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ARLINGTON, Va. — Short on sailors who have mastered Explosive Ordnance Disposal skills, the Navy is offering up to $150,000 for some master EOD technicians as part of a new re-enlistment bonus program, Navy officials said.

The Navy was prompted to offer the bonus because the field is critically undermanned, said Master Chief John Siegel, EOD community manager and technical adviser.

About 147 sailors are eligible for the bonus through the end of fiscal 2009, Siegel said Wednesday.

Sailors must be between the ranks of E-7 and E-9 and have between 19 and 25 years’ experience, according to a recent NAVADMIN (Navy Administrative Announcement).

They must also be on active duty to receive a bonus and must receive a recommendation to get the bonus from their commanding officer, the NAVADMIN says.

While the program requires sailors to re-enlist for a minimum of two years, sailors with 24 years’ experience can still receive a bonus under certain conditions listed in NAVADMIN 102/07.

Siegel said that under the new program, sailors can receive the following bonus amounts:

$20,000 to re-enlist for one year.$40,000 for two years.$60,000 for three years.$80,000 for four years.$120,000 for five years.$150,000 for six years.“With the exception of one-year contracts, members will receive 50 percent of the CSRB [bonus] award amount at the time of re-enlistment and the remaining 50 percent will be paid in equal installment each October over the contract period,” the NAVADMIN says.

All bonuses received in war zones are tax-exempt.

The amount of money sailors can receive may vary depending on whether they have received re-enlistment bonuses in the past, Siegel explained. Sailors can receive a maximum of $200,000 in bonuses during their careers.

Siegel could not give specific numbers, citing security concerns, but said that with the bonus, the Navy hopes to retain about 100 master technicians by the end of fiscal 2009.

That would mean the master EOD technician community would be manned at 95 percent, he said.

Right now, the community is undermanned because of a large demand from private industry for people with such skills, Siegel explained.

Go to NAVADMIN 102/07 available at: www.npc.navy.mil for information on how to apply for the bonus.

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