Fallen US Navy Officer Given Posthumous Promotion

US Navy chief petty officer and linguist Shannon Kent was posthumously promoted on Friday after she was killed in the line of duty last month.

As Stars & Stripes reports, Kent was killed on January 16th during a tour in Syria by a suicide bomb blast. At the time of Kent’s death, she was “at a restaurant in the Syrian city of Manbij,” Stars & Stripes reports.

The Navy announced her promotion, effective the date of her death, to a senior chief petty officer rank.

“The Navy approved a request for Kent’s posthumous advancement effective the date of her death,” the Navy said on Friday.

Here’s more from the report:

Kent is slated to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia in the coming weeks. The announcement of her promotion was made during a memorial service Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Md., said Army Staff Sgt. Ali Hassoon, a longtime Kent family friend who attended the memorial.

Earlier this week, the Navy said it made several changes to a flawed commissioning and waiver process that led to Kent’s deployment.

Last fall, Kent was slated to attend a clinical psychology doctoral program in lieu of the deployment. But the Navy reversed the move because she previously had cancer, rejected her waiver applications and she received orders to deploy to Syria instead.

She was killed less than two months later.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Moran, speaking of the Navy’s policy which resulted with her being deployed to Syria, said: “I have reviewed and discussed every aspect of the policies and processes in place during Shannon’s application to become a clinical psychologist. There were many shortcomings in Shannon’s case, mainly in our communications throughout and in fundamental flaws in our waiver and appeal process – I offer no excuses.”

The policies have since been changed to prevent similar situations in the future, Stars & Stripes reports:

In his letter, Moran explained several changes installed by Navy officials will give highest waiver consideration to deployed sailors, establish a standardized appeal process with an option of seeking a second medical opinion, require peer review of waivers to boost quality assurance and consistency, and require all medical authorities operate on the same software system to ensure continuity.

The changes came less than two weeks after the Kent family requested the move in a Jan. 24 letter to Moran.

Moran said the four new rule changes are now reflected within provisions of Chapter 15 of the Navy’s Manual of Medical Department, which covers physical standards for medical examinations, and lists several health conditions, including cancer, that can disqualify servicemembers from receiving a commission.

Kent’s husband and father to their two toddler sons said the family was satisfied with the moves.

“The Navy has done all they can and moved rather quickly,” Joe Kent, 38, said Wednesday. They “changed as much of the commissioning process and waiver process as they can in their capacity as an individual service.”

 

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