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Navy to Offer New Initiatives to Personnel Serving as IAs

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061004-07
Release Date: 10/4/2006 1:06:00 PM


From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy recently announced approval of several initiatives aimed at rewarding Sailors who serve in designated combat zones.

Sailors who serve in Individual Augmentee (IA) billets are now eligible for several new benefits, such as points towards advancement and preferred duty location following release of NAVADMIN 273/06.

There are approximately 11,000 Sailors serving on the ground in the Central Command area of responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). More than 4,000 of those are serving on the ground in Iraq.

“We need to do everything we can to take care of our Sailors and their families while they are doing this very important mission,” said Vice Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., Chief of Naval Personnel. “Every opportunity needs to be taken to make this assignment a positive one for their careers, and not a hinderance.”

Specific initiatives vary depending on location and length of tour but can include awarding points towards advancement for enlisted personnel, advancement exam flexibility for Sailors in designated combat areas, duty preference for next shore assignment, and continuation or suspension of assigned sea or shore duty clock during IA assignment.

In addition, IA tour lengths will continue to be addressed. For instance, some assignments to Djibouti as part of Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (JTF-HOA) will be shortened to six months from a year for augmentee personnel.

Notification timelines for IAs are continuing to increase. All IAs in the last two months were given greater than 30 days notice, with 68 percent being given greater than 45 days notice. The new target goal for notification is 60 days to fill recurring requirements.

“IA requirements are not going to go away,” said Harvey. “We need to embrace this mission, make use of our volunteers, and provide them and their families with the support they deserve while they are deployed away from home.”

The new initiatives will award two points towards advancement for an IA serving in a designated combat zone (Iraq, Afghanistan, HOA) for a period greater than 179 days. Advancement exam flexibility is also available for IAs. Personnel deploying to one of these billets may take their exam up to two months early or one month late to fit around their tour. However, no Sailor will be required to take an exam while they are serving in a designated combat zone. Specifics on these and the rest of the IA initiatives can be found in NAVADMIN 273/06.

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