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CHIPS Articles: Navy Career Tool System Puts Sailors in the Driver's Seat for Job Applications

Navy Career Tool System Puts Sailors in the Driver's Seat for Job Applications
Self-service option is the latest in a series of enhancements to CMS/ID
By Deborah Gonzales - October-December 2009
The newest update to the Career Management System/Interactive Detailing (CMS/ID) gives Sailors a self-service option to help manage their professional career path and negotiate orders for their next job assignment.

Technical support, provided by the New Orleans Office of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic, for the development and deployment of the "Sailor Apply" capability in July 2009 has enabled active duty Sailors to submit their own Permanent Change of Station (PCS) job applications in CMS/ID via the Internet, similar to applying for a job online in the private sector.

The new functionality, which mirrors the process already used successfully by drilling Reservists to submit assignment requests, complements the detailing process, augments traditional application methods and provides a total force capability for the Navy.

To submit applications to Navy detailers, Sailors must meet Perform to Serve (PTS) requirements and be within their orders negotiation window.

CMS/ID is the centerpiece of a total force Web-based Navy Career Tools suite that empowers active duty, full-time support and Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors to manage their careers. The system enables enlisted Sailors to research jobs; update their duty preferences; identify the skills and other requirements needed to make informed decisions to achieve their career objectives; and apply for future jobs. Automatic alerts in the system keep Sailors informed about assignment opportunities and key career milestones. Approximately 15,000 billets (jobs) are listed in CMS/ID monthly.

Until July, the only way active duty Sailors could apply for assignments was through their command career counselors. The new self-service function now gives all Sailors the option of driving the application process themselves.

Sailors research and apply for potential assignments during each month's two-week application window, though the job search process begins nine months prior to a Sailor's projected rotation date (PRD).

A series of color-coded indicator lights pop up on screen in CMS/ID as the system matches the Sailor's personal information with job requirements. Gates prevent applicants from selecting jobs in the wrong paygrade or Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) and regulate which jobs are available to the Sailor.

Flags warn of factors that could affect whether a detailer approves the application. These capabilities were put in place in an earlier CMS/ID release so that career counselors could begin preparing Sailors to submit their own applications.

Reliance on CMS/ID for career management continues on the increase as demonstrated by 1,878,427 logins since January and 106,352 job applications processed, said Capt. Michael Murphy, program manager for the Sea Warrior program (PMW 240), which manages the CMS/ID application for the Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP)/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO) Total Force.

"Deployment of the Sailor Apply capability to the full active and Selected Reserve Navy team via CMS/ID is a huge milestone for us," Murphy said. "Success represents completion of one of the CNP's strategic initiatives for FY09, as well as one of our PMW 240 strategic objectives."

The single information technology acquisition agent for the Navy's manpower, personnel, training and education (MPTE) enterprise, the Sea Warrior program is a component of the Navy's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), which develops, acquires and deploys seamless enterprise-wide IT systems with full life-cycle support for the warfighter and business enterprises.

The Sea Warrior program comprises a portfolio of more than 40 business applications and is focused on enterprise IT management practices, processes and execution to address time-critical business capability gaps ashore and afloat and to migrate or sustain current legacy systems supporting manpower, distribution, pay and personnel management, and medical reporting.

The PMW 240 team is committed to advancing the Navy's total force vision by transitioning to integrated solutions backed by rigorous, enterprise-level IT portfolio management for ashore, afloat and expeditionary units.

To support this mission, SSC Atlantic's New Orleans Office is the technical services provider to PMW 240 and PEO EIS, performing project management; software engineering; software development, deployment and sustainment; requirements management; configuration management; testing; production support; and quality assurance.

The New Orleans fleet and customer support team provides customer support center and help desk services. The networks engineering and the information assurance applications and systems teams provide program hosting support for CMS/ID in the New Orleans Office Navy Data Center.

In keeping with PMW 240's disciplined performance requirements, the New Orleans Office CMS/ID development team provided technical support for the new self-serve job application function during a five-month assessment and operational test at 15 shore and sea commands and squadrons.

"There have been many early indications that this capability would be extremely well-received," said Kathryn Bailey, long-time CMS/ID project manager at the New Orleans Office. "Application numbers are higher this cycle than they have ever been. I'm very proud of the CMS/ID project lead, Darren Darby, and [the] development team for producing such an important and useful tool for the Sailor and the Navy."

Career counselors will retain the option to review and modify requests, submit applications and perform a vital mentoring role in helping guide good career choices, with Sailors serving as active partners in the orders negotiation process.

Many career counselors report that the new capability is particularly beneficial to Sailors who are familiar with the detailing process thus giving them extra time to work with more junior Sailors in selecting their next assignments.

CMS/ID enables commands to view the service records of Sailors applying for jobs in their commands, rate their qualifications and provide their rankings to detailers.

The system assists detailers and placement coordinators at the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) in Millington, Tenn., with the distribution and placement of naval personnel, identifying the best job for the Sailor and best Sailor for the command.

While the detailer makes the final decision on who gets the job, CMS/ID provides a voice for input into that choice. Interaction between the command, command career counselor, detailer and Sailor remains the most important aspect of career management.

Command leadership will continue to steer the detailing process, ensuring career choices strike the proper balance in meeting the needs of Sailors, their families and the Navy.

Providing this self-service option is the latest in a series of continuing enhancements to CMS/ID. In November 2008, the New Orleans development team enabled the display of a separate category for jobs supporting the global war on terrorism, making it much easier for Sailors to view and apply for these career-enhancing and rewarding positions.

In addition, new capabilities afforded to SELRES Sailors in the November release provided parity with their active duty counterparts, displaying more professional data, increased billet information and qualifying indicators to show appropriate fit to position/billet. This release also linked the NEC code displayed in CMS/ID to the Navy Training Management and Planning System (NTMPS), which displays NEC details, course convening dates and prerequisites for awarding the NEC.

Common access card (CAC) login was implemented in the April 2008 release, per Defense Department mandate, as well as the capability for Reserve detailers (assignment coordinators) to screen applicants for proper fit into a billet.

CMS/ID has its origins in a legacy system known as the Job Advertising and Selection System (JASS). In October 2004, the JASS development team, under Bailey's project leadership at the former SSC New Orleans, finalized a redesign of the system as the first phase of working toward NPC's requirements to have the Navy's MPTE programs work together to enhance warfighting effectiveness, empower Sailors to manage their careers, and ensure the right Sailor with the right skills is assigned to the right position.

NPC's launch of this redesigned system, known as JASS Career Management System (JCMS), provided the acquisition baseline to begin delivering a Web-based distribution environment and introduced the concepts of Job Family/Job Code and Job Title.

Sailors had immediate access to their enlisted master file — a reference page containing personal career and contact data — and could make more educated career decisions by selecting open requisitions and comparing career growth opportunities. Commands owning the billets had access to view, rank and comment on potential applications.

In August 2006, JCMS was renamed CMS/ID. With the name change came the indicator lights, gates and flags that provide Sailors a fast, easy way to check if they are eligible for jobs listed in CMS/ID.

Each new release has matured CMS/ID into a valuable tool in the distribution process. Sailors access CMS/ID either directly through the CMS/ID Internet Web site or through the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) portal on the NPC Web site.

In the NAVADMIN 200/09 announcement of Sailors' ability to submit their own job applications, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Total Force) Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson said the added functionality reflects the continued commitment to place more career management tools in the hands of Sailors as a core initiative in the Navy's total force strategy.

Future CMS/ID enhancements will continue to improve Sailor career management and Navy business operations.

CMS/ID is one of the Navy Military Personnel Distribution Systems (NMPDS), a collection of mission-essential systems supporting Navy personnel distribution, mobilization and fleet readiness that assists Navy planners in maintaining a flexible readiness posture. The New Orleans Office provides technical services for all systems under the NMPDS umbrella for the PMW 240 Sea Warrior program.

"Enabling this new Sailor Apply capability is another milestone in our long history of delivering products and services supporting Navy manpower and personnel business requirements, and [it]reflects the dedication, long hours and hard work from our New Orleans team," said Deputy Technical Director for SSC Atlantic Jacqueline Goff.

Deborah Gonzales provides support to the SSC Atlantic New Orleans Office.

TAGS: Workforce
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Joanna Rimando of Personnel Support Detachment New Orleans was among the many Sailors who used the new self-service capability in CMS/ID in July to apply for her next duty assignment. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John P. Curtis, Public Affairs Office, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans.

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