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Operations, Logistics & Engineering
js
Joined: April 2013
Posts: 4
Location:
Posted: April 27, 2013 5:37 PM

Hello All. I write searching for insight from anyone who has knowledge concerning declining active duty promotion from paygrade O3 to paygrade O4. I'm an Active Duty Navy Officer at the grade of Lieutenant (O3) currently in zone for an upcoming promotion board this year.

I understand this decision to be a "career killer" but that is about all I can find on the matter. I desire to leave the service in the next few years so the "military career killer" threat (that I continue to hear from my peers and senior officers and read about online) doesn't bother me. I've served honorably and completed multiple deployments over an eight year period in multiple regions around the world. I see separation in my early to mid-30's as an absolute positive springboard to greater opportunities as a civilian that will allow me to be with family and establish myself as an asset and resource in the business community back home.

I'll likely be promoted in 2014, as I've been "looked at" below zone during the past two years. I've met every single requirement for promotion and have nothing in my record to prevent it.

Concerning navigation of the bureaucracy in declining a promotion when presented a promotion acceptance letter, what should I expect if I check "decline" on the promotion acceptance letter? It should be noted that I have accepted additional obligatory service by executing orders for postgraduate education while on active duty, and the time will not have been paid back at the time I'll be offered promotion to O4. Please note at the time I accepted the orders I completely intended to stay in the military until 20 years, but have realized since that is not the path I'm supposed to take.

Does anyone here have first hand experience with declining a promotion and if not, know exaclty what Navy personnel desk to discuss the possibility with? I've got some leads already, but am looking for anyone who may have heard of this or experienced it themselves in the last few years.

Another detail relevant to my situation is that the officer community to which I belong is currently overmanned at the rank of O3 by over 100 officers.

Thank you for your time in the matter. I look forward to any and all replies!

Transitioned Military Officer
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 26
Location:
Posted: April 29, 2013 10:14 AM

RE: Declining Promotion and Details Concerning Execution
Hello JHSmith. Thanks for posting your question and more importantly thank you for your service. I spent some time on the USS Mount Whitney and have an appreciation for the work that SWO's put in. Again, thank you.

I don't have any personal experience on "declining a promotion", but will dig into it a bit. My initial question is why do you feel that you need to decline a promotion? Do you incur additional obligations by accepting the promotion?

If so, I would be curious to know how much and does it line up with your post graduate commitment requirements. Put another way, how much longer would you have to stay in order to depart?

If only a matter of months, my gut reaction would be to encourage you to take the promotion and stockpile the additional funds in savings to prepare for your transition.

If it isn't something you can accept and do intent to decline the promotion I would suspect that you may be detailed in some administrative role. That is what we traditionally saw in the Army when it was known someone was going to transition out.

If you could provide some additional color on the questions I posed and let me do some digging to see if I can get you some feedback in my network.

Glad you posted and were here to help.

Transitioned Military Officer
js
Joined: April 2013
Posts: 4
Location:
Posted: April 29, 2013 1:17 PM

RE: Declining Promotion and Details Concerning Execution
Mr. Woods,

Good morning and thank you for the quick reply.

Declining a promotion is a means to separate from service. I see better opportunities outside of the military for my family and myself, both professionally and personally. Additionally, every O4 assignment I've seen first had does not interest me. My abilities and associated efforts are better suited elsewhere.

I'm not sure about incurring additional obligation by accepting promotion, and will have to ask my personnel office (or perhaps someone viewing this blog can provide more information on the matter) about additional obligation if accepting promotion to O4.

I do know that an officer is not allowed to serve more than 7 years at the rank of O3 under most circumstances. I'm in my 5th year as an O3 now and "in zone" for promotion to O4. The post graduate degree commitment requirement for payback, as I understand it, is simply one tour after completing the degree. It has changed in recent years from the 2 months on active duty for every month spent obtaining the degree.

As far as I know, the option to decline a promotion is not rescinded if post-graduate education is obtained while on active duty. (That's a bit wordy, so please ask if I need to clarify.) I understand post-graduate degree to be required for promotion to O5, which is the reason I was detailed to the assignment in the first place.

I've been preparing for over a year now considering a possible separation, and have moved from being 30% sure, to 45% sure, to now 60% sure, and hence is the reason for posting on this blog in a effort to determine what options I may have.

If I haven't clarified enough I'm happy to provide additional detail. Thank you for your great support in this request for information.

Sincerely,
JS

Transitioned Military Officer
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 26
Location:
Posted: April 29, 2013 1:49 PM

RE: Declining Promotion and Details Concerning Execution
Thanks for the feedback JS. I will reach out to my network to see if I can get you some feedback/insights.

If you have any other questions regarding your transition back into the private sector please don't hesitate to let me know.

Good luck!

Transitioned Military Officer
js
Joined: April 2013
Posts: 4
Location:
Posted: May 28, 2013 12:35 PM

RE: Declining Promotion and Details Concerning Execution
Mr. Woods,

I've been monitoring the site and enjoy the weekly updates. However, I thought I'd receive some guidance concerning my inquiry by now from either other followers or the Managing Americans staff. I might as well delete this topic and associated posts. Is there a way to do so?

Thank you.
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