Story & Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Heather Seelbach

Career counselors aboard Stennis are encouraging Sailors to familiarize themselves with Perform to Serve (PTS), a Navy force shaping tool used to control manning levels that ultimately determines whether Sailors are able to reenlist.

The PTS process begins with a career development board (CDB) 13 months from a Sailor’s End of Active Obligated Service (EAOS). During the CDB, a PTS request is filled out. The completed form is submitted into Fleetride along with the Sailor’s Physical Fitness Assessments (PFAs), last five evaluations and results from any Non Judicial Punishments (NJPs), if applicable. The Sailor is competing with other Sailors from their year group, and PTS results come out once a month.

“Getting in trouble, (PFA) failures, or any other blip in their record will put Sailors lower in the ranking, potentially affecting their opportunities for PTS approval,” said Navy Career Counselor 1st Class (SW/AW) Brenda Chavez, one of Stennis’ Command Career Counselors. “Currently, even EP Sailors are having a difficult time getting PTS approval because of the year group they came in and the manning levels.”

Sustained superior performance helps Sailors make the cut, said Chavez. Sailors must strive to make themselves stand out in order to maximize career opportunities and stay competitive in today’s Navy.

Leadership can assist Sailors by keeping them informed of policy changes. Informed Sailors are better prepared and have more options when it comes to deciding whether or not they will reenlist, said Stennis Command Career Counselor, Chief Navy Career Counselor (SW/AW) Jacqueline Moise.

“Conducting career development boards within their schedule (at six months, 12 months, one year, and every consecutive year thereafter) is essential to preparing Sailors for their PTS window,” said Moise. “If a Sailor has a low ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) score, it should be addressed during the initial CDB. During that time, it should be recommended that the Sailor retake the ASVAB before he is in his PTS window.”

PTS can be a lengthy process and accuracy of information is vital. Career counselors can advise Sailors on the proper steps to maximize potential PTS approval.

“I make sure evaluation inputs are correct and all the information is updated and current,” said Air Department’s Career Counselor, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class (AW/SW) Sofia Gonzalez. “I also tell my Sailors that if they want a better chance of getting picked up they should choose the ‘in-rate but willing to convert’ option on the PTS application.”
Although a Sailor gets six looks (chances) for PTS approval, the third non-selection, or rollover, prompts an additional CDB and re-submission of the PTS form.

“Aboard Stennis, a career development board is conducted for any Sailor who has been rolled over three times,” said Gonzalez. “Sailors in this situation are advised to consider rate conversion, depending on available quotas, and are informed about available programs. For example, selective reserves, separation, Transition Assistance Program Class, the Blue to Green program, and college opportunities under the Post 9-11 GI Bill.”

Like other Navy force shaping tools, ‘Perform to Serve’ is here to stay and Sailors should take accountability of their own careers if they want to stay Navy.