The Navy (along with all of the other military branches) is desperate for new recruits. It’s been hard to convince people to serve in the military when all you hear is how the Biden administration abuses them, and the Department of Veteran Affairs will cheat them out of benefits years from now.
Still, the Navy has found a loophole to help with recruitment – and this includes offering an enlistment bonus of up to $75,000. That’s a significant amount of money. In fact, it’s about $25,000 higher than its previously max bonus offered.
There’s a catch, though. That kind of enlistment bonus won’t be available to everyone. It’s for those who enter the nuclear field. This means that people have to be interested in that field AND have the aptitude for it. The Navy will provide all the training. Still, to see the bonus, people will have to make it through basic training, specialized training and spend a few years in the position.
For those who can qualify, it’s definitely a financial incentive. Some would even say that, if used correctly, could be a life-changing amount of money. Sailors can also choose to use the bonus alongside the Enlisted Loan Repayment Program to ensure they get help with student loans. That loan repayment is as high as $65,000.
We’re talking about $140,000 of extra money to serve in the Navy.
They have to do something. Not everyone wants to join the military – let alone the Navy, where there’s the possibility of spending months at a time at sea in a submarine.
The Navy has been regularly raising their enlistment bonus maximums. In 2022, it was raised to $50,000 – and that’s the first time it’s seen a bump since the $40,000 it sat at since 2006.
The exact amount of the bonus given to someone is dependent upon when they enter, their ship date, and their classification.
Oh, and prior service members are not eligible for this bonus if they received any kind of bonus when they first enlisted. That means that even if a sailor changes their career path to nuclear, they miss out on the bigger cash incentive. It has become clear that the Navy is focused on increasing its active-duty ranks – and the FY24 budget request is proof of that. Their goal? 5,000 more sailors.
According to the budget document, they identify that there is a challenging recruitment environment and that the higher enlistment bonuses will help. They also acknowledge, “Retention has also been difficult with a strong national economy, so bonuses and incentives to retain our current naval force [are] are a priority.”
Now, we have to wait to see if any of the other military branches decide to follow suit with their own competitive enlistment bonuses.