The Navy has around 51 major bases in the Continental United States (CONUS). They also have bases located overseas in Hawaii, Bahrain, Italy, Cuba, Greece, Guam, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom (England). Many Navy assignments are not actually to bases, but rather Sailors are assigned to a ship or submarine, which would call one of these bases its "home port." Of course, assignment opportunities depend on your Navy job. For example, if your Navy fixing F-18 aircraft, you will be assigned only to Naval Air Stations and ships that have F-18 aircraft.
Sailors work with people called "Detailers" to arrange assignments. Detailers are in charge of all assignments for a particular job-community and rank (rate) range. The vast majority of sailors rotate from a period of shore duty to a period of sea duty (assigned to a ship or submarine). The actual length of the rotations vary from one Navy job to another, but usually averages 36 months of shore duty, followed by 36 months of sea duty (assigned to a ship or submarine). I should note sea duty doesn't mean the Sailor will be "at sea" for 36 months, straight. Ships and submarines also spend time at thier home ports. Some Navy jobs spend more time assigned to a ship/submarine. These jobs are the type that have significantly more requirements on ships or subs than they have in shore duty positions. These are called "Sea Intensive Ratings." A SIR is a rating that has a sea/shore rotation period of greater than 48/36.
Some "shore" assignments are counted as "sea duty" for rotational purposes. This is generally true if the shore assignment requires the Sailor to be away from his/her base for more than 150 days per year, or overseas "remote" assignments, where dependents are not authorized.
Sailors generally must have 36 months time-on-station (TOS) before they can be reassigned from one state-side base to another state-side base, or from a state-side base to an overseas assignment. Most overseas assignments are for a minimum of two years for Sailors unaccompanied by dependents, and for three years for those who are accompanied. There are some assignments (such as Korea or Cuba), which are considered "remote" 12 month assignments.
Want to read more about the pros and cons of choosing the Navy?
- Recruiting Environment
- Enlistment Incentives
- Job Opportunities
- Basic Training
- Quality of Life
- Promotion Opportunities
- Educational Opportunities
- Enlisted Commissioning Programs
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