The Navy’s push to retain the sailors it needs to grow the force continued May 15 with the release of the third update to re-up bonuses in the past five months.
This round of updates adds 39 new skills in 12 ratings to the list and increases payouts for 135 skills in 48 ratings. The list contains no decreases, additions or deletions of skills. The changes are effective immediately.
First- and second-term sailors in the aviation structural mechanic, aviation electronics technician and personnel specialist ratings now join ratings offering bonuses to sailors with up to 10 years of service.
Meanwhile, the hull maintenance technician and machinery repairmen ratings are offering bonuses for those with up to 14 years of service.
But that’s not all. In February, Navy officials doubled the lead time for sailors wanting to re-up for bonuses before their end-of-service date from 90 to 180 days.
The Navy has also tweaked the rules again for sailors who have received early promote recommendations on their latest periodic evals. Transfer, concurrent or special evals don’t count in this case. Even those who have advanced in the past year can use their last evaluation at their previous paygrade to qualify for this exception.
Sailors in a combat zone can also re-up as much as a year in advance to take advantage of paying no taxes on either their initial or anniversary payments.
Those needing to obligate service up front to take a new set of orders to their next duty station can also collect re-up bonuses as long as they are within one year of their end-of-service date.
Sailors on the outside looking in at the new, expanded eligibility windows shouldn’t despair, however, as the Navy not only set aside nearly $20 million in the budget for initial bonus payments in fiscal year 2018, but has nearly $40 million more designated in fiscal year 2019.
Check out the complete list of the new additions and increases here.