Future sailors could receive up to $50,000 in enlistment bonuses — $10,000 more than the maximum offered to incoming sailors in recent years.
The exact bonus rates are constantly in flux due to the changing needs of the Navy, said Cdmr. Dave Benham, spokesman for Navy Recruiting Command, in an email to Navy Times. However, Benham said that he was not aware of any other instances where enlistment bonuses had reached $50,000 before, and enlistment bonus and loan repayment program messages list the max at $40,000 dating back to 2006.
“We recognize that young Americans today have more employment options and opportunities than ever before, so we are offering these enlistment bonuses to be competitive with the strong civilian labor market, recognizing that we are in competition for the best and the brightest young Americans from all walks of life,” Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander of Navy Recruiting Command, said in a Navy news release.
“While military service is not just about the money, we feel the added economic incentive, on top of the existing military benefits package and the inherent excitement tied to service in the world’s premiere Navy, will help us attract and retain the kind of talented young people our Navy needs to maintain our competitive advantage into the future,” Velez said.
Future sailors who ship between now and May 31 are eligible for a $4,000 early shipping bonus, although some recruits for “high priority jobs” could receive up to $14,000 for shipping within 30 days, according to a Navy news release.
That early shipping enlistment incentive bonus could be paired with other bonuses being offered, such as the Enlistment Bonus Source Rate available to sailors going into nuclear, submarine and information warfare fields, among others. The Navy said these bonuses will be issued to sailors after graduation from A or C school. A sailor signing onto the nuclear career field, for example, could reap a $38,000 bonus, plus a $14,000 early shipping bonus, but the total bonus would be capped at $50,000.
Here’s what’s being offered to the following high-demand ratings:
- Air rescue swimmer (AIRR-ATF) — $24,000
- Cryptologic technician interpretive (CTI-ATF) — $15,000
- Cryptologic technician networks (CTN-ATF) — $5,000
- Explosive ordnance (EOD-ATF) — $18,000
- Hospital corpsman advanced technical field (HM-ATF) — $18,000
- Information systems technician submarines (ITS-ATF) — $15,000
- Machinist’s mate submarines (MMS-5YO) — $10,000
- Missile technician (MT-AEF) — $5,000
- Nuclear field (NUC-NF): electrician’s mate nuclear (EMN), electronics technician nuclear (ETN), machinist’s mate nuclear (MMN) — $38,000
- Special warfare boat operator (SB-ATF) — $18,000
- Sub electronics computer field (SECF-5YO): fire control technician (FT), sonar technician submarines (STS), electronics technician navigation (ETV), electronics technician communications (ETR) — $15,000
The bonuses apply to any future sailor classified or reclassified after Jan. 21, however, the service noted that it’s common for program, rate and ship dates to change. Contract lengths are dependent upon rating, and span from four to six years, Benham said.
The bonuses are contingent upon congressional appropriations and funding availability, according to the Navy.