Sailors prepare to man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in San Diego, Feb. 26, 2021.

Sailors prepare to man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in San Diego, Feb. 26, 2021. (Alison Hummel/U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy is offering as many as three years’ early separation to sailors in some “overmanned” rates and career fields before the end of fiscal year 2021, according to a Navy administrative message released Tuesday.

The service exceeded its retention goals in FY 2020 and announced a select list of ratings would qualify for early separation, according NAVADMIN messages in December and January. The list includes boatswain’s mate, culinary specialist and hospital corpsman.

“While we have grown over the years, some enlisted ratings have become overmanned, creating imbalances in the Fleet,” the chief of Navy personnel, Vice Adm. John Nowell, wrote in December’s message.

Early separation comes with some conditions, namely the return of unearned bonus money and no separation pay, according to Tuesday’s message.

Sailors in fields that are less than 95% manned or in nuclear fields are not eligible for early separation, according to January’s message. Sailors subject to selective reenlistment bonuses, obligated service for school training or in the Selective Training and Reenlistment Program are also not eligible.

Applications for early separation will be considered on a first come, first serve basis until quotas are met, according to Tuesday’s message. The deadline is Sept. 30.

All applicants for early separation must come forward on a voluntary basis through submitted requests into the Enlisted Early Transition Program, which gets updated regularly to show opportunities to those seeking it. Twitter: @Beta_Stripes

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Daniel Betancourt is a reporter, photographer, videographer and web editor at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. He joined the Marine Corps in 2014 and has been assigned to Stars and Stripes since 2020.

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