For ratings in which the Navy needs to put butts in billets, the service has got money to sweeten the pot. Here's a look at what the Navy's asked for in fiscal year 2016 for special pay, bonuses, and education bucks:
Selective Re-enlistment Bonus. In the current fiscal year, 2015, Navy officials expects to spend $135 million for initial re-up bonus payments and are hoping to entice 8,500 sailors with the critical skills targeted by this incentive to stay in the ranks in critical skills targeted by this money. The service is asking for a $19.4 million increase in that part of the budget by $19.4 million in fiscal year 2016, for a total re-up bonus budget of $154.4 million. They're aiming to get about 167 more sailors — 8,667 in all — to re-enlist in the most critical specialties.
Though some sailors in these most critical specialties, such as nuclear power, and special warfare and cyber, sailors will still get the chance to max out or at least get near the Navy's $100,000 payout ceilingmax, the trend in the service over the past few years is to increase the number of specialties on the list, but reduce the overall payouts, spreading the chance to get this money to more sailors. Expect that trend to continue, officials say, as officials are bracing for an improving economy and have asked for the extra monty to better keep sailors with the most marketable skills in he ranks instead of being tempted by the civilian sector.
Special Duty Assignment Pay. This is the Navy's oldest pay, designed to incentivize critical billets in the fleet — currently 22,272, to be exact. And that number won't change, though some payment levels in certain skills could increase; the Navy has asked to increase its their SDAP budget by $783,000 from $82.7,743 million this year to requested $83.5,526 million in 2016.
Sea Duty and Assignment Incentive Pays. These pays will stay at or near their current payout levels, though the service can — and often does — change who can qualifiesy for these payouts throughout the year. AIP: — This year, the Navy will pay roughly 800 sailors a total of $8.54 million to fill critical billets with AIP this pay ashore, overseas and at sea. The exact figures for fiscal 2016 weren't available by press time, but and those numbers are down slightly from fiscal 2014 where 1,100 sailors collected a total of $8.57 million. Though the exact budget and expected numbers of sailors wasn't available as of press time, officials saiddid say it would decrease slightly. They pay but that the pay isn't going away, however. [I am still pushing for the dollar amount and numbers of sailors]The total amount of Sea Duty Incentive Pay, this pay, too, is also dropping in fiscal 2016budget, but the Navy plans to increase the numbers of sailors collecting the pay — spreading slightly less money to more sailors who agree to stay in critical sea billets or terminate shore duty to fill an at-sea gap. , but increasing slightly Navy pushes to close the most critical billet gaps at sea. In fiscal 14, the Navy spent $8.58 million to give 700 this incentive and this year, 640 sailors are collecting $8.06 million. The Navy projects in fiscal 2016 to drop the total payout to $7.1 million, but expects a total of 700 sailors to get the money.
Voluntary Education Programs. The Navy expects to spend more money on both their marquee off duty education programs in fiscal 2016. Tuition Assistance will grow nearly $9 million, to $89.8 million dollars next fiscal year, up from the the roughly $80 million the service spent in both fiscal '14 and expects to spend this year.
Education at sea in the Navy College, Programmed Afloat College Education has been getting a steady influx of dollars and will rise again slightly in fiscal 16 to $8.7 million, up from the the $7.8 million the service put into the program in fiscal 14 and the $8.436 million Navy officials expect to spend this year.