The Navy is offering up to $90,000 in bonuses to Naval Special Warfare chief warrant officers who agree to serve at least two more years.

Those eligible for the Critical Skills Accession Bonus must be active duty, have a 7151 or 7171 special warfare designator, and sign a contract before reaching 28 years of service, according to a new naval administrative message.

“CWOs will receive the bonus in a lump sum payment, effective from the date of contract execution,” the NAVADMIN said.

“Contract phases may be combined as long as the CWO is eligible to receive payments to the contracted end dates,” the NAVADMIN said.

The bonuses are issued in three different phases, depending on rank and length of service. Those eligible for phase one and two must be a chief warrant officer 2 or above.

Phase one applies to those with at least 20 to 21 years of service, who may receive $20,000 each year, while those with at least 22 to 23 years of service are eligible to collect $25,000. These warrant officers may receive up to $90,000 total.

Those in phase two must have served at least 24 to 25 years, and are eligible for $25,000 bonuses for each year of service, totaling $50,000.

Finally, those in phase three must be a chief warrant officer 4 or above with at least 26 to 30 years of experience. They are eligible for $10,000 annually, receiving up to $40,000 total.

Contracts are a maximum of four years, and warrant officers must receive an endorsement letter from a commanding officer to apply.

Naval Special Warfare Command spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Kara Handley previously told Navy Times that the command has an average retention rate of 79% for sailors with more than 20 years of service and that retention bonuses are critical for keeping experienced sailors.

In comparison, the Navy overall averages 42% retention for those with more than 20 years of service.

The Navy stressed the value of retention bonuses in its budget request released in March as the service navigates challenges recruiting and keeping 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. The service was ahead of its FY23 monthly retention targets as of February, Navy Times previously reported.

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