The Navy needs a modern, flexible, and reactive advancement system for its 21st-century enlisted force. Minor changes have been made, but attempts to overhaul the current system have failed. Drastic changes to how Sailors compete for and earn promotions are needed.
Promotion to petty officer third class through first class is based on a semi-annual advancement examination of occupational and military knowledge combined with a number of other career aspects. Sailors earn points from the test, previous passing scores not resulting in advancement, awards, advancement recommendations, time in paygrade, and time in service. Each of these uses a whole number or equation to calculate points within an established maximum. The same basic system, with some calculation differences, establishes eligibility for consideration by the selection board for advancement to chief petty officer.