A sailor takes his chief petty officer exam aboard the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis last January. This year's exam will take place Jan. 14. (MC2 Kenneth Abbate / Navy)
The chief petty officer exam has been bumped up two days to avert possible problems if a federal government shutdown were to occur again.
This means the 35,000 first class petty officers slated to be eligible for chief this year will take their exams Jan. 14 instead of Jan. 16.
It’s a crucial date change because the current government funding bill is slated to run out Jan. 15. Vice Adm. Bill Moran, chief of naval personnel, thought it wise to move up the date and not risk losing civilian support staff who help administer the exam.
“Delays in the testing process could potentially have a ripple effect on selection board, announcement and first pay dates,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, CNP’s spokesman. “This is a prudent move that allows our sailors the needed preparation time and ensures that all taking the exam are part of a fair and orderly process. Our advancement process is too important not to anticipate issues and make needed changes to reduce the potential for problems in advance.”
The Navy’s personnel support detachments, heavily staffed by civilians and contractors, manage exam booklets. These documents are required to be under lock and key to prevent possible compromise of the content and are required to be destroyed once the tests are administered. The inability for PSDs to use their civilian staffers on Jan. 16 would have made testing unfeasible.
The Navy is not changing the date of the Reserve chief’s exam, however, which is still set for February.