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.
As Citizen Sailors, we tread a unique path between military and civilian life. We have positions and interact daily with our local communities, but, one weekend a month or more we don the uniform of a US Navy Sailor. This means we are both part of the many, our civilian brothers and sisters, and we are part of the very few, our fellow Sailors.
As our civilian brothers and sisters wrestle with the many “ism’s” that plague our society, we have come to learn that regardless of race, religion, gender, orientation or socio-economic status, we are all Sailors unified by the oath “To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.” Consequently, our nation is calling upon us to lead them in ways in which we are already very familiar.
America wants to know if all people, regardless of how they identify themselves, have a shot at success. In the Navy we have been led by all types in arguably the most demanding circumstances anyone can find and we have succeeded where others may have failed. We have demonstrated to our civilian brothers and sisters that our diversity is what makes us strong, especially when unified towards a common goal.
This does not mean that we don’t have different opinions, argue or even yell at one another. Quite the opposite. The Navy has always celebrated the independent mind as it is part of the very fabric of our culture. Think of the Commanding Officer on an independently steaming vessel and the decisions he or she needs to make regarding the ship, the mission and lives of those who are entrusted to him or her. Despite different opinions, despite the noise or “fog of war”, the CO has always been asked to make the right decision for all concerned. As leaders in our military or civilian lives, our Nation is asking us to do the same.
Our Country is asking for all of us to rise above the noise, the vitriol, the divisive speech and lead them forward. The Nation needs to know that diversity is OK. In the Navy, we know we are the world’s “melting pot” and that we are better off for it. We demonstrate this daily in all of our missions around the world. Although we haven’t always been the best at respecting one another, we have learned from our mistakes and we continue to grow and challenge old assumptions.
As Citizen Sailors, let’s share the lessons we have learned. Let’s show America that it is ok to have a different point of view, but, at the end of the day, we are all bound by the same mission. What is the mission? Well, it’s the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, of course.
Over this Fourth of July weekend as we are celebrating with family and friends. Let us not forget that the United States still represents the World’s greatest experiment. Unlike other Nations, our Military takes and oath to support and defend an Ideal, not a person or party. Unlike other Nations, we are not bound together by a single religion, race, or particular ideology.
We are bound together by the rule of law and the concept that all people are equal in the eyes of that law. Let us also not forget that we have taken an oath to support and defend these ideals and when we confront those who wish to destroy them, we do so with the strength of our brothers and sisters behind us.
Well board season is in full bloom. People are calling 1800-U-ASK-NPC with a myriad of questions about their package and the rules and regs governing the board. Beyond ensuring your record is up to date and accurate a letter to the board is your most valuable tool.
I’ve swapped out the PII details for more humorous items to keep the reading interesting, but the form and intent are clear. This is your last resort to tell the board how awesome you really are.
From: LT Quinton M. McHale, USN, SSN (123-45-678910-11-12)/ 1115
To: PRESIDENT, FY-16 RESERVE O-4 LINE
PROMOTION BOARD #XXX
Subj: INFORMATION FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE SELECTION BOARD
Ref: (a) SECNAVINST 1420.1 (series)
Encl: (1) Fitness Report for the period 14FEB01-15JAN31
Sir or Ma’am,
Thank you to the board for considering me for promotion to O-4. Being a Naval Officer is one of my proudest achievements, and I look forward to future opportunities to serve and lead in the Navy. Below I have provided some points for your consideration while briefing my record:
1. I had 1 PRT failure onboard the USS CHUNDERBUCKET during Cycle 1 2010, but I have since lost 40lbs and changed my lifestyle with regard to diet and exercise.
2. In my civilian job, I serve as the Assistant Vice President of Inland Harbors Incorporated in Bluff City, TN. We are a Western Rivers harbor and fleeting service for towboats and big-ass barges. We are a 24/7 marine port operations company as well as a full service barge and towboat repair shipyard.
My responsibilities for the company include the following:
A. Maintenance and repair for 24 towboats, 4 mobile dry docks, 4 cranes and a wharf facility made up of 8 barges and a floating office building.
B. Maintenance support for 6 outlying locations between Bourbon County, Kentucky and Moonshine, MS.
C. Port manager for operations in Mosquito Haven, Arkansas.
D. USCG, EPA and DOT Compliance manager.
E. Assistant contracting manager for USCG Buoy Tender yard periods (8 overhauls completed in 2014 including 3 vessels with complete engine repowers)
F. Boat operator of the M/V DIRT SQUIRREL – a 600hp truckable push-boat
G. Leadership, direction and influence over 150 people across the entirety of our operations.
H. Skilled labor recruiting for welders and mechanics. Advisory board member of local community colleges representing the needs of local industry.
3. As a reservist, I have been working to establish a SURGEMAIN Shipyard Support Unit at NOSC Hometown with sailors in the OPS Support Unit. There is a Sea Bee unit that is decommissioning and we are working hard to cross-rate those sailors into SURGEMAiN to improve their opportunities for advancement. Currently being established as a detachment under NOSC Somewhereelse, we have 20 sailors interested in joining the SURGEMAIN ranks. As the detachment grows, our goal is to establish a separate SURGEMAIN UIC under NOSC Hometown complete with APPLY selected leadership. Additionally, SURGEMAIN rates make a great hiring pool for the River industry. We have already succeeded in finding a civilian job for a First Class Machinist Mate on the river.
4. I have completed the Strategy and War segment of JPME.
5. I am also the Director of Finance of Mama’s Home Business LLC, an online boutique specializing in the production sales and custom embroidery of high quality baby and children’s clothing. I oversea purchasing from overseas suppliers, seamstress contracting, equipment maintenance and general book keeping.
6. As a personal project, I am the leading member of a small cohort of reserve Naval Officers from NOSC Hometown who manage a website called www.thecitizensailor.com. The mission of The Citizen Sailor is to be resource for new reservists who are transitioning from active duty to understand how to succeed in the reserve world. We are using our reserve mentors and experiences to write how-to articles on reserve career management, VA issues, etc.
7. Per reference (a), please include enclosure (1) in my official record for consideration by the FY16 RESERVE LINE O-4 SELECTION BOARD. Due to inclement weather and rescheduled drills, I have enclosed my most recent fitness report to ensure its inclusion in my package for the board.
Q. M. MCHALE
Like many transitioning Navy-types, I had grand notions of having a successful civilian career in the inland rivers industry. I also fancied maneuvering through the Naval ranks and progressing to the highest ideals of the Navy Reserve. Enter kids, family, mortgage, 24/7 civilian job operations schedule, wife’s home business, church, etc.