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Navy boosts sea pay for first time in more than a decade

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island returns to base March 20, 2013, after spending 3 months at sea.

TOKYO — Sailors and Marines could see as much as a 25-percent increase in sea pay, according to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a Navy release Tuesday.

This is the first increase in sea pay in more than a decade and is expected to take effect this summer. The adjustment is aimed at keeping pace with the dollar’s inflation rate since October 2001. You need $1.32 today to buy what $1 bought in October 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Those sailors and Marines on sea duty, deployed away from home around the world, are the backbone of the Navy and Marine Corps, and enable us to provide and maintain our global presence,” Mabus said in the release. “This change to Career Sea Pay will both improve critical sea-duty manning and reward those who take these challenging sea-going assignments. This increase is long overdue and is meant to reward our sailors and Marines for their continued sacrifices as part of ‘America’s Away Team’.”

Additionally, sailors and Marines who have served more than 36 consecutive months in a sea billet will see a boost to the incentive based career sea pay premium. This premium will increase anywhere from $100 per month to $200 per month depending on rank and time at sea.

“It’s long overdue,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran said during an all-hands call aboard the USS Bataan earlier this year. “We haven’t adjusted sea pay in over 10 years and we are absolutely convinced that it is the right thing to do for sailors who are committed to sea duty or serving at sea.”

Approximately 100,000 sailors receive career sea pay and approximately 13,000 receive career sea pay premium. The Navy expects the increase to cost $66 million per year.

The updated chart can be accessed on the Navy's website.

kimber.james@stripes.com
Twitter: @james_kimber

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