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Things to Consider When Deciding Whether to Join The Navy



DUBLIN, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 01: A member of the US Navy salutes during the Irish National Anthem prior to the Notre Dame vs Navy game at Aviva Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland.
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Individuals enlisting in the Navy can receive advanced promotion, up to the rank (rate) of Seaman (E-3), for such things as college credits, JROTC, Eagle Scout, Civil Air Patrol, etc. Additonally, the Navy offers accelerated promotions to the paygrade of E-4 for enlistment in certain fields such as the Nuclear Field, or SEAL, and enlistment in the AEF/ATF programs. Navy Enlisted Promotions to E-2 and E-3 are based on a combination of time-in-service and time-in-grade. Sailors are promoted to E-4 through E-7, based on a combination of promotion points, and results of a 200 question written test. Generally, about one-half of the questions are about general Navy subjects, and the other half covers the specific rating (job). Those considered for promotion to E-7 must also be selected by a Navy-wide promotion selection board. Navy enlisted promotions to E-8 and E-9 are also made by a Navy-wide promotion board.

Actual promotion rates depend on your Navy job. It's a lot easier to get promoted in a job in which the Navy is experiencing a significant shortage of manpower than in a job that doesn't have a shortage. Additionally, it's often almost impossible to get promoted if you are in a job that is significantly overmanned, unless you volunteer to re-train into a shortage job. On the other hand, there are a handful of Navy jobs, at any given time, that are so undermanned that the Navy has established a 100 percent promotion rate for everyone within that job.

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