In the Navy, promotions to the paygrades of E-4 through E-7 are competitive. That means sailors compete against other sailors, within their same rating (job) for available promotion slots. In order to determine who gets promoted, the Navy, like the other services, use promotion points.
Basically, there are limited promotion vacancies within each paygrade for each job. When determining who gets promoted, those with the most promotion points are the ones who get the stripes.
Service-Wide Promotion Test Standard Score - Chief petty officers (E-7 to E-9) from each Navy rating develop advancement examinations. The examinations consist of 150 questions. Generally, 135 questions pertain to the rating (job) and 15 questions pertain to general military subjects. Examinations are administered to most candidates worldwide on the same day. Examinations are given according to a set schedule at locations and times that are announced in advance.
The standard score is a reflection of how well you did compared to your peers taking the same test. The Navy first averages all the scores to get the "arithmetic mean," and then average how far each score is from the mean. Your score is a direct reflection of any relative difference. Say, for example, you not only scored higher than anyone else, but scored way above the next highest candidate. Your score would reflect that and be relatively higher. On the other hand, let's say you had the highest score in a huge group of high scorers. You would still have the highest standard score, but it would be only slightly higher than the next highest score. In a general way a standard score of 20 means no one scored lower, 30 only 2% scored lower, 40 about 15% scored lower, 50 is average, 60 only 15% scored higher, 70 only 2% scored higher, and no one gets higher than 80. (80 is the highest possible standard score on Navy Promotion Examinations). For more information, "standard score" is covered in all introductory statistics books in a chapter on descriptive statistics.
Performance Evaluations - Sailors are rated periodically on their duty, conduct, and performance, by their supervisor(s) using written performance evaluations. These written evaluations include numerical promotion recommendations, as follows:
Early Promote = 4.0
Must Promote = 3.8
Promotable = 3.6
Progressing = 3.4
Significant Problems = 2.0
To calculate the Performance Evaluation Promotion Points (Called Performance Mark Average, or PMA), used in the chart below, one simply uses the average of the ratings received while in the current paygrade. Add up the marks received in the current paygrade, then divide by the total number of evaluations. Carry to three decimal places and round up/down (less than 5, round down, 5 and up, round up).
Time in Grade (TIG) - As used in the chart below, TIG is in years, and fractions of years. For example 3 years and six months TIG would be 3.5. Decimal conversions for fractions of months are as follows:
- 1 month = .083
- 2 months = .166
- 3 months = .25
- 4 months = .333
- 5 months = .417
- 6 months = .5
- 7 months = .583
- 8 months = .666
- 9 months = .75
- 10 months = .833
- 11 months = .916
Past Not Advanced (PNA) Points - PNA points are awarded to E-4 through E-6 candidates who achieve a relatively high score on previous Navy-wide advancement examination/have relatively high performance mark averages during an examination cycle in which the candidate competed for advancement but was not advanced because of quota limitations. PNA points are comprised of written examination standard score and performance mark average. PNA points are only creditable from the most recent five exam cycles in that paygrade. Maximum PNA points are 30.
Points are awarded as follows:
- If the sailor scored in the top 25 percent (compared to everyone else in his/her rating) on a previous promotion examination, he/she receives 1.5 points. If the sailors performance report ratings on the previous promotion cycle were in the top 25 percent, he/she receives 1.5 points.
- For the next 25 percent it's 1.0 points for the promotion examination/performance reports, respectively.
- For the next 25 percent, it's 0.5 points for the promotion examination/performance reports, respectively.
Again, only PNA points from the last five promotion cycles can be carried over to the current cycle, and the maximum number of points (after they are muliplied by 2 according to the below chart) are 30.
Note: For promotion to E-7, the above factors are just the first step, and are used to determine which E-6s meet the promotion board, and which do not. Those E-6s who score (total points determined above) within the top 60 percent of each rating (job), go on to have their records evaluated by a Navy-wide promotion board. It's the promotion board who then determines who actually gets promoted, or not, depending on the number of available promotion vacancies.
Promotion Point Calculation
|Navy Enlisted Promotion Point Calculation for E-4 through E-7 Promotions|
E 4/E 5 MAX POINTS (AND % OF OVERALL POSSIBLE MAX SCORE)
E 6 MAX POINTS (AND % OF OVERALL POSSIBLE MAX SCORE)
E 7 MAX POINTS (AND % OF OVERALL POSSIBLE MAX SCORE)
|Service-Wide Promotion Test Standard Score||All||See above||80 (38%)||80 (30%)||80 (60%)|
|Time in Rate (TIR)||E-4/E-5||TIR + 7.5||15 (7%)|
|E-6||TIR + 9.5||17 (7%)|
|Award Points||10 (5%)|
|E- 6||12 (5%)|
|E- 7||Not Used|
|PNA Pts from last 5 promotion cycle profile sheets||15 (7%)|
|E- 6||15 (6%)|
|E- 7||Not Used|
|Maximum Possible Promotion Points (100%)||210||240||132|