Career Opportunity Matrix (CARMAT)
Throughout your career in the , there will be opportunities for advancement. You may find that advancement in a particular rating can be difficult for your particular year group. The option to stay in your current rating or move to another can not just depending upon your abilities to meet the standards and advance in time and grade, but it can also be completely out of your control due to a highly competitive year group you are in. The job of the is to help you navigate through this type and many other hurdles within a career in the Navy.
In fact, the Navy Career Counselor's job is to interview sailors, advise them on career options, and help them make the best decisions for their futures. While providing robust education and counseling on career options does help sailors, the big picture is keeping the Navy staffed with as many highly qualified folks as necessary to accomplish the mission.
According to , Career Reenlistment Objectives (CREO) and Navy Enlisted Classifications () data is now available online via a tool called the Career Opportunity Matrix (CARMAT). CARMAT is a read-only spread sheet updated monthly that provides a single source for locating advancement and conversion opportunity information for their Sailors. It is accessible at the Perform to Serve (PTS) Web page.
Sailors in the of E-1 through E-6 can access the CARMAT themselves as well as the career counselors and chain of command to seek opportunities of advancement in or outside of current rating. While the listing is intended to provide information about retraining possibilities, it also serves as a handy reference for promotion opportunities and to determine whether or not the rating of their choice is likely to be available.
The CARMAT contains the following information:
a. Conversion opportunity information by rating, paygrade, and year group.
b. Enlisted Community Manager Conversion notes.
c. Current CREO Data (both and zone).
d. Rating Entry for General Apprentices (REGA) information.
e. Perform to Serve (PTS) Quotas and help desk information.
f. Critical NEC information by rating and branch class (USN, FTS, AND SELRES). AND
g. Community Management Contact Information.
CREO reflects the manning levels for all Navy ratings and is a consideration for Sailors requesting PTS approval. CREO categories are identified in one of three levels.
CREO 1 rates are undermanned
CREO 2 rates are manned at desired levels
CREO 3 rates are overmanned
The Navy will usually favorably consider retraining requests for sailors serving in a CREO rating "2" or "3" who wish to retrain into a CREO rating "1." (Assuming the sailor is otherwise qualified for the new rating). Those serving in a CREO rating "3" who wish to retrain into a CREO rating "2" will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Sailors who choose to stay in the Navy will have a much easier time advancing in any of the undermanned ratings.