The Navy unveiled a new policy Monday that will allow commanding officers to recommend certain sailors advance to E-5 and E-6 in order to fill empty billets — provided they agree to stay in the sea service.

The effort, known as Command Advance to Position, or CA2P, is the latest initiative from the service to bolster billet-based advancement in exchange for the opportunity to promote.

Now, eligible sailors can fill either vacant billets or ones that will become open in the next 18 months — so long as they agree to reenlist and fulfill the tour requirements for the billet, according to a new naval administrative message, or NAVADMIN.

The policy, which took effect Saturday, is different from the service’s Meritorious Advancement Program, which allows sailors to promote without agreeing to additional time in service. Eventually, CA2P will replace the MAP system, the Navy said.

Under the new policy, commanding officers may recommend a sailor for CA2P by submitting a Manning Realignment Request in MyNavy Assignment, for those more than 12 months out from their projected rotation date.

If a sailor is less than 12 months away from their projected rotation date, commands may recommend the sailor for CA2P via an email request to the appropriate placement management coordinator.

Those eligible to promote to E-5 must have two years of cumulative sea duty, and have passed the most recent Navy-wide Advancement Exam as they await advancement. Those who have previously undergone the CA2P process to advance to E-5 must agree to an additional two years of service on top of the current tour length to promote to E-6.

“Sailors who are assigned to overseas tours will need to meet DoD requirements to be eligible for either the overseas tour extension incentives program or the consecutive overseas tour program,” the NAVADMIN said.

Sailors serving in submarine or surface nuclear ratings are not eligible for CA2P, according to the NAVADMIN.

Other efforts aimed at targeting billet-based advancement include the Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy, known as DMAP, and the Senior Enlisted Marketplace — both of which seek to eliminate manning shortages at sea.

Under DMAP, certain sea-intensive ratings are eligible for benefits if they sign on to another three-year journeyman sea tour as an E-5, including up to $800 in incentive pay. Sailors wishing to remain at sea as part of CA2P but are not part of a DMAP rating are not eligible for these incentives.

Even so, sailors in ratings eligible for Sea Duty Incentive Pay may still apply for that benefit.

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