The Navy announced today that investment in retaining its high quality workforce has begun to pay off. During the current fiscal year, more and more active duty men and women are electing to sign up for additional service. "We are very excited about the choices our people are making to stay Navy," said Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, the Navy's chief of Naval Personnel. "Our success in retention has had a positive and direct impact on recruiting."
Thus far for the fiscal year, retention for first term Navy enlistees is up 2.1 percent from last year and for career force sailors, the reenlistment rate is up 7.3 percent. Based on these positive retention trends, the Navy is reducing fiscal 2000 and fiscal 2001 enlisted accession goals. The original fiscal 2000 recruiting goal of 57,370 was adjusted several times this past year, most recently by 1,600, to the present target of 55,000 (or 4.2 percent less than the original goal). Similarly, the fiscal 2001 goal has been lowered from prior projections of 60,000 to 56,350 (or 6.1 percent of the projected goal).
The Navy's retention investments have included DoD-wide pay raises and pay table reform coupled with retirement pay reform; reductions in the inter-deployment training cycle; significantly improved advancement opportunity for Sailors; fiscal 2000 enhancements to the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) program, targeting undermanned and high tech ratings; and Navy leadership's efforts to reduce first term attrition.
The Navy expects continuing improvements to further increase retention in fiscal 2001. Specific policy initiatives being considered include enhancing the SRB program, returning high-year tenure policy to pre-drawdown levels, and increasing the mix of the Navy's top six enlisted paygrades to match readiness requirements for today's technical Navy.
"Focusing our investment on keeping proven performers in the Navy reduces the requirement for recruiting the next-generation of leaders," said Ryan.
In order to sustain these retention efforts, Ryan recently established the Center for Career Development in Millington, Tenn. The center was created to augment retention efforts throughout the Navy and will be a customer-focused organization that provides training, career information, products and services. The center will also work to receive feedback from Sailors and their families to direct future retention strategies.
For more information contact Cmdr. Betsy Bird at (703) 614-2000.