Rating change may strengthen career
by MC3 Andrea Perez, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Rating conversion allows career-minded Sailors in overmanned ratings to stay Navy and helps shape the force to meet future manning requirements, officials said, April 16.
"If a Sailor is in a rating where promotion is stifled at the present time, converting to a different rating can open up significant advancement opportunities," said Master Chief Navy Counselor David Duncan, enlisted community manager, Bureau of Naval Personnel and rating conversion veteran. Duncan first enlisted as a Radioman before converting to his current rate.
Today, Sailors can apply for rating conversion during their Perform to Serve (PTS) negotiation window. When Sailors with less than 14 years of service are within 12 months of their end of active obligated service (as extended) date, they must compete for a PTS quota to continue their career.
The Fleet Rating Identification Engine-PTS (FR-PTS) provides Sailors with billet availability information in their current rating and other ratings one might qualify for, based on their year group (YG) and Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery score.
According to Duncan, when an individual enters the Navy, they may not be assigned the rating they initially wanted and conversion gives them an opportunity to try something different. It also gives Sailors the chance to discover new skill sets and talents.
One Sailor shared his rating conversion experience.
"I put in a package to convert to Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT), Cryptologic Technician Collection and Cryptologic Technician Networks, and I was accepted for CTT," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician (AS) 1st Class Odel Schroeder. "I think converting is going to benefit me because in the CT (Cryptologic Technician) rating I have a better chance of getting promoted and after the Navy I can get a higher paying job than if I get out as an AS."
To date, thousands of Sailors have converted to different ratings, allowing the Navy to keep Sailors who are committed to a career in the Navy.
"For the past few months, I've felt like I needed to do something different and I'm looking forward to learning my new rate," said Schroeder. "I don't know anything about it, so I'm trying to go TAD (temporary assigned duty), that way I'll have an idea of what to expect before I actually go to school."
Sailors considering conversion can ask their career counselor to review the YG manning for the rating which they would like to convert to.
"They have to do their homework. Understanding what your year group manning is in your current rating and knowing what the year group manning is for the rating that you're looking to convert into is a good start," said Duncan. "You really have to look and if there's something that leaves you scratching your head, talk with your career counselor."
Per MILPERSMAN 1440-010, requests for conversion to ratings that are properly manned, will only be considered on a case-by-case basis and requests for conversion to overmanned ratings will not be considered.
On PTS applications where "willing to convert" is selected, a member will be considered for in-rate reenlistment prior to being reviewed for conversion. On applications where "conversion only" is selected, the member will be reviewed only for conversion.
A Sailor's command career counselor can assist them in understanding the benefits of reviewing their YG information and provide Sailors with guidance throughout the FR-PTS process.
"Many years back, we didn't always see a conversion as a positive thing," said Duncan. "Now days we have got to look at conversion and know that it's the way things have to be for us to stay up to speed and keep the same good people in uniform."
For more information, visit the conversion Web Page on the Navy Personnel Command website, www.npc.navy.mil/CAREER/CAREERCOUNSELING/Pages/Conversions.aspx.