WASHINGTON - 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 https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/pay-and-benefits.
More information on the AIP program is available at https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/assignment-leave-travel/resources-and-links. 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 https://www.defense.gov/explore/spotlight/coronavirus.