Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Gaddis IV, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – Advancement in the Navy is one of many life-changing events that can stress Sailors out. The High-Year Tenure (HYT) Program relieves Sailors from active-duty service if their time-in exceeds a pre-determined amount of years in their pay grade.
The purpose of the HYT is to properly size and shape the Navy and ensure a dynamic force with appropriate advancement opportunity for enlisted personnel.
”It took me two tries to make E-6 or [Petty Officer] 1st Class,” said Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Christian Evangelista, from Passaic, New Jersey. “I joined in 1996 and advanced to E-6 in 2004, it was my seven and a half year mark in the Navy.”
According to MILPERSMAN 1160-120 High Year Tenure, as an E-6 a Sailor is allowed 20 years of active service.
“I was in the Navy for 19 years and 9 months preparing to retire as a First Class Petty Officer when my wife and I spoke about our options,” said Evangelista. “Plan A was if I advanced to E-7 or Chief, to reenlist and continue my career, but if not I would retire and come home to my family.”
After transferring from his command in Japan, preparing to retire – two days prior to Evangelista departing from Transient Personnel Unit (TPU) Puget Sound for terminal leave – he received news that he was selected for chief, Aug. 2.
“No words can explain how happy and shocked I was to find out I made chief,” said Evangelista. “On my last and final attempt I made chief, it was like a dream come true.”
Evangelista was promoted and pinned to the pay-grade of E-7 and rank of Chief Petty Officer, Sept. 16.
“My family was very excited when we found out I advanced,” said Evangelista. “They have always been very supportive of me and my career.”
Tears of joy ran down Evangelista’s face as his wife and father pinned his gold-fouled anchors to his uniform and his cover was placed on his head.
“12 years is a long time to work for advancement,” said Evangelista. “I believed my time would come.”
Sailors have a maximum of 20 years to advance to the rank of chief and Evangelista was a few months out from that time.
Patience and hard work kept me motivated to reach my goal. said Evangelista.
As Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Christian Evangelista passed through the “side-boys” saluting, the look of pure joy and accomplishment shined on his face.
“Never lose hope,” said Evangelista. “There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”