The Navy is delaying the retirement of its old personnel evaluation system due to technical glitches with the new system, according to officials and a fleet-wide message.
The new evaluation system, known as eNavFit, is supposed to be the next-generation program for filling out and submitting annual enlisted sailor evaluations and officer fitness reports.
But in a Navy message last month, the service announced it was slowing the full transition to eNavFit and would allow troops to continue to use the old system, NAVFIT98A, through the end of 2023. (Read the full message here.)
Sailors can use either program, but problems with eNavFit prompted the Navy to continue allowing the older system as well, according to Navy Personnel Command spokesman Cmdr. Rick Chernitzer.
Chernitzer described the eNavFit issues as “common to any new software rollout,” and said that allowing the fleet to continue using the old software “ensures we give the fleet the best possible product rather than implement a mandatory use of eNavFit on an arbitrary timeline.”
The new system came online for the Navy Reserve in December 2021 and for the active component in February, he added.
The bugs in the system, meanwhile, are occurring despite what Chernitzer called “extensive user experience and system testing” at more than 30 commands across the Navy.
“We continue to receive fleet feedback identifying issues and develop enhancements and updates to correct,” he said in an email to Navy Times.
Some of the problems involved entries entered into certain blocks on enlisted evals and officer fitness reports that later did not match what was on the submitted report, Chernitzer said.
The Navy has worked with developers to tweak program code to ensure that online and offline write-ups match, he said.
As of late last month, Chernitzer said more than 35,000 reports had been successfully submitted to member records via eNavFit. The new program’s error rejection rate was 12.5 percent during that period, less than half of the old program’s rejection rate (26 percent), according to Chernitzer.
“We are continuing to respond to issues the fleet identifies and, as bugs are fixed and system enhancements put in place, ensuring our support materials reflect the latest information,” he said.
The recently unveiled eNavFit is part of the Navy’s multiyear human resources transformation effort, an initiative that has produced disruptions in recent years for thousands of sailors when it comes to pay, benefits and discharge paperwork.
Chernitzer said the Navy plans to increase the frequency of its eNavFit training for sailors, and the MyNavy HR website has a variety of tutorial videos and other materials to help the fleet make sense of the new system.
“The eNavFit production team are very active on our MyNavyHR Facebook page, addressing questions and concerns, while at the same time, taking the feedback provided to address issues,” Chernitzer said. “Navy Personnel Command is dedicated to ensuring eNavFit meets the performance management needs of the fleet, while also serving as a bridge to the future of the Navy performance evaluation program and policy.”
The Navy’s new eval program problems come as the Air Force announced last month that it was pausing its own new eval software due to problems and concerns over how it could impact the careers of airmen.
Since the system debuted in February, it has struggled to add job performance paperwork to a service member’s official records, Air Force Times reported last month. Among its flaws are troubles exporting PDFs and the lack of a click-to-sign functionality.
MyEval replaced another program called vPC, which has already shut down to make way for the new software.
The situation has frustrated commanders tasked with filling out reviews for their troops and raised potential problems for the airmen whose paths forward depend on a smooth review process.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.