The Navy revamped its pregnancy policy this week into an opportunity for sailors to negotiate a new assignment that's far more like a regular rotation instead of a cursory transfer to a nearby, available shore-duty opening.
The new policy, unveiled in an administrative message Tuesday, says that sailors who become pregnant while on sea duty will now be able to choose two-year orders to a shore command that lines up with their needs and careers.
The goal behind the change, according to Rear Adm. Wayne Baze, the head of the Navy's Personnel Command, is to “more deliberately assign [sailors] to meaningful employment that keeps them moving on their career progressions while filling mission critical jobs.”
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“I want a Navy where no sailor ever has to give up a successful naval career in order to have a family,” Baze told reporters on a call in November.
Baze said that the old policy — one that has been in place for at least a decade — would reassign pregnant sailors to commands that were close to the sailor and medical care.
“It was based primarily on medical considerations and capacities of the commands that would accept them,” he said. “It didn't focus enough on sailors' skill sets.”
Now, sailors can not only negotiate with the Navy on what job they do while navigating pregnancy or adoption and parenthood, but they…