The Navy is offering at least $25,000 to new recruits who enlist active duty and ship before June 30 to fill shipping gaps between now and then.
The sum is part of an early shipping bonus and marks the first time the Navy has offered a minimum enlistment bonus of $25,000 for any rating, according to Cmdr. Dave Benham, spokesman for Navy Recruiting Command.
Some ratings could rake in even more cash. For example, the submarine information systems technician and the electronics/computer field ratings are eligible for $35,000 early shipping bonuses.
Future sailors scheduled to ship between July and September but who reclassify to ship before the end of June are also eligible for the bonus, the Navy said.
The maximum enlistment bonus is still $50,000, as the service unveiled in February. The early shipping bonus can be paired with other bonuses, like those for sailors going into the nuclear, submarine and information warfare career fields, but bonuses max out at $50,000.
Benham told Navy Times in February that he was not aware of any other instances in which enlistment bonuses had reached $50,000 before.
Enlistment bonus and loan repayment program messages list the max at $40,000 dating back to 2006.
The shipping bonuses are paid following graduation from Recruit Training Command aboard Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, while the enlistment bonus source rate will be issued to sailors after graduation from A or C school.
The Navy brought on a total of 33,559 new sailors to the Fleet in fiscal 2021, exceeding its active duty enlisted accession goal of 33,400 recruits, Benham said.