Active duty commanding officers of aviation units are now eligible for a $105,000 retention bonus for three more years of service.
The deal is a total of $5,000 more than what they were offered the past three fiscal years under the Aviation Command Retention Bonus program, which aims “to retain those officers with the capabilities and command experience in our primary warfighting missions that are critical for the future of our service,” according to a naval administrative message.
Commanders under this year’s offer will receive $35,000 annually, with their obligation ending after 22 years of cumulative service, the NAVADMIN said.
Additionally, the Navy is also offering a $35,000 retention bonus for an additional two years of service — an option that wasn’t offered last year. Those officers will receive $17,500 annually, and complete at least 21 years of cumulative service.
Once the CO tour wraps up, those who agreed to the bonus must serve in a post-command commander tour lasting between 24 and 36 months.
“The minimum [Aviation Command Retention Bonus] obligation ends after 21 years of commissioned service, the projected rotation date of the assigned [post-command commander[ tour, or 2 years from the contract acceptance date, whichever is later and depending on contract length,” the NAVADMIN said.
Those eligible to apply must have screened during the Aviation Command Screen Board as the commanding officer of an eligible operational, operational training, or special mission commander command.
Applications are open until the end of the month.
In March, the Navy announced reserve officers were eligible for $100,000 through the Training and Administration of the Reserve Aviation Command Retention Bonus program.
Officers under that program would receive an initial payment of $34,000, followed by two additional annual payments of $33,000 for at least another three years of service that includes a post-command commander tour.
The Navy emphasized the significance of retention bonuses in its budget request released in March as the service navigates challenges keeping and recruiting new sailors and officers.
“Retention has … been difficult with a strong national economy, so bonuses and incentives to retain our current naval force [are] a priority,” the budget document said.
Even so, the Navy surpassed its retention goals for FY22. As of February, the service was ahead of its FY23 monthly retention targets, Navy Times previously reported.