(USA TODAY) -- Almost 8,000 senior enlisted personnel must go before a continuation board later this year to determine whether they can continue to serve or must retire.
The board — the first since early 2013 — will convene Oct. 27, according to a Navy document released Aug. 14.
At risk are between 7,500 and 8,000 retirement-eligible active and reserve E-7s, E-8s and E-9s with at least at least three years’ time in rate.
But there is a big upside to the process: Clearing out senior enlisted who have engaged in misconduct or whose performance has slipped noticeably makes way for hot running sailors to move up.
The board has no exceptions; even the most senior sailors — up to and including Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens — will have their records reviewed.
“It’s an opportunity for us, as chief petty officers, to police ourselves,” said Fleet Master Chief April Beldo, senior enlisted adviser to the chief of naval personnel, in a July 30 interview.
“Expectations for continued service depend on maintaining performance,” she said. “As chief petty officers, we’re accountable to the Navy, our sailors and ourselves for our actions — and that is really what this is all about.”