The Navy released a reminder regarding the Hometown Area Recruiting Program (HARP), Officer Hometown Area Recruiting Program (OHARP), Blue Jacket Hometown Area Recruiting Program (BJHARP), and Senior Minority Assistance to Recruiting program (SEMINAR) in NAVADMIN 027/20, Feb. 3.
These programs play a key role in recruiting tomorrow’s Sailors by returning outstanding Navy personnel to their hometowns to temporarily assist local recruiters in locating and enlisting or commissioning qualified individuals by highlighting the experiences a prospective candidate can gain from the Navy.
“Sailors are familiar with schools, peers, teachers, and organizations in their hometowns,” said Terry Black, program manager. “They can help assist local recruiters who do not possess the same familiarity in these areas with recruitment efforts.”
HARP duty allows eligible Sailors 12 days of leave, BJHARP allows eligible Sailors 10 days of leave, and OHARP allows officers 14-90 days of leave. SEMINAR enhances Navy’s recruiting efforts by temporarily returning highly qualified Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander officers and senior enlisted personnel to their home communities for 20 days to meet with local influential community members and to discuss the vast educational, career, and advancement opportunities the Navy offers.
Sailors who take advantage of these programs will be required to assist local recruiters in a variety of ways, the most important being relating their Navy experiences to their peers. Sailors will be asked to wear the uniform of the day and visit high schools, colleges, universities, prior places of employment, and popular community locations to discuss Navy opportunities. Some may be asked to go on appointments with recruiters, attend community events, and meet leaders in the community. By sending Sailors on permissive, no-cost Temporary Additional Duty orders, or allowing them to add additional days of leave to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, the Navy hopes to spread current, relevant information about the Navy and its opportunities to areas outside of major fleet concentrations.
“Historically, recruiting duty has always been challenging,” said Black. “Record lows in unemployment and rising wages have made it even more challenging.”
Navy Recruiting Command will not approve any requests the week of Thanksgiving, the last two weeks of December, and the first week of January. Members who would like to participate in conjunction with PCS orders need to submit their requests to Navy Recruiting Command six to nine months prior to their transfer date.
These are non-funded programs. Sailors will not be reimbursed for travel, transportation, per diem or miscellaneous expenses connected with these programs.
“The program has always existed, we just needed to ensure new Navy Sailors ranging from ages 19-22 are familiar with these programs in order to enhance their participation,” said Black.