By Rear Adm. John Nowell
Director, Military Personnel, Plans and Policies
Have you heard about rating modernization? Do you know what it is and why we are doing it?
Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke presented Rating Modernization to Congress in 2018. The first pillar [of Sailor 2025] is a wholesale modernization of our entire personnel system. We are creating flexible policies and additional career choices, and empowering commanding officers with tools to retain the best and brightest Sailors. We have already implemented programs, including the Meritorious Advancement Program, increased credentialing and graduate education opportunities, and tours with industry. We are also working to expand “Detailing Marketplace” pilot initiatives, overhaul the performance evaluation system, modernize delivery and tailoring of advancement examinations in conjunction with a rating modernization effort, and working to achieve greater permeability between the active and Reserve components.
Ultimately, rating modernization is all about bringing our personnel systems and the processes that we use into the 21st century. We are modernizing our rating system to redefine enlisted career fields, improve talent management and our detailing processes, offer Sailors more career choices and expand their professional development opportunity. We started this effort back in December 2016 to modernize our ratings in a way that had never been done before, and it was long overdue.
By joining rating modernization with the transformation of our enlisted personnel business processes, we’re going to provide our Sailors better talent management in career flexibility and the more relevant training they’re going to need for their next job. And it’s also going to add to their resume the widely recognized credentials that translate both within the Navy as well as to the civilian work force.
In the military, we tend to develop campaign plans that have lines of effort, so we developed a campaign plan for rating modernization with four key lines of effort: enlisted career fields, marketplace detailing, the advancement process and credentialing. When you combine these lines of effort, they support a long list of Sailor 2025 initiatives that will redefine Navy’s career fields and improve our talent management and the detailing process. As I mentioned, it will offer more career choices and more flexibility to our Sailors. But make no mistake, we’re doing this because the Navy has to do it because it’s going to help increase our fleet readiness, it’s going to make us more sustainable in the future where resources will continue to be scarce, and it’s going to help us with our fit.
Rating modernization is the future of the growing workforce in the Navy. In August, we released NAVADMIN 196/18 that provided an update on those four lines of effort. This is the first of a total of five blogs that will talk about the updates to rating modernization. The remaining four blogs will each zero in on one of the lines of effort to give you a little more clarity on what all these updates mean for you. We also have a series of six rating modernization podcasts that mirror the blogs we will be sharing with you.
Editor’s note: Sailor 2025 is the Navy’s program to more effectively recruit, develop, manage, reward and retain the force of tomorrow. It consists of approximately 45 living, breathing initiatives and is built on a framework of three pillars – a modern personnel system, a career learning continuum and career readiness.