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Big Navy plans to offer ‘early out’ options for certain enlisted sailors

Big Navy plans to offer “limited, voluntary early separations” for sailors in certain overmanned ratings and year groups who want to leave the service before their contractual obligations are up.

These early separations will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will aim to “help restore rating health and open up promotion opportunity for sailors seeking to stay Navy,” according to a release.

Other types of early outs will also be considered, though much will depend on where sailors are in their careers and their reasons for wanting to separate.

“As the Navy has grown over recent years, some enlisted ratings at specific paygrades have become overmanned due to high retention in these ratings,’ Chief of Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell said in a statement. “Fleet readiness is our number one priority while also allowing for a flexible marketplace of talent management.”

CNP officials are reviewing the ratings, year groups and skill designators that will be up for the early out option and will post the eligible areas on the Naval Personnel Command website once they are finalized, most likely by mid-December, according to spokesman Cmdr. Dave Hecht.

“We recognize that a lot of Sailors who may be in overmanned ratings or desire to leave service early for other reasons are interested to know if they qualify,” Hecht said.

The Navy expects the largest group of early outs will come from the recently restored Early Enlisted Transition Program. Such EETP opportunities will come via published quotas broken down by rating, paygrade, year group and Navy enlisted classification.

Other enlisted sailors nearing their 20 years of service will also be able to request early transfer to the Fleet Reserve under certain situations, allowing an early transition from active duty.

“Each request is reviewed to make sure that sea and critical shore billets are not gapped,” the Navy release states. “Any such negative impacts will result in the request being disapproved.”

Early separation will also be made available for sailors facing forced rating conversions, as long as they have less than a year left before their soft expiration of active obligated service.

“Consideration for this type of early separation request must contain a statement of understanding from the Sailor that the Navy will recoup any unearned bonuses given for the service that won’t be completed,” the release states.

Other early out options include those for sailors wanting to attend college, apply for a commissioning program or transfer to another service branch.

To learn more about these options, contact the MyNavy Career Center at or call 1-833-330-6622.

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