These requirements may change from time to time, but usually you must:
1. Have a certain amount of time in pay grade.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the material in your mandatory rate training manuals by achieving a suitable score on your commands locally prepared and locally administered test, or by successfully completing the appropriate nonresident career course (NRCC), or in some cases, by successfully completing instruction in an appropriate Navy school.
3. Complete all Personnel Advancement Requirements (PARS), NAVPERS 1414/4. These include required schools, performance tests, occupational standards, and correspondence courses for the next higher pay grade.
4. Be recommended by your commanding officer.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of military subjects. This is demonstrated by passing a locally administered Military Leadership Examination based on the naval standards (from NAVPERS 18068 series). Military leadership examinations are applicable for advancement to pay grades E-4 through E-7.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of the technical aspects of your rate by passing a Navywide Advancement Examination based on the occupational standards applicable to your rate (from NAVPERS 18068 series, those standards listed at and below your rate level).
Remember that the occupational standards can change; check with your division officer or training officer to be sure that you know the most recent standards.
If you meet all the qualification requirements, you become a member of the group from which selections for advancement are made.
Advancement is not automatic. Meeting all of the requirements make you eligible, but does not guarantee your advancement. Some of the factors that determine which persons, out of all those QUALIFIED, will actually be advanced in rate are the score made on the advancement examination, the length of time in service, the performance marks earned, and the number of vacancies being filled in a given rate.
If a number of vacancies in a given rate exceeds the number of qualified personnel, then ALL of those qualified will be advanced. More often, the number of qualified people exceeds the vacancies. When this happens, the Navy has devised a procedure for advancing those who are BEST qualified. This procedure is based on combining three personnel evaluation systems:
Who, then, are the individuals who are advanced? Basically, they are the ones who achieved the most in preparing for advancement. They were not content to just qualify; they went the extra mile in their training, and through that training and their work experience, they developed greater skills, learned more, and accepted more responsibility.