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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has broadened the eligibility pool for a bonus pay program for sailors who speak foreign languages, Navy officials said Thursday.

The amount sailors can earn varies depending on their scores on the Defense Language Proficiency Test, how many speakers per language the Navy already has and which languages the Navy needs most, officials said.

Under the program, sailors can earn between $25 and $500 per month per language up to a maximum of $1,000 per month, said Senior Chief Petty Officer David Baker, Navy foreign language program office manager.

Officials said the Navy has now expanded which sailors are eligible for the pay to include:

n All sailors who graduate from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.

n Sailors assigned to special warfare, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, Fleet Marine Force, and the health service augmentation program, such as corpsmen.

n Sailors who have to use their language skills while deployed on emergency, unplanned or ad-hoc operations.

Baker said he could not estimate how many more sailors are now eligible for the extra pay under the new eligibility requirements.

He also said the Navy does not have a target for the number of sailors it hopes will avail themselves of the extra pay.

Sailors who receive the pay are required to maintain their language skills on their own.

See Navy Administrative Message 072/07 at npc.navy.mil for more information.

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