U.S. Navy Reviews its Non-Deployable Personnel
In line with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' focus on retaining deployable personnel, the U.S. Navy is setting in motion a program to reassess sailors who are limited from deployment.
Under the new Deployability Assessment and Assignment Program, sailors who have been non-deployable for at least one year will face mandatory processing for separation or referral to the Navy's Disability Evaluation System. It applies to all active component, full time support and selected reserve sailors who are medically, legally or administratively limited from deployment, except for pregnant or post-partum sailors.
"The Navy the Nation Needs is a talented, ready and lethal active and reserve force, and we need deployment-ready Sailors to accomplish the mission," said Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes, the deputy chief of naval personnel. “Our sailors bear the ultimate responsibility for their individual readiness and deployability status, and this new program is designed to help our force successfully achieve both goals.”
Treatment facilities and commands will assess each affected sailor's ability to perform their duties. Each command will also document any failures to comply with individual responsibilities for maintaining readiness - for example, missing medical appointments. All retention determinations will be made on a case by case basis, according to Capt. Chris Harris of Navy Personnel Command.
The Navy will give special consideration to combat wounded members, sailors who will be non-deployable for one year or longer due to administrative reasons, and sailors who are within three years of qualifying for retirement.
Secretary of Defense Mattis has described the presence of large numbers of non-deployable servicemembers as a problem for the military, particularly the Army: If some active duty personnel cannot deploy, then the others have to deploy more often, putting strain on the force. "That's unfair," Mattis told reporters last year. "The bottom line is, we expect everyone to carry their share of the load."
In response, DoD's office of personnel has drafted a military-wide policy to pursue separation for servicemembers who have been non-deployable for more than one year.