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Navy Issues Lists Of Upcoming Layoffs

Aired 11/29/11 on KPBS News.

The Navy will release a list today of enlisted officers who will be laid off in the coming year. It’s the second phase of a strategy to re-balance the service after a period of low turnover in the force.

Altogether about 3,000 people nationwide will get the message they need to leave the Navy by September of next year. That’s about one of every 100 people in the force. Several years of high re-enlistments mean certain job categories are now over-staffed, and the Navy is looking for ways to downsize, and create room for fresh blood.

Lower ranking sailors got their lay off notices two weeks ago. Higher ranking petty officers will find out this week who is on the list. A specially convened “Enlisted Retention Board” reviewed more than 16,000 sailors in 31 over-manned job categories, people in mid-career who have been with the Navy for between seven and 14 years. Only those who have been with the Navy for 20 years qualify for a pension.

Captain Winton Smith, Commander of Naval Base San Diego, said it’s a painful message to have to deliver. But he said the Navy is taking pains to give those who have to leave plenty of support to be ready for the transition.

“In the early '90s, the Navy went through this,” Smith said. “We started laying people off. It wasn’t as calculated and thought out the way we’re doing it this time. Here, I think we’re doing it right.”

Smith said he plans to host a “What’s Next? “ seminar in mid-December for everyone on the list in the Navy’s southwest region.

He did not know how many will be affected in San Diego, but if 1 percent of active duty personnel are on the list, it could be more than 600 people.

Rear Admiral Martha Herb helps organize Family and Community Services for the Navy nationwide. She said the Navy will contract with civilian job coaching services to help those who need advice on resume writing or interviewing skills.

“We’ve provided time for our overseas sailors, " Herb said, " those who may be serving in Afghanistan or some other oversees location. We’ll bring them back to the United States so that they have a minimum of 60 days time to focus on what they need to do before their separation.”

Herb said there will be many transition assistance programs and other benefits. For example, the Navy will offer six months of extended health benefits to those laid off.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 29, 2011 at 12:39 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

How about laying off some bomers and drones instead?

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Avatar for user 'Satariel'

Satariel | November 29, 2011 at 1:26 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

"bomers" and drones cost less than humans.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 30, 2011 at 12:42 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

"Let’s look at the defense budget of the United States. It is close to $700 billion. One combat plane, [among] the cheapest, cost $90 million. Another example is the Spirit, this sophisticated plane used in Libya and Iraq, which costs more than $2 billion. A little of what I told Obama in the letter is that the debt is so big that you cannot repay it. You might repay it if you reduce the defense budget. Take the cheapest combat plane, look at how much it costs, and you will see how many hospitals you can have, how many schools, how many new jobs, how many opportunities to improve life rather than cause death. I spent twelve days in Iraq. How many bombs have they dropped to kill [so many] children with their mothers in Baghdad? What are we talking about here? We’re going around and around in circles. Let’s deal with hard facts. I’m presenting hard facts. How do we change this if there is no political will? There is no other way to change this except through the rebellion of the people. Los indignados indignadisimos! The most indignant of the indignant! The more indignant they are, the more they are demanding change!" -- Adolfo Perez Esquivel, ARgentinian activist & architect, Nobel Peace Prize winner, 1980

Oooops, Satariel!

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Avatar for user 'TessLevenque'

TessLevenque | November 30, 2011 at 10:17 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice Captain Smith makes it all sound so neat, clean and organized. Almost like a good idea. If it's your family member who just lost their job, housing and health insurance, well how about that? What about that, eh matey? how about some of that wonderful "outplacement" crap for yourself?
What other organization could get away with screwing over so many mid-career people while still hiring new trainees? Lemme see, fire a bunch of fully trained and experienced personnel and hire a whole pack of newbies. No wonder the military is the way it is. Look at the fools running it... So convenient they are not bothered by a sense of right vs. wrong.
MID CAREER, you dolts! that means these people had planned to make a career of the Navy. That's some kind of gratitude for their service.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 1, 2011 at 8:28 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

"No wonder the military is the way it is. Look at the fools running it... So convenient they are not bothered by a sense of right vs. wrong."

Perhaps you could do a better, and more moral, job? Here is a link.

See if they will accept you for one of the jobs that aren't overmanned, like the ones that they just had to reduce because there wasn't as much need for them anymore.

Good Luck

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | December 1, 2011 at 8:31 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

It's sad when anyone loses their job, but why should the military be a sacred cow?

It's over-bloated and needs to be cut-back, all I can say to those getting let go is you will have lots of company as your civilian brothers and sisters are dealing with the same issue.

Another option is looking at the benefits of housing, etc. given to families of the military. Maybe these should be scaled back to only include those who serve overseas, and not include all the people who never see combat and sit around an office in the U.S. for their entire military career.

I think the benefits should equate to the risks involved, and not all military personnel face the same risks. In fact, there is a very large range in terms of the experience of military personnel - from heroic deployments to sitting around in an office all day stateside. Why should the sweeping benefits that include housing be allowed for all? We can't afford it.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | December 1, 2011 at 2:28 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Wait til they start addressing healthcare and pension costs in the military. That's one cat that hasn't been pulled out of the bag yet. When it does, we're all in for a surprise.

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Avatar for user 'TessLevenque'

TessLevenque | December 11, 2011 at 9:13 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

I served in the Army, dearie, because I believe it is everyone's responsibility to serve our country in whatever way possible. I served honorably and morally. So, I'll pass on the Navy job offer.
I'm suggesting the Navy should not "fire" people who are in mid-career. It seems as if it would make sense to retain seasoned "employees" and to re-train them for some needed job classification. This, instead of ejecting them at the same time the company is busy recruiting new people. Private Industry wouldn't get away with that - or is that OK now?

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Avatar for user 'nonameplease'

nonameplease | April 20, 2012 at 1:15 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

The military has so many perks it's unbelievable. I grew up in a military town as a non-military and saw how much more the military doles out to its service members. I guess that's why they join the service -- they get a job and free housing and tax free shopping. It's no wonder the Navy is broke -- along with the government. And to top it off they want us to say "thank you for flying a desk". I say learn from those of us who did NOT enjoy job security. They now have first crack at civil service with their points preference when completing an application. They always have VA benefits. And if at 45 they find themselves out the door, welcome to the world of most Americans today. I am not sure what service people do all day, but I know why they joined the service: for the benefits. You can't beat them and the taxpayers can't afford them. Is that fair? Thanks for the service at the expense of taxpayers. If you saw combat, you are the one to be thanked. If you joined because you get free housing and job security, that's over the top. And I see more of that than anything else.

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