By Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Fernandez P1A, ASSISTANT TO O-5 SC DETAILER
“Congratulations! You have been selected by NSWG1 for the CAG billet 00125 that rotates next summer. More to follow as we firm up the daisy chain and work to get your orders released.”
Many of us have received an email like this from our detailer and it begins an anxious process as we wait for hard copy orders to be released through message traffic and in the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System. The process is explained in the “It’s Your Detail” playbook on the eSUPPO app, but I want to delve deeper in this article.
In order to explain the process, I’d like to get a few definitions out of the way first.
AVAILABILITY– The earliest month and year that your detailer is able write your orders.
DAISY CHAIN–The daisy chain represents the totality of officers being lost and gained by each command. Commands pay for each of their billets and prefer not to have gaps. The detailers will try to minimize gaps as much as possible, but intermediate stops at schools en route, a shortage of Supply Corps officers in the inventory, and operational commitments can cause undesirable gaps throughout each daisy chain.
DETAILER–Your advocate at PERS that balances your professional and personal needs against the needs of the Navy. OAIS–Officer Assignment Information System
PLACEMENT OFFICER – The command’s advocate (there is a placement officer for both the gaining and losing commands, representing the commands on each end of your detail).
POLICY – The collection of desks who conduct quality assurance on each set of orders propped in Officer Assignment Information System.
PRD – Projected rotation date
PROP – The initiation of your orders in Officer Assignment Information System.
RETAINABILITY – Retainability is the minimum amount of active obligated service a service member must have upon arrival at a new duty station after a PCS transfer, both in CONUS and overseas.
TIG – Time in grade
TOS – Time on station is the period of time established for tours in specific geographic locations in the continental United States, overseas, or at sea before executing a PCS transfer.
Once your detailer has informed you that you have been selected for a certain billet, s/ he can then go into the OAIS and begin your prop. Ideally, you are leaving exactly at your PRD and going to a billet whose timing lines up perfectly. More often than not, this is not the case. If the billet requires you to leave Where Are My Orders? By Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Fernandez P1A, ASSISTANT TO O-5 SC DETAILER earlier than your PRD, your detailer must go to the placement officer who represents your current command and ask to pull your availability backward to meet the intended date for your orders. Each officer’s availability is usually mirrored exactly to their PRD (figure 1). This gives the placement officers protection against the detailer pulling officers out of the command unchecked, potentially causing a gap. The placement officer will then verify that there is a backfill or that the command is agreeable to the new gap created by this availability change.
Once your availability is aligned with the billet posting, the detailer can then create the prop for your orders and get them calculated. This calculation is done by OAIS and can be as streamlined as six QA desks with policy, or it can be much more. There will be extra policy desks included for exceptional family members, limited duty medical, military-to-military spouse, PFA, Joint, and special interest considerations. These are all different desks and will require each to approve the orders before moving to the next QA desk.
If you did not serve the DoD area tour for that set of propped orders, it will cause a calculation in the system that forces the detailer to make a justification to policy on why you are being selected to go to that billet (figure 2) . This is an example of a time on sta - tion waiver and depending on the length of time you are leaving early, it will either require approval by OP (leaving early 12 months or less) or the admiral at PERS-44 (leaving over 12 months earlier than DoD area tour). Each waiver is different and based on the financial posture at PERS; this waiver process can touch upward of six to eight pol - icy desks before approval and continue to the rest of the normal QA desks.
The next desks that must clear the orders are the gaining and losing placement officers. The gaining placement officer is going to verify that you have the requisite rank, timing, and skillset for the position. They, then send your record to the command to obtain their endorsement of your timing and skills. This is usually an N1/J1 or chief of staff at the command, and they will sometimes confer with the senior 3100 representative at the command to ensure the suggested officer is a good fit. Once they get the thumbs up from the command, they will pass it to the losing placement officer who will make sure that a replacement is en route to backfill you (figure 3).
The final funding desk is the last approval step before release and it usually takes the longest of all the QA desks. Depending on the funding posture, the 4635 desk will only release orders up to a certain date to retain their funding for high-priority orders and hot fills.
For example, we are only releasing orders with a departure date of March 2020 as of this writing. Fiscal constraints, like continuing resolutions, will make the orders release even more difficult.
As was hopefully made clear by this article, orders aren’t something that just happen overnight by pressing press a button ( figure 4 ). The system is set up to ensure that the com - mand’s desires and your personal consider - ations are all met. We always appreciate your patience. Your detailer strives to get the orders out as soon as possible because we know how important it is for a smooth PCS.