The U.S. Navy is offering up to $90,000 in retention bonuses for Naval Special Warfare chief warrant officers who agree to remain in service for at least two more years. The bonuses will be issued in three phases depending on rank and length of service, with the criteria detailed in a new naval administrative message. The bonuses are provided in lump sum payments and are part of the Navy’s efforts to retain experienced sailors, amid challenges in recruiting and retaining personnel.
- Eligibility Requirements: The Critical Skills Accession Bonus is available to active-duty Naval Special Warfare chief warrant officers with specific designators, who sign a contract before reaching 28 years of service.
- Payment Phases: The bonuses are distributed in three phases, depending on the rank and years of service. Phase one applies to officers with 20-23 years of service, phase two to those with 24-25 years, and phase three to chief warrant officers 4 or above with 26-30 years of experience, with different bonus amounts for each phase.
- Retention Efforts: The Navy has emphasized the importance of retention bonuses, citing a strong national economy and challenges in recruiting. Naval Special Warfare Command has a 79% retention rate for sailors with over 20 years of service, compared to the Navy’s overall average of 42%.
- Application Process: Contracts for the bonuses are up to four years in length, and warrant officers must receive an endorsement letter from a commanding officer to apply. The bonuses are paid in a lump sum, effective from the date of contract execution.
- Importance in Budget Planning: The Navy has highlighted the value of these retention bonuses in its budget request, identifying them as a priority in maintaining the current naval force, especially considering the current challenges in recruitment and retention.