Attrition: Sailors Seek Shelter In Service


June 18, 2009: The U.S. Navy has stopped paying reenlistment bonuses for the rest of the year. Until recently, the navy was paying bonuses of up to $90,000 for nuclear power plant techs, and up to $25,000 for EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) specialists. The reason for all this is the nearly ten percent unemployment rate in the United States, and fading power of Islamic terrorists. The latter trend has reduced the demand for EOD personnel in the civilian economy.

Normally, the navy has a hard time hanging on to their most highly skilled technical personnel. The major culprit is both the availability of better paying civilian jobs and, for the majority of sailors who are married, no more six months or more away from the family while at sea, or at some foreign base. Now the navy is spending less time sending ships on six month cruises, and paying more attention to maintaining family tranquility. As a result more sailors, including the scarce, high-end, technicians, want to stay in. Even without cash bonuses. For now, anyway. Once the economy gets going again, and nuclear power plant construction resumes in the United States, the navy will have to pay to retain high end techs.



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