Its APPLY Board Season again. Get your package in by early August to participate. What does this mean for you? If you’re a newly minted JO reservist and looking to move up in the world, this is the place to start. The old adage holds true that the most important thing to advancing as an officer is sustained superior performance in an Officer-In-Charge or Commanding Officer position. Here’s an important thing to know though. As a JO (O-4 and junior) the Navy is required to either pay for your travel to drill or allow you to be cross assigned from a NOSC OSU. However, as the holder of an OIC or CO billet, you forfeit such flexibility. So, if you allow yourself to be selected for ANY AVAILABLE command billet. You could be schlepping it across country to lead your unit. You have the ability to control this somewhat by restricting the area or billets that you apply for on your dream sheet.
Here’s the disclaimer on the APPLY Site, read and heed:
“I understand declining billets specifically requested on my Dreamsheet will prevent returning to my previous assignment, and I will be subject to transfer to non-pay. I understand that transfer to a non-pay status affects eligibility for certain incentives and benefits including TRICARE Reserve Select and Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability. Detailed information regarding the change in benefit eligibility is available through the local NRA personnel department and online on the private side of The Navy Reserve Homeport.”
Tribal knowledge says that you should accept any billet you’re selected for that you’ve put on your dream sheet. Let me rephrase that. If its on your dream sheet, and you get picked, you should follow through with that process and take command. Therefore choose your billets wisely and dont list filler items that you really can’t accomodate or aren’t willing to personally pay to travel for. Turning the billet down will only do bad things for you unless its for reasons in extremis. If you aren’t selected for a billet on your sheet, no harm no foul. You get to choose from whats left on the board room floor or pick a staff billet at another reserve unit via the IAP process.
Citizen Sailor Tip:
Before you haul off and apply for a bunch of stuff in APPLY, have a serious conversation with your spouse about the realities of this job and what it will require of you. This will go so much better if you’re both onboard.