Navy Subspecialty System
The Navy Subspecialty System is a manpower and personnel classification system that establishes the criteria and procedures for identifying officer (Unrestricted Line, Restricted Line, and Staff Corps) requirements for advanced education, training, and experience in a variety of disciplines, as well as identifying the officers who possess these skills and knowledge.
Important note: PERS-451 can only enter/modify non-Medical-Officer codes. Medical Officers should contact their BUMED POC located on the top right of this page.
The ODC/OSR will display up to 3/5 subspecialty codes respectively. Subspecialty codes are comprised of 4 numerals and an alphabetic suffix. The numerals indicate the major area, concentration and specific skills. The alphabetic suffix indicates the level of education, training and experience or combination thereof. All suffixes are listed in NOOCS Vol I Appendix B. The most common suffix codes are P, Q, S, and R explained below.
P-codes: Master's Level of Education
P-codes are awarded upon completion of a master degree from a Department of Education accredited institution. Upon receipt of an official transcript, PERS-451 has the authority to award a general X000P subspecialty code only. If an officer requests a specific subspecialty based on their master degree, they must complete an educational-based subspecialty request package. For Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), CIVINS, VGEP, GEV, and scholarships graduates, NPS or the approved Education Plan determines the appropriate subspecialty code and provides that information to PERS-451 for record entry. Graduates of dual degree programs at NPS will receive the P-code for their primary course of study. The only exception to this policy is officers who participate in the IGEP Bowman Scholar Program. These officers will receive an I-code for tracking of Bowman Scholar participants. They will also be eligible for a P-code and receive either a X000P from PERS-451, or the applicable NPS curriculum subspecialty code as determined by the Subject Matter Expert (SME). Otherwise, officers will only receive one P-code per degree.
An officer requests an official transcript from a civilian institution for a Master in Business Administration with a focus in finance and receives a 3000P (Resource Management and Analysis - General) code from PERS-451. In order to receive a 3105P (Financial Management - Civilian focus) instead of a 3000P, the officer would need to submit an educational-based request package (see the Subspecialty Request section below).
Q-codes: Master’s Level of Education – Proven Subspecialist
Officers must first complete a master degree and then complete a tour in a billet with qualifying subspecialty code before a Q-code is awarded. A Q-code will not be awarded if the experience occurs before the degree is earned.
An Officer attended NPS and received a 3130P, then completed a tour in a 3130 coded billet. This officer would receive a 3130Q. Or, an Officer completed a Human Resources Management degree and received a 3000P. A follow-on assignment was completed in a 3130 coded billet. The officer would receive a 3000Q. Note: The officer may keep the 3000P and instead of receiving the 3000Q, elect the 3130S.
S-codes: Significant Experience
S-codes are awarded for completion of a tour in a subspecialty coded billet. PERS-451 tracks officers who are assigned to subspecialty coded billets and awards the appropriate code upon completion of the tour. No action is required by the officer. If the billet is not coded, an experience-based request (see the Subspecialty Request section below) may be submitted. Officers will only receive one subspecialty code per assignment.
R-codes: Significant Experience – Proven Subspecialist
R-codes are awarded for completion of two tours in the same subspecialty coded billet. PERS-451 tracks officers who are assigned to subspecialty coded billets and awards the appropriate code upon completion of the tour. No action is required by the officer. If the billet is not coded, an experience-based request may be submitted.
In addition to methods for awarding above, Officers may request subspecialty codes from the Subject Matter Expert (SME) by submitting a package. SME emails are located in the NOOCS Manual Volume I Part B. The subspecialty package must be generated using the appropriate sample package below, and sent by email to the SME who will review the request against the Education Skill Requirement (ESR) or Core Skill Requirement (CSR), and notify PERS-451 of their recommendation. Upon receipt of recommendation from the SME, PERS-451 will award the subspecialty. Reviewing the applicable ESR or CSR posted below is strongly recommended when generating the package to enable a swift review. Once approved, allow 1-2 weeks for the subspecialty to appear on the ODC/OSR.
Electronic Delivery Only
Subspecialty requests must be sent as a single .pdf document file, all pages should be legible (adjust scan DPI 300+ if necessary), FITREPs should be upright, and PII must be redacted. Please keep file size below 5MB. To do so in Adobe Acrobat Pro, click File, Save As Other, Reduced Sized PDF. All subspecialty requests must be sent to the SME listed in NOOCS Manual Volume I Part B. The subject line of the email should be formatted SSP Request ICO RANK, NAME
Officers should review the applicable ESR and determine if the master degree coursework meets the requirements. Request packages will include: your request letter, copy of official transcript, course descriptions (do not forward entire course catalog), and your email address/phone number. Officers (except IGEP) will only receive one subspecialty code per degree.
Subspecialty Education Request Sample Package
Officers should review the applicable CSR and determine if the work in the billet meets the requirements. Request packages will include: command endorsement letter, your request letter with emphasis on the experience documented within the FITREP as it relates to the CSR, copies of FITREPs with documented experience, and your email address/phone number. Officers (except IGEP) will only receive one subspecialty code per assignment.
Subspecialty Experience Request Sample Package
Frequently Asked Questions
My billet is not coded with a subspecialty and I feel that it should be. How do I change the billet? Answer: Refer to NOOCS Manual Volume I Part B Section 3 -Changes to the Subspecialty System.
I detached from my command and I would like to request a subspecialty code based on the work from that billet, may I still do so? Answer: Yes. You do not have to be assigned at the command to request a subspecialty code and the command endorsement letter may be signed at your new command.
How long will it take to know if my request is approved/disapproved? Answer: Each subspecialty code has a different reviewer, and the length of the review depends on their process. If you are anticipating a board and desire your record to be updated prior, submit your request well in advance to the board and request a status from the reviewer.
My request was denied. What are my options? Answer: It is important to review the ESR or CSR before submitting a package. If your request was denied, then use the feedback offered to you to improve your package for resubmission.
Major Area Sponsors (MAS) and SMEs develop ESRs/CSRs and monitor subspecialty management. MASs may delegate responsibilities to SMEs, but retain overall responsibility and approval authority. ESRs/CSRs are reviewed biennially.