Washington, DC - The Navy announced changes to its current enlisted advancement policy, including a new formula for the Final Multiple Score (FMS) and changes to the Command Advancement Program (CAP), May 15.
These revisions are designed to reward sustained superior performance and strengthen the role of the Command Triad (commanding officer, executive officer, and command master chief) in the advancement of their Sailors.
"This isn't the first time we've done this," said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens. "Periodically we take a look at how we're advancing Sailors and how the Final Multiple Score is put together. We do that based on feedback we get from the Fleet."
The Final Multiple Score is a weight-based calculation used to rank Sailors eligible for advancement.
In the new FMS, the value of the advancement exam becomes the largest factor considered for advancement to E4 and E5, increasing in weight by eight percent, going from 37 percent to 45 percent.
For E6 and E7, Performance Mark Average (PMA) becomes the largest factor in determining Sailors' FMS. For advancement to E6, PMA increased three percent and now counts for 50 percent of the FMS calculation. For advancement to E7, PMA increased 10 percent to count for 60 percent of the total FMS.
This adjustment changes the emphasis on how performance is measured for junior and senior Sailors.
"Leadership's expectation is that junior Sailors know their occupational skill," said Fleet Master Chief for Manpower Personnel Training and Education April Beldo. "As they rise to the level of E6 and E7, we're looking for them to be ready to be in a management and leadership role, so their performance is more weighted."
The Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Meritorious Service Medal will no longer contribute award points in the FMS.
"We were seeing that the majority of our Sailors receive this award, and so to give a point for it was a zero sum," said Stevens. "Sailors weren't gaining anything by it."
Sailors who pass the advancement exam, but do not advance due to quotas limitations, are eligible to receive Pass Not Advanced (PNA) points; however, the new policy limits PNA points to the top 25 percent of Sailors. 1.5 PNA points go to the top 25 percent of Sailors by test score, and 1.5 go to the top 25 percent by Performance Mark Average.
"I believe putting this 25-percent window in place will motivate Sailors," said Stevens. "It's not just about passing the exam. It's about passing the exam with flying colors."
Total PNA points in the FMS are determined from a Sailor's last five advancement cycles for a maximum of 15 possible points.
Service in Pay Grade has been reduced from seven percent to a weight of one percent of the Final Multiple Score for advancement to E4 through E6.
Changes to the Command Advancement Program (CAP) will take effect Oct. 1 for Fiscal Year 2015.
The new policy establishes the period from July 1 to Sept. 30 as the Navy's CAP Season, and that timeframe is the only time that commands can CAP Sailors.
MCPON added that this change is designed to prevent commands from inadvertently over manning ratings by promoting Sailors after the Navy establishes the quotas needed based on vacancies.
"By capping first and then building the Navy-wide advancement exam quotas, we prevent that from happening and allows us to maintain stable rating health," said Stevens.
Commands must use their remaining quotas for CAP from the current policy prior to Sept. 30.