Career development boards are part of the Navy's effort to promote retention and maintain stable manpower levels. CBDs use the "gouge" – Navy slang for insider information – to help sailors make informed career decisions. CBDs encourage members who leave active duty to continue their careers through the Navy Reserve. CBDs also assist sailors who decide to leave the Navy, with information on benefits, opportunities and their inactive reserve obligation.
A sailor's military qualifications and advancement potential are just two of the factors the CBD considers when discussing retention. Part of the analysis deals with the service member's current educational status and opportunities available in the Navy. The sailor's financial planning, including budgeting and investments, is also considered along with his plans, hopes and intentions concerning the Navy. The CBD uses this information to assess the sailor's needs and the needs of the Navy to arrive at mutually beneficial career guidance.
The CBD presents sailors with an alternative to leaving the Navy. It encourages Navy members to "stay in touch" by moving from active duty status to reserve status. Reservists benefit by earning some extra money for their drill weekends and summer training while continuing to serve their country. They stay abreast of current Navy technology and procedures. The Navy benefits because reservists can augment active forces at need without further training.
Discharge and Benefits
For sailors who choose to leave the Navy behind, CDBs provide information on training and benefits available to veterans. The CBD briefs sailors on who to contact and when, to initiate these benefits. Benefits include educational benefits, medical benefits, home loans guaranteed by the Department of Veteran's Affairs, and others. Sailors who've served less than eight years are reminded that, when released from active duty, their military obligation continues. They are transferred to the inactive reserve until they have a total of eight years' military service.
CDBs assist departing sailors with making the transition to the civilian world. Services such as Navy Cool help former sailors turn their Navy training into a civilian certification. Such services assist sailors in the move from their Navy job to a civilian job in the same, or even a different field. For example, Navy Cool has a tool that translates military experience and education into civilian occupations. The tool describes any educational requirements for the civilian jobs and any certifications required. The website describes the certification process and provides the former sailor with contact information to somewhat smooth the path to civilian employment.