With the suspension of military conscription in January, 1973 by Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird, the U.S. Navy understood the vital importance of not only increasing the number of new recruits coming into the service, but decreasing the rate of veterans choosing to end their Naval Careers. As part of the strategy in achieving these two related goals, the Navy Counselor (NC) rating was created in 1972.
The NC rating is unique in that incoming recruits are not eligible because a Navy Counselor’s duties require a thorough understanding of the Navy’s policies and procedures dealing with personnel and administrative functions. Accordingly, Sailors wishing to become Navy Counselors must be First or Second Class Petty Officers on active duty or in Full Time Support (FTS) or the Selected Reserve (SELRES) and have between six and fourteen years of service under their belts.
Additionally, applicants must meet a host of other qualifying standards, including having no marks lower than 3.0 any of their performance evaluations over the past three years; an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test of at least VE+AR, with a minimum of 50 AR; the ability to be assigned worldwide; no moral turpitude waivers within the past three years; and several other strictures (some specific to Petty Officers Second Class), all outlined in MILPERSMAN 1440-020.
As of 2013, there were more than 600 Navy Counselors responsible for an array of career-management services available to Sailors.