The U.S. Navy now has to pay more to keep experienced people with
certain skills. Some types of submarine technicians can now get a $75,000 bonus
if they reenlist for three years. This came about because, next to the SEAL
commandos, the submarine service is the most selective, and requires nearly as
much training. These specialists have an easy time getting good civilian jobs
if they get out. But the biggest attraction to leaving the navy is no more
going to sea for up to six months at a time. This is tough on family life, and
most sailors are married. The war on terror has meant more work for U.S.
nuclear subs, which are very popular for staking out coastal areas where
terrorists are operating.
type of sailor, SEAL boat operator, had their reenlistment bonuses upped to
$60,000. These guys are also away for long periods at sea, and work a dangerous
job (getting SEALs to shore, and then picking them up, no matter what the
weather or intensity of enemy fire).
other specialties got their re-enlistment bonuses, and some had theirs reduced.
Raising and lowering (or eliminating) bonuses is a continuing process. Many of
these specialist communities are small, containing only a few hundred people.
So if a few more leave over two or three years, there is a shortage, and the
higher bonuses are called in to fix the problem.