Navy Postpones Promotions of 160,000 Sailors Because of Coronavirus

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It takes a lot for a United States Navy sailor to make promotion. There’s a test, time in rank or rate, evaluations and a myriad of other points like time at sea and the need for that sailor’s services. There are setbacks, but none like what the Navy has seen the last few weeks.

The spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, will delay the promotion of at least 160,000 sailors, according to a Navy Times report and an unclassified document sent Thursday throughout the Navy.

“To protect the health and safety of our force and to support geographical diversity of our selection board members, all promotion, advancement, milestone and other selection boards scheduled to convene on or after 24 March 2020 at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) are postponed until further notice,” Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, the Chief of Naval Personnel, said in a statement.

As the coronavirus has impacted almost everyone around the globe, it has brought travel and the way of life to a standstill among Americans as well. This includes the U.S. military, and how it also promotes its personnel.

Adm. Nowell said the measures were placed to ensure the safety for everyone involved in the ceremonies.

“I want to reassure every affected Sailor that we are committed to maintaining the sanctity of the selection board process and every precaution is being taken to ensure fairness and minimize impact to you and your family,” Nowell said.

Nowell added that the selection process would not delay any new candidates from attaining their new statuses, as letters to officers and enlisted boards will still be delivered by their anticipated delivery dates.

“As the COVID-19 situation evolves, NPC will refine the board schedule and promulgate additional guidance that ensures no eligible Sailor is disadvantaged by this action,” the vice admiral stated. “Schedule efficiencies may include conducting some smaller administrative boards via proven virtual processes.”

The memo was intended for all candidates who attained promotion status.

The coronavirus has spread into a pandemic, as classified by the World Health Organization, and it has affected lives all over the world. The virus that began in Wuhan, China, has now been tested positive among 250,000 people worldwide, including more than 10,000 in the United States, and more than 100 deaths in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday afternoon.

Many schools and universities all over the country have been forced to continue their studies online, and many restaurants, gyms and bars around America have been forced to find alternative ways to distribute their products without having 10 or more people in their establishments.

Navy Enlistment and Promotions
Members of the United States Navy participate in a re-enlistment and promotions ceremony at the September 11 Memorial on May 24, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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