When our loved ones joined the Navy, their families also joined. We felt their pre-deployment jitters and even though we couldn't go with them, we felt every day of every deployment as keenly as they. While our family members were securing the seas, preparing for war and planning for peace, those left at home assumed their domestic duties. They sacrificed comfort and convenience; we sacrificed our time with those we cared most about. No longer able to discuss family matters or share jokes, we did what we could to "hold down our forts" without our helpmates.
Even Navy moms and dads felt a sense of loss with deployments. Parents have always suffered when their children struggled. The tears of our offspring stain our hearts, if not our faces. As berthing and barracks filled with our sons and daughters, our nests emptied. Proud that our sailors were serving our country and protecting our rights, we lived vicariously through their journeys and we ached for them, when their careers adversely affected their relationships, sleep habits or living arrangements.
It's natural for the families of those sailors who have been involuntarily separated from the United States Navy to be outraged.
According to the Bureau of Naval Personell:
UNPRECEDENTED RETENTION AND REDUCED ATTRITION RATES ACROSS THE NAVY HAVE RESULTED IN A REQUIREMENT TO REBALANCE THE FORCE. THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOARD IS TO REDUCE OVERMANNING IN RATINGS PROJECTED TO BE OVER 103% MANNED IN FY-12. REBALANCING OUR MANNING WILL IMPROVE ADVANCEMENT RATES AND INCREASE OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGH PERFORMING SAILORS TO RECEIVE IN-RATE REENLISTMENT QUOTAS BY REDUCING THE STRAIN ON PERFORM TO SERVE.
The document states that personnel chosen for early separation are encouraged to apply for conversion to an undermanned rating.
SAILORS SELECTED FOR CONVERSION WILL RECEIVE PCS ORDERS TO TRANSFER TO A-SCHOOL OR TO FILL A VACANCY IN THEIR NEW RATING BY THE END OF FY -12. APPLICATIONS FOR CONVERSION MUST BE RECEIVED BY 15 JUNE 2011 TO BE CONSIDERED.
These sailors are also encouraged to "affiliate with the Navy Reserve," according to the document; this is little relief to those sailors who joined the Navy with plans to retire with benefits after 20 years.
SAILORS SEPARATED BY THIS BOARD WILL HAVE ACCESS TO
THE NAVY'STRANSITION ASSISTANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (TAMP),
PER REF L, WHICH PROVIDESEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE, RELOCATION
ASSISTANCE FOR SEPARATING MEMBERSSTATIONED OVERSEAS, AND
OTHER BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS WHO ARE INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED.
SAILORS INTERESTED IN AFFILIATING WITH THE RESERVES MAY ALSO
TAKE ADVANTAGE OFTHE SERVICES OFFERED BY THE CAREER
This knowledge is of little comfort to the families of sailors who will now have to join the hundreds of thousands of other unemployed people in a world of jobs that have already scaled back and are working skeletal crews.
THE DECISION TO CONDUCT THIS BOARD WAS MADE AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF ALL OPTIONS FOR REBALANCING THE FORCE. WE ARE COMMITTED TO RETAINING OUR VERY BEST SAILORS WITH THE PROPER BALANCE OF SKILLS, SENIORITY AND EXPERIENCE TO MEET THE NAVY CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE. LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS MUST BE ENGAGED TO ASSIST SAILORS WITH CONVERSION AND TRANSITION OPTIONS.
Best wishes to the sailors who have served faithfully, expecting to retire in a few years. You do have experience and skills to offer employees that many other candidates might not possess. Stay strong!