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Two Navy divers and a counterpart from the Republic of Singapore navy take part in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2006 last month. Some Navy divers qualify for re-enlistment bonuses up to $75,000.

Two Navy divers and a counterpart from the Republic of Singapore navy take part in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2006 last month. Some Navy divers qualify for re-enlistment bonuses up to $75,000. (Kathryn Whittenberger / U.S. Navy)

Selective re-enlistment bonuses for thousands of sailors in dozens of Navy job specialties increased this month.

The bonuses, known as SRBs, are highest for those in the Navy special operations community.

Special operations independent duty corpsmen, who are qualified as SEALs, and Navy divers with the combat swimmer designation can receive bonuses of up to $75,000. Corpsmen who work with the Fleet Marine Force recon units are eligible for up to a $60,000 bonus, as are Navy divers with some explosive ordnance disposal technician qualifications.

Bonuses are being decreased in some other job specialities.

Navy officials use the SRB program to retain more sailors in needed skills, and, conversely, slow retention in skills where the need is diminishing or the specialty is fully staffed.

“The SRB program has been extremely successful,” Master Chief Petty Officer Doug Vance of the Naval Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn., wrote in an e-mail.

If there aren’t enough sailors in a specific job, job specialty or zone, the Navy “adjusted the SRB award level to help improve those re-enlistment numbers,” Vance wrote.

Re-enlistment bonuses are available to sailors with less than 14 years of service and are broken down into three zones: those with less than six years of service, those between six and 10 years, and those between 10 and 14 years.

Each zone has its own bonus factor, which allows the Navy to target sailors with specific skills and specific time-in-service.

Fire controlmen with a job specialty in the Aegis weapons system MK-7 technician, for example, will see a rise in SRBs if they have less than six years of service. But those in the two other zones — corresponding to time-in-service longer than six years — will see a decrease.

An individual sailor’s bonus is calculated using a number of factors, including the length of re-enlistment, his base pay and an “award multiplier,” which is set by the Navy. Award multiples for the ratings can be viewed in NAVADMIN 195/06, available at www.npc.navy.mil.

Those whose SRBs increased were able to re-enlist in the higher category when the message was released on July 5, and those who face cuts have until Aug. 5 to re-enlist at the older — higher — bonus levels.

Some Navy Reserve sailors also will be seeing increases in re-enlistment bonuses, but the majority of the sailors — who are on long-term active duty status, called full-time support — will be seeing decreases.

For those seeing increases, the maximum award level is $45,000. Award multiples for FTS ratings are available in NAVADMIN 194/06 on the NPC Web site.


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