How Much Is Your Military Pay Really Worth?

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Financial posts are some of the most popular on this site, so I figured I would share a great article that summarizes a lot of the financial benefits of being active duty:

How Much is Your Military Pay Really Worth?

Guest Post – Got JPME?

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[Editor’s Note: The POC for anyone interested in War College is the Detailer.  A cheat sheet of all the Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) options can be found here.  If you’re interested in submitting a guest post, contact me here.]

By CDR Lanny Littlejohn, MC, USN (Lanny.Littlejohn < at >

I rolled out of bed at 0700 this morning to finish my paper on corruption in the Ukraine. Ukraine is currently the most corrupt country in all of Europe; its corruption destabilizes it to the point that it is subject to influence from its eastern neighbor, Russia. Russia is currently in a “hybrid” war with Ukraine, a new type of warfare that Russia has been perfecting for the past decade. The Chinese are perfecting a different type called “unrestricted” warfare. Then there is ISIS. Two months ago, I had very little insight into these issues. After finishing the paper, I went to class at the Blue Plate Diner in Newport wearing jeans, flops, and sweatshirt since it is cooling off a bit up here in RI. I have not put a uniform in quite some time. This week we have “seminar” for three hours each morning (M-Th), with the afternoons, and all of Friday, off to work on assignments. While not a walk in the park, it is different enough from medicine to serve as a well deserved breather I have enjoyed so far. You should strongly consider getting your Joint Profession Military Education (JPME) on.

Programs and Prerequisites

There are two primary programs of study at the Naval War College (NWC): the junior (JPME-1) and the senior program (JPME-2). The junior program (JPME-1) is completed as a resident or nonresident. Nonresident options include the fleet seminar program, NWC online program, and from war colleges of other services. I received my JPME-1 via the NWC online program several years ago. There is also a rare opportunity for officers at the 12-15 year mark to attend JPME-1 as a resident here [limited to O4 and below]. However, medical officers will likely need to obtain JPME-1 as a nonresident.

The senior program is via the College of Naval Warfare (CNW). Officers selected have typically completed JPME-1 and apply through their detailer at the 15-20 year mark (O5 or O6). Completion of this residency program grants a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. Accreditation is via the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For both JPME-1 and JPME-2, there are three courses: Joint Military Operations (JMO), National Security Decision Making (NSDM), and Strategy and Policy (S&P). The main difference between the two programs is that the junior course focuses on the Tactical/Operational level and the senior course on the higher Strategic level. As a resident at the NWC, you are also required to take an elective each trimester. I just finished the Political Warfare elective – super cool.

Additional Qualifier Designations (AQDs) are awarded for JPME-1 and JPME-2. Many elective pathways also result in an AQD. So that’s three AQDs you can receive if you are an AQD collector – I know you’re out there. [And promotion boards know that these AQDs are difficult to get, unlike some of the others.]

The Environment

NWC is academia at its best. Students wear business casual so that neither service nor rank are distinguished. All services are in attendance including the Coast Guard. You will find that there are several interagency (State Department, Justice Department, CIA, etc.) students and many international students as well. There may be one lecture per week with the entire student body, but most classes are in a seminar (12 students, two instructors). My seminar includes students from Greece, Lebanon, and Singapore along with two “agency” students and six other service students. Teaching is Socratic (You know, that method you thought you would be using before receiving the letter of rejection from Harvard). Exams are essay – not multiple choice. You do not have to publish, but many of the best papers are submitted for publication. This should definitely help your Google H-index.

Follow on Assignments

Medical officers who complete JPME-2 are highly valued at the higher levels in operational medicine. This may be as a joint force command surgeon, fleet surgeon, a Pentagon tour, or in any of the various naval service operational commands. This follow-on assignment is not a requirement, however. Your Detailer and Specialty Leader will ultimately work with you on what your next assignment will be. Some have returned to the MTF after NWC only to go operational on the very next tour. Commitment after obtaining JPME-2 is two years, served concurrently with any existing obligations.


There are several beneficiaries of a tour at the NWC. First, you and your family. Newport and surrounding vicinity is a great place to live with good schools and lots of history and activities. If you have been in the MTF for multiple tours, you may need a break so a brief sabbatical here can help recharge the batteries. You will still work hard (tons of reading and paper writing) but time structure is on your terms. Second, your specialty and our Navy. Every specialty in Navy Medicine (with rare exceptions) has elements that operationalize to support the mission of the Navy. To have the 30,000-foot strategic view of how your part comes into play is a great benefit to your specialty and service. Third, the nation needs thinkers and leaders. We all have the feeling that something has gone sideways in the last few decades. We need strong leaders who have the integrity to make the tough calls and argue for the right decisions on the national level. After you leave the naval service, this education and degree will go with you and will likely have great utility no matter how your large your future circle of influence may be.

Medical Director and Chief of Clinical Operations Position at the Defense Health Agency

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Description: See this position description

Homeport: National Capital Region

Rank: O6 preferred, but will consider all ranks

Fill date: Summer 2017

Application Due Date: 1st come, 1st serve

POC for CV/BIO: Detailer

CDRs Who Want to Make CAPT Should Consider the 3rd MLG Surgeon Billet!

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The 3rd MLG Surgeon position in Okinawa is still open.  It was originally advertised in this post and a position description is here, and it is still available.  Historically, excellent performance in senior USMC leadership positions has led to promotion to O6, so any CDRs out there should strongly consider applying for this position.  I’d even apply if I was a senior LCDR.  It is due to be filled in summer 2017.  Contact your Detailer if you are interested.

Navy Announces Creation of New Personnel Web Portal

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Sounds like I’m going to have to update the Promo Prep soon…

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy announced Friday that it is beginning a beta test of a new web portal designed to aggregate several personnel, training and education websites into one location.

Today, the content and applications Sailors need to access their personnel information is spread across multiple websites. Over time, that capability will be integrated into My Navy Portal.

My Navy Portal is intended to become the central on-line location for Sailors to access all of their personnel information. Additional capabilities and functions will be added in phases before becoming fully operational.

“Sailors have been asking for a platform that allows them to access their personnel information in one location,” said Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Robert Burke. “While there is still much work to be done on My Navy Portal, this is the first step in providing a consolidated one-stop shop for Sailors’ personnel information. Our Sailors deserve a modern personnel system and we are committed to giving it to them.”

The initial release of My Navy Portal will allow Sailors to access their Physical Readiness Information Management System (PRIMS) data and Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). Additionally, Sailors will be able to view Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) content, the Navy Advancement Center, Navy Schools and Learning Centers, Personnel Qualification Standards, and General Military Training. My Navy Portal will also provide links to Career Management System-Interactive Detailing, Sailors’ Electronic Training jackets, their Joint Services Transcript, Navy eLearning, Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL), Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (Electronic Service Record and eLeave), Pay/Personnel Standard Operating Procedures, U.S. Navy Awards (NDAWS), and more.

The beta release of My Navy Portal will serve as a field test for how to improve its functionality and capability. There are currently known challenges for platforms with limited, low, or intermittent bandwidth/connectivity, and we are working to develop a solution that will be more responsive in shipboard environments.

Those individuals identified as beta testers will be notified by email. Sailors should see continued improvement with each software update to My Navy Portal, expected quarterly. Upon completion of the beta test, My Navy Portal will be launched Fleet wide and be available to Sailors as the central on-line location for their personnel information.

Sailors can access My Navy Portal’s public homepage by viewing From there, individuals can securely log into the website and view their personnel information using their CAC. Sailors experiencing difficulty logging on should email the My Navy Portal help desk at for assistance.

Additionally, with the launch of MNP, Navy Knowledge On-line (NKO) has been tentatively scheduled for retirement after the Spring Navy Wide Advancement Exam Cycle is complete. The NKO data will be incorporated into MNP.

The Navy is seeking Sailors’ feedback and recommendations on how to improve the portal, especially during the beta test. Fleet users who are not designated beta testers are strongly encouraged to provide comments and recommendations for the improvement of the portal’s capability using the site’s feedback option located at the bottom right of every My Navy Portal page.

More information about the portal can be found on the My Navy Portal Help tab, and on the Navy Personnel Command Career Toolbox website at:

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

Assistant Inspector General for Medical Matters Position – O6 Only

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This position is described in full in this position description.  It will be available this summer with the expectation of a face-to-face turnover with the incumbent in July/August timeframe.  The position is located at the Washington Navy Yard.  O­6 is required and post­-command is preferred.  The POC for those interested is in the position description.

O5+ in DC Area – 2017-18 MIT Seminar XXI: Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest

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The program described in this NAVADMIN sounds pretty interesting if you are an O5 or above in the Washington, DC area:

R 070101Z FEB 17




Rmks/1. This is a call for applications for the Academic Year 2017-2018
(AY17-18) Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI: Foreign
Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest. This CNO-
sponsored education program is managed by OPNAV N3N5. Seminar XXI represents
a unique opportunity for future policy leaders to share perspectives while
cultivating their understanding of the intricate relationships among economy,
society, and culture in the international environment. Seminar Fellows
develop broad perspectives and analytical skills that enable them to evaluate
and formulate national policy.

2. Seminar XXI is an educational program for current and future leaders in
the U.S. national security and foreign policy communities. Administered by
MIT’s Center for International Studies, the program is intended for
professionals with significant potential to move into key decision-making
roles in the next 5-10 years. Program participants, known as Fellows, come
from a wide range of sponsoring organizations including the armed forces,
Federal agencies, NGO’s, and private companies. The overriding goal of
Seminar XXI is to equip rising military officials and civilian executives
with the multidimensional analytic skills needed to understand foreign
relations and shape effective policy options for the United States.

3. Course Schedule: Participants will meet after core work hours, once a
month in the evenings and for three weekends in the DC area during the 2017-
2018 academic year, beginning 6 September 2017 and ending 6 May 2018.

4. Eligibility. The course is designed for senior officers (O-5 and above)
and civilians with clear promotion potential who will have the opportunity to
apply these skills in their respective fields in the Navy. This application
process applies only for individuals currently serving in Navy staff
organizations within the Washington, D.C. area. Those Navy personnel in OSD,
Defense Agencies, or the Joint Staff have separate paths for application.

5. Program specifics. Thirteen Navy staff officers and civilians will be
selected for the AY17-18 Seminar XXI fellowships. Applicants must be able to
commit to attending every class with the full support of their command.
There is no cost to the participants or their commands.

6. Admission process: For academic year 2017-2018, MIT plans to select a
total of 75 personnel across the entire Federal Government. Of these, 13 will
be Washington, D.C. area Navy staff nominees. Navy’s screening and selection
process will chose those individuals with the best combination of experience,
accomplishments, and clear potential for significant future advancement and
leadership positions.

7. Nomination package: Each nomination package must include the following:
Seminar XXI application form (Adobe); Sponsor endorsement form from the
individual’s reporting senior (Adobe); and a Curriculum Vitae (CV) form
(Word). All forms will be forwarded to the applicant by email. Deadline for
application submission is 15 March 2017. OPNAV N3/N5 will forward a list of
13 finalists to the MIT Seminar XXI Admissions Board NLT 15 April. Accepted
Fellows will be notifed by mid-June 2017.

8. Application forms and OPNAV N3N5 POCs: Send all requests for forms to
the OPNAV N3/N5 POCs:
a. LCDR Kori Levy-Minzie (N515); DSN 260-4781 or COMM 571-256-4781;
Email: kori.levyminzie(at)
b. David Loneman (N515): DSN 225-5461 or COMM 703-695-5461;
Email: david.r.loneman.ctr(at)

9. Released by VADM J. C. Aquilino, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for
Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5)//


Households Goods Move Timelines Compressed Due to FY17 Continuing Resolution

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From Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support Office of Corporate Communications
SAN DIEGO (NNS) — The Navy Household Goods (HHG) global team announced Feb. 8 Sailors should expect a compressed timeline for planning and scheduling military moves through the end of the Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2017.

As a result, once Sailors are in receipt of orders from their detailers, they should submit those orders to the HHG website within 72 hours to initiate the HHG shipment process. The website for submitting orders is

The consequence of the CR is service members will receive their orders only approximately two months prior to their expected move timeframe. Due to the way resources are phased and allocated under a CR, the Navy currently does not have sufficient funds in its manpower accounts to allow for the normal three to four month lead times for Sailors’ PCS orders.

Besides the time constraints, the impact of the CR will be exasperated by the usual annual peak season challenge of private-sector capacity limitations across the industry; shipping, packing, and transportation.

“We are operating under a compressed timeline due to the current CR, and our personnel working at Navy Household Goods are doing everything in their power to facilitate PCS moves once Sailors provide their official orders online,” said Rear Adm. James McNeal, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support.

Navy HHG is providing scheduled, live webinars in an effort to help educate Sailors and their families on the HHG moving process. The schedule for the webinars is available on the website.

“We are making extra effort to ensure our Sailors and their families are taken care of during the PCS move process; however, I cannot stress how critical it is that the service member follow the guideline to submit their official orders to our website online as soon as possible once in receipt,” said Deborah McGlennon, HHG program manager.

“PCS moves are always a team effort between the Sailor, the family members, and the Navy HHG team, but they begin with that first action — submitting the official orders online,” said McGlennon. “That must be initiated by the Sailor.”

FY18 Medical Corps Promotion Opportunity 80%

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Here are the just released FY18 Staff Corps promotion board members and convening order, which states that the promotion opportunity is 80%.  Below is the section of my Promo Prep document that explains how promotion board math works, because this does not mean you have an 80% chance of promoting.  That said, it is the highest its been in a long time:


See the tables below for the actual promotion statistics.

  FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18
LCDR 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%  
CDR 80% 80% 70% 70% 65%  
CAPT 60% 60% 60% 50% 70% 80%

Promotion opportunity.  This percentage is multiplied by the zone size to give the number of officers to be selected for promotion.  For example, if the promotion opportunity is 60% and there are 100 officers in-zone, then 60 will be selected for promotion.  This 60, however, may come from officers who are below-zone, in-zone, or above-zone.  For example, maybe 50 of the 60 are in-zone, and 10 are above-zone.  That is why the percentage of people in-zone who are selected for promotion is always lower than the promotion opportunity.  See below…

  FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18
LCDR 97% 89% 90% 93% 88%  
CDR 58% 66% 49% 53% 44%  
CAPT 55% 43% 47% 39% 34%  

Actual percentage of in-zone candidates selected for promotion.

Reimbursement for Board Certification Exams & Maintenance of Certification

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This is a process that physicians mess up all the time, leading to much frustration.  Here are the key points to note from the explanation below:

  • You must submit the request 6 weeks before you need to leave for the exam.
  • You must have 1 year of active duty service left following the exam date.
  • You must request the travel ahead of time.  You can’t do it after the fact.
  • You have to request the reimbursement request in the same fiscal year as the test.

This is straight from the Medical Corps Funding website, which is where you should go for the most up-to-date information on this topic:

In accordance with BUMEDINST 1500.20, Navy Medicine Professional Development Center may provide funding to Medical Corps Officers for certification examinations, recertification examinations, maintenance of certification (MOC) examinations and MOC fees. Only funding requests for Medical Specialty Board Examinations approved by American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) are authorized to be considered for funding.

Funding requests must be submitted to the funding group email address at least six weeks prior to the member’s travel or examination. Members requesting certification funding must have at least one year of active duty service following their examination date. Examinations must be taken at the closest available testing center.

Travel must be requested in advance; it cannot be funded after the fact. Only MOC fees paid during the current fiscal year will be considered for reimbursement.

To create your funding request, view the document MC Board Funding Request Checklist. Use the other documents, as required by the checklist, to complete your request:

Late Request Statement

Obligated Service Date Statement

Sample Endorsement for MC Board Certification

Sample Request for MC Board Certification

TAD Request Worksheet

Should you need it, detailed information regarding the funding process can be found in the last document titled MC Funding Guidance.