Assignment Incentive Pay Approved for Extensions

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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark D.Faram, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy has authorized Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP) for Sailors extended at certain commands due to COVID-19 transfer delays.

On June 12, the Navy announced the conditions-based, phased plan for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves. A vital part of the plan is prioritizing sea duty and critical shore billets, such as Recruit Division Commanders duty at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes. As a result, Sailors at these types of duty may be involuntarily extended.

“Shipmates, I honor your continued dedication to the mission in these tough times,” said Vice Adm. John B. Nowell Jr., the Navy’s top uniformed personnel official. “We will only keep you in your current billet if it is absolutely necessary for mission readiness, however, if you are affected by these moves beyond our normal limits, we now have taken steps to compensate you for your time.”

Involuntary extensions beyond six months will only occur under the most unusual circumstances. The Navy’s standard rotation window allows for Sailors to be transferred up to six-months before their scheduled rotation date as well as to be held in place for an additional six months, if necessary.

According to two separate Department of the Navy memos, Recruit Division Commanders and Sailors on sea duty are eligible to be paid AIP at the rate of $500 per month for each month they are held at their current command beyond the six-month threshold. Sailors should work with their chain of command as well as their detailer to determine if this program will apply to them.

Assignment Incentive Pay is just one tool available to the Navy to keep key billets filled. Still in effect is NAVADMIN 132/20 released on May 5, which offers both high-year tenure waivers as well as Sea Duty Incentive pay to Sailors in specific skills willing to extend at sea or return to sea early. The deadline to apply for these programs is Sept. 30.

Volunteering to extend could net Sailors a lump-sum payment in return for their extension or curtailment, the amount can vary based on rating and paygrade.  Those Sailors interested in volunteering for SDIP should contact their detailer. This includes those in SDIP-eligible skills currently scheduled to separate or retire who are willing to delay their departure by 6-12 months are eligible for SDIP as well.

Ordinarily, such requests require applying 14-16 months before their projected rotation date; however, this timeline may be waived on a case-by-case basis. The latest list of eligible ratings and paygrades, updated May 5, can be found at

More information on the AIP program is available at Those interested in the high-year tenure wavers and Sea Duty Incentive Pay can get details from NAVADMIN 132/20.

The latest DoD policies are at

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Military Times 2020 Guide to Military Benefits

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Here’s a link to this on-line guide that covers Basic Pay, BAH, retirement, family support, VA loans, TRICARE, and educational benefits. It is a great resource if you have questions about how something works:

Your 2020 Guide to Military Benefits

Latest Special Pays Update

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Here is the update posted on the BUMED Special Pays Website a few days ago:

16 January 2020: The NAVADMIN releasing the approved FY20 Medical Department Special & Incentive Pay Plan is expected to be signed and released in the coming weeks, Until that time, the following clarifications are provided:

  • If an officer’s eligibility date for a special pay is on, or after, 1 October 2019, the request cannot be submitted until the FY20 Medical Department Special & Incentive Pay Plan is approved and released. The NAVADMIN is the authority from Chief, Navy Personnel authorizing Chief, BUMED to execute the special pays in FY20.
  • Once the NAVADMIN is released, medical department officers will have 30 days from the date of release to submit a special pay request effective 1 October 2019, or the date the officer became eligible if after 1 October 2019.
  • Requests for Retention Bonus effective 30 September 2019, or earlier, cannot be submitted until the NAVADMIN is released, as the guidance governing these requests is included in the FY20 Medical Department Special & Incentive Pay Plan.

MOAA – Defense Bills: House and Senate Versions Compared

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Here’s an article that compares the House and Senate versions of the NDAA 20. Here are the two bullets most readers would care about:

  • A pay raise win. Summaries from leaders of both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees pledge that their final legislation will include a 3.1% military pay raise, which would align with the administration’s FY 2020 budget request and with MOAA efforts to sustain pay comparability with the private sector. While nothing’s settled until passage, this appears to be one of few issues that won’t be affected by ongoing debate – a key House member said as much at a recent news event.
  • Halfway on health care? While House Armed Services Committee (HASC) members included language that would put a stop to a proposal to cut up to 18,000 medical billets, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) has not. House committee members shared MOAA’s concerns about the potential consequences of cutting roughly 20 percent of the military’s medical force. They included language requiring DoD to study the issue further and report back to Congress.

Big Changes to Navy Medical Pay – FY19 Medical Department Special Pays Guidance

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Here are the official BUMED talking points on the FY19 special pays plan. The pay plan guidance for each Corps is expected to be released early next week.

NOTE: The guidance currently posted on the BUMED special pays website is from FY18 and not FY19.  This new guidance only applies to FY19 pays.


Navy Medicine’s mission does not change – to keep the Navy and Marine Corps family healthy, ready and on the job. Ensuring the Department of the Navy has a ready medical force to meet assigned operational missions remains paramount. To do this, we must maximize recruitment and retention tools such as special and incentive pay to attract and retain medical department officers with critical specialties.

Navy Medicine is responsible for properly aligning its uniformed force structure to support the medical capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps operating forces. The Fiscal Year 2019 special pays guidance focuses on meeting congressional intent of NDAA 2017 which specifically focuses on the improvement of infrastructure and alignment to operational readiness.

Navy Medicine analyzed current manning data, end-strength forecasts, loss and retention rates, training timeframes, recruitment rates, and Department of Labor statistics to craft the FY19 Medical Department Special Pays Guidance.


Key Messages:

  • The Department of Defense and the Navy are taking a critical look at force structure across the services and within each military department in an effort to align to defense planning guidance priorities and to meet CNO guidance.
  • Navy Medicine is managing its medical force to meet the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps.
  • Navy Medicine must have properly aligned uniformed force structure to meet the medical capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps operating forces.
  • Navy Medicine uses special and incentive pay, coupled with other personnel management tools, to influence recruitment and retention behavior and ensure we have the right specialty mix, experience, and talent to meet our mission.

Talking Points:

  • Changes to the FY19 Medical Department Special Pays Guidance provide Navy Medicine with significant flexibility and enhanced options for the recruitment and retention of needed specialties.
  • Navy Medicine increased accession and retention numbers in key specialty areas.
  • Navy Medicine carefully considered these changes to optimize personnel career progression and talent management.
  • The vast majority of officers eligible for special and incentive pays within Navy Medicine will be minimally impacted; there will be some impact on a few select specialties.
  • Updates include the following:
    • Accession Bonus:
      • Updated list of eligible specialties for the Critically Short Wartime Skills Accession Bonus to include cardio-thoracic surgery, trauma/critical care surgery, and medical technology, and eliminated internal medicine, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, and pediatrics.
      • Increased accession bonus amounts for critical specialties to include aerospace medicine, anesthesia, emergency medicine, family practice, orthopedics, preventive medicine, psychiatry, pulmonary/critical care, radiology, urology, and nurse anesthetist.
      • Authorized a direct accession critical care nurse to forgo the accession bonus and request retention bonus upon reporting to the first permanent command (must meet board certification & education/training criteria).
    • Retention Bonus:
      • Added 6-year retention bonus for critical specialties to include general surgery, category I subspecialties, orthopedics, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family practice, psychiatry, pulmonary/critical care, comprehensive dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, oral maxillofacial surgery, physician assistant, clinical psychology, critical care nursing, psychiatric nursing, perioperative nursing, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists.
      • Added additional eligible specialties for the retention bonus to include graduate prepared Clinical Nurse Specialists in medical-surgical and emergency room nursing (must meet board certification and education/training criteria).
      • Authorized critical care nurses and family nurse practitioners to take retention bonuses while under obligation for graduate education through Duty Under Instruction (DUINS), incurring a consecutive obligation.
      • Authorized critical care nurses to apply for selection to DUINS as Clinical Nurse Specialists in critical care nursing while under retention bonus.
      • Removed language allowing 2-year Retention Bonus for non-certified critical care nurses.
      • Limited ability to terminate early and renegotiate contracts for certain specialties to include pediatrics, radiology, radiation oncology, general dentistry, endodontics, exodontia, public health dentistry, oral pathology, pediatric dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, pediatric nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwife.
      • Limited Nurse Corps retention bonus to Commander/O-5 for all specialties except nurse anesthetists.
      • Limited Medical Service Corps retention bonus to 22 years of commissioned service or less.
      • Limited retention bonus length to 2 or 3-years for pharmacy, optometry, pediatric nurse practitioner, and certified nurse midwife.
  • All personnel who are eligible for medical department special pays should review their corps specific guidance available on the Navy Medicine website.