Story by William Love on 07/12/2018CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (July 12, 2018) -- Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi (NHCCC) promoted eight Sailors through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP) during separate ceremonies July 5-12.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Dwight A. Smith from Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC) Fort Worth, and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Alec J. Bushong from NHCCC San Antonio Detachment (Det. S.A.) were promoted on July 5 and 6 respectively.
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Misty R. Banks, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jacob A. Manuel, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Cynthia N. VegaCavazos, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Matthew T. Chandler from NHCCC, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica L. Wright from NBHC Kingsville, were promoted July 9.
Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Cody A. Bass' ceremony was conducted at morning colors July 12.
All eight are entitled to increased pay retroactive to July 1.
This year's NHCCC MAP results were carefully guarded until leadership surprised all hands.
Early on the morning of July 2, the triad informed the entire command of the MAP results simultaneously at a staff assembly in the auditorium while the NBHCs and Det. S.A. also participated via video teleconference.
"I like the fact that it was announced to all the clinics at the same time, as opposed to one clinic at a time, to where some find out before others," said VegaCavazos, from San Antonio, Texas. "Sailors picking up rank should be recognized in front of their peers; everyone works hard to pick up the next rank, so I feel the way it was done was very fair."
Those on leave were individually contacted by speakerphone in front of the group.
"I was able to Facetime and still be a part of it. I thought it was a nice way to share the news because it was personal, even while I was on leave," said Wright, from Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Navy introduced MAP in July 2015, replacing the Navy's Command Advancement Program (CAP).
According to the Navy Personnel Command website, MAP is designed to recognize superior performance and authorizes commanding officers to advance the best and most deserving E-3 through E-5 Sailors to the next higher pay grade.
Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/FMF) Andy Burnett, NHCCC senior enlisted leader, said that this year's candidates were very competitive.
"All packages that were submitted were Sailors that were early promote eligible, by definition performing at two paygrades higher than their current one," said Burnett. "I have often referred to myself as a jack of all trades and master of none, but these Sailors prove, over three consecutive evaluation periods, that they could be a jack of all trades and master them all."
All of the MAP applications included community involvement, advanced education, collateral duties, command involvement and other vital performance indicators.
Wright believes her submission demonstrated her determination, and she is convinced that documentation paid big dividends.
"I made sure that I was performing above my paygrade and I never gave up," she explained, adding the importance of having chosen a mentor to help keep track of achievements. "Always hit everything you can on the evaluation scoring sheet and remember college matters. When submitting your package make sure to include everything and the kitchen sink!"
Manuel, a native of Beaumont, Texas, surprised as well as eager about his new role as a petty officer second class, shared his thoughts.
"Make sure you have everything. I didn't realize I had 75 volunteer hours that were in the window until I went back and looked at the dates," said Manuel. "I'm still trying to wrap my head around [the promotion]. It feels good, but I can only hope to live up to the new rank and the shoes I will be expected to fill."
Meritorious promotion is part of the Navy's ongoing talent management initiatives used to empower the command triad to advance their top-performing Sailors, advancing them when they are ready for the next level of responsibility.
VegaCavazos explained what she did to demonstrate her potential.
"I always put my best foot forward, and put my hands on everything I could, not only to make me an "all around" Sailor, but to also better myself. I always made sure I was a part of the big projects as well as the little ones," VegaCavazos said. "Always keep pushing, always keep trying. Put everything you can in your package and evaluation, even if you think it's not big enough, it could be that tiny bit needed to separate you from the rest of your shipmates."
Navy retention and advancement policies are aimed at ensuring the best-qualified, highest-performing Sailors are promoted and retained. The MAP program supplements traditional advancement via exams to ensure that occurs, and to empower command leadership to personally identify those who are immediately ready for promotion.
One Sailor at NBHC Fort Worth put a lot of stock in the confidence his leadership had in him.
"My chain of command kept telling me that I had a very strong chance and to start my package. All thanks goes out to my leadership for giving me this opportunity," said Smith, originally from St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
This is the third year that shore Sailors have been eligible for meritorious promotion through MAP.
Last year, a total of five Sailors, three from NHCCC, one from Det. S.A., and one from NBHC Fort Worth were meritoriously promoted.
The previous year, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kelly E. Bartin, assigned to NHCCC pharmacy, was the first and only Sailor from the command selected for FY 2016 MAP promotion.
On May 2, 2018, the Navy released the FY 2018 MAP plan in NAVADMIN 109/18, increasing quotas that accounted for approximately 15 percent of all E-4 through E-6 advancements, with 7,012 MAP quotas, an increase of 2,795 quotas from 2017.
If you would like to get meritoriously promoted in FY 2019, you might want to heed Banks' recommendation.
"Do your job and do it well, take care of your Sailors, and mentor them," said Banks, now a petty officer first class. "If you're in school, which I recommend, help other Sailors with the process, take charge of your collaterals, it doesn't matter if it's one or ten, do something productive with them. Have senior leaders look at your packages prior to submitting to your chain of command, get multiple eyes on it. Submit everything and anything that you have done to better yourself, your Sailors, the command, and the community, regardless of how small you think it is."
For more information about MAP, including quotas by UIC, controlled rates information, forms, points of contact, and answers to frequently asked questions go to http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/enlistedcareeradmin/Advancement/Pages/MAP.aspx