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10 Navy | Winter 2017 OFFICER AFFAIRS Changes and Updates in 2017 Retirement, Ratings and Uniforms COURTESY KIMBERLY A. BRUBECK; COURTESY OF THE U.S. NAVY W e are one year away from a major change to the military retirement system when new service members with a Date of Initial Entry into Mili- tary Service (DIEMS) on or aer January 1, 2018 will be automatically enrolled into the new Blended Retirement System (BRS). e new system works more like a 401k where you earn as you go, and can take what you have earned with you if you leave before serving the current minimum 20 Active or Reserve "good years." Service members who entered service before Jan. 1, 2018 may be eligible to opt-in to the new BRS if they meet two prerequisites. To opt-in, in addi- tion to being in a paid status at the time of enrollment, Sailors are opt-in eligible if their DIEMS is on or before Dec. 31, 2017, and as of that date they are an: • Active component Sailor with less than 12 years of service. • Reserve component Sailor, either SELRES or FTS, with less than 4,320 retirement points. • Naval Academy, ROTC Midshipmen or Delayed Entry Program member. e opt-in window will be open from January 1-December 31, 2018. Contact your command career counselor or financial specialist for more information, and remember that if you choose to opt-in to the BRS, your decision is irrevocable so make sure it best meets your retirement goals before crossing over. Another upcoming change will include grouping Navy Occupational Specialties (NOS) into a smaller number of broader career fields so that Sailors with the right training and qualifications can move between related occupations more easily. According to a Dec. 21 CNO press release, "Sailor 2025 is a set of initia- tives collectively aimed at modernizing the personnel system, improving the training process and improving career readiness of the Navy's Sailors. e program has been a major focus of effort for SECNAV and CNO as they seek to better prepare the workforce for the cur- rent and future operating environment." Sailors have a direct line to provide input to the Rating Modernization working group to make sure their ideas are heard. Send your suggestions to the fol- lowing email NavyRatingMod.firstname.lastname@example.org . In August, the CNO approved a number of changes to uniform policy involving the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I, II, and III, special warfare combatant-cra crewman insignias, male E1-E6 service dress blue uniform, and improved flame resistant variant coverall initiative. Two others of general interest include official PT gear and the female khaki trouser. e official Navy PT sweat shirt and pant logo has been updated and replaced with the silver reflective lettering "NAVY" seen on the Navy PT t-shirt and shorts. As the new uniform is phased in, the current non-reflective sweatshirt and pant will remain authorized only for as long as they are serviceable. Female officers and CPOs have been authorized to wear the khaki overblouse for quite some time now. What changed in August is that when wearing the over- blouse, they are now authorized to wear male service khaki trousers as well as female service khaki slacks without a belt and buckle. is additional fit option precedes a new redesign of service uniform slacks for officers and CPOs expected to be introduced in FY18. Kimberly A. Brubeck is a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and is AUSN's National Vice President for Officer Affairs. Blended retirement infographic