Friday, October 26, 2012

Changing Course and Maintaining Talent

Greetings Shipmates,

Last week I wrote about the outstanding Sailors I met when I traveled to Navy Operational Support Center Columbus during the celebration of the Navy's birthday, and I mentioned how many of them exemplified our commitment to the Continuum of Service.  This week, I want to write a little more about what we mean by that phrase and the why it's such an important investment in our Navy.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the Continuum of Service initiative is a philosophy which directs different kinds of career management tools designed to allow Sailors to transition more easily back and forth from active duty, Reserve and civilian life. We've found that encouraging a flexible career path for our Sailors allows us to maintain our standards of excellence while providing the flexibility our Sailors need.  And of course, we know it's important to have the right person in the right job with the right skills.

There are numerous programs that enable our Sailors to contribute to the Navy mission in many different ways through a "Lane Change." As I wrote before, our talent pool is deep and we'd like to keep and develop that talent for the long haul.  We understand that there are times in your career when you have to make adjustments for family, health or professional reasons.  Our Continuum of Service philosophy serves to offer workable alternatives and easier transitions.   For example, did you know the Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP) provides an opportunity for active-duty Sailors to take a one to three year sabbatical to pursue professional or personal goals by transferring temporarily to the Individual Ready Reserve?  Or, if your current rating is overmanned, the Fleet Rating Identification Engine, also known as FleetRIDE, can help you find another rating you're qualified for with more room to grow. These are just a couple of the resources we use to maintain our talent and give them opportunities to stay Navy.

My challenge to you is to research and learn about our programs so you and those you work with have all the information needed to continue your service. Take advantage of the toolkit of resources we have and take charge of your career.  And I definitely encourage you to contact your career counselor at your NOSC to determine the best path for you, your Navy career and your family.

I'd like to close with a request from me to you, to share a story about one of your career transition experiences.   Did you shift from active duty to the Reserve or from the selected Reserve to the Individual Ready Reserve?  Or maybe you went through the process to convert to a wholly different rating, or participated in a voluntary recall program?

Whatever the case, take this opportunity to share your story and experiences.  I look forward to hearing from you!



  1. Sir,
    I joined the Navy in 1984 and spent 4 years on active duty. At the end of my tour I transitioned to the IRR due to famliy needs. Two and a half years later, I joined the SELRES and was a drilling reservist for the next seven years. In 1991, I was recalled to active duty as a CANREC. In 2004 I was selected for FTS.

    My experience with the Navy Reserve has been nothing short of outstanding. It has afforded me the oppportunity to continue serving the Navy through different seasons in my life. I entered the Navy as an E1, was initiated as a Chief, commissioned as an LDO, completed my degree and selected as a Restricted Line Officer for FTS, sent to Navy Postgraduate School to complete my master's degree and now I am the Commanding Officer of NOSC Wilmington, NC. I have had a blessed career, made possible by the Navy Reserve!
    Julia Jones, LCDR USNR

  2. LCDR Jones,

    Thank you for sharing your story. E-1 to O-4 with a Masters Degree to boot! It is a great testament to the Continuum of Service, Skipper.

    All the best,
    RADM Cutchen