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Navy Advancement Results for E-4 through E-6 Delayed Due to COVID-19

26 May 2021

From Cheryl Dengler, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center

PENSACOLA, Fla.—As Memorial Day approaches every year, it is customary for the Navy to release E-4 through E-6 total force advancement results for more than 90,000 eligible candidates on active duty, full-time support (FTS) and in the Selected Reserve (SELRES).  This year, like the last, results will be delayed due to COVID-19 mitigations and the expanded window of exam administrations.

For Reserve E-4 through E-6 candidates (cycle 108), the command triads will be notified June 24, and the results will be published on profile sheets in the Navy Enlisted Advancement System (NEAS) Web on June 25.
For the active-duty and full-time support E-4 through E-6 candidates (cycle 251), the command triads will be notified on July 8, and the results will be published on profile sheets in NEAS Web on July 9.
“One of the biggest questions we receive is, ‘why do the results take so long?’” said Navy Advancement Center Deputy Director, Tom Updike.
To understand the answer to this question, it is important to know the process and advancement timeline associated with each exam cycle.
First, exams are created and distributed from Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center (NETPDC) in Pensacola, Florida, to all of the requesting commands around the fleet.
“Typically you have a single exam administration date, but now that is a two-week window of testing for each paygrade [due to COVID-19],” said Updike.  “Exam answer sheet returns are mostly delayed until the end of the [30-day] administration windows.”
Once exams are administered, commands have an additional window of time to administer substitute exams to Sailors who may have missed the original window.
“The exam scoring process requires we get back all substitute answer sheets as well,” said Updike.  “Substitute exams administered aboard fleet units in the Indian Ocean take much longer to receive than answer sheets express-mailed from San Diego or Norfolk.”
Next, the employees of the fleet services branch of NETPDC, who work up to eight advancement cycles at a time and scan more than 230,000 answer sheets a year, then scan Sailor exam answer sheets the day they arrive in the mail.
“All answer sheets are scanned into the system within 24 hours of them arriving on site,” said Updike. “Fleet services staff work diligently to ensure errors are corrected and the data is uploaded into NEAS as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Once 95% of a cycle’s exam answer sheets have arrived and processed, to include all aircraft carriers, NETPDC creates an advancement plan (ADPLAN).
“An ADPLAN is a report listing the number of Sailors that passed the exam in each rating,” said Updike. “That report is made available to the enlisted community managers, and at that point there is a process they go through to complete rating quota determinations.”
NETPDC continues to scan late answer sheets and validate data in NEAS until quotas are provided from the Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP).  Up until the time for publishing the results, NETPDC works continuously to correct discrepancies using the Sailors’ Enlisted Advancement Worksheet (EAW). 
“We try to clear as many discrepancies as we can,” said Updike.  “We don’t want Sailors to get a profile sheet that says you don’t have any results because you still have a discrepancy in NEAS.”
Educational Service Officers (ESOs) can submit discrepancy corrections for Sailors via the EAW Post-Exam Administration Change (PAC) in the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) after the worksheet is locked and data is sent to NEAS.
The advancement results schedule is set by CNP.  After publication of results, commands are authorized to frock Sailors to the next-higher pay grade.  NETPDC then processes pay increments and sets advancement dates.  Spring cycle advancements are incremented from July to December, with the majority of Sailors advanced in the final increment.   
Similar to previous COVID mitigation exam cycles, E-4 candidates (except some rating entry Reserve Sailors) did not take an exam.  Rather, each E-4 advancement candidate will be given the same exam score when calculating their final multiple score (FMS) to establish a rank-order standing among peers. This means the E-4 rank order is mostly influenced by each Sailor’s performance mark average. Because quotas are developed the exact same way, the advancement opportunity for E-3 Sailors is not impacted by the rank order without taking an exam.
“The primary goal of NEAS is that no Sailor is disadvantaged in the advancement processes, said Updike.  “Another delay in our cycle results due to COVID is only acceptable when we know that every Sailor was given a fair opportunity to compete for advancement.”
As part of the MyNavy HR Force Development team, NETPDC provides products and services that enable and enhance education, training, career development and personnel advancement throughout the Navy. Primary elements of the command include the Voluntary Education Department, the NAC and the Resources Management Department.

Additional information about NETPDC can be found at
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