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Navy Petty Officer Third Class

E-4 Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Navy
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Petty Officer Second Class

Navy Ranks » Petty Officer Third Class RankPO3 PayPO3 Rank HistoryPromotion Information

How to get promoted to Petty Officer Third Class Navy Promotion to E-4 Petty Officer Third Class

A Petty Officer Third Class is a Noncommissioned Officer in the United States Navy at DoD paygrade E-4. This page describes how the Navy determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Petty Officer Third Class.

To promote to E-4, a sailor must have spent a minimum of six months as an E-3, attained a rating, graduated A-School, completed Petty Officer Indoctrination, received at least a "Promotable" on their most recent evaluations, and passed a rating examination. All these things and more, depending on the sailor's rate, are submitted as a package to a promotion board. The promotion board uses a point system to tally up the sum of a sailor's achievements. The board has a pre-determined percentage of sailors they are allowed to promote based on current manning levels. The top percentage of sailors are then promoted to the next rank.

The percentage of those who will promote to the next rank varies wildly by rating -- some have a 100% promotion rate each year, while others have close to 0%. Highly technical rates are more likely to promote than non-technical rates. "Passed but Not Advanced" (PNA) points are awarded to sailors each year who meet all the requirements for promotion but are not selected. PNA points stack up each year the sailor applies for the same promotion, so sailors with more time in rate have a higher chance of promoting than those with equal merit but less time in.

If the sailor repeatedly fails to promote, they will hit "high year tenure" and are presented with the options of separation or switching rates.

Truly exceptional sailors have an opportunity "CAPped" (Command Advanced Promotion) by their Commanding Officer. COs are limited to two CAPs per year.

Want to learn more? Read about the Navy's Petty Officer Third Class rank on