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Academics

Junior Permanent Military Professor (JPMP) / Permanent Military Instructor (PMI)

Frequently Asked Questions

Your experiences and the expectations of PMIs are highly dependent upon the division and department by which you are selected.  General FAQ answers are below; however, it is recommended that you contact the department POC for department-specific expectations.  

When is this year’s message going to come out?

The release of the PMI Program Selection Board Announcement message is not controlled by USNA.  However, the general application guidelines don’t vary significantly from year to year, so you can reference previous PMI program NAVADMINs to get an idea of what to expect. You should also consult OPNAV INSTRUCTION 1520.40B

For questions regarding this year's announcement, please contact PERS-443B. 

Can you pick the department you teach in?

You may apply to any department solicited in the applicable FY Progam Announcement and will be selected to teach in a specific department based on your academic background and the needs of USNA. You can initially expect to teach any of the core courses related to your undergraduate/graduate degree (i.e. an engineering major could teach calculus or physics, a history major could teach writing composition).  You will know the department you are being invited to join prior to accepting the position.

The department I’m interested in isn’t listed on the NAVADMIN. Can I still apply?

You may only apply to departments solicited in the applicable FY Progam Announcement.  Applications for departments not listed in the current selection board announcement will not be considered.

What will make my application stronger?

First and foremost, the most competitive candidates have a strong operational background with "break out" performance. Meeting the application criteria and having a relevant master’s degree is the next step.  (For some communities it is sometimes possible to waive the department head tour provided the applicant has not accepted the continuation bonus.)    Traditional classroom teaching experience will put you ahead of many applicants; however, clearly explaining other teaching experience can be helpful.  Sustained superior performance in military fitness reports is another gauge of overall performance. Letters of recommendation from those with first hand experience (senior, peer, or subordinate) that address your leadership, mentorship, and teaching capabilities will be helpful.  

What is a relevant master’s degree for my department?

Degree relevancy varies by department.  For example, most engineering disciplines should be able to teach in their respective fields as well as introductory courses in mathematics or physics, but that same degree is not relevant to English, economics, history, etc.  The table below gives general guidance for relevant degrees by division/department; contact the Department POC for more information

Division of Engineering and Weapons

Aerospace Engineering MS in Aerospace, Aeronautical, Astronautical, or Space Systems Engineering, or MS in Space Systems Operations
Electrical & Computer Engineering MS in Electrical, Electronic Systems, or Computer Engineering
Mechanical Engineering MS in Mechanical, Materials & Science, or Nuclear Engineering
Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering MS in Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering, or Ocean Engineering
Weapons, Robotics, & Control Engineering MS in Robotics, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Control Engineering, Artificial Intelligence; other technical degrees considered with relevant fleet experience

Division of Mathematics & Science

Chemistry MS in Chemistry
Computer Science MS in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a closely related field
Cyber Science MS in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Systems or Controls Engineering, or human factors-related disciplines; other degrees considered with significant relevant fleet experience
Mathematics MS in Mathematics, Operations Research, Statistics or most STEM Disciplines
Oceanography MS in Oceanography
Physics MS in Physics or some engineering disciplines

Division of Humanities & Social Sciences

Economics MA, MS, or MPhil in Economics or Applied Economics
English MA or MFA in English Literature or Rhetoric
History MA in History
Languages & Cultures MA in a language (German, French, Chinese preferred) or area studies and Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) scores of 2+ in Reading and 2+ in Listening
Political Science MA in Political Science (MS Strategic Intelligence or other generic Service College centric degrees generally not relevant)

Department of Leadership, Ethics, & Law

MA Philosophy (preferred emphasis or thesis on character or ethics)

MA or MS in Psychology (I/O is preferred)

MA or MS in Sociology (preferred emphasis on leadership studies)

MA or MS in Leadership Studies

Business-type Masters degrees are acceptable if there is an emphasis on administration or leadership (e.g. MBA, Masters in Engineering Leadership, organizational leadership, operations management, etc.).  Generally, LEL looks for a clear connection to Leadership or Ethics.

If I don’t have a relevant master’s degree, will I be sent to school?
Strong applicants without master’s degrees may be considered for up to two years of full-time graduate education, funded by USNA if/when funding is available.   Applicants must be able to serve 6 years as a PMI upon degree conferral. If this is the case, list yourself as an applicant not possessing a (relevant) master's degree. Then provide details (GRE scores, schools to which you've applied or been accepted, etc.) to show that you are willing and committed to getting another degree.
How long will I serve as a PMI?
Most PMIs serve between 6-9 years, between arriving at USNA as a PMI and retirement.  Per OPNAVINST 1520.40B, once accepted into the JPMP/PMI program, JPMP/PMI officers are obligated to remain on active duty through retirement.  Also, applicants must have sufficient service remaining before statutory retirement to complete, if necessary, a master’s program and serve at least 6 years as a PMI upon completion of the master’s degree.  Since PMIs are exclusively O-4s, statutory retirement typically is required at 20 years of active service.  Further details are found in the OPNAVINST and the NAVADMINs.
If I am prior enlisted, can I waive the OPNAVINST 1520.40B requirement to serve a minimum of 6 years as a PMI (prior to statutory retirement)?
According to Navy Policy and Title X, as a LCDR you may not serve longer than 24 years of total service, and if you have failed to select as an O5 twice (in zone), you must retire at 20 years of active service, regardless of any prior enlisted status.  Applicants who are unable to fulfill 6 years as USNA faculty are generally not accepted.
Is it a requirement that I must have completed at least one Department Head tour in my community?
Page 5 of the 2021 OPNAVINST 1520.40C says " The PMI component seeks post-department head unrestricted line officers or information warfare lieutenant commanders with relevant master’s degrees and preferably with teaching experience to join the faculty of USNA." The intent is to have those with operational Department Head experience serve in these billets. An applicant may request a waiver if they have not yet completed an afloat Department Head ride, but they should be aware that they will be at a distinct disadvantage against qualified applicants that possess that experience. Relatedly, those that have not completed a department head tour may be less likely to be released by their Officer Community Manager in order to participate in the PMI program.
What if my community is not listed as one of the authorized communities in the instruction?
Officers from other communities should contact their Officer Community Manager to discuss the likelihood of being released by their parent community to participate in the PMI program. If they decide to apply, they will require a waiver and should contact the PMI department POC to discuss waiver justifications.
What’s the OPTEMPO like?
Working hours are generally 0730-1600.  This time is comprised of 9-12 hours per week in the classroom, plus office hours, watch officer duties, and collateral duties.  Depending on your collateral duties and student involvement there will likely be evening and weekend obligations (mentoring, student clubs, and sporting events).
How many classes will I teach?
This will vary by department, however it is typical to teach a total of three sections (possibly with additional lab periods) of initially one course and eventually two courses.  This typically amounts to 9-12 hours a week in the classroom teaching a total of 40-75 students.
What courses will I teach?
Military instructors typically start off teaching the core class in their department. After a couple of semesters you may be able to expand to an elective or major core class, depending on department needs and your area of expertise.  It is not uncommon for PMI to develop elective courses to offer within their departments (at the department's discretion) or for PMI to teach service community specific JO Practicum courses to the 1/C midshipmen (at the department's discretion).
Will I stand watch?
Yes.  O-4's and O-5's stand the Naval Academy Duty Officer watch.  There is a divisional duty officer for junior O-4s (less then 2 years time in grade).  Both have the similar responsibilities of being available for any situation that arises.  You are required to periodically tour the yard and to stay within 20 minutes of the base; an NGIS room is provided if you live outside the radius.  Additional watches such as Funeral Honor Detail, Ushering Special Events (commissioning, awards ceremonies, hosting special guests or foreign dignitaries, etc.) also arise periodically.
What type of collateral duties will I have?
There is a wide variety of duties you may be assigned at the department, division, or school-wide level. Some examples include faculty/officer representative for extra-curricular activities or sports teams, recruiting for service assignment into your community (SWO, SWO-N, SUBs, Aviation, etc), student mentorship opportunities, research projects, and department/command collateral duties (CFL, safety officer, purchase card manager, classroom coordinator, department funds manager, participating on committees, organizing conferences or award ceremonies, courts-martial duty, supporting academic accreditation of USNA’s academic programs, etc.).
What will I do during the summer?
The Academy’s summer is broken up into three 4-week summer training blocks. Military instructors typically lead training, teach summer school, attend professional training, conduct research, prepare for semester classes, and take leave.  Specific examples of summer training include serving as OIC for sailing or YP cruises; teaching in the Powered Flight Program; acting as Midshipman Liaison for Midshipman training in Fleet Concentration areas; managing summer internships,; and leading an international cultural experience trip.  There are many opportunities. Plan on committing at least one block to a direct midshipmen engagement activity, one block for other academy related work, and one block for leave. Some departments have specific guidelines for scheduling.
Is there time to work on a PhD?
Generally speaking you have to do this on your own time. Department dependent, you may be able to negotiate teaching schedules and time out of the office to support classes/research. However, course release is not typically allowed.
Can you lateral transfer to the Permanent Military Professor (PMP) community as a PMI?
There is no path specific for PMIs to become PMPs.  You will continue to compete for promotion based on your current designator.  If you get selected to O5, you may then apply for selection to the PMP community.  While there is an example of individuals meeting the criteria for O5 within their community and subsequently getting selected for PMP, this is considered extremely community-dependent and not a viable career path… Promotion prospects are virtually 0%.
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