to a new rating during initial skills training if needed
  • PACT Sailors striking to a rating
  • Reenlistment
  • Converting to a different rating
  • Transition between Active and Reserve Components

This change will provide Sailors more visibility and will enable them to make decisions about where to go next in their career. You’ll learn more about this in the coming months.

Will Career Navigator take the place of career counselors?

No, nothing can take the place of the one-to-one guidance of career counselors and they remain the source for Sailor development. Career Navigator provides you with information so you can make informed decisions when you are working with your career counselor or detailer.

Bottom line, all Navy leaders must continue to take an active interest and role in helping our Sailors understand the opportunities Navy service provides them and how to reach their personal goals. Career Navigator supplements everything Sailors have now and provides them more access and options at their fingertips.

What do you think of the Career Navigator program?