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Jun
2

Human Error Blamed

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Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ARLINGTON, Va. — Due to a “human error,” 134 petty officers second class were incorrectly notified that they had been promoted to E-6 before the Memorial Day weekend, said Rear Adm. Dan Holloway.

The Chief of Naval Personnel has ordered an investigation into how the mistake happened, said Holloway, director of the Navy’s military personnel, plans and policy division.

About 60 sailors had already been “frocked,” meaning they were allowed to wear the higher rank insignia.

“We deeply regret, as you can imagine, the human error causing the hardship over the Memorial Day weekend, and of course, a lot of those folks thought they had succeeded and [were] celebrating, and then to receive the news that it was an error,” Holloway, said.

While the Navy correctly calculated these sailors’ advancement scores and the quota for how many sailors should advance to E-6, it accidentally put more names on the advancement list than the quota allowed, Navy officials said. The mistake affects “Full Time Support” sailors, most of whom are based in the United States, Holloway said.

The 134 sailors will not be able to keep their E-6 rank, but the Navy’s mistake will not hurt their chances for future advancement, he said.

“They will be able to — for those who are still competing — to compete with a clean slate, and like everyone else, to build their portfolio and their record so that they can go after their goal in advance and stay Navy,” Holloway said.

None of the sailors had begun to receive E-6 pay, but those sailors who had assumed E-6 responsibilites will have to be de-frocked. A statement will be entered into their personnel records making clear that the action was “due to an administrative error which resulted in erroneous frocking and not because of any adverse action,” a Navywide message said.

“We did that for a purpose to make sure that every one of these 134 were protected, and [to] ensure that it was a permanent record that it was our error,” Holloway said.

In a related error, 31 sailors were not told that they had been promoted to E-6, he said.

The Navy has since added an extra check to make sure the human error in question does not happen again, Holloway said.

“We do not want to put our sailors through this,” Holloway said.

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