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Transition Assistance Programs for ERB-Affected Sailors

During Phase I of the Enlisted Retention Board, the Navy reviewed the records of more than 6,200 E-4 and E-5 Sailors from 31 overmanned ratings to identify the best-qualified Sailors to receive the finite number of available retention quotas.  The results of Phase I of the ERB will be released to commanders Nov. 14.

The following blog post was written by Navy Total Force Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning.

I’m sure that once Sailors considered by the ERB hear from their commanders that they are not being retained, they will ask, “What’s next?” or “Where do I go from here?” I understand that this news is coming at an unexpected time – before Sailors have served the duration of their approved End of Active Obligated Service. These Sailors are now in the unforeseen position of having to leave their rate, or the Navy, earlier than they had expected.  Our people have served honorably, so we’re committed to doing all we can to help separating Sailors build on their skills and training and gain the tools they need to get off to a good start.

This means that in addition to transition assistance programs afforded to all Sailors, we’re providing several enhanced benefits to Sailors separating due to the ERB.  Sailors stationed overseas will be afforded no fewer than 60 days in CONUS to allow them the time to make an effective transition.  Also, the Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program, or COOL, will approve waivers for Sailors with less than one year remaining on active duty.  This is a fantastic opportunity for Sailors to obtain valuable civilian licenses and certifications aligned with their ratings.  We are also pursuing a contract starting in January 2012 which includes pre-separation transition coaching, resume writing, job interview preparation and job search assistance for Sailors separating due to the ERB.

Your Navy has worked hard to identify and provide the benefits and tools to assist transitioning Sailors, and I ask all Sailors to proactively pursue the benefits and programs they are eligible for.  We’ve posted a comprehensive Transition Assistance Handbook online at http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/BOARDS/ERB/Pages/default2.aspx.  This guide has a wealth of information on education benefits, government opportunities, and relocation assistance.  I encourage all Sailors to check it out – not only Sailors affected by the ERB, but also those retiring, separating, or transitioning to the Selected Reserve (SELRES) or National Guard.

I know that transitions like this can be stressful, not only for separating Sailors and their families, but for those shipmates who work beside them.  I encourage all members of our Navy family to reach out to command leadership and ombudsmen, chaplains, and counselors at Fleet and Family Support Centers fleet-wide if you need help.

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