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HomeMilitaryBig Navy Battles Big Backlog in Unprocessed DD 214s

Big Navy Battles Big Backlog in Unprocessed DD 214s

A month in the past, Lt. Cmdr. Justin Novak’s cellphone pinged with an replace from Big Navy.

“Leaders, congratulations on your retirement, and let me humbly apologize that your DD 214 is not completed for you as yet,” started the message from Cmdr. Brad A. Bauer, the officer in cost of the My Navy Career Center Transactional Service Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

Novak was a graduate of the US Naval Academy’s Class of 2002, a part of a gaggle of Marine and Navy officers who obtained their commissions in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults. Those who stayed in the service have reached 20 years in uniform, the time when most profession officers and enlisted sailors retire.

Bauer warned Novak and different senior sailors that, whereas his staffers had processed practically 700 DD 214s over the earlier two weeks, they nonetheless had 100 extra to go, they usually have been “feverishly working overtime to get your retirement completed, and a DD 214 in your hand.”

A month ago, Lt. Cmdr. Justin Novak’s cell phone pinged with an update from Big Navy.
The Pentagon counts roughly 465,000 officers and enlisted sailors who’re drawing pensions after careers of honorable service, together with Lt. Cmdr. Tracy Lewis. She was honored with a retirement ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Thursday, June 30, 2022. US Navy photograph by Edward Jones.

In his message, Bauer conceded that many departing sailors had turned in their paperwork months earlier and have been most likely annoyed, however he pledged his nook of the Navy paperwork was being “realigned to get this to you quicker, but it is not quick enough.”

It would take one other three weeks for Novak’s paperwork to be completed. And he wasn’t joyful about that, to place it mildly.

“The Navy doesn’t give a shit about its people,” the profession floor warfare officer in Rhode Island advised Coffee or Die Magazine. “It’s only worried about pumping officers through the pipeline.”

During the hectic a long time of the Global War on Terror, Novak was pumped by way of loads of instructions. He served on board the guided-missile cruisers Cape St. George and San Jacinto, plus the guided-missile destroyer Ross, and he did shore responsibility as an teacher on the Surface Warfare Officers School.

But he quickly discovered himself making an attempt to rearrange interviews for post-retirement jobs, and he couldn’t even give potential employers proof that he was honorably discharged as a result of he didn’t have his DD 214.

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US Navy Rear Adm. Stu Satterwhite, the commander of the MyNavy Career Center, addresses a gaggle of command pay and personnel directors throughout an April 11, 2022, go to to the C2 Auditorium at Fleet Activities Yokosuka in Japan. US Navy photograph by Tetsuya Morita.

US Navy Rear Adm. Stuart C. “Stu” Satterwhite thinks Novak had each proper to be just a little steamed.

But the commander of the ocean service’s MyNavy Career Center in Millington, Tennessee, additionally advised Coffee or Die Magazine his staffers have been fixing the backlog glitch in order that, by the top of September, it could by no means occur to a different sailor.

“Everyone will separate with a DD 214 in hand as we’ve gone through and caught up things that were not processed correctly,” he pledged.

Speaking on a Friday, July 1, convention name with senior editors from Military Times and Coffee or Die, Satterwhite stated Bauer started with “40 folks working this,” however that’s risen to “about 70 right now.” By the top of September, the Norfolk middle could have greater than 110 personnel consultants hammering away on the DD 214 glut.

He’s reducing orders for personnel specialists throughout the fleet to fly to Norfolk for non permanent responsibility slated to final between 30 and 60 days. He stated Norfolk would additionally preserve hiring civilian Department of Defense employees or surge contractors and pay them additional time to go “full-court press to really get after this and make sure we’re doing everything we can to execute.”

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US Navy Rear Adm. Stuart C. Satterwhite, the commander of the MyNavy Career Center, addresses a category of Personnel Specialist “A” School college students throughout a command tour of Naval Technical Training Center Meridian in Mississippi on Jan. 25, 2022. US Navy photograph by Tom Childress.

Currently, Bauer’s workers is finishing roughly 200 “transactions” day by day, Satterwhite stated.

The day by day variety of backlogged separation packages ebbs and flows, however the bottleneck is exacerbated by a barrage of paperwork for senior sailors like Novak with a long time of service to the Navy. Their prolonged DD 214s take a very long time to course of.

“If you’re an old person like me, you’ve got 30 years in the Navy, and you’ve got a lot of stuff there,” Satterwhite stated. “And so it takes some time to go through and make sure, ‘Hey, are your awards right? Are your duty stations correct?’”

Satterwhite believes the backlogs will in the end be cleared by an ongoing consolidation course of that swimming pools the personnel specialists in Norfolk to finish this sophisticated back-and-forth with departing senior sailors. But he wants assist from the fleet, too.

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US Navy Rear Adm. Stu Satterwhite, the commander of the MyNavy Career Center, addresses command pay and personnel directors in the Dealey Center Theater at Naval Submarine Base New London on April 4, 2022. US Navy photograph by Lt. Seth Koenig.

Satterwhite warned that roughly 70% of the corrections to personnel information presently arrive after sailors have gone on terminal depart.

He’s urging sailors and their instructions to show in all separation paperwork no less than 60 days earlier than they’re slated to exit energetic responsibility in order that they will begin that course of instantly.

That’s not occurring now. Satterwhite pointed Coffee or Die to 5 transactions for separations that popped up on June 30. The sailors left energetic responsibility on June 29.

“And so now we were jumping quickly to catch up on that make sure we’re taking care of that sailor,” Satterwhite stated.

That’s not his solely purpose. The rear admiral desires each sailor who leaves the service to get a closing paycheck two weeks after departing. That’s two weeks sooner than the Pentagon mandates.

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Personnel Specialist third Class Peytan Harris checks in new sailors on the amphibious assault ship USS America’s personnel workplace on May 23, 2022, in Sasebo, Japan. US Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Bakerian.

It’s all half of a bigger revolution in Navy human relations designed to modernize the way in which the service recruits, trains, and retains its personnel. Satterwhite desires to create a system he says is “responsive” to the wants of greater than 400,000 sailors and their households, the form of HR Twenty first-century employees count on with they be a part of giant corporations or different authorities businesses.

That transformation has been taking part in out for 2 years contained in the Navy. And it’s a sea change for the ocean service that has largely concerned scrapping what as soon as was a spotlight for the Navy: the “PSD.”

For generations of sailors, their final moments on energetic responsibility have been usually spent coping with Personnel Support Detachments at bases worldwide, sitting throughout the desks of personnel specialists who made certain the whole lot on DD 214 information was right earlier than printing them up.

Personnel specialists additionally keep pay and different information, reimburse journey and uniform prices, and assist sailors and their households lower by way of the purple tape that always entangles complicated army bureaucracies. But in 2017, the Navy introduced it could start consolidating personnel specialists at PSDs and buyer help detachments into transactions facilities and different HR places of work dotting the globe.

Seaman Alivia Lynch receives orders following her new ranking designation as a personnel specialist throughout a Navy Personnel Command Fleet Engagement Team occasion for Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks sailors at Fleet Activities Sasebo in Japan. US Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeanette M. Mullinax.

By the top of this September, Satterwhite and different senior leaders hope to complete merging the previous PSDs into 13 transaction and regional help facilities, two HR service facilities, and a travel-processing middle in Cleveland, Ohio.

If the whole lot goes based on plan, a lot of a sailor’s preliminary paperwork might be began by staffers working in a pair of human assets service facilities in Memphis, Tennessee, and Little Creek, Virginia. Operating across the clock daily of the 12 months, these HR facilities will hand off work to the transaction facilities, every of which specializes in what the Navy calls a “focus area.”

For instance, Norfolk spearheads separations, retirements, and the personnel wants of reservists. The service middle in Great Lakes, Illinois — the Navy’s enlisted boot camp — tackles the wants of recruits and others coming into the ocean service for the primary time.

San Diego handles personnel features and losses on the West Coast, and the middle in Yokosuka, Japan, does the identical for these sailors stationed exterior the continental US. And the personnel specialists in Naples, Italy, concentrate on re-enlistments and extensions for sailors throughout the worldwide fleet.

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Personnel Specialist 1st Class Steven L. Tep dons firefighting gear in the hangar bay of the plane provider Carl Vinson throughout a July 28, 2020, basic quarters drill in Bremerton, Washington. US Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist third Class Nicholas Foley.

And they’re linked to regional help facilities in Bahrain; Guam; Washington, DC; New London, Connecticut; Jacksonville, Florida; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and Everett, Washington.

There might be solely a pair of PSDs left at joint bases in Charleston, South Carolina, and San Antonio, Texas.

Satterwhite fears that whittling the PSDs over the previous few years triggered a scarcity in personnel specialists, however he predicts the non permanent responsibility orders they’ll get to Norfolk to hack by way of the DD 214 backlog will assist the whole fleet.

They’ll rotate again to the fleet after an immersion in processing separation paperwork and can know easy methods to “submit those transactions and get it done faster, and they can help each other out,” Satterwhite stated.

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