Navy to thin senior officer ranks

The Navy will eliminate 200 captains and commanders, citing high retention and low attrition rates.

By Jared Serbu
Federal News Radio

The Navy, citing high retention rates, plans to force the retirement of hundreds of “excess” senior officers, according to an administrative message issued Thursday.

The service will convene what is known as a selective early retirement board in July. The Navy expects that the board will eliminate roughly 100 captains and 100 commanders, but those numbers could change based on adjustments to the Navy’s projected personnel needs and the number of voluntary retirements, a spokesman for the Chief of Naval Personnel said.

The board will examine the records of virtually all unrestricted line officers at the captain and commander levels who have served at least four years in their current grade – exceptions being those who have already been recommended for promotion and those who are already retiring by 2012. All commanders who have already been passed over for promotion more than once will also be examined by the board.

The Navy’s message stated the retirement board would “consider the record of every eligible officer; considerations in determining where retirement is in the best interest of the Navy will include leadership, integrity and proven and sustained superior performance.”

Officers can be exempted from the board’s scrutiny if they voluntarily retire by Apr. 1. The board’s final recommendations must be approved by the secretary of the Navy; by statute, all the selected officers that the secretary approves must retire within seven months.

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