Navy cutting skill bonuses to reduce personnel
January 25, 2006
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy is cutting re-enlistment bonuses for 113 skills, said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Kramer, of Navy Personnel Command.
Navy administrative announcement NAVADMIN 013/06 lists the skills that will see a decrease in re-enlistment bonuses as well as the 19 skills for which the Navy is raising re-enlistment bonuses.
Kramer said it was “not a cut-and-dry decision” to determine which re-enlistment bonuses to increase and which to decrease.
“Many variables are reviewed, to include past retention and accessions as well as future billet requirements,” he said. “If past years’ accessions and/or retention is high or low, the award level may require adjustment to counter the extreme.”
The bonuses are intended to retain the sailors with the needed skills to meet the Navy’s manning requirements while keeping in mind the Navy’s plans to reduce its congressionally allotted number of personnel, or end strength, Kramer said in an e-mailed response to questions.
The Navy plans to cut its end strength by about 2.8 percent from 362,941 in fiscal 2005 to 352,700 in fiscal 2006.
“End-strength reductions in a special rating or skill are taken into consideration when determining new award levels,” Kramer said.
But the Navy is not trying to reduce its overall strength by cutting bonuses for certain skills, Kramer said.
“The changes are being made in an effort to match end strength with billet requirements” he said. “It is very possible that a rating may require an increase in award level, if the existing inventory is not sufficient to meet the future requirements.”
Kramer said he did not know if this was the first year that decreases in bonuses have exceeded increase.
“That isn’t tracked,” he said.
“It is also important for our sailors to understand that these increases and decreases are not necessarily a direct reflection of how valuable their contribution is, but rather a reality of a very competitive resource allocation environment,” he said.