Thousands more sailors are now eligible for re-enlistment bonuses after the Navy updated its list of eligible ratings for the second time in the past three months.
A new Navy message announced the addition of award levels for 39 skills in 24 ratings, and an increase of one additional skill’s payout. No skills had their award levels decreased or eliminated.
In addition, officials will allow sailors to re-enlist up to six months out from their end of service date to ensure they can cash in. The previous limit was 90 days.
All of the new bonus-eligible ratings are in reenlistment zone A, sailors in the service for six years or less, and zone B, which extends from six to 10 years of service.
The increases go into effect immediately.
With the Navy growing its end strength for the near future, sailors can expect to see re-up bonuses dished out more freely to entice more sailors to stay in the service.
Currently, the Navy has just over 20,000 sailors who are bonus eligible, and that number could increase as the service seeks to add bonuses with greater regularity in the coming months and years.
The Navy has budgeted nearly $20 million more for initial bonus payments in fiscal year 2018 and has asked for nearly $40 million more in 2019.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.