Submarine Officer Tour Lengths Down?
Last July, COMNAVSUBFOR (whose website is currently unavailable, btw) put out a message that reduced nominal sea tour lengths for submarine JO/DH/XOs. Basically, it said that JO and DH sea tours were going from 36 to 32 months, and XO tours from 22 to 20 months. (To the Submarine Force's credit, and I think a large part due to NR's influence, the Sub Force has resisted the lead of the aviators and skimmers in reducing CO tour length.)
By keeping the shore tours at 24 months, the net effects of this change would seem to be 1) getting more officers XO tours, and 2) increasing selectivity for CO. Your basic wardroom has 8 nuke JOs, 3 nuke Department Heads, along with one XO and CO. Doing the math, if XO tour lengths go down while those of COs stay at 3 years, the number of XOs you need to fill the CO billets has gone from 22/36ths (61%) of the served XOs to 20/36ths (55.6%). For Department Heads, however, the selection chance for XO stays about the same, going from 36/(22*3) or 54% to 32/(20*3), about 53% -- but since there are more DHs, there are still 11% more officers who will serve as XO. Finally, keeping the JO and DH tours the same, you still need 37.5% retention in the Sub Force to fill the DH billets.
I'm guessing this initiative was driven by a perceived need to increase selectivity for CO. With the issues the Sub Force has been having that have resulted in COs being fired, PERS 42 needed to do something to show they were being "proactive" in fixing the problem.
So, how's this been working out after almost 1 1/2 years? Has anyone noticed officer tour lengths going down? Are any boats running short of JOs, or did we have enough in the pipeline to let the senior JOs go early? Have continued DH firings completely thrown any semblance of Wardroom Planning out the window? Let me know what you've heard or experienced in the comments.