Tougher than it has been in a while. Malibu at New York Naval Recruiting has the details.

A month into the new fiscal year and:

As you can see a vast majority of the designators already have their number for the year or are at least very close. In addition if you view the column entitled “Goal” it is easy to see how competitive these programs currently are at this time. 

Head over to his place to see more, and the actual numbers…but bottom line – unless you want to be a SWO Information Warfare option, Special Warfare, Pilot, PAO, Oceanographer, Supply, Civil Engineer, or Cyber-warrior…it’s not likely to be this year.

So, what’s the relevance? Well, in 2007 Navy was looking for 1,571 new active duty officers. In 2008 -1,962. 2009 – 2, 202. 2010 – 2, 403.

Of last year’s 2,403 accessions, 1,536 were line officers – the ones on Malibu’s spreadsheet.

Total active duty line officer goal for 2011? 990.

Which means a roughly 1/3 reduction in active duty line officer accessions through Recruiting Command this year.

So, with today’s percentage based promotion system, 20 years from now we should be hearing about a shortage of Commanders and Captains.

Posted by M. Ittleschmerz in Navy

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  • Andy (JADAA)

    Face palm maneuver. I’m sure someone with the stats database will have the results going back to the draw-downs over past years. Anecdotally, I can recall my father telling of being solicited for Engineering Duty Officer after WWII due to the “oops” shortage of those, and guys cross-decking into the EA-6B community as 1310’s in the very late 80’s with an almost-guaranteed command screen due to the lack of Naval Aviators in that community. We don’t need to invent stupid, we have plenty on hand. Sigh.


    While interesting, it is a long way from the whole picture. Lets remember that USNA and NROTC are not included in the numbers on the spreadsheet. So to actually evaluate the potential for future “SWO Notches” and other problems down the road, we need to see the entire officer accession numbers. Still, when you want to avoid tough decisions, and not have to worry about the impact until after you are long gone, you can always cut accessions and assume higher retention to make the numbers work.

  • Mittleschmerz

    @USNVO – correct, this is only a portion of the accessions. But, it also the most elastic number and, quite often, the most “diverse” (another potential issue down the road which Sal will no doubt pick up).

    No matter how you slice it, a reduction of 600 officer accessions from one year to the next will show an impact down the line.


    @Mittleschmerz – No argument that 600 fewer assessions can potentially have an impact. However, we also have to look at the need for the officers down the road and projected retention (accurate or not!). First, if you are seeing higher than anticipated retention at the DH level, you would need fewer officer assessions. Additionally, since the OCS officers are the surge capacity, a higher number of graduates from NROTC and USNA sources would of course drive down the number needed. Second, if you assume you need fewer officers to man the future force you might want to drop assessions (fewer NFOs in every EF-18G vs EA-6B, fewer officers on LCS as opposed to FFG-7 class, etc). Another contributing factor could have been the expansion of the USMC which required an increase in officers from USNA and NROTC sources. Since many of the gains appear to be on the way of being reduced (according to senior Marines), fewer NROTC and USNA graduates that started 4 years ago will be USMC and more will be USN. Not saying that any of these factors are the answer, just that they could be. That is why I would find it interesting to see the numbers of all commissioning sources and some of the factors that the manpower people are using to set the targets before getting too bent out of shape. However, having been a victim of numerous idiotic manpower decisions in my career, and seen even more, I hope it is good shaping of the future force and not wishfull thinking or postponing hard decisions to someone elses watch.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    USNVO: “I hope it is good shaping of the future force and not wishful thinking or postponing hard decisions…”

    Not likely. However, promotion to Captain in 2022 should be good.
    In addition, the LCS will just be a bad memory and a bad example. So it’s not all bad.

    If somebody tells you he knows exactly how many personnel the Navy will need in 20 years, schedule an immediate command drug screen. Clearly hallucinating.


    @Grandpa Bluewater
    “Not likely. However, promotion to Captain in 2022 should be good.”
    Possibly, but without more info you really can’t know, which is the point of my post. Did we assess too many officers in the last few years so we now have a surplus of JOs? Will the fleet grow or shrink from previous projections used to determine requirements? How many Captains will we need in 2022? What is the capitol of Assyria? I am not in a position to say. The dynamic for how many officers you have to select from for Captain in any given year is driven by numerous other factors than just numbers of assessions. I really can’t tell from the rather narrow view of the post and make the choice to look at the glass as being half full. Perhaps, more likely probably, I am being wrong, but one should always have hope (although it should not be a course of action). I totally agree with your last comment, but that doesn’t mean that I an not hallucinating.