WASHINGTON - The Navy has released the initial fiscal year 2021 Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) offerings and the trend is up. This latest update includes 78 newly eligible skillsets, meaning 5,220 more Sailors are now able to cash in at some level.

The Navy is constantly updating its award levels, meaning those in eligible skillsets should closely monitor the current offerings to avoid losing out.

Once the Fiscal 2021 Budget gets final approval, the Navy plans to spend $379,461 million on re-up bonuses, slightly less than what was spent last year.

This latest update includes 78 newly eligible skillsets, meaning 5,220 more Sailors are now able to cash in at some level.

In addition, 14 skillsets saw their payouts increase while another 51 were decreased. The remaining 107 skillsets remained unchanged.

Navy targets re-up bonuses only to critical skillsets. It's a combination of rating and pay grade and in most cases a Naval Enlisted Classification that determine eligibility.

Another factor impacting eligibility is total years of service.

The Navy breaks down a 30-year active-duty career into five retention zones.

SRB is only offered critical skills in three of those zones -- Zone A, which covers zero to six years, Zone B - six to 10 years and of active service and Zone C – 10 to 14 years of active service.

Bonuses are set at five maximum levels — $30,000, $45,000, $60,000, $75,000 and $100,000. The level depends on the need in a given skillset.

Half the bonus is paid upfront in a lump sum and the remainder is paid in equal amounts spread over the remainder of the contract.

Earlier this year, NAVADMIN 108/20 announced that the Navy increased the bonus window to 365 days prior to their end of service date, up from the previous max of 270 days. In addition, Sailors who reenlist in a designated combat zone can get their entire bonus -- initial and anniversary payments, tax free.

In recent years, the Navy has transitioned away from publishing award levels in periodic naval messages to a more agile model, where levels are adjusted real time as community managers respond to retention numbers and the impact on fleet needs.

This allows officials to target the money where it is needed the most, though award levels can be reduced or closed without notice.

That's why Sailors wanting to cash in need to closely monitor the current SRB eligibility list, available on the Navy Personnel Command's website's SRB page, fount at https://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/enlistedcareeradmin/Pages/SRB.aspx.

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Connecticut Media Group