ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has expanded its early-out program, making 8,000 more sailors eligible to leave, Master Chief Doug DeVault said on Wednesday.

The Early Transition Program allows sailors who have a separation date on or before Sept. 30 to leave the Navy early, said DeVault, who works for the chief of naval personnel.

All applicants must agree to separate by Aug. 15, DeVault said.

“If a sailor puts something in now and wants to leave in a week, that’s fine,” he said.

Only enlisted sailors are eligible for the Early Transition Program, which is designed to encourage sailors to go from the active Navy into the Naval Reserve or into the Army via the Blue to Green program, DeVault said.

The Navy is not offering any special pay or incentive for sailors to leave early, a Navy administrative announcement says.

Navy administrative announcement 022/06 says sailors who want to leave the service early can apply to Naval Personnel Command through their commanding officer.

Sailors are ineligible for the program if they:

Are under or eligible for a Selective Reenlistment Bonus contract.Are in special warfare and explosive ordnance disposal.Have nuclear ratings.Enlisted under the National Call to Service program.Are affected by a stop-loss order.The program has been around since the 1990s, and has been offered annually since fiscal 2003, DeVault said.

The program does not affect sailors’ Montgomery GI Bill benefits if they have more than 36 months of active-duty service, and it does not cut into veterans benefits if they served on active duty for 180 days, he said.

DeVault said the program is not an attempt for the Navy to cut down on its congressionally allotted number of personnel, or end-strength.

“These are people who probably we would have lost this fiscal year anyway, so for an end-strength perspective it’s not really helping us,” he said.

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up